I am someone who enjoys a good challenge. Sometimes these challenges are serious and tough, like completing college after I had a mortgage and a family to support, while other times, they are more trivial, such as locating the clothespins in a 180,000-square-foot Walmart store.
Acknowledging that I cannot solve diabetes alone is difficult, but refusing to seek help for something so critical would be arrogant and downright reckless.
To address the changes I needed to make, the first step was to be honest with my doctor. It is pointless to rely on an expert for guidance if you withhold or distort information from them.
As someone who always strives to present their best self, the thought of openly admitting my past mistakes was intimidating, but I knew that if I wanted to genuinely break free from my previous missteps, I needed to be fully transparent with my doctor.
I have been a patient of Dr. G for about three years, and she is undoubtedly the finest doctor I have ever had. From our very first appointment, I liked her, and over time, she has become more than just my doctor – she is a trusted friend.
In comparison, my former doctor, although competent and somewhat amiable, seemed distant, and I never really felt a connection with him. I could not fathom having the conversation with him that I was about to have with Dr. G.
Despite lingering apprehension, I knew it was crucial for me to be honest. Anything less than complete truthfulness with myself, my family, and my doctor would only demonstrate that I was not genuinely committed to breaking away from my previous errors.
Without any introduction, I dove straight into my confession, and surprisingly, admitting my foolishness was easier than I expected.
I had recently been on the receiving end of similar conversations, as several students approached me just before graduation, expressing remorse for their behavior (or lack thereof) in my class. In that situation, I knew I could respond in one of two very different ways, but my experience as a teacher taught me that only one would be constructive.
Evidently, my doctor understood this too, as her response to my admission was a warm, reassuring smile, much like the one a teacher wears when a struggling student finally grasps a difficult concept.
I informed her that I had eliminated foods like chips, donuts, and desserts from my diet and no longer kept them in my home. She enthusiastically praised my efforts, but I mistakenly assumed she would be even more delighted when I mentioned my primary snacks were now fruits such as oranges and grapes.
She pulled up a website called sugarstacks.com on her computer and showed me the sugar content in common fruits. I was taken aback. I had been under the impression that fructose was a healthier alternative to table sugar.
While they were different types of sugars, consuming either would cause a significant increase in my blood sugar levels. Though healthy for most individuals, oranges were a poor choice for me. Dr. G pointed out that a large naval orange contained nearly two-thirds the sugar content of a can of Coca-Cola. At this point in our conversation, warning bells rang in my head, and I felt the pull of discouragement. What could I eat?
“So,” I asked, “are you suggesting a low-carb diet?”
“Absolutely,” she replied.
She proceeded to discuss healthier snack alternatives, such as carrot sticks. Anticipating the mention of a particularly detested food, I interrupted her, saying, “I don’t think God intended us to eat celery.”
This brought a hearty laugh from her, which in turn, lifted my spirits. I felt encouraged to find snacks I enjoyed that wouldn’t cause a spike in my blood sugar. I could consume all the protein I desired without obsessing over avoiding all fat.
As I left her office, I acknowledged the challenge before me and accepted it wholeheartedly. If I can successfully figure out that clothespins and irons share the same aisle at Walmart, then I can certainly overcome this challenge.