After my doctor’s diagnosis appointment, I brought my new prescriptions to the pharmacist. The pharmacist took my scripts and filled them out. I stood there, 6 feet from the counter, in the middle of the place, in people’s way, and watching the pharmacist fill out my prescription. It felt like it was just her and me. Everyone continued life around me, but I was not aware of them.
Then she called my name, and we met at the consultation wicket. I walked up, listened to her consult, I asked a hundred questions and not really paying attention. We pick out a glucometer and then she teaches me how to take my blood glucose (BG) readings.
I don’t remember if I went to work or straight home. I do remember feeling numb. Not upset, not frustrated, not hurt, not sad…numb. Thinking about it now, I believe I was in a state of SHOCK!
It was no surprise that I have diabetes. It wasn’t a question of IF I was going to get it, it was a matter of WHEN. My parents are Type 2 diabetics, along with their siblings and my grandparents. Many of my cousins are Type 2 diabetics. I have several physiological predispositions of diabetes, and of course, my love for bread didn’t help. Wasn’t love, it was infatuation and lust. Basically, I guess I have been waiting for diabetes to kick in.
Yet I was in shock. I have it. What the fuck now. Ah! Can’t be that bad. It’s not true. They have it all wrong. I have been active most of my life. I have a bit of weight on me, and I eat relatively healthy. I eat a lot, though. Blah…. Blah…Blah…Blah.
The shock wore off during my drive back home.
I went home, and I stated to my wife that my weight loss because of diabetes and I am a diabetic. It was a statement of fact. No emotions. Move on. Next! I take drugs, poke my finger, eat a little different and walk more. Not a big deal.
Today, I realize I was in denial once the shock wore off.
No big deal? What is there to worry about?
I didn’t want to deal with the reality my life was about to change. I had no choice. It was going to change. The type of change was unknown, and that is what scared me and scares people. The Unknown.
I had a forced decision to make. Change. If I don’t change my ways, my health deteriorates quickly, and I have a difficult life ahead of me. OR, change my ways and habits to be healthier, and extend my life.
Not changing my ways is a decision to change. An easy decision to change and a challenging decision of change.
Change. That was scary. Being forced to make a decision to change. Your mind immediately protects you with the emotion and behaviour of denial. It is a mechanism to ‘soften’ the blow and give you the ability to deal with it rationally later.
The only caveat with this mechanism is that it does not provide a mechanism to deal with it afterwards. That is up to me. Therefore, another decision to make. Do I deal with it or wallow in my despair? Do I become a “victim” and further the denial into a depression? Deal with it or not?
Denial is a natural reaction, and it is there to protect you from the immediate bombardment of reality. Short term protection. In the end, you are responsible for dealing with it. Not dealing with it is a way to deal with, and that is a decision to do nothing. A decision will be made even though you believe you did not make a decision.
How do you deal with denial? Once the denial is over, do you deal with the problem at hand or procrastinate?
What did I do? I made a decision. I will control diabetes, and that bugger will not control me. I decided 10 years ago I am living to 120 and diabetes is not stopping me. That decision started a series of decisions to change my mindset.
This blog will explain my mindset change to control diabetes, the challenges I faced back then and continually face today and tomorrow.