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AAARE: [IP] Re: Jim and diabetic heart attacks

Barbara Pancari [mailto:email @ redacted] wrote:

> Thanks for the encouraging news about diabetics being as 
> likely to have a
> heart attack as a non-diabetic who's already had one....as if I didn't
> know, and as if I weren't waiting for it to happen every day 
> of my life.
> : < (
> This knowledge makes me want to stop testing, being careful 
> with food, etc.
> so that I can get it over with. Of what benefit is an 
> improved ha1c if the
> body is doomed anyway?  What a disheartening statistic from 
> an individual
> who provides such quality information to the Digest.

Barbara, in one sense, everyone is doomed.  Everyone dies of something.

Knowledge, in this case, can (and should) be used to encourage each one of
us to take *BETTER* care of ourselves, and not give in to this monster we
call diabetes.  CSII is the best tool so far to do this.

FWIW, I do not sit around waiting for a heart attack to happen.  I watch
what I eat and I exercise.  That's no guarantee, of course, but it reduces
my risk, and that's the name of the game with diabetes.  Do everything you
can to reduce the risks.

I'll repeat a story that has been a great motivator for me.  When my son,
Matthew was in kindergarten, one of his classmates lost his father in a solo
car accident (his parents were divorced but still friendly).  The school
handled it well, telling the kids what had happened, and that there would be
times when Brenden might start crying without apparent reason or walk off or
some other behavior.  All of these happened.  They were also told that it
was OK to talk to Brenden about it *if he brought it up*.

One night as I was getting Matthew to bed he asked me when I was going to
die.  I gave him the most truthful answer I could - that no one really knows
when that will happen.  But I also promised him that I would do everything
*I* could to make sure it didn't happen for a long time.

Two months later I was diagnosed with diabetes.

That gave me the kick in the ass I needed to hold myself to the promise I
made to Matthew, and today my weight is under control, my last HbA1c was
5.7%, and I run four to five miles three or four times a week.  I've
recently started playing soccer again.

Now I may have a heart attack tomorrow (unlikely, given the tests I've had),
or I might have a stroke, or I could be in a fatal automobile accident.  But
I'm not going to become paralyzed over these possibilities, any more than
I'm going to become irresponsible, quit my job, and party and squander my
health and "get it over with."  It is not helpful to live life in fear of
these things.  

Jim Handsfield
email @ redacted
The opinions expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily represent those
of my wife who runs our house and makes more important decisions than I do.
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