Thursday, January 15, 2009

Baseball, Football, and Diabetes

Before I get started, here's a classic routine from George Carlin:

One difference George missed: football teams usually play a short number of games [even the NFL's champions play, at most, 21]. Baseball teams, even in the minors, play 100 or more times a season. Thus, football coaches talk about getting their players "up" for a game, while wise baseball managers refer to getting their squads "down", that is, relaxed, into a groove, for their contests.

So it is, ideally, with diabetics. Yes, we need to be prepared. We need to keep vigilant about our blood sugar levels, our A1C's, our overall health [as noted, diabetes can throw wrenches into a wide swath of bodily functions]. But we also need to keep calm, cool, collected. To use another sporting analogy, diabetes is a marathon, not the 100-yard dash.There's no cure. Unless research finds a solution, we'll be dealing with the symptoms, side effects, and complications for the rest of our lives. Living in a constant state of anticipated disaster is not healthy for your mental state. [Of course, diabetes is also affected by stress; doesn't that just figure?].

The excesses many diabetics were part of before becoming diabetics have to be limited. The all-you-can-eat meals celebrating the fact that it was Thursday have to come to an end. But an occasional moment of ease, of eating something because you like it, not where it fits into your meal plan, is probably not only inevitable, it may be necessary for your state of mind [ideally, you should try to work it into that meal plan. But sometimes it just doesn't work].

And where do you get your meal plan, anyway? Well, it should come from a member of your health care team, a dietitian. Don't have a team in place yet? We'll look at who should be part of it in our next posting.

-Mike Riley


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