A silent killer

So yesterday I was watching the Oprah show with Dr. Oz about diabetes: “America’s Silent Killer: Oprah and Dr. Oz Want to Save Your Life.”
It was a very interesting show that I highly recommend you to go and watch it, it truly is information that can save your life but as they mention in there “it’s not what you know, it’s your emotions that will make the difference”.

Some of facts out of the show:

  • Diabetes is the fastest-growing disease
  • 6 million Americans undiagnosed
  • It’s estimated that 80 million people in the United States have diabetes or are on the verge of developing this disease.
  • United States is forced to spend $174 billion a year treating this disease—more than AIDS and all cancers combined.
  • Type 1 diabetes (you are born with it), formerly known as juvenile diabetes, affects 10 percent of Americans diagnosed with diabetes.
  • Type 2 develops from lifestyle issues. “Ninety percent of type 2 diabetics can actually reverse their problem,”
  • On average person eats 150 pounds of sugar a year.
  • In the United States, approximately 86,000 diabetes-related amputations are performed every year.
  • Dr. Oz says there are four major risk factors for type 2 diabetes: Belly fat,  Sedentary lifestyle, Family history and Smoking.

We all heard about diabetes before, haven’t we? What’s different about it now?

One of my best friends during my “teen years” had type 1 diabetes, I remember her having to use the insulin everyday, being careful about her eating habits, etc. I remember we used to have the idea of diabetes being a disease and as such needing special care. I think as we got sicker and sicker we began to “minimize the problem” and deny the existence of it. But the fact we are denying it doesn’t mean the problem is not there, right?

Watch Laureen story, she is a type 1 diabetes and she says she was “living with it” thinking it was ok, making a bad choice here, another bad one there until she finally had to deal with a problem bigger than she considered it to be. Now it’s a bit too late…

While I was watching the show I got thinking about personal responsibility, owning your actions, being responsible for your choices… it’s fascinating to see how people leave in denial and how they normally try to “blame it” on someone (or something) else. We tend to carry that thought that “not with me, with anyone else but ME”! And, forgive me but, that’s dumb.
We are always in search of a good excuse to justify our choices. But there is no such a thing. There is no good or bad excuse, there is just the fact and the stories we tell ourselves about the fact.

Coincidence or not, after Oprah was over I switched to Larry King (never really watch his show) and he was interviewing this American actor that is in need of a liver transplant. He was diagnosed with hyper tension when he was 23 years old! He was 500+ pounds and though it was “OK”, as many, he ignored the problem and now or he gets a new liver or he dies (not sure his age now but I don’t think he is more than 30).

Now, sad stories are every where (unfortunately) what impressed me the most was what he was saying, he said that the doctor didn’t explain the problem well enough to him, that the doctor didn’t warned him of what could happen if he didn’t change his habits. That the doctor told him he had to lose weight and eat healthier but didn’t explain all the consequences and how to do it.
All I heard was “the doctor” not for a second he talked about “I”, “what did I do wrong?”. I am sorry to say, that got me mad. I don’t deal very well with people placing themselves as victims in a world so full of information as we have today.
So, he is telling me that being diagnosed with hyper tension at age of 23 didn’t look as something serious for him? REALLY? He had no idea that being 500 lbs could cause serious health problems and kill him? REALLY?

I believe we make our choices and our choices make us. If you wanna live a life of poor choices, fine, it’s your life but OWN it. The moment you own your choices, the same way with the truth, it sets you free. You have the control.

At the Oprah show Dr. Smith went to an African American Ladies church group, where pretty much all of them have diabetes, he got kinda angry with some of them because of the denial process. I think he said it best, when he said

“This is a disease often about attitude, and attitude has a lot to be desired right now. We have to improve our attitudes about it.” (Dr. Smith)

We absolutely need a big shift in our attitudes, specially in taking care of ourselves and not expecting doctors, government, healthy agencies, mom, wife, or whoever to take care of us.

”We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”
(Jim Rohn)

For info about diabetes in Canada click here

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