Eddie Sherman

Eddie Sherman
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Wednesday - July 27, 2005
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I HAVE AN enemy. This enemy is everywhere, always following me. And every day this enemy tries to kill me. Yet, I cannot live without this enemy … Sound confusing? Welcome to the world of a diabetic … My enemy is food. The one thing we all need to survive. And it’s such a big part of our culture. Daily we are seduced by all kinds of delicious foods. Try this, enjoy that. Don’t miss this. It goes on and on. Oh, the temptations …

For a diabetic, food is both a blessing and a curse. Food adds weight. The more pounds you put on, the higher your blood sugar goes. High blood sugar leads to medical complications. Often neuropathy sets in. Meaning — that you feel numbness in your feet and other areas of the body. If you’re not wearing shoes (and many in Hawaii often go barefoot) you can step on something sharp. Diabetics won’t feel it. Infection sets in. Result? Diabetics often lose their toes or feet. It’s a disease that can kill you one limb at a time if you let it. The health complications resulting from mismanagement of diabetes includes a long list of medical problems. Stroke, loss of eyesight, heart attacks, to name a few …

And it all starts with food. So how do you deal with it? Stop eating? Of course not. Just realize the problem you face. Don’t deny it. Don’t take it lightly. You have an enemy, just like I and millions more do, that won’t go away. It’s ready to kill you if you give it a chance. Some diabetics think just medicine will allow them to eat all they want. Wrong! Some even say, “Oh, I have just a light touch of diabetes.” They’re in denial …

I was diagnosed about 15 years ago. The disease (as always) suddenly came on without realizing it. There is no pain, no warning. My doctor discovered it during a routine exam. It’s been reported that half the people who have diabetes don’t even know it. At the beginning I was quite cavalier about my diabetes. I thought I could eat anything I wanted as usual. All I had to do was take a shot of insulin once in awhile. As I said, wrong! …

Altho I occasionally still stumble, most times I watch my food intake and try to eat as healthy as possible. I’m fortunate my wife, Patty, helps me watch my diet at home. When we go out we often share a meal. I’ve found many restaurants are understanding and helpful if they know what the problem is. Heck, they want your business, and I can’t come back if I’m dead from overeating! …

Here’s another tip: One of the best things diabetics can do for themselves is daily exercise. It helps lower the blood sugar dramatically. I walk and swim almost daily …

The bottom line is that you can beat diabetes and live with this food enemy with just a little self-discipline. Sure — it takes a lot of will power to push away an inviting meal or a plate of delicious pupus at a special event, or a delicious dessert. (A big reason I don’t go to as many such functions these days. The food temptation can be a killer) … And, it’s important to eat your meals on time. Missing a meal can cause problems. By limiting your food intake and with moderate exercise, you can control your disease and live a normal life. The first step is to admit and accept the fact that you are a diabetic. Ignoring diabetes is a fatal mistake too many diabetics have made. I’m determined not to let that happen to me. Diabetes is relentless. So to defeat it you have to be relentless, too

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