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Thursday, August 2, 2012

We take care of our vehicles better than our bodies

Driving for 10 hours gives me time to think and observe.  

Last week we thought we had a problem with the truck, and immediately decided that we would get it fixed.....because it was not shifting properly (we have the automatic without the clutch).  Thankfully we were able to reset it by turning off the engine and resetting it, had to do this twice.  No problems since.  

After the reassurance that it was not going to do this again, I started thinking.  Immediately we put a plan together without hesitation to put the truck in the shop and get it fixed, as most people would do.  Without a properly working or functioning truck we can not make money by doing our job.  If something is broke we fix it, if a tire is low we put air in it, if a tire needs replacing we replace it.  We have to check to make sure we have proper oil levels, water levels, antifreeze and fuel.  Without fuel the truck is going nowhere.  There are so many things that go into making sure that are trucks are running properly and continue to do so, so that we may continue down the road making money.  Whether it is our truck or personal vehicle we know that there are things that have to be maintained or fixed.  

So,  why do we not think the same when it comes to our health, bodies or diabetes ?

Our vehicles we can sell or trade, but we only have one body !!!!

I see a man out in the parking lot of the truck stop wiping down his truck and polishing it after getting it washed.  It was a very well kept truck, very clean and you could tell the driving took pride in his ride. Most likely has spent quite a lot of money keeping it up, it was an older Peterbilt.  A few minutes later after doing my routine, taking the dogs out, checking my blood sugar, and taking my evening medication, I go into the fuel island at the Petro in El Paso to get my grilled pork chops for dinner.  I stop there once or twice a week for the pork chops, they are usually pretty good.  As I am ordering the gentlemen that was out polishing his ride comes in behind me.  I asked for 2 pork chops.  The deli clerk asked if I wanted a meal, or just the pork chops.  I said just the pork chops.  The gentlemen asked " Is that all you are going to eat?"  I said no, I have my vegetables in the truck, I just needed to add protein to my dinner."  He said " Oh I would have to have some potatoes and macaroni and cheese with mine."  I said " Wish I could, but having diabetes I don't allow myself to have those because I have to keep my blood sugar levels down, and those two things raise my blood sugar too much."  

So the conversation about Diabetes starts....he says "I have Diabetes too, but I can pretty much eat whatever I want, I take medication."  I said "Really?, I take medication too, have for 15 years."  "Wow, you must be a really bad diabetic."  I chuckle and say "No".  I ask him "how do you know it is okay to eat anything you want? Do you check your blood sugar often?"  He replies "my doctor said just to take the pills and come in every 6 months for blood work, he didn't say it was necessary to check my blood sugar myself."

So I go into my speech about how important it is to know your blood sugar levels before and after meals, and that will tell you what you can eat and how much of the carbohydrates at each meal that you can have.  I explained how important it is to keep the blood sugar levels under the appropriate range of 140 at 1 hour and 120 at 2 hours after the meal.  Then I explained how important it is to know about how carbohydrates affect our blood sugars and how important it is to reduce the carbohydrates per meal.  

Well let's just say he had a bewildered look in his eyes and said "my doctor never explained this."  Then he ordered his potato wedges and macaroni and cheese with 2 deep fried burritos.

I wanted to stay and ask him so many questions and continue my teaching (husband calls it my diabetes lecture).

We only have one body, we have to take care of it.  If we have diabetes we have to be diligent and proactive.  I see so many people ask questions about their trucks and how to get better fuel mileage, spend money for their trucks to look good, spend money diagnosing mechanical problems.  When it comes to Diabetes or their health it seems to be a lack of instruction and education from medical personnel and a lack of questions being asked by the patient.

We want our bodies to run efficiently and get the best fuel mileage that we can.  We don't want our bodies to be sluggish from the junk we put in them.  If our bodies are not taken care of forget about the truck because you won't be in it making a living. It is hard or difficult for people to want to think long term.  But it is imperative that you do.  

I know it is important that we take good care of our trucks, whether a company driver or an owner operator.  So much more important that we take care of ourselves first and do our utmost to do everything we can to eat healthy, check our blood sugar levels (many times a day), exercise and get proper rest.  

Start asking your Doctor questions, get on the web and start educating yourself, join some diabetes groups online.  There are so many things a diabetic needs to know, don't settle for "here's your prescription, take this medication twice a day and I will see you in 6 months."  Your life and health are worth much more than that.

You can check out my website:  www.atdda.org  (American Truck Drivers Diabetes Association, Inc.) 




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