Thursday, November 29, 2012

Diabetes Demands Your Attention

Laura Kilpatrick
President & Founder
ATDDA (American Truck Drivers Diabetes Association, Inc.)
a 501(c)(3) non profit organization

I find it interesting that within the "trucking world" drivers will spend many hours talking, debating, discussing and even arguing about anything related to trucking except extremely important topics like Diabetes and health.

Drivers will spend thousand of dollars and many hours trying to achieve the "best" fuel economy.  Hours spent arguing with other drivers about tire pressure, what speed to travel, where to fuel, the cost of fuel and the list goes on and on.  Don't get started talking about dispatch or loads that becomes a gripe session that lasts for hours.

The subject of Diabetes or health gets brought up occasionally to me because everyone I know is aware that I have Diabetes.  The topic is not discussed in depth or many questions asked.  I ask questions but people seem to get bored or want to ignore the topic.

I have come to the conclusion by observation, listening and reading that Diabetes is not taken as seriously as it should.  Anymore we hear about Diabetes on a daily basis, whether on television, radio or read an article about it.  It is talked about like it is no different than having a cold.  Take some medication and go on down the road.

This truly scares me the direction this has gone in.  Diabetes is a serious disease that should not be taken lightly nor should it be ignored.  Diabetes demands your immediate attention.  Please don't get me wrong, there are plenty of people that do take this disease seriously, but there are too many that do not.

Part of the problem I blame on the medical profession.  When doctors diagnose patients with type 2 Diabetes they are failing to inform the patients of the seriousness of the disease nor are the doctors showing with any emotion that it is something to take seriously.   I am frustrated with what I hear patients being told and hear in the media.  Type 2 Diabetes is more than just change your diet add in an exercise regimen and take a pill.

The other part of the problem I believe is that the effects of high blood sugar levels in individuals take many years to start showing signs of complications from those high blood sugar levels.  People tend to ignore the high blood sugar levels because they "hope" they will not have any complications.  I don't think the answer is to just start telling people the horror stories or dwell on the complications.  Education is definitely part of the equation and engaging people in discussions to make their health an important agenda.  But unfortunately just like the almighty dollar takes hold of peoples lives so does food.

People can make better decisions with their money than they can with their food choices.  We as drivers have to plan our routes, fuel stops, follow many rules and regulations will make sure we are legal on our log books, but choosing whats best for our bodies and health in the way of food gets thrown out to convenience and what "tastes" good.

Driving a truck does not mean that a person cannot eat healthy nor does it mean that you can't make smart decisions for you and your health.  I cannot count how many times I have heard the following statement......."well I drive a truck, so my diet is horrible".  Frankly I never want to hear this again!!!!!!

Do the responsible and make the choice for you, your family and the safety of others.  Take care of your Diabetes and YOU.

Wishing everyone a great Holiday Season and Merry Christmas.

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