Thursday, February 07, 2008

I'll Follow The Sun

"Sunshine cannot bleach the snow, nor time unmake what the poet's know."

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The sun is out today. There is a chill in the air, it is winter after all, but looking up, and seeing blue skies makes me so happy that I don't really notice the chill. I could become addicted to days like this. For the most part, I am a happy girl. I have some realities I wish I didn't, like the Type2 diabetes, but a little rain has to fall. It's just life. I wish I could help others... or rather I wish they would let me help them. I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by some pretty amazing people all my life, both here on the Internet, and in my real life.

I have met some people who have meant a lot to me. I have a current friend who I think I could help feel better about themselves, by sharing some of the lessons I have learned, sometimes the hard way, but they glaze over when I try. It hurts. Not that they won't take my advice, but that they won't even try. I want to encourage my readers and my friends to strive to be the best they can be, but sometimes I feel like when I do some folks run as hard as they can in the opposite direction. I don't understand why they would do that.

I have had challenges to face like everyone else. I haven't been a happy lady every single moment of my life. Not at all. In fact I got so sad, I stopped living all together at one point. I eventually got back up, because the alternative would have been death. Maybe it was cowardice, but I couldn't face never seeing the sun again. Never hearing a new song on the radio, never tasting my beloved chocolate dipped strawberries, which are only 45 calories for two medium sized dipped berries! And never touching Alan, or petting Elvis.

I have seen friends run straight into heart disease, and diabetes by way of their eating habits. I lost one of those friends. One day, at 37 she had a heart attack and died. She was alive and fine at noon, and by three that afternoon she was dead. No second chance. No warning. Dead. My other friend got warning after warning. She went through life with the assumption that karma would take care of her. "I am a good person, bad things won't happen if I am a good person." One day she fainted at work, she then began peeing herself, which was a combination of urine and blood. Her kidney's began to shut down. Ignoring the doctor's warning 6 year's earlier that she was in prediabetes, she now had an average blood glucose level of well over 400.

We all watched as she ran headlong into the symptoms of severe diabetes. We all tried, and her eyes glazed over and she avoided us. She went to our mutual friend's funeral 10 year's earlier, and cried along with us, and I wanted to ask her, what she supposed our friend did to deserve dying at 37, hadn't she been a good person? Was this karma? Why didn't our friend deserve a second chance?

I suppose I was in the anger stage of grief. I just don't know. Sigh. Was there anything I could have said or done? Did I do all I could? After my friend was diagnosed with kidney failure, she began to change her lifestyle, but the word "Diabetes" was not to be mentioned. It was a rule. (Insert TEARS here). I have learned so much about diet and nutrition over the last 6 months. I know I can help my current friend... I know I can.

But he/she won't let me. Will I be going to another funeral in the near future? What good are we in life, if we can't, or won't share the lessons we have learned to help other's lead a longer, healthier life? My current friend shares that he/she isn't feeling well, and that he/she is in some pain. He/she describes eating mostly high calorie/high cholesterol foods for convenience reasons, and is a measure of overweight. I know they would like to look better, because that is what they mention most often, but they don't really share about the health concerns they may or may not have.

So tell me, when you see someone hurting themselves do you try to intervene? Do you try to help? Or do you just resign yourself to let people be who they are? Is it wrong to try to help someone, even if they don't ask for it? When do you intervene? Do you ever give up? Do you keep knocking?

If you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts please do so, or, feel free to send me your thoughts by email. But either way... just know... having me as a friend comes with my personal philosophy that everyone can be the best that they can be, if they make the effort to do so, and that I will care about you, and encourage you to be the best you can be, but don't look to me to enable your destructive behavior. Fair enough?

Remember, February is National Heart Health Awareness month! Use your blog for GOOD! Do your own entries about how you try to live a healthy lifestyle. Encourage your readers to educate themselves on living a healthy lifestyle. Share your own tips on staying active or eating properly. Come on. Encouraging others will make you feel good inside.

Now I am off to eat my Campbell's Tomato Soup, and Fresh Green Salad ala Carly! And later today I am going to take my camera, and follow the sun, for about 2 miles or so. LOL.

Mmm, Mmm Good! :)

Conservatory of Flowers
San Francisco, California
January, 2008

1 comment:

Suzanne R said...

You are a remarkable person, in the way you have attacked your disease (Type 2 diabetes) via educating yourself and changing your eating and other health habits. You set a great example and encourage others (like me, also a Type 2 diabetic) via what you write on your blog. As for your friend who you are trying to help, I don't know if they read your blog or not, but if so, I would hope they have the same reaction I have. It may not happen overnight -- there was a while that I was resistant to getting back to more positive habits myself. But I am doing a lot better at that now.

I know from personal experience that Type 2 diabetes can be devastating, as it was kidney failure due to diabetes that led to my mother's death about 6 weeks ago. A death, such as my mother's and the friend's that you describe, doesn't always motivate a diabetic friend or family member who witnesses it to change his or her ways, if he or she has destructive habits. It's too bad that this is so. But it can take time and who knows what kind of motivation for the decision to be made to improve.

I hope you don't feel responsible because your friend doesn't seem to want to change, even with your encouragement. You help more people than you know, perhaps without realizing it. Thank you for that kind of assistance, which you have given me.