I originally wrote this article last year when my father was doing well with controlling his diabetes. As many of you may know, he is currently in the hospital with complications due to this disease, so I thought this would be a great time to re-post this article to help others and spread the knowledge about diabetes.
Almost ten years ago, my father was diagnosed with diabetes. This did not come as a shock to me, for I had witnessed his poor eating habits and stood by him while be worked on remaining sober from alcohol. In my father’s family, plenty of fried foods and high calorie meals were how they bonded with one another. Being from the south, food was a statement of loyalty and love. However, over time, these bad habits began to manifest in my father in several ways health wise, one of which was diabetes.
At the time my father was diagnosed, he was living in a different city than I was. As his only child, it was hard to monitor his eating habits and make sure that he was avoiding the foods his doctor was recommending he stay away from as well as make sure he stuck to his diet.
Diet of course, is one of the most essential things one can do to control their diabetes. Weight and sugar intake are two components that have to be monitored. Improperly taking care of yourself while being diabetic can lead to a slew of other health problems and could even end in death.
After witnessing my father again having another stint placed in his arterties, he agreed to move to St. Louis and I began making sure that he ate the right foods.
Loving someone with diabetes is not an easy task, especially when you witness their health deteriorating on a daily basis because they are not taking care of themselves the way they should. Here are a few tips that I have learned to live by when dealing with my father and this dangerous disease called diabetes:
- When having family gatherings, make sure that your loved one’s diabetic diet is followed and that you have the appropriate foods on hand to serve to them.
- Offer to go grocery shopping with them and encourage them to stay on track.
- Print out diabetic friendly recipes for your loved one which are tasty and flavorful. Just because your loved one is on a diabetic diet doesn’t mean that the food has to be bland.
- Stay in tune to the latest diabetic news. If your loved one allows, make sure to keep in touch with their doctors to make sure that the diabetic plan is being followed.
- Listen. Your loved one just may want to talk to you about living with the disease without judgment or ridicule. Allow them to speak their peace and keep the lines of communication open.
- Join a local support group or an online community that will allow you to discuss your concerns and exchange information with other people who are going through the same thing that you are.
- Encourage. Love. Support. Doing those three things will go a long way with your diabetic loved one.
I hope the previously mentioned tips and suggestions will help you understand and help the diabetic loved one in your life.
If you have any additional tips to add or want to chime in, please feel free to use the comment button below!