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There, But For the Grace of God, Go I

One of my patient visits today was with a single African-American female, age 48, who was diagnosed a Type II diabetic years ago at the tender age of 16.  She is post surgery, having had three toes amputated from her left foot and one toe from her right foot.  I guess-timate she weighs around 400 lbs.  Her roommate, whom I met yesterday, encouraged me to come back to see her.

As she talked about her blood sugar being out of whack, and that she was going to try to reform his ways to alleviate further damage or loss, I sensed she also wondered if she could do it.  Confronted with the very real loss of limbs, she will require rehab to learn how to walk again.

Sometimes when I visit diabetic patients, and there are a lot of them, I have said nothing.  If there seems little to no understanding of what they face or why, me disclosing would only take away from my visit with them, and likely would impact their willingness to be with me.

But in some instances, I hope those who know what needs to be done differently going forward, or wonder if they could ever do it, that they CAN do it because I do it for myself.  When I shared I was diagnosed Type-II nine years ago, she was amazed to the extent she almost popped up out of her bed.  She said I looked so healthy.  Perspective certainly is colored when you lie in a hospital bed, looking up at someone else.  We talked about diet, exercise, resting well, checking sugars and staying current with meds.

I pray my example will give her hope, maybe even inspire her, if possible.  Sadly for her, her example to me challenges me to do more and be better about my own self-care.  I'm not perfect about managing all aspects of my own condition, but I'm better.

Yes, there, but for the Grace of God, go I.