If you have a chronic illness (or want to avoid getting one), Dr. Carl Werner, author of Evolution: The Grand Experiment will inspire you:
I was diagnosed with diabetes at age 27. When I found out that I had this devastating disease, I wanted to cry. It may sound distasteful, but all I could envision was a partial amputation of my leg. You see, I knew exactly what it meant to develop diabetes because when I was diagnosed, I was already a physician and had taken care of diabetic patients for the previous 9 years. The patients I took care of–amputees, dialysis patients, the blind, stroke patients–all had the side of effects of diabetes and were victims.
In my practice of medicine I have learned that diabetes is more than just a medical problem. It is a psychological phenomenon. Diabetic patients have one of two profiles. They either see themselves as victims of a terrible disease or they are fighters. The fighters take the “bull by the horn,” figure out a plan of attack and take control of their disease. I am a fighter. I am now 53 years old, and I am in perfect health.
Recently I met a diabetic with the exact same profile of diabetes that I had. Both of us were 53 years old. Both of us developed Type 1 insulin dependent diabetes at age 27. The difference was that he was a “victim” and I was “a fighter.” Before I tell you the difference in how we took care of our disease, I should draw a comparison of our present health.
He is on dialysis and spends three days a week at the dialysis center; my kidneys are perfectly healthy–they do not even release microscopic amounts of protein. He had an amputation of his foot and uses crutches to walk but my feet are perfect, so much so that I can feel a feather stroked across my toes. He is legally blind from diabetes, while my eye doctors tell me that my retinas are perfect. He has had a stroke and is disabled, but fortunately I have not. I ride bicycles, water ski, snow ski, etc. He has had cardiac bypass surgery after a heart attack, but when my heart was tested with a cardiac catherization, the cardiologist said I did not even a small amount of blockage.
What was the difference in our care? As a fighter, I decided keep my blood sugar in the completely normal range (70-110) at all times, at all cost. This simply required me checking my blood sugar 15 x a day–a small price to pay for perfect health. (At the beginning, I did not have good health insurance so I would buy visual test strips, cut them 4 ways. This reduced my cost of checking my blood sugar to 12 cents a test. Now I have good insurance and use One Touch Ultra, still testing myself 15 x a day with a more accurate machine.)
How about the other fellow? I asked him how he managed his diabetes over the years. Since he was a victim, he checked himself “maybe” once a day, leaving his blood sugars in the 170 – 250 range. In fact, his blood sugars typically ran over 200.
Both of us were born the same year. Both had access to the same technology available. One was a fighter and one was a victim.
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price.Therefore honor God with your bodies. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
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