facing the giant



Facing the Giants: Diabetes Complications

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Since my husband’s type 2 diabetes diagnosis in December 2012, my family has faced numerous giants in life to overcome. From learning more about the disease, struggling on how to manage his diabetes daily, dealing with overcoming the extra costs and setbacks, learning to make and eat nutritional meals at all times, getting plenty of exercise and sleep, dealing with stress and extra doctor visits can be challenging.

We learned how to deal with the little extras that come along with the diagnosis and learned how to respond to changes in the body, and how certain foods can cause problems. Problems when driving, working, or doing chores have become giants in a sense. They were things that we had to face and overcome, and learn how to handle together.

Not only does my husband have to face these giants, but I do as well, even though I’m not diabetic. However, we are in this together as a family unit. Making daily changes, cooking, shopping, working, exercising, and staying active each day has pushed us both beyond our comfort zone at times, as we also deal with day to day issues and changes.

Some giants that diabetics may deal with would include complications of the disease. Complications with any body part could be proven to be linked to badly controlled diabetes. Here are some of those complications that a diabetic needs to be aware of.

  • Eye complications - glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, and some others.
  • Foot complications - neuropathy, ulcers, and sometimes gangrene which may require that the foot be amputated
  • Skin complications - people with diabetes are more susceptible to skin infections and skin disorders
  • Heart problems - such as ischemic heart disease, when the blood supply to the heart muscle is diminished
  • Hypertension - common in people with diabetes, which can raise the risk of kidney disease, eye problems, heart attack and stroke
  • Mental health - uncontrolled diabetes raises the risk of suffering from depression, anxiety and some other mental disorders
  • Hearing loss - diabetes patients have a higher risk of developing hearing problems
  • Gum disease - there is a much higher prevalence of gum disease among diabetes patients
  • Gastroparesis - the muscles of the stomach stop working properly
  • Ketoacidosis - a combination of ketosis and acidosis; accumulation of ketone bodies and acidity in the blood.
  • Neuropathy - diabetic neuropathy is a type of nerve damage which can lead to several different problems.
  • HHNS (Hyperosmolar Hyperglycemic Nonketotic Syndrome) - blood glucose levels shoot up too high, and there are no ketones present in the blood or urine. It is an emergency condition.
  • Nephropathy - uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to kidney disease
  • PAD (peripheral arterial disease) - symptoms may include pain in the leg, tingling and sometimes problems walking properly
  • Stroke - if blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and blood glucose levels are not controlled, the risk of stroke increases significantly
  • Erectile dysfunction - male impotence.
  • Infections - people with badly controlled diabetes are much more susceptible to infections
  • Healing of wounds - cuts and lesions take much longer to heal

I have been thinking about how things in life can be giants and get into your way of a normal daily life. Thoughts of giants in our life have been triggered by a sermon that I heard at a church service recently. It seems that everyone can have a giant of some kind, whether it is an addiction, a disease, a handicap, a relationship challenge, a job that they are not best suited for or that nagging pain that just won’t go away, like my knee pain. It is a daily constant reminder that no one is perfect, and that we all experience hardships in this life day in and day out.

The sermon that was shared brought insights to how one can overcome a giant, thus the most well-known Biblical story of David and the giant Goliath. Even though the 9’3” Goliath was well armored and much larger and stronger than the young David, it took the faith of David and only one of the five stones to knock down the giant. It took David’s courage to take the giants sword and off his head. Finding a precise way to overcome a giant was a challenge that young David did not back away from. His faith proved to be strong.

The message continued about the story of Moses and how the Israelites spent 40 years wandering in the desert with numerous struggles. Two spies, Joshua and Caleb, were the only two of the 12 spies who were able to enter into the promised land that was full of giants. Their faith overcame the obstacles that stood in their way of getting into Canaan with the surviving Israelites. They also conquered the enemies and took over the land that was promised to them. They faced the giants in their life. They found a way to improve their quality of life, and most of all, their faith had a great part in it, as they trusted God with delivering them with the promises that were foretold years earlier.

I think that one thing that I could add as a complication to the list above would be “surgery and recovery.” Diabetes can cause complications that would lead to surgery. This would be another giant that could happen to any diabetic if they don’t manage their diabetes well, and sometimes it could lead fatal as well.

So, in saying these things, I wonder, what kind of giants do you face with your diabetes? Do you put your trust in your own hands, the hands of your doctor, and in the hands of God? In Biblical days, giants were real. They became a threat to many people groups, and eventually, they were wiped out completely, mostly likely during the days of the great flood.

Everyone faces some kind of giant in their life. How do you overcome your giants? Do you ignore the symptoms, or do you face the problems head on? Is your giant associated with diabetes?

Trying relaxation techniques, healthier foods, exercise, yoga, aerobics, gardening, walking, socializing, changing a bad habit to a good habit can be ways to tame your giants. Find ways today to control the giants in your life so you can live a pleasant, fully-blessed and fulfilled life! Faith in action can result with a perspective and a victory!

Last Updated:9/12/2013
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Date: 02.12.2018, 22:13 / Views: 33352