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Donna's Journal
Ding Dang Diabetes

“Well, you sure as heck are not a LATENT diabetic now. You are over the top.” Our old family doctor was cut from rare, expensive cloth, one of a kind, in fact. He always told things just like they were. There was no pussy footed, mealy mouth, way about him.

“I first learned about sugar in my blood when I was twenty-one.” I told him. “For all these years I’ve been able to control diabetes but have just been careless.”

“Very seriously, I doubt you will be able to control this much longer,” he told me.

“Will you give me a chance to show you I can?” I asked.

“Well, okay, but I’ll have to monitor this for a while. We will have to test you right along to make sure.” He was reluctant to give me those liberties.

There wasn’t any point in discussing anything, any more with him. He would just have to be shown. He couldn’t have known the impossible plowing through every deterrent I had been through over the years. No one in the whole world seemed to understand why I was so needful of exercise. I remember when we moved back to Ponca City around 1965 a woman who was out walking in the evening was suspect. I mean, what possible reason would a person get out to walk unless she was just trying to call attention to herself for some seamy reason, one or the other? That was when I began to take the folk’s honey colored, cocker spaniel with me. He always stayed right with a person except on rare occasions when he visited with some dogs behind a fence. Honey was my excuse for walking. After all, his vet had complained about the dog’s weight and obvious lack of exercise. None of this, of course, did I share with my doctor.

Large family dinners with the richest foods including sumptuous German chocolate cakes, cream pies, and every dessert to tempt anyone away from whatever diet were a curse for my situation. It was almost a relief to now say, “Can’t have that, not on my diabetic diet.”

Control for the stress factor was harder. Once a doctor asked me to write my activities on a sheet of paper. He went along marking through most of them except a couple or three. One year there were 400 students to whom I gave private art lessons. It was just unbelievable. The phone rang continually. The folks were all gentle, usually, sweet little women and it would have been unbelievably rude not to take out some time with them.

Another time I had a therapy program going for Rhonda. We needed five people every hour to help. So that meant there were forty different people going through my house every day. That is 280 people a week, 1,120 people a month. All the churches scheduled their members so we never lacked for volunteers. Rhonda learned to read, her general health improved immensely.

And for the first time in her short life she was sleeping all night without waking up screaming with spastic cramps in her legs. I would say these were just some of the most stressful times of my life. There were other, bone chilling, gut wrenching memories I just can’t think about that now. But, all and all, the ding, dang, diabetes like a pouncing lion, frozen in time, by a stop action camera, just looms above me. As far as stress, for what I’ve been through, I admit, there is absolutely no end to that. Sure as there is a blow-up of any kind, diabetes wins that round in a vicious way and the lion moves one step closer to me.

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