Not long ago, I held a diabetic dinner on how to reverse Type 2 Diabetes. The audience was full and, as we were about to start, I entered through the front door and tripped over one of our audience member’s feet. He was in a wheelchair with his foot wrapped in gauze and he was bleeding through the bandage. He winced a little bit and, as I apologized, I looked down trying to see what, exactly, I had tripped over. That’s when I noticed that his foot was bleeding where his big toe used to be. I said, “Hey, did you know that you are bleeding?” He said, yeah, I just had my toe amputated because of my diabetes and I hit it on the hotel door coming in. I think it tore a few stitches.”
As I went up to speak, I was very distracted, and I couldn’t get his amputation and what had just happened out of my head. It was bothering me. While I was talking, all I kept thinking was, “Wow. This guy really needs help.”
A few days later, he came into my office for a free consultation. During our conversation, I asked him what he thought about his situation, his amputation and his diabetes in general. His response just floored me. He said, “Ah, I can always get a prosthetic.” I was just amazed at far his health and mind had deteriorated to the point where it just seemed like nothing mattered.
When patients come to our office, one of the things I feel I have to do is discuss motivation.
Diabetes is a strange disease. Not only does it wear you down physically, it also wears you down mentally and seems to take away the patient’s drive…their excitement…their mojo, if you will. In fact, a lot of patients get to the point where they just don’t seem to care about much of anything- their health, their social life, seeing their family or friends, or anything else- even fun things like vacations and just interacting with other people and getting out. They just get into this major “funk”, and it is a very, very dangerous place to be.
Look, not everybody is going to be where this guy is- mentally or physically. I get that, but each diabetic should be asking themselves what damage is the diabetes doing to their body and how long are they willing to wait before the damage is permanent- whether the damage is in the feet, the heart, the eyes, the kidneys, or even the brain or whether the damage is from diabetes itself or from the drugs that are supposed to be helping them. It does not matter. Like all things with health, the earlier the damage from diabetes is caught, the easier and more likely it is to be corrected.