“Poppy, I’m sorry to tell you this,” said my doctor, “but our tests show you’re no longer considered glucose intolerant. You’re officially a diabetic. This means you need to pay attention to your diet. You absolutely must exercise, watch your stress, and get adequate rest. And, by the way, watch your feet!”
I wasn’t quite sure what my feet had to do with anything, but in time I learned a lot more about nerve damage and other things I didn’t want to know about. Slowly it sank in: out of three sisters, I was the one who inherited diabetes, the disease that afflicted both my grandmother and mother.
Driving home I replayed what I saw that morning in the doctor’s crammed waiting room. Glancing up from my two-year-old magazine I had watched yet another patient come in. Struggling to maneuver his wheelchair, the middle-aged man expertly backed himself into the only space available. What was left of his amputated lower leg stuck straight out—a silent warning of what can happen
That could be me, I thought, unless I start taking care of myself.
Mulling over my sobering diagnosis, I knew I had to make some choices. If I wanted to stay alive as long as possible, I needed to say good-bye to my chocolate donut treats and upgrade my exercise from an occasional stroll to regular heart-pumping power walks. If I didn’t do what was needed, I could face some scary consequences. But it wasn’t only a matter of living a long healthy life and becoming a little old granny that weighed on me.
I want to be around so I can keep doing whatever God has for me. I don’t want to get aches and pains and struggle to breathe or walk because I won’t say “no” to myself. If it happens regardless of what I do, then I’ll trust God to give me the grace I’ll need. But even though it takes effort and self-discipline (not high up on my strengths list), I want to do my part. I want to treasure this amazing gift that He created.
Ignoring my health by ignoring the issues, or going on as I had, wasn’t an option. I needed to do more than think about what to do, I needed to do it.
We’ll continue this discussion in my next few blogs – I’ll share what I do to take care of myself and what you can do too.
What do you need to do, or are doing, to take care of your health today? Would love to get your input in the comment section below.
International speaker, multi-published author, Bible teacher, and spiritual coach
Inspiring Women to Thrive!
Permission to use this article is granted provided the following credit is fully included.
Poppy Smith is funny, warm, and passionate about helping women grow spiritually and personally so they experience the love and power of Christ in life’s ups and downs. A former teaching leader with Bible Study Fellowship, Poppy has a Masters in Spiritual Formation and ministers extensively as a retreat and conference speaker both in the US and around the world. For more information about Poppy’s heart, her books and ministry, please visit her website at www.poppysmith.com.