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Some Preaching (and Rambling) from

the World’s Luckiest Man:


1.    If you have diabetes, remember:   We’re a team with our family and friends.  I probably wouldn’t be alive without Patty—and I don’t mean just the nights she’s saved me from desperate low-blood-sugar episodes.  The encouragement to exercise, the motivation to work to be healthy for her sake not just my own, the help eating healthy . . . heck, not to mention the fun of doing things with her—I love this woman!  I can’t imagine living with diabetes without support like this!


So to all of you family members and friends out there who, like Patty, are living with diabetes but don’t have it—you’re the most important support crew anywhere!  Thank you 22 million times for helping us struggle against diabetes.  –And to all of you out there who do have diabetes—think about it for a minute, or a while, and then let your crew know how much you really need their help, and how much you love them!  Go get started at that now, because I said so.  And you have to listen to me, because I’m the World’s Luckiest Man.



2.    So, OK, for you folks with diabetes, when you don’t listen to your family—even in spite of my advice, for heaven’s sake—let them know you love them, but you just [hate this disease/can’t deal with it—pick one].  And then e-mail me.  We can beat this disease together. 



3.    Did I mention that Patty has a Ph.D. in health education, all the better to keep our team healthy?  (I told you I’m lucky, didn’t I?)  And my simplified, prejudiced version of her Ph.D. thesis, on a model of health behavior, is that the model says we’ll do (well, tend to do—you know about scientists and models, don’t you?)—anyway, we’ll do the things our loved ones really want us to do, if we really love them.  That’s got some limitations in practice, it seems—like when we’re too angry about diabetes to listen.  But the biggest reason I decided to team with Patty for the RAAM last year—after initial doubts—is that I finally realized we’ve been a team at everything for 30 years, and she really wanted to race the RAAM with me.  So that health behavior model works for me!  It’s good for my health to do what Patty wants me to do!


4.    There are some good lessons in that health behavior model I just mentioned—or at least in my version of it.  One lesson is for those of us with diabetes:  take care of yourself because you love your crew.  Who’s hurt most if we lose our feet, our kidneys, our sight, or just our fun in life?  Our family and friends, not us diabetics.  We owe it to those we love not to put them through misery, if we can do something to avoid it. 


5.    –A point about that health behavior model for the crew (you family and friends out there)—models  are always just models.  Don’t get discouraged—you are the most important “things”/people in our lives.  If the diabetic you’re crewing for won’t listen, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you.  That saying, “We always hurt the ones we love” is as true as that model, and more true when we’re angry about our diabetes.  When we diabetics aren’t listening to you, it’s because you’re part of us, and we can’t get over hating that diabetic part of us. 


       —Knowing this does open up an opportunity, of course:  we diabetics will listen to just about anyone except those we love, when we’re really angry about our diabetes.  So get all your diabetic loved ones who won’t listen . . . to e-mail me!  They have to listen to me, because I’m the World’s Luckiest Man!  But—get them a bike, too, and ride with them.  That works way better than talking about diabetes anyway . . . .



Here endeth the sermon . . . for now . . . .




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