Eenie meenie miney moe…

By Eduardo Montalvo

When I get up each morning, I have ten options to start my day—as many as the fingers on my hands. My dilemma is in choosing which finger to poke to take a daily sample to test my blood sugar level.

Being diabetic is a condition that affects millions of people in this country, especially the Hispanic population.

I am one of these people. Many of my ancestors were diabetic too, so the probabilities of me escaping this disease are about as low as winning the lottery.

My maternal grandparents died as a consequence of complications related to this disease. My own mother suffered the worst possible consequences of this “sweet” illness. Her kidneys, eyes, heart and feet were constantly besieged during most of her life. In the end, she had no other choice but to surrender to the massive and merciless attack against her humanity.

In my case, I am the typical diabetic patient. For starters, it is in my genes. Secondly, I am guilty of all the bad habits associated with this condition, and thirdly, my age has already caught up to me. I am constantly battling my bad eating habits, which not only compromise my blood glucose levels, but also keep me overweight.

Diabetes is strongly related to what we eat. Within the Hispanic population, it is associated with the high-carbohydrate diets typical of Latin American cuisine. Rice, cereals, grains and flours are at the top of the list of enemies for us diabetics. And we cannot forget the additional headache of the delicious desserts of our Hispanic cuisine.

I believe the key to surviving this disease is living a healthy life. Practicing healthy eating habits and exercising is the best possible recipe for controlling this affliction.

But our attitude and determination to accomplish it are necessary, of course. In other words, if we do not make the decision to adopt a different attitude towards this disease, diabetes will always find its way to get into in our lives and make them miserable.

In the next several issues of the Doral Family Journal, I will be sharing with you the adventures and hardships of the diabetic population which makes up 8.3% of the nation’s total population.

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