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Monday, October 21, 2013

Fear - Friend or Foe

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself!" was FDR's famous statement in his inaugural speech.

Again, I want to thank everyone for the continued support and for the reaching out with comments.

FBS - 110 this morning (up)
BS - 9:00 PM 109
BP - 11/77 (home machine) - HR - 62

I selected this this topic as I think fear plays a major role in our minds as diabetics - or it did mind.  The past two days it appears my BS level is going up slightly.  Still much better than it was in the past and I have lost another 5 pounds.  But my mind races with fear.  A fear I might not be doing the right thing.  Is this journey real or just a bump in the road and it will all come crashing down on me soon.  It is not easy making taking bold steps to move along the path of change.

Then kicks in the anxiety of going back to the old days and the stress level goes up.  It is nothing more than a vicious circle and as someone pointed out today - "I have a special relationship with my family and God and it must feel good" - and it does feel good.  So as my fear kicked in to action today - I have spent the day thinking what FDR said and how fear does play a major role in our lives and mindset.

So instead of burying it in the closet or trying to hide it - lets bring it out in the open, think about it, talk about it, and overcome - that is my new life style.  See the problem, understand the problem, and remove the problem.

WIKI has a great lead into the discussion of fear:
"Fear is an emotion induced by a perceived threat which causes entities to quickly pull far away from it and usually hide. It is a basic survival mechanism occurring in response to a specific stimulus, such as pain or the threat of danger. In short, fear is the ability to recognize danger leading to an urge to confront it or flee from it (also known as the fight-or-flight response) but in extreme cases of fear (horror and terror) a freeze or paralysis response is possible. Some psychologists such as John B. Watson, Robert Plutchik, and Paul Ekman have suggested that there is only a small set of basic or innate emotions and that fear is one of them. This hypothesized set includes such emotions as joy, sadness, fright, dread, horror, panic, anxiety, acute stress reaction and anger. Fear should be distinguished from the emotion anxiety, which typically occurs without any certain or immediate external threat."

Fear of success

We can have fear of death, fear of ridicule, and even fear of success.  Fear of success is an interesting study and much has been written about this fear.  It all fundamentally comes down to a fear that we cannot reach our potential and therefore we do not want to try.  Others say we are afraid of success because if we reach it we will not know how to handle it.

For me, I do not feel I was afraid to reach success or change my life.  Mine was more of fear of failure.  Which is a much easier concept to understand.

Fear of change

There is a first hand experience in my household.  My lovely wife had to remind me this weekend, it was not long ago her and I had one of those relationship moments when two people in love disagree on something.  Oh yeah, the clinical term might be ARGUMENT.  Those happen when a loved one is trying to intervene and the other is having no part of it.  Obviously, I am usually the "I am Bob, I am having no part of it."

Anyway, back to the discussion (there a more politically correct statement) occurred when she would ask me on the weekend if I checked my sugar level.  I would proudly announce the VA says I only have to test on Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon.  I am just following what my doctor asked me to do.  Obviously she was asking because I was not right or it appeared I was low or high - and trust me your partner knows.  Or at least my wife could tell when I was having up and down days.

So I think in reality, as we talked about that this weekend, I think a couple of things were always going through my mid, fear of change and fear of failure.  I was afraid to move away from what my doctor was telling me to do - I think all diabetics are afraid to do something a little different than what our doctor says.  Then there was the fear of failure.  I think I had tried everything and it kept going the wrong direction.  So to make any changes meant a deeper fall so I was just afraid to move.

Over coming fear by fear

Then came the bad visit, neuropathy medicine, high A1C, higher bad cholesterol, higher blood pressure, and weight being a problem.  I was just getting wiped by this infernal disease and it was having the better of my life.

Then comes an intervening daughter sent by God at the right time in my life.  I tried to get some long-term care insurance and found out since I was on neuropathy medicine it was not going to happen.  I could get it for my wife but not for me.

My daughter laid down the law and put a fear in me that said I could not play golf with her (or bring my friend) anymore.  I needed to change and she was no longer going to support my bad habits with any rewards.

My whole world was being shaken up.  I was afraid of losing body parts, good times with my daughter, and what on earth will happen to my wife when I am old and she cannot take care of me.  Man, it was just more than one person can handle.

That is when the fear I was feeling overcome the fear of change and I knew I only had one choice - MAKE A CHANGE!  Do not worry what is at the end, just make the change.  I began to study and read everything and took baby steps.  In all of that, I also learned to monitor what was going on, testing 5-8 times a day and making sure I was not moving the needle the wrong way.  I would check my BP daily - something I never used to do, and I would actually read labels and was trying to make changes.

So fear of a bad ending took precedents over fear of change.  I think many diabetics are afraid to change.  We trust our doctors and I think they know one thing, what medicines to give us to help control the disease.  I think they give lip service to diet and exercise but just lip service. 

I have had some really good doctors and know they did a lot for me - just which they would have helped me in other areas as well.

Lesson learned, give something a try in your life to make a change.  Commit to it for 21 days and make it a habit.  Check it out with your doctor but make small changes.  Baby steps is the only way to move from where you are now to where you want to get to.  If you are comfortable where you are; then by all means, stay there.  If not; MOVE!

May God grant you the courage to take those baby steps to help you move from where you are to where you want to be.  May he grant you the courage to overcome the fear holding you back.



  1. Hi Bob. It might sound strange, but I have never feared diabetes. Maybe it is because of being exposed to it so early in life with my father and his brothers. I did learn that they did not control their diabetes, but that was much later in life. The death of my father when he was only 54, and I was 13, was caused by that lack of control and management in regard to his diabetes. I saw uncles die after amputations of their feet and then on up the leg. Respect the disease, yes, but no fear. That is probably because my oldest sister showed me the way....she is 73 and I am 58. She set an example for me that shows while we cannot be cured, we can control this mystifying disease and go on to lead long healthy lives.


  2. Marty,

    I do not fear the disease and hope no one does. I think it more of fear of making changes or if I make changes what will happen. If you are in control like you - then there is no change needed. There are people who need to change as I did.

    Sorry to hear about your father. But it sounds like our gene pool was not the best when it comes to this crazy disease.

    I think that is why my kids have become so active and have taken charge of their health early - they have the same genes.

    Hope the day is going well.


Please leave your comments or suggestions - looking to getting some good discussions going. Tell me what you have tried and what has or has not worked.

Thanks for the support