A brief statement on a long-time Den member, Don Roble
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Some of you may remember Don Roble. You newer members of the Den may not. You see, he has not been contributing much as of late. But I remember Don, and his stories, very well.
Don wrote humor, and he wrote good humor. He wrote about common items, and common experiences, in the every day world. Things like garter snakes, an evening at the opera, a cowboy who couldn’t shoot straight, etc. Simple, common events and items that could well be experienced by a lot of folks in the course of their life. And he had fun with them.
He wrote with a wry sense of humor. I can picture him, a twinkle in his eye, telling someone the story, and then nailing them with the punch line at the end. He got his tale to work, and he never was off-color. There was no sex and no f-bombs. It was humor that was guaranteed to get a smile. And it worked, all of the time.
Lately, he has not been contributing. There is a simple reason for that. Don has taken a very severe body blow. That body blow is Diabetes.
Diabetes is a severe condition. It is the failure of the pancreas to produce either enough insulin or no insulin at all. Insulin is the hormone required to control blood glucose levels. What good is blood glucose? Your eyes run on glucose.
It also attacks other things. Things like your liver and your kidneys. Your liver stores excess glucose, and, what it cannot store, it tries to pass out through the kidneys. The kidneys overload.
The heart becomes overworked and blood circulation is affected because the kidneys and liver are overworked. This is why diabetics sometimes lose their legs or feet. Your feet are the part of your body that is furthest from your heart. If your feet have a permanent black and blue color, it is probably due to poor circulation. Have your blood sugar checked.
Diabetes is a slow, sneaky condition. It does not kill you. The complications from it kill you. And, unlike cancer or heart disease, it does not kill you quickly. It does its damage over time, slowly eroding your health. There is no cure. By taking your medication, proper diet and some exercise, and keeping your blood glucose levels under control, you can slow it down. However, sooner or later, it will kill you.
You may be thinking, “Who in the hell is this guy who thinks he knows so much about Diabetes?” Well, I have been diabetic for the past eight years. I did not acquire it because I was overweight (I have never weighed more than 180 all of my life, and I am five feet 10 inches tall. Now I weigh 165.) or because I was a sugar junkie. My paternal grandfather, maternal grandmother, and my father were all diabetics. As they say, the apple does not fall far from the tree.
One day, I found myself thirsty all of the time. I was drinking water like crazy. And I seemed to be urinating constantly. I was dehydrated, and I did not know the symptoms. After two days of this, I awakened one morning to find my vision was all fuzzy. I went to the emergency room. My blood glucose level was 567 mg/dl. Normal, for a healthy adult, is 90-120. I was diabetic, and my kidneys were shutting down.
I spent six days in the hospital while the doctors got my blood pressure down, my kidneys back online, and my blood sugar to an acceptable level. About six weeks later, my vision came back to normal. But I was going to be living a diabetic lifestyle, and, initially, that was a lot of work.
Checking my blood sugar levels three or four times a day. Skin moisturizer after every shower, all over my body, including my feet. And diet. Here we go.
No more Ben and Jerry’s. No more Domino’s pizza. Minimal alcohol consumption, and I do mean minimal. Philly cheese steaks? I haven’t had one in eight years. Not even a chicken cheese steak. We have a great pretzel company in the area, called “Philly Soft Pretzels.” Soft pretzels are almost pure carbohydrate. Who wants to guess the last time I enjoyed one?
I love big russet potatoes. That’s a no-no. I now eat one, and only one, of a small red bliss at a meal. Fried or scrambled eggs and home-fries? No way, Jose. I eat hard boiled eggs. No carbs, you see. And I have not, in eight years, seen the inside of a Mickey Dees or Burger King.
So, Don, I will not pray for you. I guess you have enough people doing that. What I will be is in your corner, cheering you on, fighting with you every inch of the way. You see, I am there, and I know what a struggle fighting Diabetes can be.
Oh, and my doctor not only watches my blood sugar, he keeps a close eye on my kidney function as well. My eyes are fine.
For the rest of you, go read some of Don’s fine humor. And leave a comment. His writings are not very long, and well worth the read. Oh, and if you do read one or two of his stories, leave a little note on his Facebook page.
Peace, my friends.