Diabetes is an Angry Bull. Don’t be the Rodeo Clown.

Diabetes risk reduction

I have been a horse lover as far back as I can remember.

I drew pictures of them, read about them, and dreamed of someday having a horse of my own. I even lobbied for horse wallpaper in my room, however I never successfully convinced my parents that it was a great idea. When I was 11, I got peach floral wallpaper instead of the black stallion on my walls when I came back from a week at camp. Serious disappointment that I don’t think my 11 year old self ever got over.

As a cowgirl wannabe most of my life, I have been fascinated by watching those majestic creatures, especially in rodeo, but the bull riding event is something that leaves me tense with anxiety.

Have you ever watched a rodeo with the crazy, adrenaline-inducing antics of the rodeo clowns?

Rodeo clowns fall into the category of risk takers like bungee jumpers, stunt men, and the rodeo cowboys themselves. For most people, no amount of money or fame could get them to do what the rodeo clowns willingly do. I admire the raw guts it takes to run up to a really unhappy bull, complete with a lethal set of horns, and purposely get him to charge you. They purposely put themselves in harm’s way and I really think most of them like it.

Imagine for a moment that diabetes is that bull….

Stay with me: this is the picture.  By not taking steps to identify and reduce your risks of acquiring diabetes, which now is affecting 1 in 11 people, you ARE that rodeo clown. Either by default or denial, you put yourself in harm’s way by NOT taking action.

I don’t mean you wear goofy face paint and crazy outfit, but you are opening your health up to serious long term health risks including diabetes. Things like kidney issues which could require dialysis, heart issues, vision issues (including blindness) and a multitude of other life changing complications. Diabetes isn’t something to mess with, similar to a charging, really angry bull……with horns. Best advice: get out of the way!

So what’s the solution? Get out of the way of diabetes risk. Educate yourself about how to identify or reduce your risk. Check out Heritage’s Health Education page and come to the next diabetes class. Find out what risk factors you are stuck with and which ones you can change. If you wouldn’t get into a rodeo ring because you have your job or your family to think about, consider the fact that your risk of getting diabetes is that looming Brahma bull on your health horizon. If you read my last post then you have already taken the Diabetes Risk Assessment and you know where you stand. If not, then what are you waiting for…..here’s the link again.

The ABC’s of diabetes is simple:

A is having your A1C lab test done and knowing if you are on target. Second, know what your B is: your blood pressure reading and if it’s in the right range for you. C is cholesterol level; if you haven’t had it done or don’t know what it is, ask your doctor to explain it to you. If you need a provider, check out the many options of providers that Heritage offers.

That’s the ABC’s of diabetes and the first steps toward getting yourself out of the rodeo arena with diabetes.

Finding out more about diabetes really is as simple as, well, taking the bull by the horns.

 

–Rebekah Curtis

Rebekah Curtis is the head of Health Education at Heritage. She is a mother of two high school students and one college graduate. As a registered nurse and member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators, Rebekah conducts regular training and classes. She is available for one-on-one consultations in a private setting for any other condition not provided by training or classes. Read her full bio here.