Last month, I went to visit my family. My mom, who is over 65, was not feeling very well. In fact, she was feeling horrible. She had been diagnosed with Diabetes and had to check her blood every day. For the whole month we spent together, I understood exactly why she had been sick for so many years and why she suffered from so many serious medical symptoms. You see, my mom makes allowances for every little unhealthy thing she does.
For a couple of days, her blood sugar count was too high. It was early in the morning and it was already too high. So high, she should have rushed to the doctor and she did not because we were there and she wanted to spend all her time with us. Only when I checked my own blood count and my dad checked his, we realized there was something wrong with the tests she was using. My dad and I looked at the expiry dates on the blood sugar test paper and discovered they had expired long before. But my mom said, “This is nothing. Old strips cannot make that much difference”.
After a week of worrying to death (but doing nothing), my mom went to the nurse who checked her blood with her own machine, compared the results with my mom’s, and they found that they did not match. Finally, the nurse looked at the strips and said, “No wonder there is no match. Your test strips are too old”. Actually, out of date strips can make a big difference.
The following week, equipped with new strips, she got up early in the morning and punctured herself again (ouch! It hurts. How can people do this to themselves every day?), only to find that her blood sugar level was too high.
I did not know it before this visit, but the sugar count should be lower than 100 before you eat anything. You cannot test it after eating because the sugar level varies depending on what you eat. Therefore, people are asked to check their sugar level in the morning before eating. If the count is higher than 100, the sugar level is too high and you need to get medication.
The first day she measured early in the morning ,we all freaked out when the test result was 172. “Mom, you have to see the doctor”, everyone said to her. Worried to death, I ask her, “Did you eat anything?” and she said, “Nothing, just one grape. One grape can’t make that much difference”.
Every day, the count was different. Whenever it was high, we asked her if she had eaten anything and she said “I’ve had nothing. Only a slice of bread” or “Only coffee. Just a little bit of coffee can’t make that much difference in the sugar count”.
My mom thinks that “just a little bit” cannot make any difference in life.
When my sister battles her weight, she offers her some cake and says, “One piece of cake won’t make you fat”.
When my dad watches his cholesterol levels, she makes him steak and says, “One piece of steak is OK. It’s healthy”.
I told my mom that at home, we have dinner together and eat only what we have prepared, but she offered the kids sweets before or during meals (as soon as they made a face at something) and say, “One piece of bread with chocolate spread is not the end of the world”.
My sister-in-law cannot have salt in her food, but my mom offers her a salted food and says, “Here, try this. One dish with salt isn’t going to kill you”.
I think this is a bigger problem when she says this to the same person 3 times a day or more!
I hope one day she will understand that in health, there are no allowances, because just one more of what is making you sick plus one more of what is bad for you plus one more thing of what is unhealthy for you is going to kill you.
I am worried!
But you know, you can give yourself allowances not just around your health. Many unsuccessful people say, “I’ll do it tomorrow. One more day won’t matter”, “Today I was later because traffic was bad. One more time is still OK”, “Just one more snack because I’m really hungry. It’s only 50 grams, so it won’t affect my weight”, “I’ll just buy this new gadget. What’s another $40?” or similar expressions.
If you say these things to yourself, you should be worried too.