Years ago, before I had children, I was a busy working girl as a department store manager at Saks Fifth Avenue. I was drawn to the job because of the glamour and the expensive clothes and ended up working in retail for almost 10 years. After several years with Saks Fifth Avenue, I started to get restless and wanted to have more money. Saks wasn't offering a high enough salary, so I quit and went to work for Banana Republic. Working as a department store manager at Saks, I was on my feet for most of the day, carrying boxes and stacks of clothes or moving display equipment. I liked the physical part of the work, but I also liked that at Saks, I could retreat to my dark office in the storage room and test my blood sugar or have a snack when I was low. Whereas at Banana Republic, I quickly discovered that I was expected to always be "on the floor."
On a Sunday morning, during my training period at Banana Republic, I met with my new coworkers to redesign the layout of the store for the winter collection. Lifting, moving, folding, and climbing on ladders, I quickly started to get low. I wanted to prove myself in front of this new crew and so I kept quiet, figuring we'd stop for a break shortly. However, we never stopped for a break, and I began to stumble around the store. I hadn't told anyone that I had diabetes. I remember one of the managers attempted to give me directions; I began mumbling, unable to make any sense. He was looking at me funnily and in my head, I was telling myself to "Go get sugar!" My vision started to flash and I felt like I was falling, but something prevented me from asking for help or from helping myself. Finally, I stumbled away, pretending I had to go to the bathroom. Then, I searched through my purse for some sugar, which I ate in private, feeling ashamed and stupid.
Looking back, I wonder how many times I've made situations much worse than they needed to be because of my pride or my shame about diabetes. I realize now that it would have not been a big deal that day to be upfront about needing certain accommodations, but I was unable to ask for help or reveal myself as being needy; because to me, being needy was a horrible sign of weakness.
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All you need is a proper diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and get plenty of exercise and you'll be fine. Ever heard those words from your doctor? If that's all heshe recommends then you're missing out an important ingredient for health that he's not telling you. Fact is that you can adhere to the strictest diet, watch everything you eat and get the exercise of amarathon runner and still come down with diabetic complications. Diet, exercise and standard drug treatments simply aren't enough to help keep your diabetes under control.