Editorial: Resolutions

Trent Ernst, Editor


It’s that time of year again. A time of optimism and excitement, a time where we vow that this year we shall make a break with our past. Where we say “this year will be better. I will be better.”

And we set our resolve to stop smoking, to lose weight, to not drink so much or to spend more time with the kids.

Health is frequently tops on the list of goals for the year, but generally, our resolve wavers in the face of chocolate cake, and crumbles beneath the weight of all the candy and chips and cookies that are placed before us.

Perhaps, you, like I, have fantasized that there was a reason that we had to lose weight, to exercise more. No, I can’t have any of that apple pie. Doctor’s orders.

Well, this year is the year that becomes a reality for me.

You see, just before Christmas, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
That’s a fine how-do-you-do, and a kick in the seat of the pants for the whole eat right and exercise thing. Because if I don’t….

The thing is, two weeks in and I’m surprised how easy it is to make these changes. Okay, so I haven’t been perfect, but for so long I’ve been eying up this whole healthy eating thing, making the transition has been fairly easy.

It hasn’t been that I didn’t know how to eat healthy, it’s just I chose not to. The unhealthy options, the quick options, they were too easy. Too close at hand. The healthy options took too much time to prepare. Cost too much money.

But now, faced with the choice of keeping on the same path or making some lifestyle changes to improve my health, well, the choice is clear. And surprisingly simple.

Of course, I’m not fooling myself. I know the shape of these things. Initial burst of optimism, see positive results, keep at it for a few months, then things start to slip. Rather than take the time to make something healthy, convenience will trump health, and I’ll eat an entire Panago’s tropical Hawaiian pizza by myself. And okay, that was just one slip up, but the next time, the choice of convenience becomes a little easier….

Speaking of positive results, I am already starting to see some from either the drugs or the change in eating habits.

One of the side effects of type 2 diabetes is having to go pee. All. The. Time.

The last time we drove down to Vancouver, my wife mocked me mercilessly for having to stop at least once an hour to go pee. The trip took a couple hours longer than normal, she says, simply for all the pit stops I had to make.

This time? Well, not so much. Okay, so I’m still dealing with a middle aged bladder, and all that entails, but at least we didn’t stop every hour….

According to Charles, type 2 diabetes is one of the most common ailments that he is having to deal with these days. Indeed, last year, 60,000 people in Canada were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

The sad thing is, that close to one third of people with type 2 don’t even know they have it. I was there for the better part of the year. Maybe more. I had a number of the common symptoms, but because I didn’t know what to look for, I couldn’t see what was patently obvious to a doctor. And, being a typical guy, I hadn’t been in for a medical checkup for … well, let’s just say when I walked into the clinic I made a joke about it being time for my decannual check-up.

So, let me challenge all you middle aged dudes out there who haven’t darkened the door of a doctor’s office for a couple of decades to go and get yourself a physical. Yes, you might feel pretty good, for your age, but what if there’s a chance that you could feel even better? Ignorance is not always bliss.