Drafting a Team for Diabetes Management
When my father was in his early 40s, he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This was back in the 1970s, and like many people from his generation, he pretty much kept it to himself. He had every right to deal with his diabetes in his own way, and that was how he wanted it.
Fast forward to 2004. I was in my early 40s, about 10 years after I finished playing professional football, and I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Because my father was diagnosed at about the same age, I was surprised but not shocked.
Right away, I knew two things: I needed a plan for dealing with my condition, and I didn’t want to keep my diagnosis to myself. I’d always been involved in team sports, so I decided to make this a team effort.
Back when I played football, I got a game plan every week. Now I get another kind of game plan from my new head coach: my doctor. My new teammates—my wife, kids, and coworkers—help me carry it out. Even my dogs are members of the team. Walking them is part of my workout.
My message is this: If you have diabetes, don’t go through it alone. Draft your own team. Find people in your life who can support you and help you stay on track, people you can lean on when you need to.
When I get lost driving, I’m not one of those guys who refuses to ask for directions. Living with diabetes is no different. I like to bring other people in. Learning from my father’s experiences, I choose to involve others, and I feel confident knowing I have a team that helps me be my best.
Mike Golic, is the cohost of ESPN’s Golic and Wingo and a former National Football League defensive tackle. He’s currently teaming up with Janssen Pharmaceuticals on icanimagine.com to share his type 2 diabetes story and encourage other people with diabetes to form a diabetes health care team. He lives with his wife, Christine, in Avon, Connecticut; they have three grown children.
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