What Do Cats and Dogs Have to Do With Giving Advice to Someone With Type 2 Diabetes?

While sitting at the beauty salon, I overheard a conversation between a woman and her hairdresser about her high blood sugar readings. She mentioned numbers like 266 and 344, which are typically considered very high for someone with diabetes. As someone with diabetes myself, I felt compelled to offer my advice and expertise. Should I turn around in my chair and tell her that her numbers were too high? Should I suggest seeking help online or recommend a good endocrinologist?

Before I could make a move, the woman said something that caught my attention. She mentioned that the sensor on her back, which monitored her blood sugar levels, had slipped off during the night despite shaving the area. Watching through the mirror, I noticed the two of them exchanging sympathetic expressions.

It turned out that they weren't discussing a person with diabetes, but rather a diabetic cat. Feeling embarrassed, I returned to my magazine, realizing that my knowledge and advice only applied to humans. However, as I continued with my salon visit, I couldn't stop thinking about the caring and compassion the women showed towards the cat.

As I left the salon, I reflected on how well we take care of our pets, even going as far as providing them with special diets and medical treatments. Meanwhile, many of us with chronic diseases like diabetes neglect our own health and ignore important aspects such as monitoring blood sugar levels or following a proper diet. It made me question why it is easier for us to care for the well-being of others while neglecting ourselves.

During my walk home, I didn't find an answer, but I wondered if we could apply the same level of empathy and care that we show towards others to our own struggles with diabetes. For instance, if we feel frustrated or overwhelmed by diabetes management, would we advise a friend in the same situation to give up? Would we encourage them to seek medical advice or take a break from managing their condition? Would we remind them of the consequences of certain food choices?

There are no right or wrong answers to these questions. The idea is to treat ourselves with the same level of care and compassion that we give to our loved ones or even our pets. Just before leaving the salon, the cat's owner received a call from the vet, revealing that the cat was doing well with a blood sugar reading of 133. This served as a happy ending to the story, reminding me of the importance of self-care and treating ourselves with the same level of love and attention we give to others.