SUGAR PIE, HONEY BUNCH
Fifty-three years ago, the Motown Sound boomed out a song by the Four Tops that would become one of the most popular songs of the era: Can’t Help Myself. Walk up to just about anybody in any town in America today, and sing the first line, and you’re sure to find someone who will join in smiling all the way. The first four words “Sugar pie, honey bunch” are synonymous with quick movements, rolling of the hands, swaying back and forth and belting out “You know that I love you” with the best of them.
I felt the same way about sugar, pie, and honey buns. That is until that fateful year in January when I was told “You have Diabetes” by my primary doctor. In my 40’s for several years, I tried to make a point of making that annual physical, come what may. October of the year before, life finally let up enough for me to go in. Everything seemed fine. I was looked over and given the usual referral for the lab work. Well, life set back in and I found myself greeting in the new year with those referral forms still stuffed somewhere in my tote bag. Feeling more sluggish than usual, and a trip to Atlanta looming on the horizon, I finally went in on January 8th to get the lab work done. That was on a Friday. I honestly didn’t give it another thought until the following Monday when I received a frantic call from one of the receptionists exclaiming “You have to come in as soon as possible. The doctor wants to talk to you about your blood work.” This is the wrong thing to say to someone like me. I began grilling her, but she wouldn’t budge on the details. I made an appointment for the next day. Twenty-four hours later I found myself being introduced to a new doctor (my former doctor moved to Florida at the end of the year) and being told “You have Diabetes.”
No more sugar, pie or honey buns for me!
YOU KNOW THAT I LOVE YOU
That wasn’t all. This new doctor was just full of good news, wasn’t she? My cholesterol was also high. High enough to put me on a statin right away. Everything else she said would have been a whirlwind had I not remembered some wise advice my sister-in-law once told me. “Take someone with you because very often you won’t remember half of what you’re told. If you can’t take someone with you, then write down everything the doctor says.” She should know, she’s a nurse. So, there I sat, writing down everything this new doctor was saying, my head spinning the whole while. I was being signed up for nutrition classes. I had to see a Diabetes Specialist for a one-on-one consultation. I would have to stick my fingers several times a day to check the levels of glucose (sugar) in my blood. My life would never be the same. There is no cure for Diabetes. I wrote it all down, the AC1 levels, the LDL numbers, all the while mentally ordering the tears welling up in my eyes not to fall. I breathed in and out as I made my way past the reception area down the elevator across the parking lot and back into my car. There, the tears spilled. Fear, confusion and gratitude. Gratitude? Yes, gratitude. I did not have cancer. That was all I kept telling myself. At least I don’t have cancer. These diagnoses are things I can control. Just change my eating habits, that’s all. No sweat, right? I mean, I have no choice. And that is that.
Or, so I thought.
CAN’T HELP MYSELF
The few years were a breeze. Literally. I went to the classes, met with the specialist, began poking my fingers, reading everything I could get my hands and eyes on concerning Diabetes and Cholesterol. I began cooking, baking, and actually eating green food. I could do this! I even started losing weight! I shared my diagnosis with family and friends. My family showed their love and support in leaps and bounds.
Then little by little I began cheating. First at work, where no one could see me. Then in the car on the way home. First it was just the fried foods, not sweets, breads, or other carbs. But then I began cheating on those too. I stopped practicing all the good habits I learned and forgot all about trying to live a healthy lifestyle.
I was in deep-dish denial.
I LOVE YOU AND NOBODY ELSE
That was almost 4 years ago. My numbers and my weight have fluctuated greatly since then. But a health scare earlier this year made me finally face the facts that I am not that Stringbean sized teen age girl who can eat what I want and stay thin. I am a 50 plus African American woman with more than one health issue that must be taken seriously.
Today my numbers are fantastic! I’m 20 pounds lighter than I was when I was first diagnosed, and my smile is a whole lot brighter.
Almost as bright as the glazed icing on sugar pies and honey buns!
About This Blog
This blog is inspired by my first book, A Time To Write: Inspirational Poetry for All Seasons. Thank you for visiting!