Years ago, I had an elderly patient I loved to visit. She had a huge personality, a quick mind (and tongue), and a sense of humor that would leave you gasping for air. She was just one of those people that others loved to spend time with. She also had the worst case of diabetes I’d ever encountered. She was taking huge doses of four types of insulin and needed to check her blood sugar six times a day. During one visit, I made a call to her doctor to discuss her steadily rising blood sugars. “I can’t put her on anything else,“ he said. “She’s going to have to exercise to help bring it down.” Well, for most folks, a little exercise wasn’t such a big deal. But for this gal, even getting to the bathroom was a chore. She was blind, severely obese, and had difficulty breathing to boot.
I broke the news to her, and told her we’d do it together. We started small, mostly because we had to. We started with taking three steps every time I came to see her. We ventured outside on nice days to pull weeds out of her flowerbeds for 10 minutes. She did the pots; I did the beds. It wasn’t much, but we keep at it everyday.
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