Thursday, December 16, 2010

Asking How You Feel May Not Give You the Right Answer

Three months ago, after being on diabetic medications for eleven years, I moved to insulin. Instantly, my glucose numbers went down--which is good. But the question I most often get is "Do you feel better?" Well, given that I didn't feel particularly bad when the numbers were high, and given that there hasn't been much of a change in my vision and some mild neuropathy, the truthful answer is "No, I don't feel any better." That's how I feel. But medically, things are much, much better for me. That's the real truth, never mind how I feel.

I was thinking of this while reading PoltiFact's take on President Obama and the state of the economy. I love these folks, and their 'plague on both your houses' approach to monitoring what politicians tell us for the truth (or NOT!) in their statements. Democrats and Republicans are equally irresponsible when it comes to saying what's on (in?) their minds, notwithstanding the actual facts.

Questions like "Are you doing better this year than last?" seem simple enough, but like questions about my diabetes, the answer is more complicated. Yes, I'm doing better, but No, I can't really tell that I am. I don't FEEL any better financially this year than last. I don't FEEL like the economy is getting better.

Yet, in significant ways, it is. While housing and jobs lag, the economy IS growing. That's not clear if one listens to the 'Obama is the devil-incarnate and nothing he says or does will ever be right' types.

Sometimes, it's good to remind ourselves to take a good look at the facts, and not just let our personal feelings be the gauge of what is actually happening.

That's true when it comes to our personal lives, and our financial lives, not to mention our political lives.


Nicole said...

Great points!

I hadn't been to DH's (rural midwestern) town in a couple of years, and I was astonished how much better the town and related areas were doing compared to before. For sale signs down to lower levels, houses aren't falling apart in disrepair. Cheerful holiday decorations. Very few empty storefronts...

Yet, I don't think they think they're doing better. (Well, formerly unemployed BIL is happy to be employed again!) Things have been gradually getting better so they don't really notice.

Sandy @yesiamcheap said...

I just discovered you through Bucksome. I like this post. Many people are complaining about the Recession but they haven't directly been affected by it. They may own a home that isn't being foreclosed on and never plan to move so a fall in property value didn't affect them. They might not carry credit card balances so the run up of interest rates might not have affected them either. And they might have stable jobs, but you will still find them complaining.

MasterPo said...

Reality check: If unemployment is hovering around 10%, millions more are scared witless for their jobs, wages are flat or declining, the Fed is printing money (excuse me, "digitizing" money) like TP, food/energy/taxes/transporation/medical among others are rising at an alarming rate, etc etc etc then it doesn't really matter what 'official' figures show. Reality is in your wallet.

IF the economy is growing decently who is benefiting? You can't have a growing economy without people at large benefiting and that isn't being seen.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

Linda P. said...

I'm sorry to hear about the move to insulin but glad that it's improving your overall health. Just ignore this unsolicited advise if you want, but I wanted to give you our experience. My husband was on two medications for his diabetes and then progressed to insulin shots when his glucose levels climbed. We ate low fat meals that I prepared, so it was difficult to understand what we were doing wrong, and the progression just seemed inevitable. After doing some reading and learning that even our low-fat diet was just a version of what health professionals call the "affluent diet," I changed our diet completely. We eat vegetarian meals (actually, mostly vegan for me) with no added oils. My husband went from requiring insulin injections in addition to his other medications to never requiring another insulin injection and beginning to reduce his other medications. It's a drastic choice. I won't lie. It's not always easy. What do you do when you're a little sick and want comfort food but can't have chicken soup? LOL. However, it's much cheaper, too. And, as a side benefit, I lost 15 pounds, as did my husband.

Barb said...

Sorry, but I have to agree with PO on this one. As longs as jobs are not improving, the economy is not improving. Its a dichotomy I face every day-sure the stock market may be on an even keel, but when youve been unemployed since 2006, it doesnt do me any good, because ive had to use all that money I thought I had to retire on. I'll believe it when I see it.

Grace. said...

Linda, thank you for your response. I don't know that I could handle such a diet, but it does give me something to think about.