And so it begins

They say that life is an adventure. Well, it just got more interesting for me :slight_smile: I am writing this mostly for myself to document my progress, but if others want to read along and have thoughts, please post. I’d love to hear from you.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009, 1pm

After staying in the hospital for 5 days due to a deep tissue infection on my leg, I was over the hard part of the infection and I was ready to go on oral meds and go home. I was so happy to be leaving the hospital. As my doctor is going over my discharge papers, he tells me that I during my stay my blood glucose levels were pretty high and that I should go see my primary doctor to get an A1C test done. He said my numbers for the entire 5 days were in the 220-280 range.

“What does that mean?”

He told me that he suspects that I am pre-diabetic or possible a type 2 diabetic already. A1C tests would help to determine if that was the case. I took the mental note, left the hospital and called my primary to setup a follow up visit for my stay in the hospital and asked for an AC1 test (yeah, I didn’t even know what it was called).

After getting back the test results, I found out I had an A1C of 8.2%.

“What does that mean?”

My primary doctor told me that anything about 7% is considered diabetic. This means that I am likely a Type 2 Diabetic or at least trending towards one. He started me on Metformin, gave me a meter and some strips (more on this fun later) and referred me to an endocrinologist. Luckily, my wife had gone to see an endocrinologist that she really liked for a possible thyroid issue, so I called her up and made an appointment.

First thing my endocrinologist says is, “Let’s be straight. Your primary doctor is sugar coating it for you. You’re not a pre-diabetic or a person “trending towards type 2”. You are Type 2 right now. And we need to get your blood glucose levels under control.” In a strange way, I felt relieved. It wasn’t this ambiguous idea of “Be careful, you might be trending towards this…” it was “look, its here not and you have to change your life now!” I don’t know if many of you felt this way when you found out, but that’s the way I felt about it. I knew I had a real problem and I needed to change my life to fix it. Not next month, not next year, but now. And not for a month or two… but the rest of my life.

When I think about my Type 2, I think back to my wife’s Grandfather: A strong hard working man who had type 2 diabetes for years. He decided to ignore his type 2: He ate whatever he wanted, didn’t exercise, and never tested. As a result of that, his health fell apart faster after his retirement. It was a first hand demonstration of what will happen to you if you don’t change your life and make the choice to live healthier. When he was close to leaving us, I remember having a conversation with him and he admitted that he didn’t do the right things. He told us one night at a dinner, “If you ever get diabetes, don’t do what I did. Take care of yourself, eat right, get the exercise. I didn’t do that and I should have.”

He passed away well before he should have. I would guess at least 5+ years early. That’s what not taking care of himself cost him. That was a powerful lesson and something I think about just about everyday. I want to be around well into the future and I want to be healthy and able to lead a productive happy life.

I have three beautiful children and an amazing, talented, beautiful wife. Just like all of you, I want to do everything in my power to be here for them. I want to see them graduate from high school, go to their first dance, go to college, get married, and have beautiful children of their own. That sentence alone is enough motivation for me to take care of myself and keep working on it.

Do I always do the right thing? No. If I fall down though, I get right back up and attempt to get right back on it again. Its just too important.

Since being diagnosed, I have been changed over to a low carb diet which focuses more on vegetables, lean protein, and good type of fat. I have my meter (its not my best friend, these days… I suspect it might be my worst enemy down the road at some point :slight_smile: and I test 4-5 times a day at key points after meals. I take the Metformin every day and I think its working for me. It was tough adjusting to it, but I think I am ok now. Between my diet, metformin, and some exercise I am seeing my numbers between 90 and 140 during the day. That’s much better than the 220-280 that I was runnning while in the hospital. I am super anxious for my next A1C in a month or so. I hope my changes will show results. That would be even more motivating for me.

One of the most powerful lessons I have had in my first month has been exercise. The first night I got my meter, I hadn’t adjusted my diet. It was late and I went out and got some take out for my wife and I. It wasn’t the kind of food that I am eating these days: loaded with fat, carbs, and sodium. I tested 90 minutes after eating that meal and tested at 222. My wife looked at me and suggested that maybe I should go for a walk around the block and test again. I put on my tennis shoes and did a fast paced walk for 20 minutes around the block. I came back into the house and tested again. I was a 135. That was amazing to me! Wow! Exercise can have a HUGE effect on your numbers. Since that night, I have worked 30 minutes of walking into my nightly routine. I don’t get out every night, but at least 3-4 times a week. I am hoping to up that number to nightly every in the next week or two.

Since focusing on monitoring my sugars and eating a low carb diet, I have seen some results. I already have lost around 11 lbs. since starting and I honestly feel better. I have more energy and I am more active. Hopefully I can keep this up!

I know its very early for me on this journey. I am super motivated right now and I am smart enough to realize that this will ebb and flow. I know at some point I will hit a wall and it will take effort for me to struggle over it. For now, I am seeing results and I’m going to keep doing what I am doing.


You have a great attitude. Keep it up and welcome to tuDiabetes!


It’s good to hear you’re motivated. Yes we all hit bumps along the way that may put us down, but being able to pick yourself up is what it’s all about. Diabetes sucks but it’s not the end of the world. Keep up the good work John

Excellent! Inspiring that you stared D square in the eye & did what’s needed. You can keep it up–no doubt about that.