Updated: Feb 14
Today is a new day, November 1st, 2018. It's also the first day of the rest of my life. Yes I know that phrase is cliche, but last month I turned 40 and as I've gotten older my health is something I really need to take seriously. Today I weighed in at 180 lbs, but feel like I weigh over 200 lbs and every time I see my belly I feel like I'm a lost cause. Two and half years ago I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes.
The diagnosis came after I had lost about 30 lbs and quit drinking soda & juice. I had even started walking & hiking on a regular basis. I even began to run. I trained and completed a 5k (okay I ran 3/4 & walked the rest). At my highest weight I was 220 lbs, so being down 30 lbs seemed like a big step, but there I was having lots of health issues. It felt like a big slap in the face and I was being punished for trying to get healthy. My entire life prior I had never had any health issues despite a cold now and again.
I could feel things were off with my body and new that I should go to the doctor. Even many of my friends kept trying to get me to go. I kept making up excuses not to go, like "no insurance" or "my body will heal on it's own". I even tried adding vitamins & supplements to my diet to aide my body with the symptoms I was facing, but nothing seemed to be helping. The truth is I didn't want to go to the doctor because I have the tendency to think the worst and was afraid of what the diagnosis would be.
It started with shooting pains in my legs & feet which I just assumed was coming from all the walking that I was doing. Then vision started getting weaker and blurred. Now I wear bifocals. I started suffering from E.D. which I figured was just from stress of an awful breakup that I had went through. No matter how much sleep I would get I always seemed to be tired. My friends started calling me "Sleepy Dan" because I was always falling asleep in public places. Some of that was do to alcohol and other things, but even when I was sober I was always tired. I started blacking out while I was driving. One night I blacked out on a freeway and when I came to I had no idea where I was. The last thing I remember was exiting the free way. I finally figured out that I had turned the wrong way. I was so thankful that I didn't get hurt or that I didn't get anyone else hurt. I don't know how I would have lived with the thought of that.
After that night I decided that I was gonna go to the doctor, but since I was barely scraping by (I lived in California at the time) I was gonna wait till the weekend so I didn't have to miss work. A day or so later I was at work and my vision got so blurred that I couldn't concentrate on my computer screen. I told my boss and supervisor that I wasn't feeling good. They could tell by looking at me that I wasn't well and urged me to go see a doctor. So that day I went to urgent care.
I still remember all the anxious feelings I had sitting in the waiting room. Filling out the paper work and then waiting to see a doctor. Of course as I sat there all the worst case scenarios went through my head. I finally got called back to see the doctor. The nurse did the typical metrics, weight, height, blood pressure, and so on. When the doctor came in she pretty much had a good suspicion of what was wrong. So she took a blood sample to test me for diabetes.
By this time I had a feeling I was diabetic because of all the research I had done trying to ale the symptoms I was having on my own. The doctor came back and to no surprise I was diabetic and having a diabetic attack. She also informed that I was probably diabetic for a while. My blood sugar level was 413 which is really high. I know people who've had higher blood sugars and had to be hospitalized so I was lucky it was only 413. That doctor told me that I would have to go to the emergency room to get treated.
So I drove to the emergency room. I remember thinking about just going home because now I could find a natural remedy. I got checked into the emergency room and there I sat from 4pm until almost 11pm before I was seen. The hospital was that busy. I remember looking around and seeing people that were way worse off than me. People had been in accidents and were deathly ill. At one point I actually felt bad about being there and that I should go home because there were people that needed to be treated way more than me.
They kept me in the ER for a few hours so they could hydrate me & do some observations. The hospital was full so they couldn't admit me. After I was hydrated the ER doctor gave me a prescription for Metformin and sent me home. This all started in 2015 and now it was 2016 and I was getting ready to move back home to SD. After I moved I found a doctor that upped my dosage and put me on other meds to help with my blood pressure and cholesterol. She also told me that if I exercised and changed my diet I could reverse type 2 diabetes.
For a short time I changed my diet and started to exercise more. I lost another 10 lbs and have been able to maintain my weight at 180 lbs for the last two years. After a few months it seemed like I had plateaued so i fell of the wagon and started eating like crap. Of course it would go back and forth from eating healthy to eating like crap. I would quit drinking beer for short periods of time and then start drinking every day. A lot of that I think stems from depression from feeling as though I've just flat lined with my weight loss. Every time I would fall off the wagon I would justify it by telling myself that it "was okay, because we'll start fresh on Monday". Monday would come and go and nothing changed. I've been caught in a toxic cycle.
It's November 1st, 2018 and it's the first day of the rest of my life. Today I have made a choice to improve my health. I've made a choice to limit my alcohol, eat better, exercise, & to reverse my type 2 diabetes. I'm 40 years old and I'm in love with a beautiful woman that I want to spent a long healthy life with. Today is a NEW day!