Antonio’s story from June of 2012 ~
My Diabetes Story
In November, I was diagnosed with full blown Type 2 diabetes. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it means my body does not know how to use the sugar that it body needs to run properly. I guess I should have known to be careful with my health. My dad has diabetes. That doesn’t mean I was guaranteed to get it, but my chances were better than average.
Anyhow, my doctor told me my diabetes was full blown, meaning I depend on regular insulin shots, take meds twice a day, watch my diet carefully, and exercise daily. Now these are all things I should have been doing regularly, but just didn’t. Why not, you ask? That is an excellent question. I guess I felt like there would always be time in the future.That future is now.
Having diabetes isn’t a curse. It does mean I have to be careful with myself. I have to limit the amount of sugar I eat. I need to exercise daily for 30 minutes. I have to check my blood sugars at least twice a day. I have to take insulin, the stuff your body uses to make sugar do its job, once a day. But I am healthier for it. I am losing weight. I have gone from being morbidly obese (more than 100 pounds over my ideal weight) to overweight. But that is getting better. My blood sugars are stabilized. My health is returning. As I continue to improve my health, I may eventually be able to stop taking meds and insulin. Will I be cured? No. There is no cure for diabetes – yet.
So what can happen if I ignore my diabetes? I could develop glaucoma and lose my eyesight. I could have heart problems brought on by diabetes. I could develop infections that might end in loss of life or limb. I could not live to see my children grow old. None of those options sound appealing to me.
Many people live with diabetes (up to three years before it symptoms show up in some cases). Many more people each day are diagnosed. But not much is being done in the public sector to raise the alarm. It is becoming a silent epidemic. In fact, according to American Diabetes Associated, more people die of diabetes and related complications than die of breast cancer and AIDS combined. To that end, I choose not to stay silent. I am choosing to be part of the solution.