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Monday, November 25, 2013

God's Helpers

The women in my life - how they care for me.

I have finally this morning finished up the project I am on and getting back to normal.  I was running so ragged I did not even test this morning.

This month I am being honored in the ADA Newsletter on on the story - My Story.

I thought I would be lazy and just add it to this blog - much of you guys already know but since it was supposed to be Sunday - just want to thank God for where I am at.

My Story: Bob (robertdant)  - my user name in the ADA community.
I am positive I am like so many other diabetics and my story begins in 2000 by my doctor telling me he is positive I have diabetes and wants to schedule a test.  At that point in time, I am pre-diabetes and allowed to control it with diet and exercise.

My Dad developed diabetes late in his life and my Grandpa Matheny (my Mother’s Dad) was a Type I diabetic.  So I grew up around it but did not have much exposure to it.  I do not even think I felt anything because I thought – no big deal.  Unfortunately, my wife Kathleen, was told by the doctor it is a big deal and it was her responsibility to make sure I took care of my health through diet and exercise.  Looking back on it now some 13 years ago – I was a fool and so was my doctor.

After 13 years of battling this disease, I finely figured out this year it is my disease and not my wife’s and I do need to take it seriously.  Before telling you about my life style change, I should set up what my life style was before the dramatic change this year.

In 1999, I decided to leave the corporate world and branch out on my own and start my own business.  We were lucky to pick up a nice contract in Des Moines, Iowa and at the time we lived in Chaska, Minnesota.  For two years, I traveled to Iowa on Sundays and back on Friday as it was a 4 hour drive.  Sometimes Kathleen would go with me and we would stay a couple of weeks in Iowa so I could relax.

Get the picture, I was always on the road and never really stable in any environment.  On top of that, I have situation where I never have had a hunger pain.  So I would forget to eat, sometimes for 1-2 days.  Then I started developing times I would feel faint and start to sweat.  I guess instinct told me to dump in some sugar and keep going.  What havoc was I wreaking on my poor body?

This life style of being on the road and traveling to jobs and pouring my entire life into the business continued until 2009 – when I lost the business during the great financial crisis.  We moved to Nashville to get out of the cold and for my wife to be close to our kids; Sarah and Brian – as I was never really home.  Within one month of moving to Nashville, I received another two year contract in Cincinnati and moved up there and come home on the weekends.  I finally landed a gig in London and was there for 3 years.

I had started to smoke again, reached a weight of 250 pounds and was in horrible shape.  While living in Cincinnati, I reached a point of knowing I should lose weight.  All the time knowing I was a diabetic; but did not buy strips as I needed the money for the business – and, after all I was losing weight and thought I was eating right.  I even started walking again just to make sure.

My lovely wife (Kathleen and God's best angel), who should have kicked me to the curb long ago, knew I was not right.  Later I found out she could tell I was not healthy because my skin was grey and many of my neighbors noticed it as well.  She persisted and finally found a study I could apply for and they would put me under their care for two years - SHE SIGNED ME UP.  To get in the test, you could not be on medications and you had to have an A1c less than 11.  Go figure I failed the criteria, I had an A1c of 13.1 and that day my FBS was 540.  I knew I was in trouble.
I started eating meat and vegetables as my only source of food.  Two months later there was another study and this time you had to be above 11 and not on medications.  The doctor called me immediately and I went in.  I nearly failed again as I was 11 on the number. 

Roll time forward and for the next 8 years I traveled and fought the numbers game along with smoking.  When I lost the business in 2009 I knew I had reached rock bottom and God was intervening for so many reasons in my life – probably to save my marriage along with my health.  For the next 4 years I was able to maintain and found out as a disabled veteran I could use the VA – what a fool I had been – it was always there for me. 

In March of 2013, this year, I had my six month checkup and my numbers were heading up again, I had an A1c reading of 8.1 and out came the threat of insulin.  It is not the insulin that worried me it is the needles – I hate them.

Usually when I come home, my family would say nice try Dad; better luck next time; or my poor wife would take on the guilt of not managing my disease for me.  I am blessed in so many ways as I have a daughter (Sarah, God's second angel) who said enough is enough.  No more dad!  I am not going to take care of you when you are older if you do not take care of yourself now.  She is a professional golf instructor and I like playing golf with her.  She told me no more golf or lessons unless I straightened up.

Not sure what scared me the most, the needles, the disease, or my daughter.  Does not matter, I told myself I had to get better and I need help from a higher power who had helped me to quit smoking 2 years earlier.  It was time for my God to help once again.

I bought books, I tried diets like Vegan, and I tried getting back the YMCA for exercise.   My diet had been oatmeal in the morning, salads made by my lovely wife for lunch, and some kind of meat and vegetables for supper.  This had been going on for two years and that is why the numbers being up were so horrifying – I thought I was doing better.

Then a funny thing happened to me and I received this email marketing a book by Suzy Cohen RPh, Diabetes without Drugs (God's special outside angel).  Now this email must have come directly from above because I was having a hard time to determine even how to start.  But this book caught my eye because I grew up with a mother who did not believe in medications if you could avoid them.  I thought, “WOW, Mom to the rescue.”  I ordered the book and started to read it.  I could not put it down - it read that well for me and I loved what she had to say.

So I started the program.  It is now November and I have reduced my weight from 224 to 179.  My A1c in September was 6.4.  All of my medications were stopped but my high blood pressure medicine.  One month later that was even taken off my list by my doctor.  I am now medicine free.

Yes I have been very blessed to have three exceptional women in my life.  My wife has been with me through thick and thin and there is no one in the world better than her.  She has kept me grounded in my faith, my rock when I was on the road chasing a dream, and my best friend when it all fell apart.  My daughter, Sarah, who just simply cares about her Dad and that in itself is another very long story.  Finally, having Suzy come along and writing a book to help me change my life style was amazing.  I still go to her book as there is much to learn that I just glazed over the first time. 

I have also added a new set of friends from the ADA community.  Knowing and realizing I am a diabetic and will always need help – I joined the ADA and participate in the community.  It is great and there is a post were we all get on each morning and register our morning FBS level.  This makes me do this each day as I feel I will let them down if I do not respond.  Another special female Marty (God's fourth angel) really knows a lot and has become a close friend in the ADA community.  She provides knowledge, encouragement, and just good companionship.  You can see her comments in some of my posts.

God has blessed me in so many ways and I know no this thing I used to hate called diabetes, is the very thing God has used to help enrich my life.  I now eat right, exercise 2 hours each day, and live a much healthier life style.  All of this will help me live longer.
If I can do this – I KNOW YOU CAN!

By the way - if you cannot afford Suzy's book - just let me know and I will try to help.  I think it is that good.

May God put special people in your life to help out.  May God give you the sixth sense to know when he has and to listen to them.  They just might be delivering that very special message you need to hear.


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