I’d just finished working out on the treadmill and had moved on to the rowing machine.
The music was blasting on the head phones when I saw a friendly face out of the corner of my eye.
I took off the head phones.
“Are you Terry Foster,?” the man asked.
I told him I was. And he began his story.
“I did not want to bother you while you were working out, but I went to the doctor,” he said. “He said one of two things are going to happen. I am going to die in three years or he is going to have to cut off some of my toes.”
He had my attention.
He was a type 2 diabetic with blood sugar readings in the 400s and an A1C of 10.7. An A1C level of 6.0 and above is bad. It means you have Type 2 diabetes. That’s the bad news. The good news is you can control it and get rid of it.
My new friend was in the gym, eating differently and lowered his A1C to 7.0. He has a little more work to go but he is on his way to good health.
He read about my strokes three years ago and has been following my story ever since. He called me an inspiration, which made me feel good. The best news was hearing about him dropping 30 pounds and being on his way of getting rid of diabetes.
I spoke to a group of doctor who asked me what motivated me to drop my A1C from a 10.2 to a 5.2?
It was a silly little cartoon of a guy driving a convertible with a flag on the antennae. That cartoon stuck with me because the caption said: Diabetes. You are in the drivers seat.
In other words you control your fate. You could continue to eat unhealthy and be a slug and get sicker. Or you could change your lifestyle and rid yourself of the disease. I decided to get rid of it.
People believe once you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes that’s it. You will eventually die from the disease. That is not true. You are in the driver’s seat. You determine your fate.
I told the doctors group about my cartoon and I drew a lot of smiles. They were last resort doctors who amputated feet, toes and legs. They wanted to find ways to reduce their work load and treat people in different ways.
First doctors placed me on 25 mg of insulin. I was determined to get off insulin. I went to the gym four to five days a week, ate grilled fish,, chicken and vegetables. Doctors reduced my daily insulin intake to 14 mg of insulin and then to 6.
Finally, the big day came. My doctor said my game plan worked. She took me off insulin. Now I was on my own. I was really in the driver’s seat. I have kept my A1C below diabetic levels for more than two years.
In a few years it is estimated that one third of the nation will become Type 2 diabetics. Doctors have told me that once they tell someone that they are Type 2 they often never hear from that person again.
They believe their fate is sealed.
That may not be the case because you are in the driver’s seat.
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