“Hey, Bill, we are going to need to run another blood test.”
Those were the words that started this journey to dodge a nasty bullet in the form of diabetes. I had just visited the medical clinic that morning to give blood to check my cholesterol levels. What I wasn’t expecting was to get the news that my fasting blood glucose number was 165. For those of you that don’t know, 165 sucks. It’s about 40 points into the diabetic red zone. What was next was to run what is called an a1c test, which gives you an idea of what your blood glucose levels looked like over the course of the last three months or so. If that magic number came back as 6.5 or higher, I would be diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. When the call came that afternoon, the nurse told me that my a1c number came back at 5.8. I wasn’t diabetic…yet. I was, however, prediabetic. I didn’t have a clue what that meant, but I didn’t have diabetes.
I celebrated with a Coke. Man, do I love Coca-Cola. I drank about 120-150 ounces of it a day. And food…I love food. The taste, the texture, the feeling it gives me when I’m sad or angry. Food wasn’t fuel for my body; food was a reward for surviving another hard day, not yelling at a self-righteous customer, or being a good person in general. Delicious fried foods washed down with a sugary refreshment. I was on the doorstep of diabetes, pounding away at the door like I was trying to sell the disease a magazine subscription or convert it to my religion. “Let me in! I know you’re in there!”, my lack of action seemed to scream.
I decided to do a little research into the disease when I happened to think back to a friend of mine that died of diabetes. I loved that guy. But, man, did he smell. He smelled because his foot was rotting off. It had become gangrenous because he didn’t treat diabetes with the proper respect. And then, I thought of my father’s ex-husband. Great guy. Made a bunch of money. He also died of diabetes, despite having taken much better care of himself than my buddy. Then I thought of another friend. And another family member. It began to snowball. And then it hit me…
I am killing myself.
I have a wife who suffered sudden cardiac arrest last year. I have six kids. I am going to leave them all to deal with this world without me. Do I really love food and soda more than I love my family? Nope. No I don’t. I have to lose 100 pounds. And I have to find a way to make it fun.
So here we are. My giant rear end plopped into a La-Z-Boy, typing away on my MacBook to start a journey that I have never been able to finish. I imagine that there have got to be people out there like me, but I wouldn’t know where to start looking, especially in a town with under 2,000 people in the frigid Northwoods of Wisconsin. So if you have been down this road before and have some insight, please feel free to share it with me. If you are just starting down this road, hopefully my progress can offer you some inspiration. Wish me luck!