Robert G. was recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. We asked him a few
questions to see how this has affected his life. Robert is 47 years old, married
with 2 children ages 17 and 21. He was formerly in the restaurant business
but now is a software engineer.
How did you find out you had type
Early in January 2003, I noticed an increase in thirst and urination and suspected
that I had diabetes. I called my doctor to find out the results of my physical
from the year before. I learned that my blood sugar at that appointment was
180. I asked for a follow-up visit. Prior to my appointment, I noticed that
I could no longer read things I was able to read 2 months earlier -- my vision
had been affected.
The visit confirmed that I had diabetes and that my Hemoglobin A1c was 12.3!
How has diabetes impacted your
It has refocused my attention on diet and exercise.
What steps do you currently take
to manage your diabetes?
I eat less carbohydrate than before. I have increased my weekly exercise to
5 times per week including swimming, walking and weights. I take a diabetes
drug, metformin, each morning. I check my blood sugar at home about 3-4 times
Have you lost weight? Had you tried
to lose weight before?
Yes. I have used both diet and exercise to various degrees of success. I have
lost 50 pounds since May 2002. I would like to lose another 70 pounds.
I had used both diet and exercise to various degrees of success in the past
but I was not consistent.
Have you been able to maintain
your motivation and momentum?
Yes, for the most part. But life does seem to get in the way sometimes. Last
year my Mom died and this year I've had various work related deadlines and
my daughter was applying to college. These things make sticking with the diet
and maintaining my exercise schedule more difficult
Did you have to give up any of
your favorite foods?
Yes, pretzels, and greatly reduced amounts of pizza, potatoes, and pasta -the
4 P's. Also I've reduced my intake of bread products.
Did you change any other lifestyle
aspects? Exercise? Stress?
You bet. I am much more consistent about swimming, weight lifting and walking/running.
Plus I've tried new things like yoga and snowshoeing. I also joined the YMCA.
I highly recommend it.
Do you feel differently now than
when you were initially diagnosed?
Yes, I feel much better. My secret wish is to wind up on the cover of Men's
Health magazine as an after picture and success story.
My health is better, I have more energy and I look better.
What would you say to someone who
was just diagnosed with diabetes?
Look at it as an opportunity to make your life better. We all go through life
saying we should exercise more or wishing our body shape was better or that
we if we felt better we could do different activities. Now, here is your opportunity
to accomplish that and avoid or reduce all of the side effects associated with
Is there anything you'd like to
Having a nutritionist as a task master and guide definitely helps. Also, if
your doctor does not take your diabetes seriously - then get a new doctor.
By the way, my hemoglobin A1c is now 5.3.
Review Date: 5/1/2006
Reviewed By: Alan Greene, M.D., F.A.A.P., Department of Pediatrics, Packard Children's Hospital, Stanford University School of Medicine; Chief Medical Officer, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997-
A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.