I am 78 years old and currently live in The Villages, Florida. I was diagnosed with diabetes in 1995 (approximately) and was living in East Greenbush, NY at the time. I was treated with medication, and it was pretty much under control. I didn’t take it too seriously. I didn’t understand the possible ramifications of the illness.
As time went by, I relocated to Florida in 2004 and took up residence in The Villages. I had been advised to seek out a doctor immediately and look into the possibility of beginning to use insulin as my diabetes was becoming more serious.
To make a long story short, until the middle of 2015, my diabetes became worse, culminating in an A1C of 9.0. At that time, I was taking 50 units of insulin a day and Metformin, 1000 mg, 2x per day.
For me, the costs of the medications for the diabetes were greater than I could afford. I was in a “donut hole” with my prescription insurance and literally couldn’t afford the medications.
That was when I decided I had to do something to bring down the A1C without using the medications. I tried seriously cutting down on carbohydrates and was partially successful, but I found that I couldn’t cut out the Insulin and the Metformin and maintain healthy blood sugar numbers.
It was hit and miss, and I was keeping my eyes open for any other way of dealing with keeping my blood sugars in a healthy range. I went back to the insulin and Metformin.
I saw a newspaper ad for a seminar, “Help Your Diabetes.”
Needless to say, I made an appointment. It has turned out to be the best thing that I ever did.
That seminar was held in early September of 2016. I signed up for the program that night. The journey since then has been both horrendous and great, but as time progresses the horrendous is really taking a back seat to the great.
The program is one of diet, aided by nutritional supplements. I looked at the allowable foods and foods to avoid lists and wanted to quit right then. However, I had made a commitment to my fiancé that I would adhere to the plan and complete the six month program that I had signed up for even though I was probably going to starve to death before the six months were over. The two things I had going for me were my fiancée supporting me, and the fact that I had made a commitment to complete the program.
Within the first few days, FOLLOWING THE DIET to the letter, my daily blood sugars were consistently in the 90-115 range. It scared me! I had stopped the insulin because of cost about a month before and was now worried that if I continued the Metformin, my sugar levels would go too low. So, I cut the Metformin in half, taking a half pill 2x per day. That lasted for only a week more. The sugar levels were going down into the 70’s and I got scared again about going too low, so I eliminated the Metformin completely. This was all done on my own initiative, without my doctor’s knowledge. Not the smartest thing in the world to do, but the anxiety of low sugars was controlling me. My sugar levels have continued to average in the 85-115 range.
My latest A1C test, taken in the first week in November 2016, was 6.4. Since the measurement is for a three month time period and I was only in the program for two and one-half months at the time it as taken, I was very pleased with it.
I have told my Primary Care Physician about the program and what I am doing, and her response was very positive. She encouraged me to continue and complete it, but she also warned me that even though my specific plan would end after the six months, in order to maintain my newfound sugar levels, it would require a lifelong commitment to the new eating lifestyle that I was establishing.
I am now into week 12 and almost at the halfway point of my program. Still going strong, no cheating, and my commitment is stronger than ever. The weekly meetings have served as an additional support mechanism for me, reinforcing my commitment.
Bottom line, if you are not willing to commit to the diet and follow the recommendations of the HELP YOUR DIABETES program rigidly, then don’t do it. The first two to three weeks were extremely hard. I found myself missing all of my favorite foods (unhealthy ones for me). However, seeing the blood sugar numbers consistently where they should be, reinforced my original commitment.
The one other thing that greatly helped, was that my fiancée was as committed as I was. She did the grocery shopping, buying only the things that I was allowed under the diet. She cooked the meals and prepared the snacks. And most importantly, when I got down about missing my favorite foods, she reinforced the fact of how our life was being enriched by what we were doing.