As you might have read, I have been battling with Type II Diabetes for quite a long time. Initially diagnosed with “borderline” diabetes around ten years ago, about two and a half years ago I rolled in for a check up with Dr. Crow at Village Health Partners complaining of numbness in my feet. He immediately took what seemed like a gallon of blood. The results came back that I went from “borderline” to severe in a six month period of time. I was 6′ 5″ tall around 315 lbs at the time.
Dr. Crow delivered me some startling news that day in a way that I think he knew would resonate with me. He said to me (paraphrasing) that if I didn’t get control of this, that given the nature of my work and it’s related stress level, I could be gone by the time I am 50. There I was at 37 years of age with two kids being told that I was killing myself slowly. I had to do something about it and eventually I did. I was immediately put on two pretty powerful medications to treat my Type II Diabetes. I looked at Crow that day and told him that I would get myself off of this medicine one day. You see… I hate taking medication with a white-hot passion. I just don’t like feeling dependent upon some pill for my health and there are always adverse side-affects to deal with.
Dr. Crow is still at Village Health Partners, but in large part due to the unbelievable care that they provide there, he has had to spend more time managing the facility than seeing patients. I am now seeing a great doctor there named Dr. Weyenberg.
Fast forward to Friday, February 15, 2013. It was time for a visit with Dr. Weyenberg. I had been steadily decreasing my dosage of my medication since I began to work on my wellness. I was down to what Dr. Weyenberg called a “baby dose” of two drugs. In the last year or so, my cholesterol levels have been and are in great shape, having been pretty much out-of-bounds at the time of my diagnosis. My blood pressure is great, almost too low now, but had to be watched due to the medications and my A1C, which measures your blood sugar levels over a three-month period of time went from a 9.6 (very high) to a 6 (very normal). All that said, the fine doc wasn’t going to reward me by taking me off all the medications prematurely. Dr. Weyenberg and I talked on Friday about how I was feeling. Did a few tests on me in the office, took some blood work for the lab, looked me over and said to me, “We’re taking you off of (the meds).” He said a few things, then added, “You’re a machine. You’ve worked your way out of your issue with diabetes. Great job.” These were some of the finest words I had heard in a very long time. I was proud of myself, which is not something that I feel very often. I couldn’t even contain it. I immediately shot out a text and a tweet about it.
I called it a battle because I see it as a war. A war that I can lose if I don’t continue to be focused and diligent about this. It would be very easy to rest now. Be satisfied having won the battle, but I am not. I can not be satisfied because I know that I can slip right back into the old way. I won’t though because that would be surrender. That would be losing, and I won’t do that!
Thank you to Dr. Crow, Dr. Weyenberg, the staff at Village Health Partners. I cannot express in words my appreciation to all of all my friends and family that have supported me thus far. Thank you to Monica and the crew at Luke’s Locker in Plano for all of their support and informal coaching. Thank you to Eddie and the crew at Bicycles, Inc. in Arlington, TX for their support and advice. Thank you to Trent and the TriShop crew for their support, advice and for letting me sweat up the studio this winter training for Oceanside and Wildflower.
My call to action for those of you out there that are struggling with something. Weight, health issues of any kind, whatever it is. Get up off your behind and start doing something about it. Change one or two simple things today. Drink water instead of Coke. Go for a 20 minute brisk walk. Start small. Get comfortable with those small changes and then add a couple of more changes in. That’s how you break bad habits and change for the better for good. If you need some help, reach out to me. I help people all the time and I enjoy it. I’m not a “fitness professional” by any means, but to be better, you don’t have to be. You just need to make some incremental changes over time and have some good support around you and you have to do something very, very simple.