Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and Did Something About It: Adam's Story

This article was written exclusively for Information About Diabetes by Adam Caryll. After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, Adam decided to turn his life around by getting active. Over five months, he lost about 50 pounds, cut his A1C level in half, and lowered his blood pressure to within a normal range. This is his inspiring story.

This summer I went to get an abscess on my leg lanced and found out my blood pressure was in a dangerous range (180/120). After some struggle, (there’s currently a war between a large health care provider in my area and my insurance company) I found a PCP who would still be accepting my insurance in a year. I was prescribed blood pressure medicine and took a blood screening. The results came back with more news: I’m diabetic.

More blood work, something called an A1C. Two days later, I got a phone call: They wanted me to go to the hospital to get my blood sugar under control. Not having a full grasp of the situation, I asked if I could wait a day or two because I had to work and we were already short-handed in our busy season. The response was immediate and emphatic: “NO. There is a room waiting for you at the hospital. Go.”

Dead Man Walking

I’ve learned since then that my A1C index at the time was 11.3. For those of you unfamiliar with the index, it’s a scale of 1-14. Average people without diabetes have glucose levels around 70-80. With an 11.3 index over a three-month period, I was averaging around 279. AVERAGING. Between this and my blood pressure, I was walking around with a loaded gun next to my head and had no idea.

I spent the next seven days in the hospital. My fasting sugar when I checked in was over 300. The doctors were concerned about the healing abscess, so I was put on IV antibiotics. Ten minutes into the second dose, I was talking to my mother who was visiting me when it felt like someone punched me in the chest. All color drained out of my face and I started seeing spots. It hurt to breathe. I heard them page “Code Blue” and my room number, and suddenly 15 people and two carts of equipment were shoehorned into the pillbox room I was laying in. My mother had to leave. I was shaking and hyperventilating; I thought I was dying. That the last thing I would see was the crappy wallpaper and a talking head on the local news.

We learned after this that I was now allergic to cillin-based antibiotics. Moved to the cardiac floor for monitoring. By Monday my sugar numbers were under enough control that I would be allowed to go home, provided I passed a stress test.

More Bad News?

They believed I had a blockage in my heart and I was transferred to another local hospital to have a heart catheter and possible stent. Everyone tried to convince me it was a routine procedure, but as anyone who’s been there can testify, it’s a little harder to believe when you’re the one laying naked under a blanket waiting to have a team of people stick a tube in your groin and go on an adventure to your heart.

For the second time in five days I was thoroughly afraid I wouldn’t live through what happened next. Fortunately for me, the run of bad luck was over. Clean, no blockage. I could go home after I healed enough not to blow out my artery from standing up.

Click here to read Part II.

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