A woman looks with a worried expression at warning symbols hidden behind clouds.

My Wake-Up Call

How you eat and exercise can influence your future health. There was a time when I chose not to care about my diabetes. Being diagnosed and refusing to listen to my doctor's guidance was a poor choice on my part in hindsight.

Diabetes-related symptoms became severe

What started as simple tiredness and thirst became severe later on. I began having vision problems, necessitating a visit to the doctor who suggested glucose and A1C test. However, I was terrified of the results just from the test I took.

After 1 week, the doctor called to tell me that my blood sugar was extremely high, confirming I had type 2 diabetes. He said I needed to start medication immediately. The news was shocking, but I ignored it and continued with my unhealthy eating habits. See, I'm a person who loves to eat, and I love food like bread, sweets, and sodas.

More symptoms occurring after diagnosis

3 weeks after my diagnosis, I began making more frequent trips to the restroom. In addition, my vision issues were becoming more complex, combined with fatigue. I decided to return to the doctor for more medicine. He told me what to eat and what not to eat, which was terrible news. Beginning an exercise routine was at the top of the priority list.

Standing all day took a toll on me

The doctor started me on some medication, which I took for a month, but my condition was not improving; rather, it was deteriorating. I worked in a warehouse then, so I had to be on my feet all the time, and my boss didn't tolerate "laziness."

My major wake-up calls

So, I went to the doctor again, and he suggested that I keep taking the pills, but only half of them, which I did, but nothing changed. When my condition worsened, and I was bedridden, I switched doctors.

When she inquired about my medication, she insisted I don't rely solely on medicine but put more effort into lifestyle changes, such as adjusting my eating habits and getting more physical activity. This was a wake-up call for me.

Taking a leave of absence

By then, my diabetes was so uncontrolled that I was forced into taking a leave of absence from my job. I tried to refuse, but my replacement was already taking on my duties. This was another big wake-up call for me. I was losing everything little by little. I had to learn about managing my health the hard way.

Dedicating myself to making changes

After that, I began paying attention to the doctor's advice and practicing everything. I changed my eating habits and started to swim and exercise daily. Within 3 months of sticking to these changes, I noticed a positive effect on my health. I decided it was time to change my attitude and began to love myself.

I learned the hard way

Eventually, I got a better job and didn't want to lose it. It was no fun to be jobless. Choosing to ignore my diabetes cost me my freedom and my career. This is something I wouldn't want any of you to go through. That's why I share my journey to inform and inspire others.

When I was first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the 70s, I learned the hard way that my health was only in my hands. You can choose to be healthy with diabetes - it took me a while to make that choice.

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