Part 3. My Wake Up Call – How Almost Dying Opened my Eyes
After consuming 6 fruit smoothies in about 45 minutes, I started having problems with my right hand. I dropped my cell phone 3 times. I dropped my big travel mug of ice water on the kitchen floor three times. Each time I dropped it, I would return to the refrigerator, refill it, turn back around and drop it again. Here I was making a mess of my wife’s kitchen floor and she thought I was just playing a game. Well, my momma “might have raised a crazy man – but she didn’t raise no fool”.
I tried to explain to her what was happening and nothing came out of my mouth. I could hear myself speaking in my head but I could not hear anything through my ears. She has never seen me sick except for an occasional cold or flu. She did not know what to think. She looked at me with confusion not knowing what I was trying to do. All of a sudden she saw the confusion in my eyes and I saw the fear in hers.
Unable to communicate with her, I picked up a pen and a piece of paper and try to write down what was happening. My handwriting looked like chicken scratch. I tried with my left hand and it wasn’t any better. Our friends showed up for movie night, saw what was happening, put me in the back of their car and drove me to the emergency room.
I go into the emergency room on Saturday night July 7th around 7 pm. Since I could not speak, my wife explained what had happened. The ER staff started prepping me for heart surgery thinking that I had just suffered a stroke. However an MRI came back showing that I had no heart damage.
They’ve then tested my blood sugar on a machine that only went up to 500 and I was off the charts. They drew my blood to get the glucose results and that’s when it came back at 771. I found out later the survival rate for people with numbers that high is 20 percent. Those 20% will typically have liver or kidney damage. Not only did I survive, but my liver and kidney are doing fine.
They told me the next morning there was no need for surgery but that I was now a diabetic. I was relieved, thinking I would checkout that afternoon. I spent the next week in the hospital to have my insulin bring my glucose numbers down. I met with a dietitian to help me understand how my life was going to be different. She taught me how to count carbs, how I had to eat 6 times a day and what I should eat in each meal. It was a definite change from the way I’ve been living.
When I was in the hospital I weighed 380 pounds, my blood sugar was 771 and my A1c was over 14. Three months later when I met with my endocrinologist for my next blood work, my A1c was down to 7.0 and my blood sugar was down into the mid 200’s. Three months later my A1c was down to 6.4 and my blood sugar was down in the 150’s.
Over the next two years my blood sugar averaged 120, my A1c averaged between 6.2 and 6.4, with my weight hanging around 380. Though I wasn’t losing weight, I was losing inches. This was a good thing. Several of my doctors had suggested lap band surgery as the only solution to becoming insulin free. That was not an option. Did I mention the fact that I am stubborn?
Since I was running real good numbers without having to do the lap band surgery, I decided to put together a plan where other people could follow what I was doing – to bring their numbers down just as I have done, on my own terms.
In developing this program, I looked at that was most important to start with. We have to change the way we look at the food we eat. The way we approach our food is very important. The way we think about our food is important. If we take control over how we eat and when, it just might work. We might be able to change the outcomes if we change the behavior. So that’s what I proceeded to do.
It was important to have a program that would work for anybody no matter what your dietary needs are. I also wanted a program that would help you get started without having to make severe changes to your diet. So I have lived the last three years developing this program while eating anything and everything that I wanted. I did not cut anything out of my diet. I still eat foods that I’ve always enjoyed. All I did was change the way I eat them.
I did make one change in my life in my diet, and that was to change the sugar that I was eating. I tried to eliminate table sugar from my diet as much as possible so I now go to my next step which is – How Changing My Sugar, Changed My Life.