All of these “stories” are anonymous (for obvious reasons) but they are all from real people in diabetic groups.

May 7, 2015

On April 27, 2015, I posted the following in a Facebook group called “Seventh Day Adventist Recipes, Health Focus, Alternative Methods”:

I am wondering if there are any vegan diabetics in this group who have gone through the Weimar NEWSTART Reversing Diabetes program and have succeeded in actually reversing diabetes as evidenced by a truly normal A1C of 4.0-5.6. If so, I’d *LOVE* to hear your success stories!

No response. On April 29, I posted again:

Out of 772 members (presumably mostly Adventist) there’s gotta be *somebody*! How about St. Helena Medical Center’s TakeTEN? Or CHIP? I know there may be some McDougall or Barnard groupies, but I’m interested specifically in Adventist “Reversing Diabetes” programs and finding those who have been sustainably successful.

Today is May 7, 2015. Still no response. So I’m putting this out as a public post. Will welcome any and all responses!

I did get a response from CJ who said:

My parents did the St Helena Hospital TakeTen program; it seemed to reverse my stepdad’s diabetes. But they didn’t stay on the program afterward, and so he’s back on insulin.

I told her I have a friend who went through that program but did not find it sustainable, and CJ said, “Yes, I think they thought the same thing.”

April 23, 2016

A few months ago I was a very active member of the group but decided I had enough on my plate without being in so many groups. I have neuropathy in my feet, legs, hands, and my nose, end-stage CHF [congestive heart failure], end-stage kidney disease, and a whole lot of other health problems. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about 20 years ago. I decided that I was going to ignore it until a couple of years ago when I started feeling very sick all the time. About a year ago I decided on an LCHF [low-carb high-fat] way of eating and it seemed to be helping but not enough since we’re dirt poor and LCHF can get expensive or you just can’t get the ingredients without traveling or ordering online. I’ve cut out all munching and my breakfast and suppers have been cut way back almost to non-existent.

Earlier this week my doctor dropped me from her patient list and refused to see me anymore. I’ve found a new doctor and team, all specialists, in [another city]. We asked for second opinions about everything my first PA found and they all agreed. They all told me I have about a year left to live. I’m not looking for “Oh, you poor thing,” or anything like that. I’m not looking for people to say “God bless you.” What I do want is for people with Type 2 diabetess to read my story and take it to heart and don’t deny you have a terrible disease. Only you can can control it! I did this to myself. Not my doctor, not my PA, nor even my wife. I did it and now I have to pay the piper. I’ll never quit fighting; life is too precious.

Please take care of yourselves. Be proactive with your care. Read as much as you possibly can in this group, even the replies, or even if you think the subject does not pertain to you at the moment. It may apply to you in the future and then you’ll have that nugget of information to help you understand. Diabetes is hard, to say the least. But we can beat it back to remission and live an almost normal life. I pray for each and everyone one of you. Now let’s start fighting.

I filled my diet with carbs, which isn’t good for diabetics. The medicine that helps my heart hurts my kidneys and the medicine that helps my kidneys hurts my heart. I’m already at end stage which means there is nothing else they can do for me other than pray for a transplant which my religion prohibits me from doing.

I had an appointment with wound care this past Thursday and with my regular doctor. They both told me I am in great danger of losing my foot (it’s the one with my open ulcer on it). They said I have something called osteomyelitis [infection in a bone]. They gave me a honey-based ointment to put on my ulcer every day and they put me on 500mg of cephalexin twice a day for at least two months.

I’ve gotten my blood glucose numbers down to mid 200s to upper 100s. They used to be in the 700s almost a year ago.

The doctor told me I should have 45-60 [grams of carbs] a meal.

August 8, 2016

Hey, all! I’m here to be a reminder to everyone whose diabetes has not gone completely out of whack that they need to get a handle on it. I’m the voice of “Do as I say, not as I did.” Because of the diabetes that I’ve had for 14 years and ignored for the first ten, I suffer from peripheral neuropathy in both feet/legs and hands/arms. I have nearly no feeling in my feet and the same for my hands. The only fingers that feel any sensation, except for pain, are my pinkies. I’ve been confined to a wheelchair for four years. I take gabapentin (Neurontin) for the pain, but it’s not really that effective. I also have autonomic neuropathy, meaning that my bladder doesn’t work as it should. (This may be TMI, but I’d rather embarrass myself telling you than see any of you go through something like this.) As a result of my bladder not working, I have to wear a full time, indwelling catheter. I can’t self catheterize because I have no feelings in my fingers. So, once a month, I get to see my urology nurse. She gets it done with no pain and only a little discomfort. (Of course, I also have deadened nerve endings, which helps. I’m starting this challenge to see if I can’t get some of this darned weight off me; cardio is going to be a challenge. I have decided that I’m going to start taking baby steps with my walker so that maybe, just maybe, I can get around the house without using my wheelchair. (You have no idea how much sitting in basically the same position tires you and hurts your bottom.) Okay, so my advice is, take this challenge seriously and let’s see how well we can do!

September 10, 2016

Don’t think that you don’t need to be within [non-diabetic] range. When your sugars are high, it leads to way too many problems. For years, I thought that I was okay if it was “a little high,” but I am now dealing with the other problems. My kidneys are failing and I have congestive heart failure. Basically, I’m living on borrowed time; so don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s okay—it most definitely is not.

HW:

To everyone who thinks it is okay to cheat, I want you to imagine having a life with the consequences of your choices. My mother died from diabetes complications; my brother and my aunt are having complications from diabetes. My mom had to have heart stints in 2005. In 2008 she wound up needing open heart surgery. A quadruple bypass. She began getting neuropathy in 2001. I remember having to give her insulin shots because her eyesight would get blurry when her sugar went up and she couldn’t do it herself. She went into a diabetic coma when I was 14 and I began skipping school to sit at the hospital waiting on a doctor to come tell me she was okay. She was in her coma for two weeks. After that I began missing school to stay home with her, scared that I would come home and find her dead. After her heart surgery, she would cheat sometimes and it caused her not to heal correctly. She wound up in a wheelchair and I had to quit school (college) and quit work so that I could stay with her 24 hours a day because I refused to put her in a nursing home. I wound up losing my scholarship, my fiancé, and all of my friends. I became suicidal watching her go through so much pain. Out of respect for her I will not post all of the gory details involved with her last couple years. She ended up with kidney failure, pancreatic cancer, having a toe amputated, extreme depression, and at only 46 was diagnosed with dementia. She ended up committing suicide at 47. When they did her autopsy, they said she was in such bad shape she wouldn’t have made it another two weeks anyway. Is this really how you want to die? Do you want your children/loved ones giving up their whole life to take care of you because you want to cheat? Now my brother and my aunt are having complications and I will probably end up losing them because they don’t want to eat right. My grandfather also died from heart complications caused by diabetes. This is why people freak out when they cheat. I can’t speak for others, but I don’t want to die this way. Its crazy to me that someone would do this to themselves on purpose. Every time you cheat you are causing yourself more insulin resistance and more damage to your body. Everything in your body is working together. So when something I messed up, it can cause damage to your whole body. So forgive us that care about living as healthy of a life as we can. Forgive us for being a little obsessed with trying to live and not die. Forgive us for freaking out about something that is literally a life-or-death situation!

Anonymous

Feeling really down and out. My father who has been a diabetic for about fifty years had a massive stroke last Sunday. I am with him and my mother at hospice house with no hope of recovery. It’s hard to imagine that I will never speak to him again. He also had afib and took Coumadin. Unfortunately he had a bleeding stroke instead of a clot and the Coumadin made it worse. He worked so hard to take care of himself.

TL:

My doctor had me eating no more than 15g of sugar per day. I know we are diabetic and not supposed to have sugar. But most everything we eat has some sugar in it. Before I started this way of eating my A1C was 9.3 now after 2 mo it’s 7.3 and I also lost a couple of pounds as well. She just said to keep my sugar intake around 2g per meal or 12-15g per day. I’m only on Invokamet and Victoza, no insulin. The only drawback to that is if you eat more sugar than you should it can make you get yeast infections. Invokamet has Invokana in it and pushes some sugar out through urination. Invokamet is Invokana and metformin together.

SI:

I eat about 150g of carbs a day, mostly from fruit, root vegetables, and rice. (I’m gluten/wheat intolerant.) That’s approximately 45g of carbs per meal. My last A1c was 6.9. I’m a type 2 on metformin and both short- and long-acting insulin. This is the diet recommended to me by the registered dietician in my endocrinologist’s office.

I’ve been a diabetic since 1999. And I don’t have any diabetic-related effects, like neuropathy, retinopathy, kidney problems. I’ve been on insulin since 2012. I try to exercise, but I live with chronic pain and fibromyalgia, which limits what I can do. That’s why I’m on insulin. I had problems taking metformin too, so I tried something novel. I started by taking Riomet, liquid metformin, at a very low dose and slowly worked my way up to a prescription pill dose of 500 mg. Of course, this was done under my endocrinologist’s supervision. Now I can take 500 mg three times a day with minimal side effects.

I went to visit my brother this weekend hoping to talk to him about LCHF way of eating. He has been an uncontrolled diabetic for years. He ignored the warning signs and his doctor until his A1C reached the 8s and neuropathy in his feet had set in. At that time he started metformin, started eating the ADA way, and walking. Like so many, it wasn’t long before he starting eating carb-laden foods again and not monitoring his diabetes.

Fast forward a couple of years. He went to the doctor this week with a lingering sinus infection that he couldn’t get rid of. Blood work was done and his A1C was 10! His doctor put him on Farxiga, one time a day, in addition to the metformin. He started taking it Friday morning. He ate low carb and very little that day; by Friday afternoon he was not feeling well. Took it again Saturday morning. His fasting blood sugar was 78 where it had been running in the 200+ range on the sporadic occasions that he checked it. He didn’t eat anything. At noon his blood sugar was 102. He did a ketone strip and it showed the deepest color purple within seconds. He tried to eat, but had no appetite,was nauseous, and felt totally out of sorts. By late afternoon, he was throwing up. Early Sunday morning he ended up in the ER. He had a nice case of diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) induced by the Farxiga.

I am not trying to scare anyone who is successfully taking Farxiga. His doctor said this reaction was rare. My reason for sharing is to encourage everyone to be informed and aware of possible complications to this disease and their medications. My brother was given his medication and sent on his way with no discussion of things to watch for. Thankfully, he had ketone strips at home to check ketone levels and a diabetic sister that loves to Google! I immediately started researching Farxiga and DKA. I also contacted two friends for information. One sent me a link with information on Farxiga and both talked to me about DKA. A wealth of knowledge, these two were!

I learned that, even though unusual, Farxiga has been known to induce DKA in Type 2 diabetics. Usually DKA is experienced by Type 1 diabetics. With DKA, blood glucose levels generally run extremely high. Upon admission to the hospital, my brother’s was only 150. I learned symptoms of DKA. The ones my brother had included fatigue, abdominal pain, severe headache, and vomiting (dark with coffee grounds appearance). Also, severe infection can exacerbate the occurrence of DKA. He had a severe sinus infection. The good thing to come out of all of this? He’s ready to take diabetes serious and willing to give LCHF a try! But, first, we’ve got to get him out of the hospital!

Anonymous

Planned on going to the grocery after prayer meeting last night. I was going to buy some cookies. But prayer was asked for a man in his forties who has diabetes. Michael is in ICU with severe complications. His blood sugar was 1000! They have it in the 600s now. I changed my mind about the cookies and said an extra prayer….

This is a hard post to make. Michael passed away this morning. When he was admitted to ICU his blood sugar was 1000 and his organs were greatly affected. He was an only son and took care of his mother. To all of us who are diabetics, let’s learn from this and not let it happen again. Prayers for his family, please.

Anonymous

It was confirmed to me last night that my sister-in-law has severe retina damage to her eyes. It is bad and irreversible, and she will go blind at some point. It is due directly to uncontrolled type 2 diabetes. The struggle of this disease is real and should never be taken lightly. I will never let this be me. I have a choice of what foods to put in my mouth and so do you. My heart aches for her; she has a new grandson that she won’t see grow to be an adult. Make the choice to eat to live, not live to eat!

SF:

When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I was taking high blood pressure meds, high cholesterol meds, and up to 2000mg of metformin. The dietitian I went to told me to eat 40 grams carbs per meal and my blood sugar just kept climbing, So I found a great group that helped me get it together. I cut my carbs down to 20 grams or less per day and lost nearly 70 lbs. My doctor took me off all meds and then another doctor told me that I should eat “all things in moderation.” If I did what the doctor and the dietitian said, I would be back on all kinds of pills again, and that is what they want. I have a friend who is diabetic and under a doctor’s care. She says she follows a diabetic low-carb diet except for the fries (she “tolerates well”) and also the hamburger buns (which she likes) and even a special kind of chocolate bar. Long story short, she just recently had foot surgery to remove infected bones in both feet and is back in the hospital to have a toe removed right now. I try to tell her that she needs to be more strict with herself, but her doctor “knows what is best for her”!

AG:

My cholesterol was 777 and my triglycerides were 4,088 eating a 100% plant-based diet with no animal protein or animal fat. After 90 days eating LCHF, my cholesterol was 201 and my triglycerides were 189. Overconsumption of both carbs and sugar causes the increased cholesterol in the body.

BJ:

Well it’s real hard but here goes: my mother knew she was type 2 diabetic after she had my little brother, refused to take any meds or watch what she ate, and I watched her die from it. First she had her toes amputated, then her foot, then her leg below the knee, and finally above the knee, she was also having dialysis three days a week, still refused to eat right! We were not close but I do not want the same results for me! She has passed away from complications of the disease. I do not want to live the way she did! That’s my reason for trying this group! I take my meds faithfully; I even set an alarm so I don’t forget them. So far so good!

PV:

I wouldn’t rely just on the A1C. My husband’s was 14 (yes I said 14!) last Tuesday when we found out he was a diabetic. And although he was feeling fine last night at around midnight other than a headache that he’d had All day that wouldn’t go away his blood glucose was 436! After drinking 2 bottles of water and checking it 30 minutes later it had gone up into the 450s. Scared the crap out of me!!!! It finally started coming down around 2am.

CC:

Dietitian and Joslin Diabetes Center told me 30-45g carbs per meal plus 10-15g for snacks. That was in 2009. Now I am on an insulin pump, had to have two different eye surgeries in each eye, along with other surgeries. Now I eat 20-25g carbs per day total carbs, not net carbs. My insulin needs are finally going down, and I feel so much better! I will do what is best for me, not what they think is best for me. The numbers don’t lie. LCHF works for me.

A different CC:

This is obviously a type two site. I am a type one and I eat a lot more sugars and carbs than all of you. My kidneys are shutting down so my body metabolises insulin a lot slower and so I bottom out without warning and I don’t really realize when I drop.
Me: I’m so sorry to hear that! I wish you well. Are you on dialysis?
CC: Not yet; it’s getting worse, though. I’ve lost vision in my right eye (neuropathy retinopathy) and a slew of other complications.

See also blog post, “Two Stories” (March 14, 2016)

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