Barbara's Diabetes Story

Updated:Oct 12,2016

Location: Chanhassen, MN 

"First I needed to forgive myself for not eating right or working out. I accepted that I have type 2 diabetes and now I face it head on."

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes a little over a year ago. I never liked going to the doctor, but I felt so sick that I forced myself to go. After conducting a physical, my doctor diagnosed me with type 2 diabetes and said that I probably had it for years. I remember that I just sat in my doctor's office in shock and thought to myself, "My life was just saved."

After being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, I took some time to reflect and realized that between my work and hobbies, I would put in 14-16 hour days with erratic meal schedules. When I did eat, I didn't make good food choices. Food was my comfort when I was stressed. My diet was heavy in carbohydrates and fats, and as a result, my health declined.

I decided that no matter how much my life was centered on food and how much I loved to eat unhealthy foods, it wasn't worth dying for and it was time to make a change. I began to research tips and recipes on the Internet to find out how to cook healthy foods. It took time to get used to it, but I've learned how important it is to focus on healthy cooking.

I also continued to see my doctor, who was very proactive. She taught me how to monitor my blood pressure, blood sugar and A1c. She also put me on medication and enrolled me in diabetes education classes.

During these classes, I learned more about what I needed to do to get my blood sugar under control, including daily monitoring, taking my medication and getting some exercise. For the first time in years, I began to exercise daily and I started to lose weight.

After sticking to my treatment plan, losing 30-35 pounds and adding exercise to my daily routine, my type 2 diabetes is now under control.

My advice to someone just diagnosed with type 2 diabetes is to accept it and face it head on. Get it under control as soon as you can and don't rely on any one solution. If that means you have to get up and start exercising, do it. If that means that you can't eat mashed potatoes again, replace them with something else. It gets better after you get over the initial hurdle and first few months.

Managing this disease takes time, but it's important to keep your mind and spirit positive and hopeful. Keep moving and work with your care team to find the solutions that work for you. Try to live as healthy as possible to help manage type 2 diabetes and reduce the risks of other complications.