At age 63, I was diagnosed as a Type 2 diabetic. I was told that this was a life sentence and that I would have to change my lifestyle and start on some heavy duty medications. Eventually I would have to have daily insulin shots. For 10 years I was able to control my diabetes without any medications. Gradually, I had to add various medications. It wasn’t until I was 83 that I had to go on insulin. 20 years without the needle! Even now, I find that I don’t need to take insulin on a daily basis. So how do I do it?
Yes, I most definitely changed my lifestyle. I started to eat a healthier diet and exercise regularly. Those two things turned out to be the key. One of the changes was to include various types of natural supplements in my diet. Vitamins and mineral supplements were particularly important towards building my strength and even more importantly my stamina. This meant that the exercise regimen that I undertook was more effective. My brother-in-law and I worked out at least three times a week, egging each other on to become healthier. I hadn’t been as fit since my days playing multiple sports in high school.
We even started playing tennis together until my knees decided that tennis was not something that I wanted to do anymore. I started down the road of osteoarthritis. My doctor prescribed a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) to curb the pain. That turned out to be a cure that was worse than the disease. The side effects are incredibly harsh so I went looking for alternatives. As discussed in a previous blog post, anti-inflammatory supplements are effective and far less harsh than more traditional medications as prescribed by the medical profession.
The biggest change in my life came because I changed my attitude. Diabetes wasn’t a death sentence but rather a wake up call. It forced me to look at not just my health but my entire life. I realized that I had the opportunity to still contribute and to be with my family and to help them to be strong and to achieve their goals. But most importantly, I realized that getting older wasn’t a penance but rather an opportunity. Being engaged and being interested in the world around me. I still have fun and make myself and others laugh. My life is full of vitality.
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