In October 2011, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. When I first found out, I was scared. I wasn’t really aware of exactly what Diabetes was. I just knew it had something to do with not eating a lot of sugar. I didn’t cry but when I spoke with my Uncle, who is a Doctor who see’s the effects of what untreated Diabetes does to people. He was upset and that left me a bit emotional.

After I told him, I called my mother, who is a nurse, and she calmly sat me down, and explained to me that Type 2 Diabetes is when your body doesn’t use its insulin properly and doesn’t turn your sugar and fat intake into energy like it’s supposed to. She taught me how to count carbs, what I can and can’t eat, and taught me how to use my glucose machine (which I hate!).

My Uncle eventually called me back, and we made exercising a competition, first, it was just some pushups and sit-ups and walking/jogging/running for an hour a day, and then it was just who worked out first, who worked out longer, (as a competitive person, no 40 something year old was going to outwork me, diabetes or not. Based on competition with him, and constant support from family and friends I initially lost about 30 pounds in two and half months. I started working two jobs, and writing more, so how often I worked out lessened a bit, but I’ve been able to maintain that weight for a few months now, but I’m not satisfied with just 30 pounds, my next goal is to lose about 15 more by Christmas, and hopefully 30-40 pounds and build some muscle during the 2013 year so I can take my shirt off at the beach with some PRIDE! (Laughing).

Some not so fun facts about diabetes are that it affects a little over 11 percent of the U.S. population over 20. It can cause Heart Disease, Stroke and Hypertension. It’s the leading cause of blindness and eye problems in America. It is also the leading cause of Kidney Disease. You can lose sensation in your feet or hands, it slows down your digestion of food in your stomach, it can cause carpal tunnel syndrome, death or worse… erectile dysfunction (Yeah, that’s worse than death… ok I’m kidding.) More than 60 percent of non-traumatic lower-limb amputations were due to diabetes. Diabetes also causes dental diseases.

That’s not even all of it, but it’s a lot already. So people out there, if you have a loved one, or just know someone with diabetes, just show your support, a simple questions “How are you doing with you diabetes” could go a long way. For me, the worse thing about diabetes was pricking my finger; it feels like I’m self-mutilating myself. And it’s just a tiny prick, it doesn’t hurt, and it doesn’t bother me, but mentally I hate it. I told myself that I would be off the pills in April 2012, and guess what; I was off the pills in April 2012.

A co-worker of mine said that Type 2 Diabetes and voluntary diabetes for someone my age. I’m also really good friends with someone who is married to someone with Type 1 Diabetes or Juvenile Diabetes, and they don’t have a choice to just say, “I’m going to change” because right now there’s no cure or reverse for Juvenile Diabetes. So again for anyone out there who has Diabetes or knows someone with Diabetes, just show your support. It goes a long way to know that you’re not alone in the journey to getting healthy. Like they say, it takes a village to raise a child, I feel like it takes just as many people to support you, even if it’s just a conversation of concern to get you to accomplish your goals to getting healthy, both physically and mentally.

So I want to give a very special thank you to my Mom! And my Uncle David for their immediate medical support, and another thank you to my father, my cousin Ashen, Uncle Michael, and all my other family and friends who showed support during this ordeal. And to show my support to my cousins who have the unfortunate condition of Type 1 Diabetes, I am going to be writing an eBook, and 100% of the proceeds will go towards the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation! So stay tuned!