Sunday, April 17, 2022

Time and Effort: The Big Reveal

Me going from ignorance to shock to acceptance to healing.

It's been a month since my last post in this series, and I was planning to share the different ways I am working out. But that is going to have to wait, because I really have more important news to share today. And there's a lot here, so I hope you stick around for the full story.

As you may already know, my weight in the Summer of 2021 was somewhere over 220 pounds. I don't know for sure because I stopped weighing myself, but it was a lot and out of control. I made the decision then to make some small changes and work towards a healthier me.

Fast forward to February 2022. I was down to 200 pounds by exercising but still hadn't made any real changes to my diet. I was eating and drinking whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted it. I was losing weight but not really getting any healthier.

And then came February 10th. That's the day my lab work came back and I got a shocking diagnosis.

Type 2 Diabetes.

Yep. Really. And it wasn't even close. I tested with numbers so high, my doctor wondered out loud how I was still walking around and not having a stroke or a seizure. My fasting high blood sugar reading was 461... and healthy levels are in the 70-130 range. Worse, my A1C was 16.9. No, that is not a typo. Healthy A1C is less than 6. I was nearly triple the healthy high mark.

After the first wave of emotions, I knew one thing for sure. I had no one to blame but myself. I had ignored so many signs over the years that should have been obvious, but I just kept telling myself everything was fine. 

Spoiler: Everything was not fine.

If you've read this far, thanks. Here's what's still to come:

  1. Why I was tested
  2. What I've done since the diagnosis
  3. How am I now
So, why does a guy who thinks he's pretty healthy get tested for diabetes? Because since December, I have been having terrible pain in my feet. I mean, pain so bad that it wakes me up in the middle of the night and I have to get out of bed and move around. Now I know it's diabetic neuropathy, but when I reached out to my doctor in late January, I just knew I was in terrible pain. One round of lab work later and we had a cause.

What have I done since the diagnosis? So, so many things. We absolutely have taken this very seriously, and we have made changes to most everything. We added medications, completely overhauled my nutrition, and increased the number and intensity of my workouts. I'll share more about the food and fitness in later blog posts, since the focus here is the diabetes. But know that I began tracking calories, carbs, and sugars, stopped drinking alcohol and eating junk food, and decided to be as perfect with all of that as I could be. It's not a long-term plan, of course, but it was exactly what I needed to get my diabetes under control. Fix the problem now and then slowly loosen up and experiment to see what pleasures and vices I can still enjoy. Hey, it's a process and a learning curve.

How am I doing now? Well, almost everything is good. I've lost another 12+ pounds in 8 weeks. I've lowered my A1C from 16.9 to 9.8. And my three-times-daily glucose readings are regularly coming in at healthy levels. I am just now loosening my restrictions ever so slowly and evaluating what can stay and what has to go for good. More on that in a future blog, as well.

But here's the not-good news. My feet are still in near-constant pain. Since December, I have rarely slept more than a couple of hours at a time. I wake up with the bottoms of my feet feeling like they are on fire or freezing cold or being jabbed repeatedly with a knife. I can't really put into words how fucking awful this is.

And the really bad news is that there is no cure for diabetic neuropathy. You can attempt to manage diabetic nerve pain with medication, exercise, acupuncture, and proper nutrition. But it never completely goes away.

With my doctor's guidance, I am slowly increasing my various nerve pain medications. I am hopeful that we will find whatever combination of drugs that finally stops the pain and allows me to get real sleep. And I need it, because I am physically and mentally exhausted.

So, there it is. Now you know what's really been going on with me for the last two months. And you know what I'm dealing with still. And I thank you all in advance for what I know will be an outpouring of support.

I'll end with this: Me being me, I'm going to keep sharing my updates. Why? 
  • Because I hope other people will get themselves tested if they have any reason at all to be concerned
  • Because I want others in my situation to know they are not alone
  • Because my struggle with chronic pain continues and support and encouragement make a difference
Thanks for reading all of this. It's not funny and it's not sexy and it's not awesome. But it's real life. 


  1. I feel your foot pain... I've struggled with it my entire adult life. I'm not diabetic, & doctors have never yet been able to tell me why. I've just had to learn to"deal with it". Over the past few years, both hands& arms have gotten into the action. Yes, they wake me up at night with throbbing, tingling & cramping. It's awful. So often, I can't feel a thing with my hands. I just have to trust my brain to tell my fingers what to do because I have no sensation except numbness & tingling. It's like hitting your funny bone, but in your hands & feet. And it never goes away in my feet. My hands come and go, but they remind me several times a day. Life is a challenge with chronic pain. I just keep pushing through. So I feel your pain, my friend.

  2. Thanx for always being so willing to share your experiences. The reduction in your number is wonderful. I have found these “socks” to be helpful with foot pain. or on Amazon. I have the short and open toes design.

  3. Omg! Just wrote a comment & poof!?
    Lol…ok thanx for always sharing your experiences.
    Available on Amazon, Nanosocks. I like the open toe/short sock. Your numbers are just falling down, nice work Sir! Thanx again