Please read this disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nutritionist or any other kind of health professional. I do not represent any product that is described herein, nor do I contend to be a medical professional with any level of expertise connected to this article. The information contained here is my own personal experience and should not be considered as a remedy in any way. If you have medical concerns see a health professional on your own terms.
In October 2017 I retired from full-time work after 48 years of mostly laborious type middle management positions. In my youth, I was active in athletics and for the most part, maintained what I considered to be a healthy lifestyle.
I was fortunate enough to receive annual physicals during most of my career and paid attention to them only if there was some known imminent danger. Basically, I remained ignorant of reality, all the while believing I was in good health.
A few months before I retired I participated in my last wellness exam. The information I received was not new, except for one item…I had been classified as PRE-DIABETIC. That went right over my head. It was just another bundle of words for me. I remained ignorant of what that really meant. I saw all of the numbers on the report but they never registered as a life-threatening danger or even a precursor to one.
Needles to say, I was being:
After I retired I did the next dumbest thing in my life and the worst thing for my health. I thought that after 48 years of working for others I had the right to take a long, well-deserved vacation. You know, live a somewhat sedentary-like lifestyle. WRONG MOVE…AGAIN!
In January of 2019, I exchanged divorce papers with my wife of 16 years which, of course, had been a stressor for some time. My health had been declining all the while I thought I was just succumbing to aging and changes that were natural.
The Final Nail
In March of this year, I began to experience some negative health symptoms. I did not associate them with being diabetic. For example, it was normal for me as a 66-year-old man who also has BPH, ( Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia: A common, noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. The enlarged prostate may compress the urinary tube (urethra), which courses through the center of the prostate, impeding the flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra to the outside. Abbreviated BPH.) which manifested as having to urinate frequently during the night. Through my ignorance, I never realized that excessive urination was also a symptom of high glucose levels in my blood.
So, my trip to my physician, a friend of mine, wasn’t unusual for me, but I wanted to check out the symptoms I was experiencing, just in case my illness was something other than I had experienced before. I had a series of tests run because there were other unrelated symptoms occurring simultaneously.
When all the testing was done and my doctor called me in for a consultation I was eager to hear the results but unprepared for the outcome. When he said, “Bruce, you have diabetes,” I gulped and asked, “are you sure?” He said, “yes, your A1C was 6.7.”
I had no idea what 6.7 meant but when I looked it up on the chart and recognized that everything over 6.4 was considered diabetic my heart really sank. My heart sank because I had encounters with others in my life who died horrible deaths as a result of not taking care of themselves, knowing they were diabetic. I didn’t know what any of this meant for me except I knew it was going to change my life one way or the other and the demise of those I knew was not going to be my demise.
So that day, at that moment, I made up my mind, I decided that I was going to change. I was going to change the way I thought, the way I lived, the way I ate, and the way I experienced life…period.
Before that moment I ate mostly anything I wanted. I ate junk food as if it was okay for me. The only label on food I ever read was the price tag. My sugar intake was off the charts. I would eat candies, cakes, ice-cream, you name it, I ate it. I also ate it in unreasonable quantities because, in reality, I was addicted to sugar. I was also active so some of the sugar and carbohydrates were being burned off, until, that is, my metabolism began to diminish due to sitting on my ass…literally.
When I connected the dots between my sugar addiction and the sudden sedentary lifestyle choices, I realized I was on a crash course for certain physical, mental, and emotional destruction. The only action I could take that would save me was a complete and total reversal of my thinking (or lack thereof) and way of living.
This was a peak experience and I have never had a peak experience of such magnitude,
In a review of the Book “Take It From The Top: What to do with a peak experience” by Edward M. O’keefe Ph.D, Dr. Jim Nourse commented, “In 1964 psychologist Abraham Maslow coined the term Peak Experience to describe a state of mind in which ordinary, limited mind is transcended and we are released into a euphoric participation in the interconnectedness of all things.”
This was definitely one of those peak experiences. Unmistakeably, undeniably, without question, I became automatically in tune with what I will term as my higher self. It was telling me “change…or die.”
The Impact on My Life
To that end, I began to be aware of everything that went into my mouth. I read every label and I began to study the effects of sugar, carbs, fats, proteins etc, on the body. I went to friends who were medical professionals, Doctors of Chinese Medicine, acupuncturists, and healers, nutritionists, and experts on diabetes research.
I began to depend on my own spirituality in a significantly different way. I began to listen to my heart and my body in a way I never had before. I questioned everything, every thought I’ve ever had and I began to be more conscious of the choices I was making for myself with the COMMITMENT TO CHANGE. This included present and previous judgments of myself and others. I promised I would increase my awareness of “what is” as much as I possibly could.
I am incredibly grateful for this day as I consider it a culmination of the work I put into making change happen in my own life. There is also simultaneous gratitude to the universe for answering the how-tos of being declared a diabetic as well as the support and encouragement to know that one day I would be declared diabetes-free. AND I AM!
My recent A1C was 5.4. Granted, that is the high end of the diabetic scale but is in the normal range. (whatever that is. I sometimes wonder if what I’m told is really true. I’m a cynic when it comes to medical protocols)
It is, however, necessary for me to believe in something, so why not being healthy!
There is more to this story, but for now, I choose to focus on the delivery of a simple message: If I can do this, anyone can do this. What is this? This is believing that I have some level of control over what I think and that what I think can manifest what I believe to be true. And what I believe to be true can manifest what I desire in life, including a clean bill of health.
I am deeply and eternally grateful to those people, both in my life and out, that contributed to my sense of confidence. I am grateful to the professional medical people and to their patients who have gone before me to test, experiment and prove that there are truths out there in the universe which go well beyond traditionally accepted practices. I believe they are responsible for beginning a new science of the heart. The science of belief has dawned and each of us, no matter who we are or what our economic status or life situation is, can make a contribution to the learning fields which produce life-saving and life-giving perspectives.
Here’s the real message: Question Everything, believe in yourself and Never Give Up!