By Claire Lynch
Jason Atkinson was shopping one day at a Walmart near his home several months ago, looking for eggs and cereal when he stopped at the Pharmacy. They were doing free blood sugar checks for the public so he got tested.
“The pharmacist said that my blood sugar level was very high at 578 so I really should follow up,” Jason says. “Right then and there I phoned my medical insurance hotline and spoke to a doctor. He advised me to go straight to the Emergency Room which I did, leaving all of my shopping behind and figuring that I’d do it another day.
“Once at the ER they checked me out then admitted me to the hospital for five days. They initially gave me shots of insulin to bring my blood sugar levels down. A dietician met with me and explained all about the sugar content of foods as well as the carbohydrates, sodium, etc. Once things were under control, with a blood sugar level below 200, they discharged me and told me to follow up with my physician.”
Jason’s doctor recommended that Jason start a diabetic diet, take his medication regularly, exercise and try to limit stress. “Walking is good plus my gym membership helps,” he adds.
Jason takes 1,000 mg. of Metformin each morning and at night plus 30 units of Lantus in the morning and .25 mg. of Ozempic once a week. His A1C has definitely dropped from a high of 16.1 to 6.9.
Jason, who is 43 and works a full-time job Monday through Friday in a call center, has taken his doctor’s advice to heart. For breakfast he usually has oatmeal and Oikos zero yogurt. “Lunch typically is a salad with ham or bacon on it with Paul Newman Italian dressing,” Jason notes. “For variety I’ll have red meat or a deli sandwich on sourdough. Dinner is often meatloaf or air-fried chicken breasts. I make sure there is plenty of protein and fresh vegetables on my plate while minimizing the carbs.”
A longtime Ohio resident, Jason and his wife, Nicole, have a young daughter. Family outings include going to the park, the pool and the zoo. “We’ve got a membership to the zoo and make the most of it,” he says. “Seeing my wife and daughter’s faces light up as we walk through the zoo is magical.”
Type 1 Drew Peel Has a Penchant for Being in the “Great Outdoors”
By Claire Lynch
Drew Peel was 20 years old and working on a job site temporarily in North Dakota when he was increasingly thirsty and having frequent urination including at night, had a large appetite then had a sudden loss of appetite.
After he passed out on the job site his buddies took him to the Emergency Room. He spent four days in the Intensive Care Unit then the physician sat down with him and explained his diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes.
“He said that my blood sugar level was 690 and my A1C was 16.8,” Drew says. “I was shocked because there is no family history of diabetes at all. Plus I didn’t know the symptoms of Type 1 back then.”
Drew’s doctors started him on insulin in the hospital and he met with a staff dietitian.