Diabetes Health Type 2: One Retired Nuclear Pipefitter Talks About His Diabetes

Francis “Frankie” Jacobs went to a routine checkup with his doctor three years ago and after the blood work came back his doctor told him that he had Type 2 diabetes.

Surprised, Frankie says, “I had no idea that I was a diabetic. I had no warning symptoms and I didn’t have any family history of diabetes. The only exception I knew about in my family was one uncle who had it.

Working as a nuclear pipefitter for 45 years, Frankie has been retired for 11 years. He worked out of the Brunswick Nuclear Plant in Southport, N.C., and in various other nuclear power plants on the eastern seaboard.

As a teenager Frankie kept busy doing various exercises. He ran, he jumped and he enjoyed playing football at the Wilmington, N.C., high school he attended.

These days he goes out every day to the senior center near his home to hang out with his friends and to have lunch. When he was newly diagnosed as Type 2, Frankie met with the nutritionist on staff at the senior center who gave him a meal plan and made suggestions about what foods to eat and what he, as a diabetic, should try to avoid.

She has also been a resource to Frankie for any other nutrition questions that he has had.

Steering away from any snacks and meals that have high-sugar contents, Frankie tries to eat a certain amount of lean proteins, vegetables, small portions of fruits and other healthy foods every day.

Now 74, Frankie, who is a lifetime North Carolinian, takes oral medicine every day for his Type 2 diabetes. He spends time visiting his daughter who also lives in the “Tar Heel” state of North Carolina.

“She is just a short drive from where I live so every so often we have the chance to get together and compare notes. I enjoy hearing all about whatever happens to be new in her life,” he says.

He makes it a point of watching what he eats and he stresses the value of being aware of what your blood sugar level is if you have been diagnosed as a diabetic.

To those who are newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes – and to those who have had it for several years, also, Frankie gives some words of advice: “Do what your doctor says and always take your medicine. Don’t forget about it for even one day. Taking it is so important!”

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