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Three years, seven months and five days.

That’s how long it’s been now since a bacterial infection sent me to the hospital for a week and I learned what I knew all along — I was a Type 2 diabetic.

Today I received the latest A1C update from my doctor after my visit Thursday — 5.2 where in April it had been 5.4.

As I have said before in this continuing column series, I feel fortunate to be here and I will tell you as honestly as I can that for as glutinous as I was, there’s hope for others far more disciplined than I was.

When I received the call today I had to ask for them to repeat the number and then when I saw the labs had been posted to my portal, I had to look again to make sure I wasn’t dreaming but there it was in black and white — 5.2.

It hasn’t been easy and it will probably never be but I can you tell it does get somewhat easier and I can thumb my nose as I pass the ice cream freezer, the Pop Tarts, those tantalizing bags of Reese’s miniatures that helped lead me to a meeting with possible death or a journey with life. 

Until my doctor’s visit in April I didn’t realize when I was admitted to the hospital my A1C was 10 or 10.1 — quite the deadly number.

In this journey I have heard the horror stories and have seen some as well — diabetics who will let this disease get the better of them and I just want to scream. I realize none of us will live forever but I also realize now you can live a healthier and longer life.

And if I get preachy in this it’s definitely not my intent. My intent is just to let people know Type 2 can be corrected — not with a diet but with a lifestyle change.

I can speak only for myself — it has to be a lifestyle change and not a diet. My mom told me one of my cousins asked if I was still on my diet. She told her it’s part of my life now — no bread, no pasta, no potatoes, no rice and for me, unfortunately, no sweets with the exception of Atkins or SlimFast protein bars and those have to be used with caution.

And then there is the exercise and it’s to the point now where if I don’t get to my jog or very slow run in in the morning I make time to get it in because if I don't the Apple Watch is going to nag me incessantly about it. And honestly, on the rare occasion I don’t, I feel as though I’ve cheated myself and the ones who care about me.

But it’s not really about closing the rings on the watch that matters to me. It’s more about trying to close those ugly chapters of my life where I felt I could still eat the things I ate in my teens and 20s with no repercussions.

And in 2019 it caught up with me and I decided on that hospital bed I was going to put my jaded diet and inactive past behind me no matter what I had to give up — the candies, the shakes, the extra pieces of pie and my beloved sweet tea.

My recent reading of The Daily Stoic has also helped me in this journey because I realize no matter how much someone might offer me pie, it’s only in my will to politely refuse it.

I choose to stay on one Metformin a day because research is showing it may have more benefits than controlling blood sugar. That’s my choice just as it’s my choice to thumb my nose when going down the bread aisle or the dessert freezer.

I don’t want anyone to go down the road I have gone — the uncontrollable urination, the mysterious pimple and that horrible bacterial infection that put me on the floor for untold hours between March 23 and 24 of 2019.

As I’ve probably stated before, I can only do what I feel works for me.

But, please, if you feel you have any symptoms don’t hesitate to call your doctor and get a checkup.

From there I’ll be glad to share with you what has worked for me so you’ll never have to write a column three years, seven months and five days later — Lance Martin