Diabetes Dialogues

Sharing My Story: Don

Sharing My Story: Don

Don Fillenworth from Bismarck, North Dakota, is 55 years old and lives with type 2 diabetes. This is his success story:

In mid-October 2012, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and had an A1C of 9.6. This was quite a shock for me, as there is no history of diabetes in my family. Before I was diagnosed, my feet were constantly numb and tingling, and I was losing feeling in the front portion of the bottom of both my feet. I had no clue that this was an indicator of diabetes, as I was not familiar with the disease at the time.

My doctor prescribed metformin, which I take twice a day, and referred me to a diabetes educator and nutritionist at our local medical center. My cholesterol and blood pressure levels were also really high, but I was already on medications for both.

My wife accompanied me to the diabetes education and nutrition courses. The courses were very educational and informative! We both were amazed at the amount of information we received. The lifestyle changes were pretty aggressive, including major diet changes as well as exercise.

Fortunately, my wife is so dedicated and helpful! Though she didn’t have to, Cindy committed to the same diet changes, as well as to starting a walking routine with me. Originally, my goal was to walk about one-and-a-half miles a day. Within a month, though, we were walking five to six miles a day during our lunch and dinner times.

In January, I received the results from a follow-up doctor’s visit and blood screening. In three short months, I have lowered my A1C level to 5.9! My blood pressure and cholesterol levels have decreased greatly and are now in normal ranges. I have also dropped more than 20 pounds and my feet no longer tingle. I feel great! Even my doctor was amazed at my dedication and progress.

I don’t consider being diagnosed with diabetes as a bad thing at all. It gave me the opportunity to realize that I wasn’t taking care of my health, and I was given a chance to correct the situation. I feel very blessed for the wisdom of the medical professionals in our community, as well as the love and support of my wife!

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