Living with Type 2: A Random Pharmacy Test Diagnosed My Diabetes

By Claire Lynch

Several months ago, at a Walmart near his home, Jason Atkinson went shopping, looking for eggs and cereal. He stopped at the Pharmacy because they were offering free blood glucose tests for shoppers. He got tested.


“The pharmacist said that my blood sugar level was very high, at 578. You should follow up with your doctor. Right then and there, I phoned my medical insurance hotline to speak to my doctor. He advised me to go straight to the Emergency Room. I abandoned my shopping cart, deciding to come back on a different day,” he said


“Once at the ER, they ran tests on me. They admitted me to the hospital for five days. Initially, they started me on insulin injections to bring my high blood sugar levels down. A dietician met with me, explaining all the sugar content of foods, the carbohydrates, sodium, etc. Once things were under control, making sure my blood sugar level is below 200, they discharged me with the instructions to follow up with my physician.”


Jason’s doctor recommended that Jason start a low carbohydrate diet, take his medication regularly, and exercise to limit stress. “I like walking. My gym membership also helps me stay active,” he adds.


Jason takes 1,000 mg. of Metformin in the morning and at night. Plus 30 units of Lantus in the morning and .25 mg. of Ozempic once a week. His A1C has dropped from a high of 16.1 to 6.9.


Jason, who is 43, works a full-time job Monday through Friday in a call center. He is following his doctor’s advice by changing his diet. 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. For variety, he eats red meat or orders 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.”


Aa, 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.


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