Louise Harrison wasn’t surprised when her physician told her that she had Type 2 diabetes six years ago.
“My mother had Type 2, one by one my sisters were diagnosed with Type 2 and my doctor saw my A1C slowly creeping up,” Harrison said. “I know that Type 2 diabetes can run in families so I was aware of the fact that some day I, too, could become diabetic.”
Harrison, who has been retired for more than four years, worked for several years as a pharmaceutical technician and a medical assistant. She said that she was familiar with many different types of diabetic medicines but her physician prescribed Metformin.
“He started me on Metformin once daily which works well for me and I got serious about exercising and losing weight. I like to walk and that’s my exercise. Walking and walking more feels great. It’s enjoyable because the scenery is so pretty and I like the fresh air, too.
“Watching my diet carefully really helps. If one day I eat grits, which I love, then the rest of the day I am careful not to have other carbohydrates. And the next day bread, potatoes and so on are out.
“I’ve learned that some things I cannot touch – no more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, sugary snacks or sweet desserts for me!”
Harrison, who is 66 and who has been a lifelong resident of North Carolina except for the two years she spent living in New York, said, “The Southern diet is pretty heavy on rich, sugary foods and heavy on carbohydrates, that’s for sure. My goal is to keep my blood sugar level as steady as possible.”
Watching what she eats and drinks has really worked for Louise Harrison. “I make sure that I eat enough vegetables every day – and drink plenty of water, too,” she said. “Hydration is very important.
“Just recently I went to a doctor’s appointment and found out that I had lost nine pounds. I was so happy! When my doctor told me how good my A1C is, I was even happier. My highest level was 7.2 and now it’s down to 6.0.
“That’s a great number but I won’t get complacent about it. I will keep doing what I do practically every day which is exercise and watch my diet. There isn’t any magic answer to Type 2 diabetes. It’s all about being vigilant and careful all the time. It’s about being aware and making the right choices. But it is definitely worth it!”