Ray Finds the ‘Tools’ to Control His Diabetes

‘You wouldn’t believe how much I ate. Every night, besides dinner, I ate one of those big poppers full of popcorn with lots of butter and salt on it.”

That’s what Ray Hendrickson says when asked why he thinks he was overweight and developed type 2 diabetes.

Although Ray weighed 235 pounds when he was diagnosed at the age of 65, he said he had never been heavy until age 50, when he started eating more and more, especially in the evening.

“I was very active. As active as I am now.”

Ray works fulltime at a hardware store, so he’s on his feet all day walking around helping customers. He also walks once or twice a day for at least half an hour.

Ready to Change

Ray doesn’t remember if his doctor suggested diabetes education or blood glucose monitoring. But when he was ready to make some changes, he happened to see a flyer at the local senior citizen’s center about a diabetes support group. He decided to go, and he learned from the diabetes educator and others in the group. He also learned from his son. His son had lost weight by following the principles of Dr. Atkins’ books and low-carb eating. Ray tried it and started losing weight. He continues with these principles today.

Diabetes Tools

Working at a hardware store, Ray is a “tool guy.” He takes to gadgets, and he likes working with his hands. Once he learned about blood glucose monitoring, he immediately bought a monitor and started checking his numbers. He quickly learned how certain foods affected his blood glucose and started making adjustments according to his numbers. He also purchased a pedometer to see how far he walks each day. He still uses both of these tools to help him manage his diabetes.

Ray’s Problem
I ate too much. Especially at night.

Ray’s Reason
According to my wife’s genes, she should live to 100. I want to live and be active with her that long.

What Was in Ray’s Way
Lack of knowledge about diabetes management in this day and age.

Ray’s Method
Started following a lower-carb approach. Stopped eating the nightly popcorn, mashed potatoes and gravy, rice, pasta, soda and ice cream.

Before Making Changes: November 2001 April 2006
Weight 235 pounds 175 pounds
BMI 32 24
A1C 6.4% 5.1%
Blood glucose Didn’t check 90 mg/dl-130 mg/dl
Blood pressure 120/80 mmHg 130/80 mmHg
Lipid Profile
Total cholesterol 221 mg/dl 119 mg/dl
Triglycerides 150 mg/dl 97 mg/dl
HDL 20 mg/dl 30 mg/dl
LDL 171 mg/dl 70 mg/dl

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