6 Things I’ve Learned About Type 2 Diabetes and Me

By Tracey Ruiz posted in Staying On Target

tracey ruizAlthough many see type 2 diabetes as a negative, for me it was the kick in the butt I needed to get my health on track. When I was diagnosed two years ago, I’ll be honest, I wasn’t surprised. I had suffered from Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) since I was a teen, both my parents have type 2 diabetes, I was overweight, and Coca Cola was my best friend. What surprised me is how sick I was. My blood sugar levels ranged from 14.5-19.7, so when I was diagnosed it wasn’t just time to make changes. I HAD to change. With help from my family physician, not only is my diabetes well under control but for the last two months I have been medication free.

Even with high blood glucose readings, it doesn’t mean you have to go on insulin.

My doctor said my original blood work results warranted going on insulin right away. But, she said if I was willing to make a life change, take an aggressive course of oral meds, and if I could get my blood sugar levels within regular range within two weeks, there would be no need for insulin. She started me on Metformin 850 mg three times a day, and within two weeks my blood sugar levels returned to normal ranges.

The early weeks of treatment can be very rough.

Especially because my medication levels were high. Even though you may feel like crap, push yourself to make all the changes your healthcare professional suggests. As you get better, set goals for yourself to hopefully bring down the need for the meds. I went from a daily intake of 2,550 mg of Metformin a day down to 1,500 mg, to 1,000 mg, to 500 mg, to no need for meds.

The liver is very forgiving.

For some, diabetes affects their vision, but for me, the condition of my liver was equal to that of an alcoholic (surprising, since I am always the designated driver). The best day was when my doctor told me that tests had shown my liver had shed its fat and was looking healthy again.

Being on medication doesn’t mean that you can go back to your old lifestyle.


As I got my diabetes more under control, I was tempted to slip backwards. I started at a high dosage of medication, so I ate more carbs, figuring the medication would counteract the little cheats. Yet in time my weight crept up and so did my blood sugar levels.

Never let your guard down.

I have been medication-free for two months now, and the previous six months I was taking the meds more for maintenance. I still check my blood sugar levels.

Take it seriously.

When I was diagnosed I had some friends who were dealing with type 2 diabetes at the same time. Some of them thought that small changes to their lifestyle would do the trick. Ultimately I believe you are in charge of your diabetes. Medication, diet, and healthcare professionals are the tools in your toolbox in fighting this disease. It’s up to you to use them.


Tracey Ruiz is the founder and head consultant for the Sleep Doula.

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About the Author

Tracey Ruiz is the founder and head consultant for the Sleep Doula.

  • Lise Richard

    But I want to keep eating sugar cookies and short bread cookies and I want to keep eating all the junk that I want to keep eating. I will keep doing that and keep on taking my one pill a day until that is four pills a day and then on to the needle for me.
    Plus I have the best health care coverage imaginable so I really don’t pay much for my meds. I’m not worried about my liver one little bit.

    • Peter Edwards

      You have no respect for your own life, if you make it to insulin you’re lucky, change your attitude and diet now otherwise amputatioa or worse beckon. Crazy…

      • Lise Richard

        It’s not as if I am a Mother or Grandmother, so really why shouldn’t I just keep doing what I want? All this watching what you eat stuff and things is silly – just take a pill every day, maybe more pills everyday later and, then the needle will do the trick.
        I know a guy that started following a diabetic diet and sure he looks trim and more healthy now but, he just seems to be eating all kinds of healthy food all the time….boring! Never does he just pig out on good sugary snacks. He walks all the time and gets lots of exercise. Me, I will think about spending a thousand dollars or two on a Gym membership and some fancy clothes then maybe even get a personal trainer that I of course will also pay for in advance and then just drop out when I get tired of that. I mean really why kid myself. I am on the road to liver failure (possibly)
        but the needle will save me according what my Doctor said.

      • Lise Richard

        Amputation! As if that would be anything to consider. I will have you know that I recently sat on a Harley-Davidson and could only touch one foot to the ground anyways – so really what would change unless of course I were to have both my feet cut off which when I think about it rarely happens.
        I heard that usually it is only one foot that would need to be amputated.

  • George

    The idea that more pills or going insulin will save you is a dangerous way to fool yourself into continuing poor eating and lifestyle habits. While treatments will help, it is the base level of care you give to yourself that is most important. The treatments deal with the very high blood sugar levels, but can’t treat it all. Without good care for yourself, it’s not the end you should concern yourself with but rather how you get to the end. Lower extremity amputations, kidney failure, blindness and cardio-vascular disease will all come first. Not something you want to experience, when it can so easily be avoided. Take care of yourself and don’t be fooled that poor eating habits and not exercising are good things.

    • Lise Richard

      My Doctor knows what’s best for me. One pill a day and then maybe two pills a day and then the needle.
      Why is everybody suggesting that Doctor’s don’t know best?
      I will keep eating what I want to eat and then use my benefits package to get the deals on the meds.
      I didn’t say I had poor eating habits. I said I eat what I want to eat and the pills will make sure everything is fine for me.

  • butterflygal

    My question is more why did our parents not go through this epidemic of type 2 , Is it a change in food we eat. I am eating exactly like my parents did. Why did drs lower the normal rate, when a lot of people were on the borderline and now over? I truly think they are putting people on drugs before they need to be. Lets face it its a cash grab for pharmaceuticals. Drs tell you test 3-4 times a day, when one tells the real story the first one in the morning. Just so many twisted facts.