My name is Fred Gonzaga. I live here in sunny South Florida with my beautiful wife and son. I'm a professor at a local college. I started this page to share my story on how I found out I have Diabetes and what I do to manage it. There was no genetic predisposition for the disease in my family tree so I thought I did not have to worry about such a thing. I thought myself to live a relatively healthy lifestyle, playing tennis with my wife 4 times a week, eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables and not much red meat; turns out this disease does not always play by the rules.
How I Found Out
During a routine blood test, my doctor noticed a higher than normal blood sugar. She said that this could be a testing anomaly, but she suggested that I take a 2-hour glucose tolerance test. She sternly informed me of the dangers of having high blood sugar levels because if undetected or not managed it could devastate my life. It could lead to blindness, amputation, kidney failure and even death. Worried that I might be sitting on a time bomb, I went ahead and had her order the test.
In this test, a 75 ml of a glucose drink is ingested after a normal blood test for sugar. After two hours, blood is again tested for sugar. The test shows how the body absorbs sugar in the blood stream. When the pancreas is not able to produce enough insulin, or the body's cells are resistant to insulin, this is known as insulin resistance. At this point the official diagnosis is pre-diabetes. The bottom line, she told me is that I should start working on controlling my blood sugar to prevent the situation from progressing into a full-blown diabetes. Exercise, diet and possibly using medication are some of the tools to combat the disease.
An action plan was established with the help of my doctor. Diabetes Education was the first step. In addition to tennis, a more sustained exercise like walking or jogging was suggested. My cholesterol and blood pressure are monitored regularly and now I have blood work done every 3 months to monitor my progress.
So Here I Am Now…
The bad news is that in spite of all my efforts (with the doctor's help and following the action plan) my blood sugar continued to rise and I now am diagnosed with full-blown Type II Diabetes. Part of the rise is simply due to aging. The good news is that I am still able to manage to control the disease, or at least slow down its progression. I am sharing my story because I am sure many people out there may be in the same situation as I was then fifteen years ago. I want to help give any kind of education or guidance I can to help others living with this disease or who might be at risk of getting it.