David lives in South Dakota with his wife and 4 children. He is a robotic specialist and was diagnosed in 2019 with Type 2 diabetes. This is his story.
Livongo: Can you tell us a bit about your diagnosis?
A little over a year ago, I started having unusual symptoms. Aside from being tired and having dry legs, it seemed my mood was more of a rollercoaster. It became unbalanced. I was happy or really kind of down and it seemed to be swinging like a pendulum. It was new, it wasn’t normal.
[At work] we have a psychiatrist that pops in once a week and she highly recommended to visit the doctor to get checked. When I went, I had an 11.5 A1c. The doctor told me that they call that the slow death.
So we had to make quite a significant change. She put me on medicine right away. I told her that from that day I had no intention of staying on that stuff.
Tell us about your journey. What did you change?
Right off the bat, I started with a rudimentary version of a low-carb, high protein diet. So it wasn’t hardcore, it was an introduction. I did that the first two months and that was just to get myself in a new habit of how I ate. Before this I didn’t care. I drank a lot of pop before this but I dropped it 100%. I didn’t even substitute for that. I didn’t want anything that was close to what I liked doing before. We didn’t have a lot of fast food but I wasn’t afraid of doing fast foods. And now, we don’t have any of that.
I got on the medicine and I was off in three months. I stay around 120s to 130 now. Up until about a month ago, I didn’t have any sweets at all. I do not intentionally eat any sweets, but I let myself have a piece of cake for my daughter’s birthday. I handled that. My blood sugars hit 140s, about 145 after that, which isn’t bad after a meal and within three hours, it was back down at a normal range.
High fructose corn syrup in my opinion is the core issue. So whatever we do for meals, we don’t do anything with high fructose corn syrup. If you avoid it, your body can take a lot of stuff.
How has Livongo helped you live a healthier life?
I didn’t start with Livongo right away. I wasn’t actually aware of the program. So I started with the One Touch device and I was paying for it myself. I like the tracking feature to it, it charted it for me and the device that my insurance would pay for didn’t have that. Of course, I didn’t know about Livongo.
What I like about the Livongo program is the weekly updates and I like the recommendations. The coaching sessions -- I’ve really liked the coaching sessions, they're pretty great. It’s good to work out ideas, to bounce ideas around. They had some good recommendations to try.
I did sleep work this last time. I ended up making a spreadsheet where I was tracking sleep and we could correlate a lot of higher morning blood sugars with sleep. I was convinced that I could get away with six hours of sleep a night. I felt fine but the difference between six hours and eight hours was 15 to 20 points in the morning. I had no idea that it affected it that much. I’ve been battling trying to get the morning levels down. But now I can go back and look to see what time I went to bed and if I slept through the night.
Those are the things I’m working with the coaches. Trying to get on a night routine trying to get the morning blood sugar levels down.
How has your nighttime routine changed?
Now I try to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. I go to bed early. We do tea at night now. That was another recommendation to try herbal teas at night, so we do tea at night now. It helps out quite a bit. So, that’s another lifestyle change there. Trying to get sleep managed. Sleep is critical because I have a stressful job as it is.
How have your lifestyle changes impacted your family?
They eat better as a result of my diet. They go to bed earlier, as a result of me trying to go to bed earlier. My wife is a champ, I think I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her. I wouldn’t have been able to change my diet as well as I did. She’s adjusted the entire meal plans not just for me but for the family, too. So as a result, everyone is eating better.
How would you describe Livongo to someone who hasn’t heard about it?
It’s a great device and tool for a better way of life. Healthier living, smarter living. I appreciate what you guys are doing.
The testimonials, statements, and opinions presented are applicable to the individuals depicted or quoted. Each member’s exact results and experience will be unique and individual to each member. The testimonials are voluntarily provided and are not paid.