Luis lives with his wife and daughter and works for a pipeline company. His daughter is 19 and she has started managing her own diet alongside her father. “She saw me lose 30 pounds and she has jumped on board. My life lessons are becoming contagious... they not only improve my life, but the life of my family.”
What first inspired you to sign up for the Livongo for Diabetes program?
I was diagnosed about 10 or 11 years ago with diabetes, and I was just getting by. I started taking medication, but I felt like I never was trained on what the options were. At that time, my levels were in the 400s. Eventually, I was on three different prescriptions per day and one of those I had to take twice a day. I was at the point where I was taking medication for my medication. It was getting out of control... I was letting the medication do all of the work instead of changing my lifestyle. It was a lot of hassle, so I figured I might as well try this Livongo thing. Livongo saved my life because I was probably borderline cardiac arrest. I was eating up tacos and hamburgers and... just eating everything.
How does Livongo help you stay healthy?
I became a member of Livongo about a year ago and I met with my coach, Sonia, and she told me what I had to do. She told me to start checking my fasting levels, checking after meals, and start walking. Livongo opened my eyes. It made me take control of my health instead of being a victim. The counseling, the checking, it was what I needed at that point in my life. Once I started using Livongo and waking up to what was going on, I tried keto. It tanked my sugar down to the low 100s, but I was doing it on my own and it was off and on. There was a lot of uncertainty there... not a lot of cheerleading. That kind of came and went, but now I still maintain a low-carb diet and am down to 35 pounds.
Livongo will open your eyes to where you’re at, but you’re going to have to take personal accountability. There’s not a silver bullet, it’s going to have to be experimental, but the bottom line is you’re going to have to manage your own health than be managed by somebody else.
What does your life look like now?
My vision has improved. My sleep has improved. I’ve taken complete control of my health. I think I just didn’t know what to do or how to do it before. I’m a take charge type of guy! If I would have known what to do, I would have done this a long time ago. Sonia opened my eyes and showed me where to go with my health. The checking and the counseling were phenomenal. I wouldn’t be alive right now if it wasn’t for Livongo and Sonia.
In our house, we got rid of all the snacks and cookies and junk food and now my wife is buying groceries based on everything I have learned. It has changed the household, the whole family, and me.
Where do you see yourself going from here?
I want to live a life without medication. I want to lose another 20 pounds and get off the medication for my diabetes and high blood pressure. I have a little bit of work to do, but I have full faith that I’ll get there.
How would you describe the program to someone who hasn't heard of it before?
This is a program that will teach you how to take control of your health instead of being a victim of your circumstance.
Any final thoughts?
I want to thank my employer, ONEOK, for offering this program. This is going to save a lot of people’s lives and it’s one of the biggest blessings I have run into.