Living with Type 2 diabetes: Too late to change?
LEIGH ZALESKI Daily Record/Sunday News | 09.25.13
Barbara Eckert sits as she stirs a pot of spaghetti at her home in Dallastown in August. Eckert uses a cane to walk and cannot stand for long without pain. ‘I was a ‘go, go’ person. I mean, I didn’t sit,’ Eckert said.
In March, Barbara Eckert sat on a step in a corridor at the Salvation Army in York.
She waited to be let into a new class that aimed to help people better manage Type 2 diabetes. She rested her wrinkled elbows on her heavy legs. When an employee opened the door, she reached for the arm rail to pull herself up.
The 68-year-old rocked back and forth several times, trying to generate enough momentum to stand. Two people saw her struggling, grabbed her arms and heaved her up.
Because Eckert had come to the wrong entrance, she had to lumber through a maze of hallways to get to her class. She used an aluminum cane for support and became winded during the three-minute walk. Eckert hoped the class would help her gain control over her diabetes. She knew she needed to live a healthier lifestyle — but she didn’t know how.
For more than 15 years, Eckert knew she had the disease. But like some of the more than 20 million Americans who have the disease, she largely ignored it.
Instead, she continued living the lifestyle that had most likely caused it. She was overweight. She didn’t eat well. And she didn’t exercise.
She knew that her lifestyle would likely lead to complications. She knew that time was running out.
For just once in her life, she wanted to be healthy.
More on diabetes
Read witf Reporter Matt Paul’s story, which takes a broad look at the growing Type 2 diabetes epidemic, with an emphasis on how the disease can be prevented and controlled by making the right lifestyle choices.
Listen to YDR Health Reporter Leigh Zaleski on witf’s Radio Smart Talk, which featured a discussion about Type 2 diabetes.
Tell us: What is your personal experience living with Type 2 diabetes? We invite you to share your story here.
Published in Personal Transformation