Brent's Success Story
"It's cool to see my [average blood sugar] slope... because sometimes the whole forest through the trees thing feels like it's just a drop in the bucket but then you look back and you just realize how far you've come."
Member Name/Alias: Brent
Member Program: Premium
Brent has made an outstanding impact on the Glucose Guards community while working to improve his health. We had the privilege of interviewing Brent for his Success Story in November of 2021. Listening to Brent’s enthusiasm and hearing his infectious laughter was a powerful reminder to the Glucose Guards team about why we do what we do. If your story sounds like Brent’s, we hope you can find inspiration and draw strength from his early success.
Brent is looking to expand his diet in new and delicious ways. He asks that everyone share their favorite diabetes friendly recipes. Post in the Forum under the topic ‘Diabetes-Friendly Recipes’ today to share your favorite tips, tricks, and treats!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.
“I’m a technical support analyst, and I do a lot of sedentary work. My day to day isn’t very active. I would like to actually be more active and I actually do try during my lunch break to get out and walk around the neighborhood and kind of get up and get some motion in. “
What was it like getting diagnosed with diabetes? What were some of the first challenges you faced?
“Definitely a lot of stress and a little overwhelming I think would be the best way to describe it. Like I had almost lost control over a lot of things. My primary who initially sent me to the endocrinologist told me the possibility that [diabetes] is getting there. I had the prediabetes for a while and then I went to the endocrinologist to have my blood sugar taken for the first time where they told me, ‘Yeah, no you definitely have it.’ It felt like a lot of stress and ‘what happens next’ type of thoughts.”
“I think it was the initial idea that sugar and everything was going to have to go away completely and the misconception that, ‘Well I guess that’s it now, I have to be eating veggies and white meat forever.’ And while it’s always good in moderation to have that stuff, I’ve come to learn that, again, moderation is key. But in the moment when you first find out, you kind of think ‘Oh well I ruined that for myself.'”
How long have you been a member of the Glucose Guards community?
“I believe I started at the end of July, maybe the beginning of August. I think it’s been about 4 or 5 months now.”
Can you compare your health goals before and after joining Glucose Guards?
“I think one of the biggest things was I was told this would definitely help, and that was a good starting point. And I almost reached a point where I felt like I really needed it. Full disclosure, the week before I started on the Rybelsus, which really helps and connected me to [healthcare provider] to get that type of health and medication, I had taken my blood sugar one day after a really big breakfast and was shocked to see my [blood sugar] number was almost in the 400s. That was kind of the spinning point because I knew my numbers in the morning had been pretty bad, and I was hoping to get those under control. And then it reached that peak which was when I decided it was time to go all in and make sure I was trying to do the readings and read up on it to make sure I was doing the daily checks. I think that is what turned it around and I feel like recently I’ve definitely hit my goals. I think numbers are on average mostly around 111. When I first started, I was waking up in the morning at like 210, sometimes even higher than that. I think the combination between giving myself the information and the medicine played a part. I think all combined, it really helped out. I don’t know if I would’ve gotten one without the other.”
What aspects of the Program do you find the most valuable?
“I really like the gamification of everything. That has been a huge help for me. I haven’t done completely as well as I wanted to as far as keeping up with it all the time. But I know that the gamification and the idea of, not rigidity, but the process of doing the finger stick every morning and trying to stick to that as close as possible while trying to make sure I’m putting in my values [in the virtual logbook] has really helped and is really beneficial “
What do you consider your biggest successes with Glucose Guards?
“I think numbers-wise having the almost 100 drop. Talking about the significance of the [virtual] log book, I actually pulled it up and it looks like my June average was 258. The fact that now in the mornings I’m averaging 111 and even here I have the log that has the one year, and that average has gone down to 151. Seeing that I was starting at the half year at 258, number–wise it’s been amazing. I think it’s also given me a lot more control or I guess more desire to control things. I feel like the program makes me realize again with moderation I know that I can treat myself too and not have to completely live sugar free and not have fun at a party.”
What advice do you have for other members of the community?
“That’s a good question. I would say using the resources that are available, and I know practice what I preach. I do plan on actually reaching out because I know we can speak with a Nutritionist to try and get our own personalized plan that can help us out. I think the guides and the courses are really helpful because they also help get to that point where you know this isn’t the end of everything. It’s an unfortunate disease and circumstance, but there are worse things and you can definitely get through this and navigate this without feeling like everything is over.”
What advice do you have for other people with diabetes who may be struggling with their health goals?
“I would definitely say either speaking with a healthcare professional or just anyone else that has similar knowledge about it and doing research on the disease itself and not just finding out you have it. Try to find someone who you can trust, talk to, and kind of get more information. Don’t just take what everyone has told you about it in the past and just think everything is doomed. Definitely speak with people and try to find similar people or people in similar positions. I think the community, even if it’s not this one, the community at large, like message boards, can really help and put things into perspective that there is a lot of life after. It’s not the end all and it’s not the end of fun.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
“It’s always helpful to get new recipes and stuff like that I find usually helpful because that is also part of the whole ‘life isn’t over’- especially when you find something you used to love and seeing that there is low or no sugar alternatives. I think that’s a big boost to feeling a little more normal, for lack of a better term.
“It’s cool to see my [average blood sugar] slope from July which was 229.42 to the August average which was 142.61. And it’s even dropped since then. It’s kind of inspiring to see because sometimes the whole forest through the trees thing feels like it’s just a drop in the bucket but then you look back and you just realize how far you’ve come even with each minor adjustment.”