My Story: Scott Villalobos

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What were the steps leading up to your diagnosis?

I'm a wedding photographer and I make my living with my eyes. Over the last ten years, I've had to wear readers, but my distance vision was fine.

About three weeks ago, I was at a wedding, and my distance vision was off. The next day I was extremely thirsty. I drank around 160 oz. of water. Highly unusual for me. I found myself going to the bathroom every 30 minutes or so, must have gone six times that night.

The next day I googled my symptoms, and there it was. Diabetes kept popping up, and all the signs and symptoms pointed to it. I have to say, I was a bit freaked out at first. I decided I needed to see the doctor as soon as possible.

I went to an urgent care clinic nearby, and when they took my blood sugar, it was 387. They told me I needed to go the ER right away, and that if it were at 400, they would be calling 911. So I went and was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. This was quite the wakeup call.

I was prescribed Metformin, and I was to see my regular doctor nine days later for my physical.

Who has been there for you? How?

My wife and kids have been there for me, but especially my wife. She's been cooking me special low-carb meals, like chili and an altered version of Albondigas soup (which is fantastic, by the way). She makes a big batch, then puts the leftovers in Tupperware for me to have for lunches or quick dinners. She's also packing my healthy snacks, like cucumber and celery with vinegar and oil dressing.

What lifestyle changes have you needed to make?

During the time between my initial diagnosis and seeing my regular doctor, big changes had to be made. I'm hoping the cause of this is my weight. When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I weighed 327 lbs. I've cut out as many carbs as I could, at least the bad ones completely.

For the nine days between my diagnosis and my physical, I lowered my glucose level down to between 80-130 depending on the time of day and what I've eaten. I started taking cayenne pepper for my blood pressure, cinnamon to help with blood sugar, and berberine root (I've been told it works well with Metformin).

Since moving to Houston, I've not been very active. The weather here really hinders outdoor activity. However, I've started walking about 25 minutes a night, and I've noticed that it drops my blood sugar by 25-30 points.

Tonight I had whole wheat spaghetti pasta, took my Metformin and a 25-minute walk. When I got back from the walk, my blood sugar was 80. I rechecked it about an hour later, and it was 99. The walk seemed to help with my blood sugar spike.

I plan on joining the local gym for those days that the weather prevents me from exercising. My foods have changed to mostly proteins and a handful once a day. I don't think I'll be doing the spaghetti for a while. Over the last two weeks, I've dropped 6 lbs. My goal is to get down to 220, a couple of pounds at a time.

Something else I've done is to test my blood sugar after eating things I'm unsure of. For example, the tomato basil and turkey wrap at Subway raises my blood sugar levels, but only 20-25 points. By doing this, I get a fix on what I can have when I'm out and unable to eat as I should.

What accomplishment are you proud of?

35 years of marriage. It hasn't always been easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. I love you mate!

What accomplishment are you proud of?

35 years of marriage. It hasn't always been easy, but nothing worthwhile ever is. I love you mate!

Always keep an eye on those [blood sugar] levels that way you can eat with confidence.

Always keep an eye on those [blood sugar] levels that way you can eat with confidence.

What's your advice to someone else living with type 2 diabetes?

Learn what it is that put you here in the first place. For example, is it a genetic problem? Caused by depression and poor eating habits? Living a sedentary life? Or is it because of your weight?

Once I learned the why, and what harms me, I feel far better equipped to deal with this disease. Also, don't think that you can't enjoy food ever again – just learn what foods are bad and what foods are good.

There is a ton of information on the net, use it to make yourself happy and don't be afraid to experiment. Lastly, always keep an eye on those levels that way you can eat with confidence.

There is a ton of information on the net, use it to make yourself happy and don't be afraid to experiment.

Is there anything else we should know?

I plan on winning this battle. I've read and heard that it doesn't have to be a life-long problem. With proper diet and exercise, I can put it into remission, and that's exactly what I plan to do, and I hope you do too!

About Scott Villalobos

My Story: Scott Villalobos
I'm a wedding and portrait photographer living in Houston, TX.

RVSPStudios.com

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