It started out as an ordinary doctor’s appointment. Terry McMaster visited a Kaiser Permanente physician in preparation for the birth of his grandson.
But after Deb Friesen, MD, met with him and administered tests, he soon learned he had type 2 diabetes. Terry admits that he didn’t pay attention to his new diagnosis. “After she told me, I kind of just blew it off,” he says.
He changed his attitude when he attended Kaiser Permanente’s health education class on diabetes. Diabetes, he learned, cannot be taken lightly.
“I heard some of the horror stories about some of the other people losing toes and losing limbs … I kind of got scared and decided I would get a little more serious about it.”
Dr. Friesen notes that diabetes triggers strokes, blindness, kidney disease and neuropathy. It can lead to heart disease, she says.
After Terry learned about the major health problems linked to diabetes, he stopped eating junk food, began walking and focused on losing weight. He was driven to adopt healthy habits because he didn’t like taking medications. Terry says he worked with Dr. Friesen on his plan to avoid medication.
“After consulting with her, and having her help, and figuring out what I needed from a diet standpoint and an exercise standpoint, I was able to get off of my medication with her approvals after about a year,” he says.
Because he’s done so much work to manage his diabetes, Terry is now a healthy grandparent. “I want to be around to watch those grandkids grow up now.”