What you don’t know- could hurt you. Richard Franklin learned the hard way.
“It came on rather slowly and of course I found rationalizations for everything that was happening to me,” says Richard Franklin.
He chalked growing weakness and fatigue to being out of shape and overweight. It was likely the root cause. But his condition was much worse.
“I just started feeling really badly, so I called 911. The people that dealt with me, both the first responders and the people in ICU as I sort of slipped in and out of a diabetic coma, were great,” says Franklin.
Franklin was one of an estimated 7-million Americans who didn’t know they had diabetes.
“The challenge is with type 2 diabetes is that very often you may be asymptomatic, have no symptoms at all. And so it’s very hard for people to change behaviors when they don’t feel bad,” says Sharon Krispinski, certified diabetes educator with Lee Memorial Health System.
It’s fairly common for someone to learn they have diabetes when they’re in the hospital. Whether it’s an emergency and their glucose is off the charts, or it shows up in blood work. Either way, it’s a wake up call.
“Once they’re stabilized, the diabetes education team is called in to begin the education process. We will go over such things as meal planning, how to check their blood sugar at home we’ll talk to them about their medication,” says Krispinski.
It was life changing for Franklin.
“I feel better now than I have in probably years. It’s real nice to climb a set of stairs without being out of breath,” says Franklin.
He changed his diet, lost weight and changed the course of his future.