"You don’t eat what you want, and [just] take your shot of insulin. That’s just not the way you control it! You just have to realize, I’m not going to let this control me. I’m going to get ahold of it. Because if you don’t, it will control you." -Pat Hays, Knott Co.
In their own voices, East Kentuckians talk about prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, and working to make healthier lifestyle choices, despite the challenges. Push play to listen to each story, or click each title for a full transcript & more.
"It was 48 hours, almost 3 days, without insulin and without medicine and without food... my mind was racing like a racecar. And my body, though—I just wanted to sleep." -Tedd Link, Knott Co.
"One day [after the flood],I finally was just like, everyone stop what you’re doing— I’m just making soup... and so even that felt like such a decadent meal, because it was hot. Because it was home-cooked. Because it had vegetables in it."
"A lot of processed food is not good for you. And that’s kind of what they throw at you in a disaster... Produce helps to keep your levels where they need to be, so that you can be the best for your family and those that might need you."
"Then she said, ‘You are now prediabetic.’ And that kind of clicked with me. Because my Dad’s a diabetic; my Mom’s a diabetic; both of my siblings. And I went, ‘Okay, it’s time for me to do something.’"
‘Somebody in My Corner’: The Healthy Perry Challenge Builds Community through Diabetes Management & Prevention
"Changing habits is *hard*! I always think that if you’ve got someone that you can relate to because they're in a similar situation... getting that peer-to-peer support just really hits home a lot more." - Jennifer Weeber, the Perry Co. Diabetes Coalition
"There should be a part of life that we enjoy. So it’s figuring out, during these special times... how to fit those in and still enjoy the food, but do it in a portion-controlled manner." - Tami Ross, UK's Barnstable Brown Diabetes Center
"It’s not just about losing the weight... I think that we have to reframe the way we look at it. And say, ‘I want to be healthy.’ Not, ‘I want to get skinny.’"
"I'd been yo-yo dieting. [I'd] gradually put weight on through the years, and I’d start something, and then I would stop. But this, really being accountable... it really inspired me."
"I more than met my goal... I was like, Oh, I got that little dress in the closet there that I haven’t worn in so many years— I might be able to get into it!"
"In my labs, my A1C was 6.0. Which put me in the prediabetes range. And I’m like, ‘What the crap?!’ I would never have dreamed it... But I think that’s the problem— you don’t know."
"I’m a very devout Christian. And the Lord has got it in his hands... but I see no reason to take chances that you don’t have to take. So, therefore, the vaccine, that was my choice." - Jeanie Wheeler, Johnson County
"Instead of taking a chance on, ‘Well, my mom was diabetic, my uncle was, my grandma was— so that means I’m gonna be.’ Uh-uh. That doesn’t mean that you have to become a diabetic as well!"
"That is a misconception—that, you know, a lot of people think, ‘If I’m gonna get it, I’m gonna get it.’ But there are so many things you can do to try to reduce your risk!"
"I’ve been eating at home a lot more [due to COVID-19]... I’ll make my own pizza crust, so I can control the sugar. I’ve even gone as far as taking some of my mom’s old recipes and converting those over to sugar-free."
"I used to drink, like, a 24-pack [of Dr. Pepper] in 2 or 3 days. That’s a lot of sugar. Now, every time I get paid, I’ll only buy a 12-pack, and keep it in the fridge, and not buy another one until I get paid again."
"You've got two choices: you either exercise, or you take a shot. I’d rather have exercise... I lost about 25 pounds doing it also. I feel like a new person!"
"I was like, ‘I wanna talk about a diet... Don’t just up the medication.’ And so that’s when I started to notice a big difference."