John Dissauer's Diagnosis
By: Tiffany Sisson
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. --Chances are, you ignore warnings from the Heartland StormTeam, unless you're actually in the path of severe weather. A member of our Stormteam family ignored warning signs, and now he's facing a storm of his own.
When severe storms are heading into the Heartland, John Dissauer gets prepared. He monitors the maps, pores over countless streams of computer data, making sure your family is not caught off guard. Ironically John's personal well being, caught him off guard. "I started thinking, ok something's not right. If I would reach out, I would get sharp pains in my wrist. I noticed that every once in a while, my vision would get a little blurry,' explained John.
John's downhill slope started getting steeper. "The biggest thing, I think, when I was going around and touching things, for instance, if I was turning on a light switch, just with my fingertips, or with the side of my finger, it would feel like somebody hit my hand with a hammer," said John.
John went to his family doctor," In the back of my mind, I've always known there was a chance of diabetes at some point," said John.
John was surprised by the news that he should have been prepared for. "My father's got it, but he wasn't diagnosed until he was in his 50s, and I also found out that my great uncle had it as well," said John.
John's lab results came back sooner than expected. "I went in on a Friday morning and had the blood test done. I wasn't gonna hear back until Monday. I got a phone call, 7 a.m. on Sunday. My doctor wanted to know if I was ok," explained John.
John's blood sugar level was 353. Blood sugar levels should be between 70-110. "I could have gone into a diabetic coma, and the thing is being single, living alone. I could've been laying in bed in a coma, and nobody wouldn't known," said John.
John has type 2 diabetes. That news was a blow for John and his doctor because John didn't fit the mold. Patients diagnosed with type two diabetes are typically older. John is 31. They are also typically obese. John's 5'10" and 150 lbs. White men don't normally fall into this category.
Aside from family history, here's where John's diagnosis was right on track, "In the newsroom, it's always been the joke. Everybody else is eating salad, and they'll come hover around my desk to smell the McDonalds french fries, and all the other things I'm eating," said John.
John explained, "I've always had the mind set, I'm gonna eat, and I'm gonna be happy with what I eat. I know at some point it may not be the best for me, but I'm enjoying it now."
That mind set is changing, "I'm not drinking Coke anymore. I was drinking more than 2 liters a day, so going from that to nothing is extremely difficult," said John.
John is being proactive about his illness, visiting with a dietician to help him plan healthier meals. A diabetic nurse is preparing John for what lies ahead, educating him on how to get control. Three times a day, john tests his blood sugar levels. "this is, by far, not my favorite part of the day,' said John.
John absolutely despises needles, but he realizes the importance of keeping track even if it hurts. "I'm gonna be going on vacation here in the next month for a couple of days. I wanna get away from it, but this is something that always follows you. I have to pay attention to what's going into my mouth now," said John.
John's ultimate goal is to get back to having a coke or 2. He hopes his story inspires young people like him to take charge of their health, especially if there is a family history.