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In sickness and in health

by: John Stevens 11/27/2012

That being said, no, my friends I didn't get married, no prospects in sight even.  What I am referring to is my personal health and living.

I am a private man.  I don't mind sharing things with certain close friends, but I have always been afraid to completely open up about myself to others.  A very recent event has changed my thoughts on this.

Two days before Thanksgiving, a very close friend that I have known for 20 years, lost his wife to cancer.  They had been married for over 30 years and it was tough on my friend to watch her diminish and fade away.  That experience has shown me the real value in friends, as well as family, and compells me to share the following with you all.

About 6 weeks ago, I was diagnosed with borderline adult onset type II diabetes.  I had been feeling poorly for months, and was literally exhausted all the time.  After an incident at work, I decided I needed to find out what was going on, and went to the doctor's for complete blood testing.  That's where I found out about the diabetes.

The Dr. offered me a couple choices, we could treat it with medication, or first, we could try to get a grip on my blood sugar with a change in diet and lifestyle.  I chose the change in diet and lifestyle.

It has been difficult to do. However, I have discovered several things about myself in the process. I realized I have much more willpower than I ever gave myself credit for, and I realized just how far I had let myself go in the past few years. I did change my diet radically, and joined a gym, which I actually do go to.

The result so far has been a loss of 32 lbs in the past 6 weeks, more energy, less pain, and an overall better feeling everyday.

What does all this mean?  How does it effect me here?  Good questions.  I have not been able to get out as much this year as I would have liked due to several factors, one of which was my father's health, but frankly, my health as well.  Secondly, I have not been able to contribute to this site as much as I would have liked due to dealing with these things and the changes in my life.

I am hoping that getting a handle on my health, as well as my weight issues will allow me much more freedom, as well as the ability to do what I love which is fishing!

Why am I sharing this with you?  To be honest, it was a very good friends urging which caused me to seek help and get the blood tests.  My other friends recent loss taught me that life is too short, and too complex to go it alone.  That the true value of friends is in the sharing, encouraging, and help.  I have always considered those of you that I fish with as my friends, and I want to share with you all.

This year has been an incredible year, good and bad. I had the priveledge of appearing on radio several times, finished the rebuild on my boat, caught plenty of fish one of which was a new personal best MA size Largemouth Bass.  I met many new people, fished with many great guys, new and old they are all my friends now. Went through the sickness and near death of my father this summer, the deployment of family members to Afghanistan, and now dealt with my own health issues.

What a year! Wow!  I wonder what next year will bring..........

Take care friends,

Tiny

Blog content © John Stevens
Member comments
fom, CO   11/27/2012 10:27:04 AM
Good read John!!
 
Coyute, CO   11/27/2012 10:57:31 AM
Hang in there dude.
 
skiman, CO   11/27/2012 11:10:17 AM
We all have our burdens to bear. One of my most favorte sayings is: "Be kinder than necessary...everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle!" Take care John, and thanks for the reminder! Good Fishing! Ski
 
takeakidfishing, CO   11/27/2012 11:48:38 AM
Outstanding John as always.Keep up the good work Buddy
 
Tbubb, CO   11/27/2012 12:30:41 PM
I'm sorry for your loss and the loss of your friends, but congratulate you on your decision to use the peel of that bell to make a life change for the positive for yourself. I can't help but recall John Donne's 'Meditation XVII': http://www.online-literature.com/donne/409/ Best of luck and of health.
 
BITE ME, CO   11/27/2012 1:17:02 PM
This one hit a nerve. Thanks for sharing I know first hand about things being thrown at you with no end in sight and keeping things bottled inside. You have overcome a huge wall that I'm still trying to climb over Grats my friend
 
JKaboom, CO   11/27/2012 2:47:04 PM
Good write up Tiny :) I'm working on my health this year with the primary driver of "If I don't get better I'm not going to be able to enjoy the outdoors". That is a significant change in 6 weeks - double of mine but I'm happy to make good progress. Thanks for sharing because it's good to know people that I have actually met are going through similar challenges.
 
Element of Darkness, CO   11/27/2012 4:10:00 PM
Hey Tiny, My mother is diabetic, I have an uncle currently in hospice because of diabetes, and I lost a second uncle in the late 90's due to this awful disease. I am 34 years old, and last year I was diagnosed with pre-hypertension along with a host of other warning signs that gave me some indication that I was headed in the same direction (pre-diabetes). I, like you, found that I had way more willpower than I gave myself credit for. In March 2012 I weighed 208 lbs (5'10"). Today I weigh 153 lbs. In March I started with baby steps no more soda. That month I proved to myself that I could indeed successfully flex my willpower 'muscle'. In April I decided to stop late night snacking (mainly chocolate). By May, I had shed 30+ lbs by myself using the tools I had all along my willpower, and dedication. At that point, I decided to start jogging for heart health, and now I jog 4+ miles every other day. I had a checkup and more blood work done last month, and I was shocked at the difference in my numbers. My blood pressure dropped into the healthy range, and my resting heart rate slowed dramatically. My pre-diabetes symptoms are gone (blood glucose dropped, etc), and my healthcare provider said if they could give me a score on my checkup, it'd be A+. Exactly the opposite of what they said 1 year earlier. It sounds as though you are headed in the right direction, and if you keep up your hard work, you will see wonderful results and a long lifetime ahead. I honestly feel like you have done the hardest thing to combat your disease you've found your willpower, and you're using it. I wish my mom could do the same thing, but 25 years after being diagnosed, she's still making the same poor choices that will eventually take her away from us. I really didn't plan on typing all of this, but reading your story and thinking about it as I typed my initial response, it just felt good to share mine and my family's struggle with diabetes. It sounds like you've surrounded yourself with good people who care and support you. Just know that you are not alone, and although I don't know you, I am proud of you and wish you the best of luck. Justin
 
pbs, CO   11/27/2012 5:50:27 PM
John...it's evident from the many replies that you obviously touched a nerve with several people...in a GOOD way! What you have experienced and done is in direct correlation with what many others have dealt with. KUDOS to you! You sir...have my respect and admiration.
 
pbs, CO   11/27/2012 5:58:27 PM
On a side note.....what Skiman said.... "Be kinder than necessary...everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle!" This is so true....thanks for reminding us Skiman!
 
IceFishingFool, CO   11/27/2012 6:30:31 PM
Hear Hear Tiny Kid
 
Coyute, CO   11/28/2012 8:37:05 AM
Element of Darkness, that was a nice read, thanks for sharing. :)
 
John Stevens (Tiny Stevens), CO   11/29/2012 2:50:41 AM
Thanks for the comments and reading guys! I do appreciate it a lot! JKaboom... congrats on your success, I wish you well in your goals and endeavors, if you need someone to talk to or fish with, give me a call! Erik... what can I say bud.. You have been and are a great friend! Charlie and Kev... there will be many many more times we get together, I appreciate all of your support! Justin ( element of darkness) THANK YOU VERY MUCH for sharing your story! I am amazed, and saddened at the same time, but what a moving story! I am touched that this particular blog has impacted members here. My intent was to share with my friends what was going on. I am glad that so many have identified with it. Thank you all for reading, and for your thoughtful comments and support! Tiny
 
John Stevens (Tiny Stevens), CO   11/29/2012 2:53:28 AM
Jim... you will overcome your battles as well my friend! I am very lucky to count you as one of my friends! Bud... you are everyones Grandpa, I mean that in the best way! I appreciate you more than you will ever know! Coyute and Ski... I look forward to meeting you both in the future and fishing together! Thanks again everyone! Tiny
 
BobLoblaw, CO   11/29/2012 4:19:52 AM
Well said Tinier!!
 
FISHRANGLER, CO   11/29/2012 6:50:12 AM
Keep at it next year will bring many things to be happy about. i'm sure of it.
 
Mile Hi NightStalker, CO   11/29/2012 10:45:00 AM
John as you well know the wife and I, with good intent, tried to help and make aware some things regarding your weight, diet, exercise, habits, about a year ago. Changing behavior is a challenge, but can be accomplished. The challenge will be staying disciplined through the rest of life!! With the proper mindset you can do it!! Support is key! Sometimes we put things off until it hits us square in the face. You just werent ready back then, your time has now come. Like everything else in life its all about timing, things unfold at there proper time. Good and bad. God has given all challenges/burdens in life, they keep us humble, and some turn to Him through these things. Support is key, you have surrounded yourself with others that care. Though we have gone our seperate ways, I keep you in my thoughts and prayers! God will see you through this man, just stay close to Him and do the work.
 
TELE-CASTER, CO   11/29/2012 8:27:05 PM
John, you and I have talked a little about all this kinda stuff, andI'm proud of you as your friend, that you are taking control of your situation. Please continue on your healthier path and by all means, I got your back, brother. Call me anytime... You are an inspiration, my friend!!
 
John Stevens (Tiny Stevens), CO   11/30/2012 12:14:15 AM
Thanks again guys! Mark, what can I say my friend.. I owe you! Daris, thank you for your continuing words of encouragement and everything else. James, Thank you for the continued prayers and well wishes, I know I could sure use them! Brooks, glad to see you here! I hope all is well with you, and we have talked about health issues. It is far different to effect change when faced with life altering conditions/medications/conditions. I am very thankful for all of my friends for the care, concern, and support! Tiny ( or as BL said.. Tinier!)
 
John Stevens
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