November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and Saturday November 13th Avera McKennan is hosting its annual Living with Diabetes Fall Fair. We met a man who's lived with diabetes for over a decade, but never misses a chance to learn something new about his disease by going to diabetes fair.
Bill Daugherty from Sioux Falls joined the 24 million others in his boat 11 years ago when he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. He checks his blood sugar twice a day and takes 2 different medications. Unfortunately, Bill is also like about 6 million people in this country. He had diabetes for some time, but didn't know it and that's a problem.
Bill says, "My daughter-in-law said boy you're losing weight and I thought great, nothing wrong with that. I went to the doctor and discovered I had lost 50 pounds and didn't even realize it. Right away he did some blood work and wow I had some serious stuff going on here.
Dr. Andrew Burchett in Family Practice at the Main Avera McGreevy Clinic says, "Silent diabetes like high cholesterol and high blood pressure, what you don't know will hurt you because damage is being done to your organs the kidneys, eyes, heart, extremities and other organs but is often time not symptomatic in the early stages of the disease."
Once Bill found out, he took control of his life finding out as much as he could about what he was up against including meeting with RN Mary Oyos, Avera McKennan's Diabetes Program Manager.
Bill says, "Initially, it really does change a lot you have to take charge of what's going on. You have to watch what you're eating, start thinking about carbs. It's a whole change in lifestyle that happens when you are diagnosed."
Eating out has certainly changed for Bill. He was a meat and potato guy, now he fancy's himself a carb counter and likes it. Instead of getting a potato or rice he'll substitute fruit or have more vegetables. And he always gets the leanest smallest portion of meat.
Bill says, "You have to remember you are in charge of this. It will not run your life if you do certain things to control your behavior. That really comes down to taking control of your self."
Bill says he looks forward to the diabetes fall fair every year because he learns something new every year which fits in with his motto: Learn as much as you can and don't ever stop learning. That is good advice for all of us dealing with anything.
Dr. Burchett says we should get our blood sugars checked in our early 20's, 30's to get a baseline.
More details about the Living with Diabetes Fall Fair 2010:
Saturday, November 13:
9:00 a.m. - Noon
Avera McKennan Education Center Auditorium
(first floor of Orthopedic Institute)
·Vendors will be there to share information on a variety of diabetes products from 9:00 to 10:00.
10 a.m. Breakout Sessions
-Men's Health and Diabetes- Andrew Burchett, DO
-Women's Health and Diabetes- Deb Burlage, MS, RN, CNP, CDE
11:00 a.m. Holiday Tips and Treats (with samples of several tasty dishes that you can prepare for upcoming holiday gatherings)- Kristin Sousek, RD, LN
Pre-registration is requested. Call 1-877-282-8372 for more information or visit