The One Thing I Am Most Thankful For This Holiday Season…

My Family, and their health.  More to the point, that FTD is here... Alive

While I am sure it sounds a bit silly that I would say that, out of the blue, it's true.  I did not share this with you, my friends and readers, but this past July, FTD found out that he was pre-diabetic, and if he continued down his current path, he would be diagnose Type II Diabetes in no time. To say we were both devastated and shocked by the news, would be an understatement.

Today, I am partnering with Mom It Forward and Colgate Total to bring awareness to National Diabetes Month, and the importance of oral care. But first, I am going to share a very personal story about how Diabetes has impacted my family. While this post is being sponsored, the opinions and views are all my own.  Trust me, no one would make up this story.

Even though this story is very emotional and heart breaking, it is filled with blessings. The first blessing was the way we found out FTD's body was not producing insulin properly

For nearly a week straight I had been feeling "off."  Just not my normal self, and very dizzy. Concerned, I called FTD into our bedroom and told him my symptoms. (In Australia, FTD had extensive medical training for a job kind of like if he were a first responder in America.)  Once I finished, he decided that, as a precaution, we should test my blood sugar.  (We have a glucose monitor that was given to us by a diabetic family member. Silly story really…one day I will tell you.)  

My sugar tested spot on normal, so he told me to watch my diet and take it easy for a couple of days to see if I was just run down, and not taking proper care of myself. Then, "for fun," FTD tested his sugar.  It was WAAAAAAAAAAAAAY too high for a "normal" person.  I actually saw the blood drain from his face.  

Being that in the past FTD had been a caregiver to two of his Type II diabetic grandparents, and helped his mother manage her Type II Diabetes as well, he knew what he needed to do to get his sugar levels under control. While he waited to get in to see the doctor for a formal diagnosis, he immediately began a light to moderate exercise regime after work, and drastically changed his diet. (READ: Walked after dinner, and avoided fast food burgers and JUMBO sugary sodas.) 

Desperate to help my husband, I immediately removed all refined carbohydrates and bad sugars from our house.  I created new meal plans utilizing low carb and low sugar recipes. Which, to both mine and FTD's surprise, were actually really tasty! Plus, the meal didn't make us feel like fat blobs when we stuffed ourselves full! 

Over the next two weeks, FTD tested his sugar levels regularly, and reported each test to me. Sometimes the levels made me want to cry, others I jumped for joy. In between, I read up on Type II diabetes, and what it really meant for my husband and family if he had it.  I was so scared that it was going to cut his life short. 

My friends and readers, I cannot tell you how horrifying it was to face this.  But I can tell you how thankful I am that we found out early on in the disease. Before FTD was at a point where he needed insulin to survive, or worse, had a heart attack and died.  Yes, without detection of this, he could have had a heart attack and died. In fact, most likely would have. HORRIFYING! 

Thankfully, with the medicines available today, a healthy diet and active lifestyle, Diabetes (regardless of type) can be managed really well. FTD is living proof of this.  Granted, he will spend the rest of his life monitoring his glucose, and staying diligent about maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise, but really, shouldn't we all? Regardless, through maintaining a healthy lifestyle, he will live a long, happy, healthy life!

Diabetes can be managed, but why wait to get to that point?  Adopting a healthy active lifestyle right now, can DRASTICALLY reduce your family's chances of facing a life with the disease. Something as simple as limiting sugars, refined carbs and sugary drinks can make a world of difference. Exercising regularly is also crucial in protecting your family from the disease, and many other health issues for that mater.  

Speaking of other health issues and diabetes, according to the CDC, people with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease. Recently, Colgate Total and the American Diabetes Association launched a new campaign called “Watch Your Mouth!” to help raise awareness surrounding the often-overlooked link between oral health and diabetes.

Here are two simple things you, and your family can do to prevent early gum disease:

  • Make sure you visit your dentist.  While your doctor and certified diabetes educator play an important role in helping with your diabetes, so does your dentist.
  • Follow healthy dental habits at home.  Research shows that brushing twice a day with Colgate Total® toothpaste can help improve gum health in as little as four weeks.

Please check out this infographic with great facts about the importance of oral health. 

For more information on oral health care and diabetes, please visit the Colgate Total Health Website and Facebook Fan Page, and don't forget to follow Colgate on Twitter! 

Bottom line: 
Type II Diabetes can be prevented.  
What are you doing today, to protect your family's tomorrow?

April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit