Healing Happens: For Diabetes - A True Story

For your inspiration, a story of Angela healing from diabetes when all hope was lost. This is part of a longer interview with Coach Ruben, author of Evolving Health, to be featured in my upcoming book Healing Happens: Stories of Healing Against All Odds

Avital:                  I was curious if you have any stories where you have seen a major shift in somebody from what typically would happen in that situation in the medical industry and the success that you were able to achieve with that person.

Coach Ruben:     Certainly. I think one of my favorite stories to tell is that of Angela. I met her when she was 15 years old and I coached her in swimming. I coached swimmers professionally for 30 years. She was one of my outstanding swimmers.

When we first met, she was very disillusioned, unhappy, and frustrated. Her previous coaches had told her, because she had gotten so much heavier, that she was never going to make it at the big time level of swimming. So she was really washed up. She became very, very frustrated with that. She started swimming with me and within a short period of time, I was able to see her potential. I could see what was possible for her.

We had a conversation and I said, “I see what’s possible for you. If you’re willing to be coachable, we can get somewhere in this sport. I really believe in you.” That’s what she needed. She needed somebody to believe in her. As a result, six months later, she ended up being able to get into the Far Westerns Championship for swimming which was the top one percentile in the entire United States.

By the time she finished swimming with me, in her senior year of high school when she was 18, she ended up with a full-ride scholarship to Catholic University in swimming and academically as well. She was absolutely phenomenal.

She went to Catholic University; majored in Nursing, and finished up being NCAA Academic All-American. Very notable. Not too many people accomplish that level of achievement. Certainly as a collegiate athlete; conference record holder in the 100 and 200 backstroke.  Phenomenal. Training two to two and a half hours a day. Amazing. But then she graduated. What was in the background for here was her family’s dietary patterns. Now, interesting to know, her father is diabetic and her mother ended up with a stroke shortly after she graduated from college.

Angela had that background of eating a particular way. Very shortly after she graduated, by the time she was 23, she noticed that her blood sugars were going up over a hundred. When she was 25, she was diagnosed with diabetes and was put on insulin injections in order to manage her blood sugars. Now this is a very bright, capable and intelligent woman. She was looking at the literature and reading and working with her doctors. And of course, being very coachable with the doctors.

But the complications continued to progress. By the time she was 32 years old, in 2012, she had a long list of complications including peripheral neuropathy. Her vision was deteriorating. Blood pressure issues. Cholesterol issues. Palpitations in her heart. Long list of problems that was going on. She couldn’t even swim anymore because it was too painful for her to be able to do that.

She went to her doctor and her doctor said, “Your A1C is ten percent, and your blood sugars are over 200, so that’s double what it should be.” And he said, “We’re going to have to put you on another medication. I don’t know what else we can do.” She started looking at her blood values and she interpreted them. She realized that her kidneys were starting to fail and that within a very short period of time, she was going to have to be on dialysis. And that she was probably not going to live for very much longer after that if things continued the way they were going.

Out of desperation, in 2012, Angela called me. She said, “Ruben, I don’t know what to do anymore. I’ve looked at everything and I’m at my wit’s end. I’m wondering if you can help me?” I said, “Angela, we’re going to beat this diabetes if it’s the last thing I do. But, I have to ask you, are you willing to be as coachable as you were when you swam with me? It’s going to take that.” She said, “Yes, I will.”

So, we went to work. I had her read Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes. Absolutely the best material out there in terms of the nutritional approach. Even though there is more to reversing diabetes, in terms of the nutritional approach, that was a primer. I said to set up an appointment with your doctor. On September 10, we set up the appointment and measured her blood sugar and her A1C was ten percent. Her blood sugar was 196 that day. We started measuring her blood glucose levels three times a day. She followed the program to the letter.

Four days later… Four days… Four days, her blood sugar was down to 123; the first time she didn’t have to take an injection in seven years. In four days! Seven days later, her blood sugar was down to 93! It was the first time under a hundred in nine years. Ten days later, her blood sugar was down to 72! Now it was actually below the normal range. I worked with her doctor and we instituted a protocol to reduce the medication and get her off the medication, gradually so that she would not become hypoglycemic with the low blood sugar.

We kept following that. She continued to make progress. We only did the nutritional and stress management work. Ten months later, she went to the doctor. She is off all medications. The doctor could hardly believe it. Of course we gave him a copy of Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes. He was so astounded. He said, “This is absolutely phenomenal and it’s fantastic. You don’t need medications and you don’t need to come back and see me anymore.” It’s been almost four years now and she hasn’t had to have an injection ever since.

But the most important thing to me is that when Angela called me, she was looking at who to bequeath her belongings to, her livelihood to, and her life insurance policy to because she knew she was probably not going to be alive within a few years.

Instead, this process has given her a new lease on life, literally. She is in the process of completing her Doctorate in Nursing, today. She is specializing in child psychiatry. Her project is about how to empower families and children to make the nutritional and lifestyle changes to help reduce childhood mental illness. Isn’t that fabulous!

Avital:                  That is! It’s amazing for the amount of potential that is in this woman and the depth of risk that she got to. And then the way you have, twice, turned her life around.

Healing Happens for Diabetes​​

To receive more of these inspirational stories before the book comes out, please sign up here: www.healing-happens.com
*The names of some people in the book have been altered to protect their privacy. Everything else is true.

For more information on Coach Ruben, click here.

To order the book Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes, click here.

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