How one senior manages type 2 diabetes

Texan Jerry Kreiner shares how taking his type 2 diabetes diagnosis seriously helped him to still be able to do the things he loves today

September 17, 2021

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Jerry Kreiner and his wife at Independence Pass

Jerry Kreiner was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2013, at 64 years old. Despite an increased risk of developing diabetes-related complications due to his age, it took Kreiner over seven months from his initial doctor’s visit before he truly accepted his condition and took control of his diabetes management.

An initial diagnosis

It started with a visit from his sister-in-law, who was staying with Kreiner and his wife during the holidays. His sister-in-law, who suffers from type 1 diabetes herself, was alarmed when Kreiner told her about some concerning symptoms, including frequent urination and blurred vision. She insisted on taking Kreiner’s blood sugar reading. His blood sugar was high.

Jerry and his wife

Kreiner promptly scheduled an appointment with his long-term family physician, who performed an A1C test – an exam that measures a person’s average blood sugar levels over approximately three months. Again, Kreiner’s results were above normal. Despite the results from his initial A1C test, it took two more appointments with abnormal A1C test results over the course of seven months, and a warning from his doctor, before Kreiner finally accepted his diagnosis and made an effort to get his blood sugar under control.

“I’m grateful for my doctor’s ability to effectively communicate, as it profoundly impacted my type 2 diabetes management.”

Jerry Kreiner

“After a frank conversation with my doctor following my third high A1C test, I decided to get serious about understanding my condition and how to control it. From there, I took action. My weight went down and so did my A1C – it was the best feeling in the world!”

Type 2 diabetes and older adults

Kreiner is one of approximately 14.3 million seniors in the U.S. who are living with type 2 diabetes – a number that continues to grow as the baby boomer generation ages. Older adults are at greater risk for developing diabetes-related complications. By eating healthier foods, exercising portion control, and incorporating daily walks and weight work into his routine, Kreiner has taken important steps toward managing his blood sugar and overall health status.

“Over the past eight years, my approach to managing my type 2 diabetes has been simple and straightforward: exercise more frequently and watch what I eat.”

“While everyone’s experience is different, I hope my story will help inspire older adults living with the disease to find an individualized approach that works best for them.”

Now at 72 years old, Kreiner understands how his decision to take his health seriously helped him to still be able to do the things he loves today, from traveling for work, to playing golf and cheering on his favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys. And Kreiner feels lucky to have the support of his wife, children and grandchildren, who have been important motivators throughout his diabetes journey – encouraging him to stick to his treatment plans, supporting his healthy behaviors and helping him to meet his A1C goals.