Good news fellow road warriors Diabetes type 2 can be beat!
Just a little bit of history here. I began driving big rigs in 1993, I had driven 10 wheelers delivering glass and lumber locally for approximately seven years before that. In 1993 I was laid off from the local lumber company I was working for and went to work for a sea container company that was headquartered just across the street. I quickly learned that they needed a flat bed driver and that it paid more so I started my career off driving "flats" regionally on the west coast.
For the next 13 years I hauled all kinds of flats, low boys, step decks, curtain vans even a fifty three foot flat bed. Then I fell out of the cab of a Peterbuilt cab-over and pretty much destroyed my right knee. The knee was repaired and healed well but my career as a flatbed driver was over, some how perspective employers found out about the injury even if I didn't tell them.
Not being able to find flat bed work I decided to try dry vans, and since I hadn't worked for over six months no one was willing to take a risk on me except JB Hunt, if you don't already know, it's not a good idea to work for them, enough said. Next came refrigerated vans, what crummy work but I did like the company I worked for so I stuck it out with them for 3 years until a change of policy regarding home time caused me to not want to work for them anymore.
Finally, I landed where I have been for the past two years hauling food grade smooth boar tanks.
In 2001, during a routine D.O.T physical, the lab doing my blood work reported I had a blood sugar level of 600 dl/ml ( 70 to 110 is considered normal). I should have been admitted to the hospital right then.
The company Doctor that had evaluated me was as helpful as mud and I had to find another Doctor who educated me and got me started on drugs, and then through a high protein/low carbohydrate diet we were able to get the blood sugar under control without drugs. That was good for about three years, then the progressiveness of this disease caught up with me and I was put back on pills which did work for a time, however my weight kept going up and sometime after I crossed the 300 pound mark I lost all control of my blood sugar and ended up at the door step of an endocrinologist who recommended I go on insulin right away.
I am a chicken when it comes to pain so the idea of neuropathy which I was already beginning to have in my left hand, or amputation or heart attack just didn't appeal to me nor did finding a different line of work, so between a rock and a hard place, I took the hard place and went on insulin.
For those who are not professional drivers using insulin is a death blow to a drivers career, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration does not allow drivers to drive and use insulin as a wrong dose can cause a driver to suddenly pass out, not a good idea when your piloting 70 to 80 thousand pounds at 65 miles an hour. However, in recent years the F.M.C.S.A. has provided a waiver program whereby if a driver can demonstrate that he can properly administer the use of insulin (about a six month process) he can go back to driving. I did get a waiver and returned to driving but it took 10 months and I was unemployed the whole time.