Success Story: Carmen Micciche

Carmen MiccicheName: Carmen Micciche, age 56
Location: Leesburg, Va.

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the young age of 31. By then, at 400 pounds, I’d been feeling the symptoms for about six years. And ignoring them. I didn’t even know what diabetes was when I was diagnosed. My family has a history of type 2, but most have passed now and didn’t know they had it until it was too late.

I am a Subway® restaurant franchise owner, and at the time I was so focused on building a successful business that I ignored my health and suffered through numerous gallbladder attacks before finally seeing a doctor. They checked my blood pressure and tested me for diabetes, then sent me to the hospital.

Twenty years later, I weigh about 185 pounds and have brought my A1C (average blood glucose levels) down from a staggering 12 percent to just over 6 percent, which is close to the normal range. I finally learned – the “hard” way, with daily exercise and healthy eating – what it takes to be healthy.

Now I’m doing all I can to help Stop Diabetes®. I have helped raise more than $1 million for the American Diabetes Association by placing donation boxes and selling pin-ups in each of my 30 Subway® restaurants.

A type 2 diabetes diagnosis doesn’t have to end your life, but you need to take it seriously. If you have diabetes or are at risk for it, eat right, exercise and listen to your doctors. You have to do everything you can to maintain a healthy weight. The consequences are too high if you don’t.

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Do you know YOUR risk for type 2 diabetes? March 25 is American Diabetes Association Alert Day®, so get ready to take the Diabetes Risk Test and share it with everyone you know. You will find this free test on Facebook, at diabetes.org/risktest or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383).

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8 Responses to Success Story: Carmen Micciche

  1. Mona Huff says:

    “Living with Type 2 Diabetes and Loving Life”
    I was diagnosed in 2004 after passing out and falling down steps and breaking my collar bone. My blood sugars would not come down despite the diet and oral meds that they put me on. They started me with insulin to scale while I still was in the hospital. I want to share the emotions that I experienced.
    1. Anger: At Me, it’s my fault, if I had eaten right this would not have happened to me. I was addicted to food just as real as someone who is addicted to alcohol or drugs. I lived to eat. Most of my waking thoughts were what I would eat next. I weighed nearly a quarter of a ton. I had convinced myself that I was born to be fat and that I was a big, beautiful woman. And according to my sweet husband I was, but I was a big, beautiful woman with health problems that were slowly killing me.

    2. Shock/Denial: No, this could not be happening to me. It is not happening to me. I was eating incorrectly so my blood sugar was up, but if I watch it I will be alright. I had just a little sugar; it will go away.

    3. Helplessness: Gosh what is next? I prided myself in being independent; OK stubborn! Now someone had to watch and make sure that my BS was not out of control. Sometimes, when it got low I could not think or rationalize what I was supposed to do. My husband would wake up in the middle of the night and take my blood sugar and get me a snack. He still wakes up and puts his hand on me to make sure that I am OK. If he hears me getting up; he is up to find out what is going on.

    4. Fear: What is next? At first, I could not see well enough to read. It took about 6 weeks for my vision to return. I wondered if I would be able to return to work. I wondered if I could do “this thing.” I remember wondering if it was even worth trying to do it. Yeah, I was depressed. It seemed that everything I read said that I had to control my weight to control my diabetes. That had been a life-long struggle for me. I had lost weight before, but only to put it back on.

    5. Anxiety: How could I pay for this illness? My insurance did not pay for testing supplies and that was an enormous burden to our budget.

    Then something happened that really made me think. I looked at my granddaughter and thought how much I wanted to see her grow up. I saw fear in her eyes and wanted to comfort her. I wanted to be part of her life. I wanted to attend her wedding. So, I started the hard work of managing diabetes.

    Slowly but surely, my blood sugar started coming down, my vision got better and I could think rationally. So, I began studying. I’ve had a saying for many years: “Hope for the best and cope with the rest.” I said, “I have this disease, however it is not going to manage me and I will find a way to manage it.” This is still a daily journey and that is what I hope to share with you.

    I went to the ADA site and “Living with Diabetes” is one of the sites that I looked at. I signed up for the free information and still go to the site for new information and recipes. I am on FB with them and get great information that I share with my FB family and friends.

    I started eating nutritionally. We do not use the word diet in our house. It is not a “diabetic diet,” but healthy living. I do understand carb counting and careful to follow a schedule. I have lost nearly 90 pounds and have kept it off for four years. I walk three miles most days. I could not walk .1 of a mile when first diagnosed.

    At the height of my illness in 2004, I was on 11 meds and insulin to scale. I was diagnosed with fibro-myalgia in 1999. When we went places that required much walking, my husband pushed me in a wheelchair. I now take a thyroid pill and that is all! I was able to get off all the rest of the meds.

    I have become a community organizer and bring folks together who have diabetes and bring educational speakers and resources for these folks. What began as a curse now is my life’s passion. I say that being diagnosed with diabetes saved my life. It has amazed me how much better that I feel. I am going to be 67 in June and have more energy and better health that when I was 50.

    I am trained as a facilitator for Stanford’s Diabetes Self-Management Classes and ADA’s “Live Empowered” Program. I love helping others discover ways to manage their diabetes!

    Mona Huff

  2. Shiv Dixit says:

    Your story is really full of inspiration.And your weight change shows that how much efforts was done by you.For this we need physical and mental efforts both…Great efforts Man

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm Great Story.. Wish you all the happiness!!

  4. Pingback: Success Story: Carmen Micciche | My Prediabetes

  5. Pingback: Learned Helplessness In Diabetic Youths - FindYourTip | FindYourTip

  6. Phil Loera says:

    Your comment about your grand kids… Great motivator.. off to walk my 3 miles.
    Thanks for your story..

    • Mona Huff says:

      Blessings to you. Two years have passed since this post and I am happy to report that things are the same as they were then. I have lost a few more pounds and still walking and loving life. I will be 69 in June and as I said previously feel better than when I was 50! So grateful.

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