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Entering my golden years diabetes free, thanks to Virta and Sequa

December 10, 2019
February 4, 2020

by Cliff, on Virta for 10 weeks

I’ve been an electrician for Precoat Metals, which is owned by the Sequa Corporation, for 6 years. I’ve worked hard all of my life to get to where I am today: semi-retired, working part time, and spending extra time with my family. I want to spend my golden years happy, healthy, and able to enjoy the fruits of my many years of labor. But with type 2 diabetes looming over my life for the last 18 years, I didn’t know if this would even be possible.  

Type 2 diabetes runs rampant on my father’s side of the family, so it wasn’t a surprise when I was diagnosed in 2001. In a way, I felt like it was simply the natural progression of my life, and there was nothing I could have done to avoid it. My doctor immediately started me on metformin, but as it goes with diabetes medications, others piled on, including Tresiba and Humalog insulin injections. I thought that taking daily insulin injections was something I’d have to do forever.

It didn't help that I really struggled with remembering to take the medications. Every day, I had to juggle 3 to 4 insulin injections, take oral medications, and try to adhere to a “healthy” diet without a clear sense of what that was. My wife helped a ton by setting medication reminders for me, but the treatments themselves were still very difficult. Multiple medications per day, sore injection sites, and thousands of dollars per year in medication costs were no way to spend my semi-retirement. There had to be a better alternative.

Sequa showed me what that alternative was, first by providing me with full benefits, even as a part-time employee, and then fully covering the Virta treatment for employees like me with type 2 diabetes.

The most important part of Virta to me has been the continuous clinical monitoring from the Virta provider and health coach, which is all done remotely so I can stay in the comfort of my own home. As someone who is on multiple medications, safety is so important when it comes to deprescribing and lowering dosages. I trust Virta because I am certain that someone with diabetes expertise is on the other side watching my progress.

My Virta doctor and health coach are both amazing. Anna, my health coach, answers any and every question I’ve thrown at her, as well as provides encouragement when things get tough. I won’t lie: there are moments of struggle, especially when first making the transition to Virta-friendly food choices. That first week was tough: no bread, no sweets, and I even had to do without that extra pork chop for dinner.

But the rewards are immeasurable. Since starting the Virta treatment about 10 weeks ago, I’ve lost 50 pounds, which has boosted my self-confidence tremendously. More importantly, I’ve eliminated all of the insulin injections, which is a huge win in terms of improving my quality of life, not to mention all the money I’ve saved on the medications I no longer have to take. I can certainly think of better ways to spend the $600 I would have spent on insulin refills over the last 3 months, like sharing a Virta-friendly lunch with my wife, spending time with grandchildren, and taking leisurely road trips across the country.

An unexpected benefit to the Virta treatment is easier traveling. My family and I took a 3-day road trip from our home in South Carolina to Colorado, and I didn’t have to worry about medications, nor make as many pit stops. Those can add up over 3,000 miles!

Throughout all of these improvements, especially during the reduction of my insulin, I always felt fully supported by Virta. Imagine if I had done this on my own, how dangerous it would be without a doctor to say when it was safe to stop insulin injections.

To anyone considering Virta, especially fellow teammates at Precoat Metals and Sequa, I would say to just do it. I can’t recommend Virta enough. My quality of life has greatly improved, right when I most needed it. To have more time to spend with my granddaughter is one of the best gifts I’ll ever receive. With Virta, you’ll see results, feel better, and save money, all with a team of experts supporting you every day. Just like everything else in my life, I worked hard at Virta, and now, I can enjoy the benefits of a diabetes-free retirement. What a wonderful way to start my golden years!

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