By Mary, on Virta for 3 months
I have had type 2 diabetes for 14 years now, and I can only describe it as a “force” that I have fought the entire time. When my doctor discovered that my blood sugar was around 700 mg/dL, he was shocked that I was still standing. With that kind of number, he said he would have expected me to be in a diabetic coma. I took an A1c lab test, which came back at 13.9%, which started my journey over the years through a number of insulin injections.
I think I have been on at least 7 different kinds of insulin. Some caused an allergic reaction, while others weren’t covered by my insurance. I made numerous trips to see doctors, and every visit was worse than the last. The only guidance I received was to take more insulin and schedule follow-up visits. Still, my numbers were bad. For a few years, my doctor frankly told me that type 2 diabetes was killing me, and I needed to prepare for it.
On Labor Day weekend in 2019, I suffered a small stroke due to diabetes, which left me with vision problems in one eye and some nerve damage in my hand. It seemed at the time that my doctor was right—this disease was killing me, taking my life just a little bit at a time. And not just my own life, but those of the ones I love. My father lost his battle to diabetes at the end of that same year, passing away just one week before Christmas. He would always warn me not to follow in his footsteps when it comes to my health—but going down that same path seemed inevitable.
Then the pandemic hit, and with all the news about how Covid-19 affects those with diabetes especially hard, I was ready to start planning my own funeral. Though I was unable to work for a while due to the shutdowns, I did return to my job at Cracker Barrel when things began to open up. I became eligible for insurance in November of 2020. Along with my insurance through Cracker Barrel came a fully covered benefit called Virta. I received an email that said Virta helps reverse type 2 diabetes. At the time, my A1c was 15.5%, and I thought for sure Virta wouldn’t work for me with numbers like that.
I could not have been more wrong.
With Virta, I worked with health coaches and doctors to get a handle on my numbers. Virta health coaches helped me make adjustments to my diet, and Virta doctors adjusted my medications as my blood sugar stabilized.
I have been on the Virta treatment for 3 months now and am astounded at what I have accomplished so far with Virta’s help. My results really do speak for themselves. My starting A1c was 15.5% at the beginning of February. Just a few weeks ago, my new A1c was 8.5%, the lowest it has been for a very long time, if not ever! When I started Virta, I was on 40 units of Lantus and over 50 units of NovoLog every day. That has since come down to just 12 units of Lantus and 9 units of NovoLog.
Best of all, I now have hope. Virta has given me a new outlook on life. Instead of thinking about funeral plans, I’m planning my retirement. My husband and I have a wonderful blended family of 6 daughters and 11 grandchildren, and there is nothing more fulfilling for me than to know that I am living for them.
Virta has truly saved my life, and continues to save my life as I progress through the treatment. I wish my father could have known about Virta, as he might still be here today if he had. I believe in it so much and am so grateful that Cracker Barrel believes in it as well. I can not describe the value that Cracker Barrel has given employees with type 2 diabetes—how can you put a price on hope?