I do my best to write a column that will have some interest to the readers but mainly some humor that will at least make the readers as well as the columnist smile.
Today, as I got up and took an insulin shot and another one after lunch, I decided that I was going to be serious with each of you this week.
Before this day ends, I will take two more injections of insulin and to be quite frank with each of you that gets quite old and boring. Since this week is Diabetes Awareness Week, I decided to tell my readers my diabetes story. My purpose this week is to get you moving toward seeing a doctor if you even suspect you might have diabetes or if you are at risk of developing diabetes.
There are two types of diabetes that you need to know about. Type I Diabetes is usually discovered during very early childhood. It is the most serious type since it involves children and their growing up, attending school, involvement in sports and many other things to consider.
Diabetes that comes on in adult years is referred to as Type II, the type that I and many, many other people have.
I was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes in 1984 while living in DeSoto County and employed as Deputy School Superintendent. I had been feeling a little bad that week and had a sore throat and slight cough. A good friend of mine was also our primary physician. I went to his office and voiced my complaints. They checked my temperature, blood pressure, did an urinalysis and stuck my finger to get a drop or two of blood.
When the doctor had reviewed my chart he came in and said, “You have sugar in the urine.” I thought, “So?” and he continued.
“You do have a red throat, which I can take care of, but I am more concerned about your sugar level.”
He then ordered blood drawn from the vein in the arm and when that came back he was more concerned. He instructed me to eat no granulated sugar and to be back in two weeks for additional tests.
The sore throat was helped immediately by the medicine he prescribed. I was not worried about the sugar problem although I did not eat any granulated sugar. In two weeks, I went back as instructed and he said my sugar level was too high and made an appointment with a diabetic specialist at Methodist Hospital inMemphis.
When all tests had been done, he called me into his office and gave me his findings. “If you have ever been afraid of some doctor telling you that you are diabetic, you do not need to worry any longer. You are diabetic.”
I was prescribed some pills to take and the next morning I ate what had been prescribed. I went to work and was in the middle of a lecture to about 200 teachers when I felt like I was about to hit the floor. I called a break and called the doctor.
He said, “Do not take another one of those pills and I will call you in some different medicine.”
The next morning the same thing happened and this time he said, “Get some grape juice and drink about a fourth of the little bottle. You then may continue your speech.”
It worked. He did change the strength of the diabetic medicine. Many changes have come as I and the doctors try to control the diabetes. I went from pills to injections of insulin.
If you or members of your family have any or all of these symptoms, then get busy and visit your doctor.
Do not wait! If it is diabetes it will get no better without treatment.
n Unquenchable thirst
n Frequent trips to bathroom
n Losing weight without trying
n Weakness and fatigue
n Tingling or numbness in hands, legs or feet

Please take action if any of these symptoms are yours.

Billy McCord is a retired school administrator and a United Methodist Minister. He is Pastor of Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Calhoun County. He represents District 3 on the School Board, and is President of the Calhoun County School Board. Contact him at P.O. Box 337, Bruce, MS 38915 or by e-mail at

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