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A Stroke Survivor Says…

By on October 17, 2013
Rob at Oprah 3-1

Robert Laws is a diabetic and stroke survivor.

Before the stroke Robert was Director of Financial Aid and led a very active personal life.  But after being diagnosed as a diabetic, things changed. Robert shares his story and lessons for all of us. Read carefully and share this with other brothers. Together we can really help one another.

According to Robert, he was not one to go the doctors very often but one day he did because he was having an uncontrollable urge to urinate often. The year was 1998 and Robert joined a dubious club, those diagnosed with type-2 diabetes.  Sadly the snooze button was hit on that wake-up call, “I did not take my diagnosis seriously.  When I would miss a medication dosage I would make the foolish decision to just “double-up” on my medication. “

While most of us would flinch of having to take insulin (Humalog) shots 3 times per day after every meal, Robert says it was not something he saw as difficult because he would give his own father his insulin shots daily. Sadly this was an unhealthy case of like father, like son.

When asked what the diabetes diagnosis really meant, Robert answered with deep insight.

“I now had to watch my diet and stop drinking so much sugary drinks.  I was not much of a water drinker and with all of my meals I would drink anything other than water.  I also had to change my eating habits.  Changing my lifestyle habits which would include physical exercise was not nothing that was easy nor was it something I really wanted to do.  Having to change my habits at this point in my life was not an easy thing.”

Besides being diabetic, Robert says his real wake-up call was January 26, 2007; the day he had his stroke.

The stroke affected my right side of my body and the left side of my brain.  My right side (hand and leg) has limited mobility.  The stroke took away my writing ability as well as certain parts of my independence and that was one of the most difficult adjustments.  My quality of life has changed tremendously.   I now have to live my life as a disabled individual.”

Seven years after the stroke, Robert has this message; “whatever got you to the point of being a diabetic move away from it as quickly as possible.   You have to take the diagnosis seriously.  You have to do what you can to keep from the disease from progressing and permanently effecting your body.”

He says that if he had to do it over again he’d be more active and really watch his intake of those things that were not good for him. He says with an intentional tone, “the stroke is what woke me up to eat healthier.”
 Ronald Wadley is the Controller at a non-profit medical member based association.   He holds a degree in Master Human Resource Management and a Master of Business Administration.  Ronald is a board member of Test Positive Aware Network, a member of the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus executive committee, and he blogs here .

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