Recently many of the e-mails I received where full of the fear of never recovering from the devastating symptoms and effects of hypoglycemia. Claire of Boone, North Carolina wrote…”Will I ever be the same? Will I ever be the happy-go-lucky woman I once was or am I sentenced to this life of depression and despair? It feels like hell!”
Coincidently, over the past few weeks, I’ve been corresponding with my dear friend and colleague, Dale Ledbetter. Whatever the HSF needs, Dale is there – whether his professional guidance, feedback or financial support. Now, I wanted Dale’s personal opinion.
Dale Ledbetter contacted me more than 25 years ago. At that time he was suffering severely from the symptoms of hypoglycemia and hardly able to work or function. He began growing faint and was, on about half a dozen occasions, taken to the emergency room of a local hospital. In every instance, he was told there was nothing wrong and that he was probably just hyperventilating. After consulting several doctors without any success, he was properly diagnosed by a local physician who recommended a glucose tolerance test. Once it was determined that he had hypoglycemia, he was referred to the Cleveland Clinic for dietary planning. The staff at the Cleveland Clinic was enormously helpful, but referred him to me and my organization for additional help.
Dale wrote “The material you have supplied me has helped me understand my problem and do what is necessary to return to a normal life. I am saddened by my own experience with the many doctors who were unable to determine what was wrong with me. I am frightened for the many thousands of patients throughout the country with similar problems who are no doubt experiencing the same kind of difficulty with their diagnosis. I hope for their sake that they will be as fortunate as I was to be directed to you and your wonderful, caring organization. Please let me know if there is anything I can ever do to repay the enormous debt I owe to you” Sincerely, Dale Ledbetter
Fast forward to today! Dale Ledbetter is a very successful lawyer and author of several outstanding books: Bringing in the Business, The Ultimate Sales Professional and From Mother with Love just to name a few. Dale travels extensively around the world giving business lectures and seminars. He is a prime model of “hope” for others to follow.
So I asked Dale if he could shed some light on how he has successfully coped with his hypoglycemia all these years. Perhaps he could give “hope” to those who feel so helpless.
The first question I asked him is one I get quite often:
How long did it take you to feel yourself again?
It took at least a year before my symptoms were under control. I kept a very strict diet with no sugar, white flour or alcohol. I never smoked so that wasn’t a problem. I made sure I ate at least five (and on most days, six) meals a day, monitored my blood sugar and maintained a regular exercise program which has continued to the present time. It was not easy, in fact, it was hard. However, I realized that there was no quick fix to controlling hypoglycemia and if I wasn’t willing to do what it takes, I’d have this the rest of my life. I did what some people find hard or can’t do, I took the responsibly and the control. There was no other way.
Do you ever get relapses and what do you do to get through them?
Really, I don’t. I have occasionally had dessert if it was a special occasion but I basically adhere to the same dietary program as I have for the past 25 plus years. I realized early on that if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of anyone else. I had a family and business when I got diagnosed with this condition, they needed me and I wanted to be for them.
What words of advice can you give someone that has just been diagnosed with hypoglycemia?
Understanding hypoglycemia is crucial! The information you shared with me through the HSF enabled me to return to a normal life. Your book alone empowers people; it shows clearly that they possess that power WITHIN THEMSELVES. The knowledge you impart can truly set them free! Add passion, a plan and persistence…the rewards will be endless…I promise!
Thank you Dale!
Remember, never give up or give in…there is help and hope!