The annual convention of the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists — those medical specialists who treat diabetes — is underway in Houston. I’m covering the event for The Health Central Network.
The convention took over the George R. Brown Convention Center in the downtown of America’s fourth largest city. The convention center is so big that after Hurricane Katrina 7,000 refugees lived here.
In the mob of today’s convention you might imagine my surprise that the first person I made eye contact with asked if I was David Mendosa. The person who asked was Sarah Senn, who I had sent several photos for an article that she wrote about me. But we had never previously met in person.
That article appeared in print this morning. It came out in Power of Prevention, the AACE’s new magazine for doctors and their patients around the country. Sarah told me that they printed and distributed 600,000 copies.
Dr. Donald Bergman, who chairs the Power of Prevention Committee for the American College of Endocrinology, which is affiliated with the AACE, introduced the new issue at this morning’s press briefing. He is in private practice in New York City and has been clinical professor of medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City since 2004. Today he held up the issue of the new magazine with the article that Sarah wrote about me:
Here is what Sarah wrote about me:
Through the Lens of a Diabetes Patient
By Sarah Senn
David Mendosa is a celebrity in the online diabetes community. He is one of the Internet’s most prolific writers on the topic. Like many others, David did not know what to expect when he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. His insightful and research-packed blog entries on topics such as diabetes testing are read by thousands.
In 1994, David went to see his physician because of pain he was having. The doctor ordered blood tests and one showed that his A1C level was dangerously high, at 14.4 percent. David recalls the doctor asking, “Has anyone ever told you that you have diabetes?” The answer was no.
“That diagnosis changed my life,” David explains, “I was enjoying my independence. Life had been so easy that I had put on more than a few pounds.”
Before being diagnosed with diabetes, David served as a Foreign Service Officer for the US government for 15 years. In 1980, he became a freelance writer for a small business magazine. Shortly after his diagnosis in 1994, David decided to put his knack for writing to use discussing something he knew about first-hand — living with diabetes. As a journalist, he already knew how to captivate an audience, and hoped to inspire others by writing about his experiences and success.
To control his diabetes, David started a low-carbohydrate diet, and took anti-diabetic medication for several years. Today, David manages his diabetes with a healthy diet, an exercise program, and with regular visits to his doctor. As a result of his new lifestyle modifications, David brought his weight down from 313 lbs to his current 152 lbs. He has been able to keep the weight off for several years. David has also maintained a lower A1C level, his most recent test result at 4.8 percent.
“I’ve never been healthier or happier,” he exclaims.
David is too busy to let diabetes control of his life, so he’s taken control of his diabetes. Now at age 73, David is an active voice in the online diabetes community. He is a contributing author to a variety of diabetes publications, and is a diabetes consultant for HealthCentral.com, a leading health information Web site for patients.
David notes that staying active is essential in maintaining his condition. As an avid hiker, photographer, freelance writer and diabetes patient, he encourages other people who have diabetes to find ways to have fun with their exercise. David hopes to motivate others with his blog, “Fitness and Photography for Fun,” which integrates his need to exercise with his loves for hiking and photography. Since being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, David has hiked through parks along the Pacific Coast and over mountain trails across Colorado. He has even crossed the Continental Divide on foot. You can visit David’s fitness blog at http://www.mendosa.com/fitnessblog/.
Looking back on his experiences, David says: “What people with diabetes have to do to control their disease is exactly what everyone has to do to prevent it.”
For more information about David Mendosa, visit www.mendosa.com.
This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.