Dan FalconeDate Posted: Monday, October 01, 2018
Dan Falcone has a family history of type 2 diabetes, and like their father before them, he and his sister were diagnosed with T2D. Usually an upbeat and positive person, Dan struggled with the news, and the shock, fear, and sadness that comes with it. He admits that it was “overwhelming at first” and he did not make the necessary changes right away. After 10 years of taking oral medication, his weight and A1c were both heading in the wrong direction…up. He was put on insulin by his primary care physician in Ohio, where he resides, but did not feel that he was receiving the support necessary to get healthy.
Through a mutual childhood friend, Dan reconnected with his high school friend, David Harlan, MD. Dr. Harlan is Co-Director of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence, and is an internationally recognized diabetes clinician and researcher. Dan first travelled to Worcester a few years ago, and is now under the care of Dr. Harlan. He has since lost 50 lbs (and counting), his A1c dropped from over 11% down to 6.7%, and with a new mix of oral medications, and a weekly Trulicity injection, he is no longer on insulin!
Dan makes annual visits to UMass in Worcester, and remains in constant contact with Dr. Harlan, who also communicates with his primary care physician in Ohio.
“I upload my blood glucose and my weight to the MyCareTeam app on a weekly basis,” says Falcone. “This way I am in regular communication with [Dr. Harlan].”
Wearing a Fitbit, Dan walks at least 10,000 steps every day, one of the lifestyle changes he has made since working with Dr. Harlan. He is highly motivated by the progress he has made. “I want to live,” Falcone shared. “My weight loss has been slow and steady, which makes it sustainable.” He is “enjoying the process” and can “feel a sense of accomplishment.” During the summer he enjoys daily outdoor walks, but also has a treadmill at home for the winter months.
Although he still enjoys his favorite foods, he does so in moderation. Dan has reduced his meal portions to “one sensible plate” and is conscious about what he eats. “I’m Italian, so I like my spaghetti & meatballs, but now I enjoy them once a month or every 6 weeks, as a treat.”
His job requires a lot of travel, both locally by car, and also by plane. “It’s a lethargic atmosphere, so I make sure to get up and walk several times each day.” As for eating at restaurants on the road, “It’s possible to make smart choices. Grilled instead of fried. If I do enjoy a cheat meal, I plan for it.”
Dan hopes that his story can inspire others to make a difference in their lives. “If I can do it…anybody can do it.”