Search Close Search
Search Close Search
Page Menu

Charles Morse

Type 2 Diabetes Success Story

Date Posted: Monday, December 06, 2021
After losing nearly 40 pounds his jeans are way too big!

Charles was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (T2D) in 2015 at the age of 30.  His mother also has diabetes and T2D runs on her side of the family.  His first visit to the UMass Memorial Diabetes Center of Excellence was early in 2021.

“I’ve known Charles for less than a year, but he’s inspired me by the truly incredible progress he’s made with his health,” said Dr. David Harlan.  “He was referred to me by an endocrinologist in Central Massachusetts for severe insulin resistance.  I challenged him to adopt a healthier living style with diet and exercise, and we tweaked his meds a bit.  Charles has embraced his diabetes and attacked it with amazing focus and vigor.”

When he first me Dr. Harlan, Charles was injecting 425 units of insulin each day, but his blood sugars were still above 400 mg/dL.  His A1c was a dangerously high 11.0% and his blood pressure was also quite high despite taking several medications.

“Dr. Harlan is the first doctor to tell me that I needed to change my lifestyle,” Charles said.  “Other endocrinologists I’ve been to just kept increasing my insulin and pills, but I was getting worse, not better.”

During their first appointment, Dr. Harlan started Charles on a regimented healthy eating plan.  His A1c dropped to 9% by their second appointment the following month.  In less than a year he’s lost 35 pounds and his A1c is down to 7%.

“Now, I only take 40 units of insulin each day, my blood sugars are within target range, and I feel much better,” he said.  “I have a lot more energy.”

He has taken advantage of the benefits of the UMass Memorial Specialty Pharmacy.  “It’s been very convenient,” he said.  “They mail my medication to my house.  They set it all up for me, I didn’t even have to fill out any paperwork!”

Charles joined a gym where he’s been walking on the treadmill and riding the stationary bike for cardio.  He also takes daily walks around his neighborhood and bought a bicycle which he started riding during the summer. 

“I wake up earlier and begin my days with exercise before work,” he said.  “I wear headphones, listen to music, and walk for between 30 and 60 minutes.”

During the past year Charles had regular telehealth appointments with Diabetes Educator Fernanda Costa, RN.  He’s been eating a low carb diet and has learned about proper nutrition.

“She’s taught me a lot about food that I didn’t realize,” said Charles.  “I was eating lots of fruit thinking I was being healthy, but I didn’t realize how many carbohydrates are in fruit.” 

He also learned how to properly read nutrition labels.  “I didn’t understand how many carbs are in so many products,” he added.  “Portion sizes should be a lot smaller than I thought.”  He’s reduced meal portions and began intermittent fasting by not eating between 8pm and 11am.

“His transformation has been truly amazing,” said Costa.  “He’s done a wonderful job of changing his lifestyle and maintaining it.  He knew it wouldn’t be easy, but Charles hasn’t complained or made excuses.  His determination and strong willpower is impressive.”

Costa has provided Charles with informational resources to help him between their video appointments. 

“I don’t load the plate like I used to,” he said.  I enjoy my one dinner plate, but I don’t go back for seconds anymore.”

He eats low-carb snacks throughout the day and no longer eats dessert every night.  “I do allow myself a cheat meal a few times each month.”

Charles enjoys spending time with his nephews, ages 9 and 13.  “I can run around with them now a lot more than I used to,” he said.  “Not just sit and watch them play.”

His weight loss and successful blood sugar numbers have inspired Charles keep going.  “Sometimes it’s difficult and you’re going to falter occasionally,” he admits.  “But I’ve taken it one day at a time like Dr. Harlan suggests.” 

He believes that anyone can achieve success the way he has if you take responsibility and make smart choices.  “You can’t sit around waiting for something to happen, you have to change your routine and take control,” he said.  “As long as you keep going, it’ll be worth it!”

More Diabetes Success Stories