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Midwest City man changes lifestyle after diabetes diagnosis

Jess Huskey, a 58-year-old Midwest City resident, has lost 70 pounds since he was diagnosed with diabetes. Huskey, a Choctaw tribe member, might have been genetically predisposed to developing the disease.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Published: July 6, 2014

The wake-up call came, and Jess Huskey listened.

It came in the form of an unexpected trip to the hospital in which Huskey learned he had Type 2 diabetes.

“I knew I needed to lose weight and get more exercise,” Huskey said. “For 30 years, I knew I needed to do that, but with my experience and spending some time in ICU, it has been an eye opener, and I knew I had to do it.”

Since being diagnosed, Huskey has lost about 70 pounds and changed his diet, and hopes to be off most, if not all, of his medications soon.

Huskey, a 58-year-old Midwest City resident, is one of 313,800 adult Oklahomans who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, the most common form of diabetes.

In 2010, Oklahoma had the fourth highest death rate in the nation due to diabetes, according to the state Health Department.

The disease is one of the leading causes of death in Oklahoma, but many of those suffering from it can turn their lives around like Huskey did, if they’re able to make lifestyle changes.

He was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in October.

Initially, Huskey went to the doctor to talk about his allergy problems. But the doctor suspected Huskey might be suffering from diabetes and ordered a blood test.

That showed that Huskey’s blood sugar was 720. Diabetes is diagnosed at fasting blood sugar of 126 or more, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Huskey was soon admitted to the hospital and placed in the intensive care unit. Doctors told him, because of how high his blood sugar was, he could have gone into a diabetic coma.

At the time, Huskey had a poor diet and needed to lose weight.

He acted quickly, taking a diabetes education course to learn how to improve his diet.

Today, he uses an iPhone app to track what he eats, regularly exercises at a gym and eats a healthy diet. Before he was diagnosed, he was about 260 pounds. He has since lost about 70 pounds. Overall, diet was hardest to change.

Misses his ice cream

“I love my breads, and those are some of the worst things for you as far as the carbs though,” he said. “That’s what I miss is my breads and sweets and big bowls of ice cream ... being 58, I ate that stuff for 30 years, and it's hard to make a change all of sudden.”

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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I love my breads, and those are some of the worst things for you as far as the carbs though. ... Being 58, I ate that stuff for 30 years, and it's hard to make a change all of sudden.”

Jess Huskey,


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