“After four or five weeks with the app, I started to really see the correlation between food and blood sugar. Now I know to look back at what I ate -- maybe I ate too many carbs. This is super helpful and the thing I've been missing.”
By Kelsea Hoover, MS, RDN
Grandparent | Pickleball Player | Type 2 Diabetes
After 33 years of coaching high school boys and girls tennis, Ray was getting ready for retirement. He applied for a new life insurance policy after he left his job, which meant he needed a routine physical. But a few days after leaving the doctor’s office, he got an unwelcome surprise.
“I called my doctor back, and he said, ‘The tests show you’ve got diabetes,’” Ray recounts. “He told me it wasn’t a death sentence, I could live with it. But after nearly 20 years, even with my wife Mary’s help, managing my diabetes is a challenge. There’s so much information, it’s hard to know what to do.”
Now, since he’s using the Brook app, he knows.
“I’ve been using Brook for about a year, and it’s made me more aware of the connections between what I eat and my blood sugar levels. Brook makes it easy to track everything and make connections.”
Ray says he never realized how big of an impact his food, movement, and sleep have on his blood sugar. At first, he didn’t correlate feeling tired, irritable, or overly hungry with his blood sugars being out of the healthy zone until he started using Brook, and seeing the connections right in front of him. Once he was able to keep his blood sugars in the zone more often, he realized those negative symptoms weren’t as prevalent – he felt better.
“What I also like about the Brook app is that you have a live person. Every time I ask a question they respond right away. Even when I don’t have a question, they’ll ask, ‘Would you like to have more recipes?’ and offer to send me links. I like knowing a person is checking in on me, keeping me accountable,” he said.
“I spend so much less time stressing over the little things, so I can spend more time on what really matters to me – my family.”
“I use Brook to look back at what I ate when my blood sugar was outside the safe zone. Now I know that it may be that I ate too many carbs. I call it awareness: I can look back and see what I did wrong and right, so then I can figure out how to do more right than wrong,” he said.
“For example, the Brook app showed me that my readings in the morning are a lot higher if I don’t have a snack before bedtime, so I’ve been having a slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter in the evening, and it helps,” he said.
Ray and Mary both wear Garmins, and compete with their grandchildren to see who can get in the most steps in a 7-day period. “They’re close to 100,000 steps, and we’re closer to 50,000,” he said. “They like beating us, but that’s okay.” Ray also plays pickleball at the YMCA and walks for an hour in the evening, logging his exercise in the Brook app so he and Brook’s Experts can see he’s staying on track.
And while Ray knows his health is better because he’s feeling better, his numbers also prove it: his doctor has congratulated him on lowering his A1c at both of his most recent physicals.
“That makes me feel good,” Ray says.