Carmine DeLuca is in his early sixties and has had Type II diabetes since about age forty-five. Like many of my patients, he had been in “standard” treatment and found his condition getting progressively worse.
“I was taking pills, tried some diet changes, but after about ten years my diabetes just got worse. Through the years, as a diabetic, I had seen some articles about Dr. Bernstein, and he had appeared several times in the local newspaper. A colleague at work mentioned this Dr. Bernstein to me, the same guy who had been in the paper. She said, ‘If you ever want to go to someone, go to this guy.’ And I heard from a few other people around the area who said, ‘He’s excellent.’
“Over the years, I’ve had trouble with my eyes, my feet, and my hands, but that was before Dr. Bernstein saw me. I had tried to watch my diet, but being Italian, you know, you’re always involved with the pasta, the bread, and so forth, and so I really didn’t do very well on dieting. Apparently the pill that I was taking was literally burning me out. I was just going to a general doctor, an internist, and what did he know? I used to keep blood sugar about 140 to 160, and then all of a sudden it started hitting the 200 mark, and it was starting to hit it consistently, and then close to 300, and then over 300, and the nerve endings in my feet were gone, and the feeling in my hands. I did have, at age fifty, two cataracts. I don’t know if you want to blame it on diabetes, but I guess you can. Finally, when it was so high, I said, ‘Well, something has to be done. What have I got to lose?’
“And so when the time came, I thought, let me go to the best. Everybody talks about how excellent he is, so I made an appointment. My blood sugars were very high, in the high 300s, like 375. When I saw Dr. Bernstein, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had just heard that he was one of the best, and so I said, ‘Lemme do it.’ He struck me as very, very knowledgeable. I learned an awful lot—he told me things about diabetes that I just never heard about, even from people with diabetes. He made you feel good, because he literally grew up with it. He was very professional, yet you could sit down and talk to him. He said he was always available, available 24 hours a day, and he has been, no matter what. You go into that, and you feel pretty good.
“I’ve lost weight since I started seeing him. A few pounds here and there, but the thing is, even though I haven’t taken off a lot of weight yet, everybody says, ‘Hey, you look great.’ But you could see, prior to seeing Dr. Bernstein, that it was tearing me down, people could see I wasn’t looking that good.
“Starting the program was tough, but it was carbohydrates that were killing me. He put me on the diet. I never had a problem with cholesterol, but for some reason, every time you turn around, people are talking about high cholesterol this, high cholesterol that, so I thought about it. But I didn’t give a damn about carbohydrates; nobody talks about carbohydrates and cholesterol. At least until Dr. Bernstein said, ‘You don’t eat this, you don’t eat that,’ and I said, ‘These are all carbohydrates.’ And so I’m on the diet and, boom, I start losing a little weight.
“The thing was to get used to doing without the carbohydrate, but it’s okay, because I like meat, I like salad, I like vegetables. I can eat all the cheese I want—I mean, within reason. My blood sugar has been good, averaging under 100, and I feel like a million.
“I’m strictly on insulin and one pill, and we’ve reduced the insulin, and as my blood sugar improves, I think we’ll reduce it even more. I see him now every two months or so, and for a week prior, I measure my sugars 4 times a day and bring the chart to him. He really analyzes it—you know, ‘All right, take this, don’t do this. We’ll reduce this. Don’t eat that.’ He’s got a system all his own and it’s great. It works. It can be a pain in the neck, but hey. He tells me I’m a good patient. I’m here to prove that it’s not impossible to change, and the results are there.”