Health Plus: Diabetes complications serious for one local man - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Diabetes complications serious for one local man

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

All it takes is one health problem to happen and the fallout can be unexpected and debilitating.

That's the case for one eastern Iowan who went from a diabetes diagnosis to an infection and eventual amputation.

In Health Plus, his message for others.

Michael Douglas may have the name of a celebrity.

But his experience with health problems has been anything but a Hollywood ending.

"I had to go on disability because I was having a hard time walking and then all of a sudden we found underneath my toe there was a sore," he said.

Not only does he have diabetes, Michael had a stroke a couple years ago then got an infection last year that led to a leg amputation.

"Ended up causing me to lose half my foot and that wouldn't heal so then I had to get my leg amputated," he said. 

Thanks to Covenant Medical Center's Outpatient Rehabilitation in Waterloo, Michael has progressed from a wheelchair to a cane when he's able.

"He's been doing great. He's been meeting and exceeding goals, just having to establish new goals for him that he's breaking all the time. Just seeing a huge difference in his attitude and endurance," said his physical therapist, Kate Mercuris.

Twice a week sessions helped Michael return to work after a medical leave.

"You know when we first started he was only able to walk a few feet, now he's doing laps around the gym and tolerating it very well," she said. 

Michael admits he didn't always take good care of himself--so he doesn't want others to make the same mistake.

"You just can't eat all the stuff that's so good to us. The greasy, fried food, the fatty food-you gotta be pretty careful about what you do," he said. 

One nice touch, when Michael was able to return to work--he received a standing ovation from his co-workers for all he's accomplished in rehab and for his positive attitude.

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