"Take it one day at a time and don’t be afraid to ask questions."

Written By

June 24, 2024

Q: Can you introduce yourself and share a bit about your health history?

A: Hey, my name is Charlene. I found out I was diabetic in 2013. It’s been almost 11 years now. My sister, who is five years younger, was diagnosed a few years after me. We have a family history of high blood pressure and hyperthyroidism, but no other diabetes cases.

Q: How did you find out you were diabetic?

A: About six months before my diagnosis, I read that women with diabetes often get recurring yeast infections due to high sugar levels. I got one, treated it, and it came back. After the third time, I went to the doctor. My blood sugar was 350, and they sent me to the emergency room. It was a shock, but I remembered the article and the symptoms.

Q: What was it like adjusting to life with diabetes?

A: At first, I cut out all carbs and followed my diet strictly. My A1C was at 6. Then, I moved in with my son’s family, which made it harder to control my diet, and my A1C went up to 11. Now, I do my own shopping and have brought it down to 8, aiming for 7.

Q: How has your treatment evolved over time?

A: I took Metformin for a long tistame, but it started causing stomach issues. Now, I take both long-acting and fast-acting insulin. I've developed neuropathy and gastroparesis, which makes digestion very slow and limits what I can eat. I’ve managed to avoid hospitalization since last July.

Q: What advice would you give to someone newly diagnosed with diabetes?

A: Take it one day at a time and don’t be afraid to ask questions. See a dietician and experiment with foods you like. Speak up about any medication side effects. I didn’t realize that the stomach issues from Metformin were something I didn’t have to tolerate.

Q: How did participating in the health program help you?

A: I joined through my insurance company for the incentives, but gained so much more. My coach was genuinely concerned about my health and kept me on track with my medications. The program helped me get back on track, and I’m forever grateful. Even though I didn’t get the initial incentive, reconnecting with the team later made it all worthwhile.

Q: Any final thoughts on managing diabetes and your experience with the health program?

A: Managing diabetes is a constant learning process. Stay informed, ask questions, and have a support system. The health program was a lifeline, helping me get back on track with my medications.

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