By Claire Lynch
Christina Cates knew about diabetes. On her father’s side, there are several Type 2s. When Christina was diagnosed as a Type 1, she was 19 and surprised because she is the only Type 1 that she and her relatives knew about.
“My diagnosis came shortly after high school, and at first, I was indifferent,” Christina says. “Down the road, though, a few years later, I got angry about it because it affected my life in so many ways. Then, one day I woke up and realized how much attention I have to pay to my diabetes.
“Watching the carbohydrates every day – minimizing the portions of pasta and eliminating the sugars – helps, but I still take five to six shots of insulin daily. Each meal requires, I inject Humalog, a short-acting insulin. At bedtime, I inject Lantus, long-acting insulin. Those two medications help keep my blood sugar levels in a good range.”
Christina, 38 – works full-time as a patient technician in a dialysis center. She is also certified as a medical assistant, living in Illinois. She has medical insurance, but it doesn’t cover an insulin pump. She often checks her blood sugar levels with a finger prick and injects with an insulin device.
Dinner with the family is Christina’s main meal. It may be meatloaf and mashed potatoes with a fresh vegetable or steak with corn on the cob with butter and noodles. “Sometimes we will have some pieces of chicken with sweet potatoes and vegetables,” Christina adds. “The menu varies, but I’ve been eating more vegetables these past few years. Portion size is most important. If you dose your insulin for each meal, you will be okay.”
She recommends that persons living with diabetes get an excellent endocrinologist and to always keep their appointments.
Christina has four children, and when she is not working, she likes spending time with her kids. They go swimming, like going to the movies, and enjoy going to the Six Flags amusement park near their home on special occasions. “Every so often, someone’s birthday arrives, and riding the Ferris wheel and going on other rides altogether is a great way to spend the day,” Christina notes.
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