How Insulin Changed My Life

When Loretta tackled her fear of starting insulin, she regained control of her diabetes.

Health Monitor Staff
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While the thought of getting a shot is unappealing to most people, for Loretta A., it was downright scary. Yet just one year after her diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in 1996, Loretta, who works as a medical assistant at a hospital in Durham, NC, found herself facing her worst fear. Despite her best efforts to manage the disease through diet, exercise and oral medications, Loretta’s blood sugar was out of control and her doctor wanted her to start insulin.

“I knew I needed the insulin, but giving myself the shot really freaked me out,” says 60-year-old Loretta. She turned to the nurses she worked with for help. “At first, they would give me my insulin. Then one morning the nurse took my hand with the needle in it and stuck me. I’ve been doing it ever since.”

Loretta takes rapid-acting insulin with each meal and long-acting at night. I'm glad I started because now I'm doing something that will control my diabetes,” admits Loretta, who urges others not to wait. “My mother and two brothers died of diabetes complications. If insulin is the way to get it under control, do it.”

Loretta shares more tips on how she keeps tabs on her diabetes:

  • My doctor is my health partner. “She doesn’t come down on me if I do something wrong. She just helps me figure out how to make it right. She taught me to check my blood sugar four times a day. Honestly, I didn’t know it was that important. Since I started checking more often, I found out that mine was high and now we’re working on it.”
  • There’s no frying in my kitchen! “I stopped frying foods and I eat more veggies. For dinner, I usually have meat and vegetables, for breakfast a bowl of oatmeal and coffee, and then leftovers for lunch. I also started using more spices instead of salt in my food. But I do love banana pudding. So if I want to eat a dessert, I make sure my blood sugar is close to normal.”
  • When I’m not walking, I’m dancing. “I walk 30 minutes to an hour in my neighborhood when I get home from work. I also belong to a small group at church that exercises every Wednesday night. We’re doing Zumba now.”
April 2012