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November 19, 2013

Community members discuss life with diabetes

(Continued)

Sargeant agreed with that.

HEALTH RISKS

It can be scary, Lanning said, when she doesn’t even notice the symptoms of low blood sugar. 

Pat said it’s important for nurses to explain and give tips to the patients on caring for themselves. She didn’t have any training when she was diagnosed.

“Go in and tell them even little things like, ‘Check your blood sugar before you eat,’ because maybe (the patient) didn’t know that,” Lanning said.

She also explained that type 1 and type 2 diabetes are different diseases. 

“It’s just as serious to take care of yourself with type 2 as with type 1,” Pat said. “It can affect your eyes and your circulation (otherwise).”

‘MY ROCK’

It’s important to find something positive about having diabetes. For several years, Lanning attended the Clara Barton Camp, a summer program for girls with diabetes. 

“Those girls, they’re my support, they’re my rock,” she said. “I’m not alone.”

She said it’s important to make the distinction between calling someone a diabetic or saying they’re a person with diabetes. 

“They have a whole other life” aside from having the disease, Lanning said.

Sargeant has also learned a lot in the process of dealing with diabetes. He has traveled to Washington, D.C., to attend congressional hearings on finding a cure.

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