By Claire Lynch
Thirty-seven years ago, Marilyn Kruger was 14 when she experienced extreme thirst, fatigue, weight loss, and irritability. She felt both hungry and had no appetite, confusing her with what she needed.
Realizing that something was wrong, Marilyn’s mother took her to a primary care physician. He diagnosed her with a virus and thought it would run its course. Living in a remote Iowa town, they did not have the choice of seeing a diabetes specialist.
A week later, her mother took Marilyn to the Emergency Room, demanding that she be admitted until they found out what was wrong with her. They removed Marilyn’s gall bladder. Then went on to exploratory surgery. Afterward, she still did not feel well.
The doctors were uncertain as to what could make her so ill. They did more testing. While waiting for the test results, one physician called a doctor in Omaha, Nebraska, who offered his professional opinion, a diagnosis for Type 1 diabetes.
They immediately started Marilyn on insulin injections. Her blood sugar levels began coming down when she went on multiple daily insulin injections.
Two years ago, Marilyn started using an Omnipod with Humalog insulin. She added the Dexcom Glucose Monitoring system to her diabetes self-management.
“The insulin pump has been a big help,” Marilyn says, “because it minimizes the extreme highs and lows of my blood sugar levels. That’s a huge relief. In the past, I’ve been hospitalized for some very high blood sugar levels.”
Marilyn usually has a bagel with cream cheese or eggs and toast for breakfast. “Lunch at home is a meat and cheese sandwich without the bread,” she notes. “Since I have carbohydrates at breakfast, I avoid eating them later in the day. It makes a difference!
“They offer a salad bar at work. I often eat salad for lunch. For dinner, my 24-year-old son and I take turns cooking some chicken, beef, or fish. We add some freshly-cooked vegetables or a tossed salad.”
Marilyn works as a registered nurse. Receiving a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis was a wake-up call. Taking care of myself has is a priority to live a healthy life. It is worth it!”