By Claire M. Lynch
Amy Mackessy, a mother of four teenagers, keeps busy taking care of her family in South Carolina. The Maryland native moved there 10 years ago with her husband, Brian. She used to work as a receptionist in a hospital and an urgent care center but has taken time off from full-time work.
Amy was diagnosed as Type 1 at the age of eight when her parents noticed that she was often sick plus her excessive thirst and frequent urination. They knew there was a family history of diabetes so they scheduled a doctor’s appointment. Sure enough her A1C was 11 and the insulin shots began.
As a child she went to the nurse’s office at school a few times a day to have her blood sugar levels tested and to get insulin shots. “I didn’t like having to leave class and go to the nurse but I knew that the health care professionals had to help keep me on track.”
Now 44, Amy has been using a Medtronic MiniMed pump for 15 years. “It dispenses just the right amount of insulin that is needed so I’m happy with that,” Amy says. “It’s precise and I use Humalog insulin, a fast-acting insulin at mealtimes.
“A major part of managing diabetes is watching my diet. Limiting carbohydrates helps. So does making sure I’ve included some protein in each meal. Keeping active is important so taking walks is good and staying busy at home is important. I’m not a couch potato – not at all!”
An artistic person, Amy enjoys painting, crocheting and doing photography. She also likes to cook and read. Amy and Brian like playing with their dogs, Oliver, a Pomeranian, and Noah, a mixed-breed dog they found on the side of the road.
The Mackessys are active in their church and help others whenever possible. Amy adds, “Whenever a friend or neighbor has questions about diabetes I’m happy to explain all about it. My favorite Scripture passage is from Hebrews 10:24 ‘Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works.’”