My diabetes diagnosis taught me life is a beautiful gift

The year of COVID-19, 2020, was a monumental year for a lot of folks, myself included. But maybe not for the reasons you are thinking: 2020 was the year I found out I had diabetes.

My journey started in May when I began dealing with weight, hair and muscle loss, and an infection that wouldn’t clear up. Bloodwork was ordered and the next day I received the results. Diabetes.

Shortly after, I started taking metformin to lower my blood sugar, and after two months, I was starting to feel like myself again—exercising and gaining back strength. I was feeling healthy again—until I fell and was left with a wound that was slow to heal. I was devastated, and unfortunately, I am not alone. Diabetes is an epidemic in the United States.

Diabetes is a problem in our society, but luckily, the amount of support for those impacted is overwhelming. With the use of new technologies like smartwatches for tracking movement, people with diabetes have access to plenty of tools to help manage their chronic condition. A program that has helped me manage my diabetes is the concierge care program offered through my health insurance, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The concierge care program uses an app to help people like me manage chronic conditions, including diabetes. The app lets me log and track my symptoms and access personalized education, and suggests health exercises based on my needs. From reminding me to take my medications in the morning, tracking what I eat, and using the GPS function to record my bike rides and walks, the app has helped me learn that my small acts of action and change end up producing big results.

All my logs are viewable to my care team and nurse care manager, Casey, making it easy to work through my health issues. To have someone like Casey who has a medical background that I can reach out to, day or night, has given me peace of mind. We have created a friendship through our daily texts and calls, and it feels like we have known each other for years.

My goal is to continue to put my health first and live a healthy lifestyle with the help of my amazing friends and family. Every morning, I have my coffee on the patio with my dog, Frankie, and welcome the adventure of a new day—hopefully with no falls!

Life is a beautiful gift, and it’s too short to not live it to the fullest.

Lorraine Fox is retired and is a resident of Spanish Springs. She previously worked in information-technology support at an elementary school for 21 years. She and her husband have two children, Christopher and Valerie.