Diabetes doesn’t slow down Galesburg mom

Diabetes-Natasha-LeeNatasha Lee, 34, wasn’t surprised when she was diagnosed with diabetes in 2014. She had a gut feeling that something was wrong, she said. Having been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during her third pregnancy several years earlier, she knew that diet and exercise would be key to controlling the condition.

Natasha, who lives with her husband and three children in Galesburg, is pursuing a nursing degree at Carl Sandburg College. In addition to keeping up with the activities of her children, she spends long hours in classes. Being sidelined by the fatigue, irritability and headaches that her diabetes can bring on simply wasn’t an option.

Natasha turned to OSF Medical Group-Endocrinology and Diabetes, where she consults regularly with clinical dietitian Christine Willis; nurse practitioner Elaine Frink; and her primary care physician. She controls her condition through diet, exercise and a long-lasting insulin shot taken once every morning, and the modifications have made a big difference in how she feels.

“I was at the point where I was scared to eat anything, even a banana,” Natasha said. “Now I’m eating more normally and well-balanced. The insulin gives me peace of mind. If I want to eat half a bagel or a bowl of strawberries and blueberries, I can.”

Natasha has given up soda and learned to balance her carbs and proteins. She still eats the foods she loves, but in much smaller portions.

“Diabetes is a challenge to manage, because there’s no handbook that works for everyone,” she said. “You have to find out what works for you. If you start in small steps and progress, it’s easier.”

OSF Medical Group-Endocrinology and Diabetes offers a comprehensive program designed for the patient newly diagnosed with diabetes or for patients who need a refresher course in the basics of managing diabetes. Our team members are trained to help patients and families understand diabetes, set goals for management and use diet, exercise and medications to achieve well-being. Call (309) 344-9697 for more information.

A diabetes supply program, with home delivery of diabetes products from blood glucose meters to lancing devices, is also offered through OSF Home Care Services. For information on the diabetes supply program, call (309) 683-7700.

Last Updated: April 22, 2022

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About Author: Danielle Whelpley

Danielle Whelpley was a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare. A graduate of Western Michigan University with a degree in journalism, she previously worked as a writer/editor/blogger and restaurant critic for the Peoria Journal Star for 13 years.

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Categories: Diabetes, Patient Stories