Reducing Risks

Diabetes Leading Cause of NOTHING . . . Uncontrolled Diabetes Is.  William Polonsky, PhD, CDE  

You Don't Really Get By With It: Kim Huckabee

Kim HuckabeeHi there, my name is Kim, and I’d like to tell you a little bit about my big “D-day” diabetes story. . . A day I did not take too seriously, until recently! I turned 48 years old this year, and it scares me to think just what kind of damage all the years of neglect have done. I didn’t get diabetes until the age of 25, right before by 26th birthday. My Grandmother had diabetes, but I never really knew or understood what that meant. Your blood sugar goes high - you take a shot - and Bing-Bam-Boom - Instant Solution – right? WRONG. But for many, many years that’s how I “poorly” managed my diabetes.  When I first found out I had diabetes my daughter was almost 5. She had never been around anything like sticking your finger, checking your blood, drawing up insulin, and sticking yourself with a needle. It was all so overwhelming to me, how could I expect a 5 year old to understand? I was so afraid she would see me as a freak, she wasn’t allowed in the room where I was doing my diabetes thing. The fact is, in my ignorance, I think I looked at myself as a freak. So much so that a few months after I found out I had diabetes, I foolishly told myself I wasn’t really sick.

So, I quit checking my blood, I quit taking insulin, and I guess just buried my head in the sand. This is one of the reasons I’ve always said God has watched out for me, even when I didn’t have sense to watch out for myself. The reason I’m telling my story is to hopefully help someone else. You see, diabetes is REAL, and if it is not taken care of it can leave you blind or even dead. One of the things I’ve learned on my diabetes journey is if you eat a whole bag of peanut M&Ms or half a pizza, or a big candy bar, taking a shot of insulin does get you by that time, and then the next time you push the bar even further. That’s what I mean when I say it scares me to think what damage I’ve done. You don’t really get by with it. I’ve learned over these 20 some odd years with diabetes that if diabetes is not taken care of it can cause heart disease, nerve damage, and other serious problems. If I could only say one thing to help, I guess it would be to always take your diabetes seriously, and never let anyone treat you different because you have diabetes.

Let me end with this. I’ve always looked at life as a circle. Often wondering just how complete my circle is. I’ve learned in 48 years that LIFE is precious. Live it. Love it. Take care of it, because there are no second chances. How complete is your circle? God’s grace be with you, and make today the day you take your diabetes seriously.

Kim was born and raised in Jasper TN, where she raised her daughter, and has lived with her husband Jimmy, for the past 34 years. Life has presented Kim with many challenges and she wonders at “the things we do for love!” She believes in keeping life simple; and filling it with worship, good family, good friends, and lots of love. Kim enjoys having lunch with her friends; playing with her dog Princess Leia, and singing Gospel music. Her beautiful solo voice and compassionate fun loving spirit are an inspiration to many.


Diabetes Management Schedule 

What you should expect at every Doctors Visit:

Weight & Blood Pressure

Foot Inspection

Review of Blood Glucose Self-Monitoring Records

Review & adjustment of medications to control blood glucose

Review & adjustment of medication to control blood pressure

Review & adjustment of medication to control cholesterol/lipids

Regular use of Aspirin for prevention of Cardio Vascular Disease 
                (Discuss with your Diabetes Care Team)

Review of Diabetes Self-Management Skills

Assessment for depression or other mood disorder

Counseling on Smoking Cessation and Alcohol use


What you should expect Quarterly:

A1C (twice a year if you are at treatment goals with stable blood glucose)


What you should expect Annually:

Fasting Cholesterol/Lipid Profile (every 2 years if at goal)

Urine test for Albumin-to-Creatinine Ratio

Dilated Eye Exam

Comprehensive Foot Exam

Dental or Oral exam (as least 1 time a year)

Influenza Vaccination

Review of need for preventive care or treatment


Reference: American Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Recommendations, 2010


Tool Box

Reducing Risks: AADE Video Overview

AADE7: Reducing Risks Handout

Healthy From Head to Toe: Journey for Control

How Diabetes Effects Your Health: Journey for Control

The Benefits of Tight Control: Diabetes Self-Management

Exercise May Reduce the Complications of Diabetes: Diabetes Health

Managing Diabetes by Reducing Risks: Novo

Severe Complications of Diabetes Higher in Depressed Patients: Diabetes Health

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome a Common Cohort of Diabetes: Diabetes Health

Dental Care:

Dry Mouth and Diabetes: Diabetes Health

Insights on Controlling Blood Sugar in the Dentists Chair: Diabetes Health

Eye Care:

Eyes on the Prize: Early Detection and Management of Diabetes: Diabetes Health

Joslin Diabetes Center Offers Quick Tips for Summer Eye Care: Diabetes Health

Diabetes Eye Care: NIH Medline Plus

Foot Care:

Foot Care for People with Diabetes: Novo

Foot Care for Diabetes: Diabetes Health

Diabetes: Taking Care of Your Feet: NIH Medline Plus

Diabetes Foot Care: NIH Medline Plus

What's Afoot in Creams and Lotions, Salves and Potions: Diabetes Health

Cinderella's Sisters: Squeezing Big Feet into Small Shoes: Diabetes Health

Steps You Can Take to Prevent Foot Amputation: Diabetes Health

Saving Limbs by Healing Chronic Diabetic Foot and Leg Wounds: Diabetes Health

Charcot Foot Overview

Charcot Foot: A Story of Foot Reconstruction: Diabetes Health

Heart Care:

Tone Your Blood Vessels to Lower Heart Disease: dLife

Diabetes: Preventing Heart Attack and Stroke: NIH Medline Plus

Strict Blood Sugar Control Lowers Non-Fatal Heart Attack Risk: Diabetes Health

High Blood Cholesterol and Triglycerides: NIH Medline Plus

Kidney Care:

Why Kidneys Are Key: Diabetes Forecast

Warning Signs of Kidney Disease: Diabetes Health

Early Detection Aims to Reverse Rising Rate of Kidney Disease: Diabetes Health

Metabolic Syndrome Could Be Kidney Disease Precursor in Type 2s: Diabetes Health

National Kidney Foundation

Nerve Care:

Link between High Blood Glucose and Diabetes Related Complications: Diabetes Forecast

C-peptide Emerging as Significant Factor in Nerve Recovery: Diabetes Health

Test for Triglycerides Can Predict Who is At Risk for Neuropathy: Diabetes Health

Sleep Care:

Decreased Sleep Means Increased Insulin Resistance: Diabetes Health

Skimping on Sleep Linked to Diabetes and Higher Mortality Rates: Diabetes Health

Sleep Apnea and Diabetes: Diabetes Health

Smoking Cessation:

Change the Way You View Smoking: Diabetes Health

Quitting Smoking and Diabetes Risk: Diabetes Health

Diabetes and Smoking: Diabetes Health

Is it Harder to Kick the Habit if You Have Diabetes? Diabetes Health

Wanna Quit Smoking? Here are Some Tips: Diabetes Health

You Can Control Your Weight as You Quit Smoking: NIDDK