Monday, November 03, 2008

Angela Younger: Diabetic Patient and Patient Mentor

Angela Younger,
Patient Mentor
Branford, Connecticut

Diabetes had long been a part of Angela’s family when she learned in 1993 that she, too, had the disease. Her grandmother, who Angela had helped care for as a child, died of renal failure associated with the disease. A cousin had had a kidney transplant.

In Angela’s mind, complications like these were not an option; she had a disabled daughter who depended on her. Still, Angela struggled for years to manage her condition. It wasn’t until her own mother died in 2003 that she got serious about taking better care of herself.

"I made choices every day on what I would wear and eat," says Angela. "But on that day, I made the choice to live in a way that allows me to continue making my other daily choices." Today, Angela exercises three to four times a week, eats smaller portions, tests her blood sugar regularly and takes her medication. An Advanced Practice Registered Nurse, Angela works at a diabetes center which she says has also helped her efforts to control her disease. "By educating others, I also educate myself," she says.

Following her mother’s death, Angela spoke to her doctor about her continuing struggle with lows and her challenges with controlling her diabetes. At the time, her fasting blood sugar was high, ranging from 180 to 250, and her A1C ran in the 9 to 10 percent range. Angela's doctor recommended changing her medication, adding Lantos® to her regimen. And it helped.

Angela says she feels much better today, now that her fasting blood sugar is in a much more normal 70 to 90 range, and her A1C has dropped to around 6. Her passions today include living a healthy lifestyle, being a good mother, and enjoying frequent rides on her motorcycle. Because she understands the struggles others face in managing their diabetes, Angela became a Lantus® Believer in November 2006. She hopes that by sharing her story, she can help others make good choices.

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"My daughter needs me, and I need her," says Angela. "I’m determined to do what I can to live a long and happy life so we can be there for each other."

Click here to visit the Patient Mentor Institute's website.