I am Judith Ponce, 59, and I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes ten years ago. I struggled with managing it until I started seeing Dr. Natalie Levy at Bellevue Hospital Center’s Diabetes Clinic a few years later. Now I have a much better understanding of the disease and what I need to do to stay healthy.
How I Manage My Diabetes and Blood Pressure
I used to eat big portions of whatever food I wanted – fried pork chops, sausage, pizza, lobster, shrimp, rice. I would eat a whole loaf of buttered Italian bread with coffee. Now I’ve changed my diet to make it more balanced and I have made several healthy choices like boiling or broiling my food, eating less meat and more whole grains like brown bread instead of white. If I really want fast food or pizza I eat small portions of them. People with diabetes do not need special foods - they need to watch what they eat and how much they eat. Now I exercise regularly by walking and monitor my blood sugar daily. My A1C went from 11 to 7.
For awhile my blood pressure was high. I was having trouble keeping it under control because I would forget to take my medicine. Now I put the pills out on the table in the morning and take them every day. I go to Bellevue often to have my blood pressure taken and monitored. I never put salt in my food when I cook at home, just a little Spanish seasoning. Now I’m doing good - it’s 130/50.
What I Would Tell Other Diabetics
Once I started going to Bellevue’s Diabetes Clinic and listening to Dr. Levy’s advice my whole life was transformed. She gives small group education sessions where you learn everything you need to know to manage your diabetes and get books to take home. I’m 59 years old and have never felt this good.