Kathy Bono and her husband, John, encountered a serious health situation when Kathy — unaware that she was diabetic — lapsed into a diabetic coma.
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“I think we both have a new appreciation of the blessings we have,” says John. “We don’t take each other or life for granted, and we now are really aware of the importance of being health conscious.”
The two faced a life-threatening situation when Kathy, unaware that she had wildly uncontrolled diabetes, slumped into a diabetic coma at home. “I thought I had the flu the night before,” recalls Kathy. “Looking back, I realize I had some of the diabetes symptoms such as being thirsty all the time, and I had a family history of diabetes. But I had no idea I had the condition until I was taken to the emergency room at St. Anthony’s.”
Kathy’s blood sugar levels were so out of control that doctors fought to save her life. She was hospitalized for nine days.
Almost 26 million people in the United States have diabetes. Of those, it’s estimated that at least one-third, like Kathy, don’t even know they have it. The Missouri Hospital Association, in a recent statewide health assessment report, found that diabetes is among the top chronic conditions that, if not diagnosed and monitored regularly by physicians, result in the largest number of preventable hospitalizations in the state. The numbers speak dramatically to the importance of having a regular primary care physician and keeping up-to-date with screenings and medical exams.
Kathy now wears an insulin pump and sees her primary care physician once a month. She also sees a diabetes specialist and regularly attends programs at St. Anthony’s Diabetes Education Center.
“I didn't realize how sick she was when she collapsed,” says John. “Her kidneys had shut down, her liver wasn't functioning properly and the doctors said a virus was attacking her pancreas, too. She really scared me, but now she’s back to her routine. It's amazing.”
“I'm a walking miracle,” smiles Kathy. “I walk daily and I'm learning about good nutrition and portion control. I don't take my health for granted, and I thank God and all the doctors who saved my life.”
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