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Vtla Kaliseji - Native American Diabetes Resources

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About Me

Who am I?



As I stated on the front page of this site, I am a Cherokee woman, 38 years of age. I was very heavy when my entanglement with this disease began and I am still working on losing weight.



In December of 1999, I began intrauterine bleeding that would not stop. I felt exhausted all the time. I woke up with such dehydration that my tongue actually stuck to the roof of my mouth. I felt so weak I didn't know what to do. I was thirsty all the time.



I went to see my gynecologist. She found that I had dilated to the size of a quarter, and she found some very ugly polyps on my cervix. She suspected cervical cancer. She set up a date for me to have surgery, and I had a biopsy and began the pre-op blood and EKG tests. I wasn't really worried, as polyps do run in my family. But I was a bit nervous. I had just lost a friend to cancer, who died at the age of 38 only a few months before.



When I came in for the pre-surgical consultation, my gynecologist dropped the bombshell on me. My polyps were negative for cancer, but I had full blown diabetes. I wasn't even borderline; my fasting had come back at 178! I was completely stunned. I was told to see my physician, who would be waiting for me to discuss the disease and talk to me privately.



My then doctor (who isn't anymore) didn't. His very cold and unfeeling nurse basically dumped the prescriptions in my lap and told me to fill them. After seeing my gynecologist and with her help, he, as an afterthought, gave me a prescription to get a meter, and told me not to eat sweets. He was completely useless, cold and had a very flippant attitude towards my life-changing diagnosis. Needless to say, I was scared pretty badly, but I did accept the situation.



I didn't know how to treat myself, and after one very frightening night trying to figure out what I could eat safely, I'd had enough. I decided to educate myself. I went out and spent money on books, went online, and taught myself.



Today my weight is going down and my diabetes is under control. But it took a lot of self-teaching to get my life back, and I am very angry at the doctor who basically dumped me out the door with no diet, no help, and worst of all, no understanding. So I decided to set up this website for diabetics like me, in the Native American Community, who were treated in a similar fashion, to offer help, resources and links to find what they need, so they too will not experience what I did that night, not knowing what to do.



UPDATE: 2004

I am still in recovery. I am off medication completely and have lost over 100 pounds. I am now active and although I still miss my Dad, I am focusing away from the bad in my life as best I can. A hard road at times, but I still try.

This past June I did my second AIDS walk, and I will be on my third charity walk for Children's Hospital of Orange County.

I have also unfortunately had to make changes in my life that were sad in many ways, but also taking me towards a more positive outlook. It's not easy, and sometimes, it hurts, but it is all I can do.

Odd thing is the stuff I don't miss. French fries taste horrible to me right now. Can't stand them. I used to supersize constantly, now I'd rather eat fruit with a burger. I eat vegetables more because I like the variety of tastes, and I'm less inclined to make horrible choices. I eat junk once in a while, but it's ONCE in a while, as opposed to each and every day.

It's a tough road, I'm still walking it, and one day, I'll get to the other side.

Dohiyi ale Adida,

Vtla Kaliseji Administrator.