Diabetes Patient Embraces Doctor's Advice

Hildria Grace sought help managing her diabetes, medications and diet from Cleveland Clinic's Lennon Diabetes Center.
Hildria Grace sought help managing her diabetes, medications and diet from Cleveland Clinic's Lennon Diabetes Center.

“If you want to live and be healthy, you need to follow the instructions of your physician.” These are words of wisdom from Hildria Grace. The senior citizen, a resident of East Cleveland, was diagnosed with diabetes in 2001 following results of a routine physical and blood work that revealed her high blood sugar levels.

Her primary care physician referred her to the outpatient diabetes education and management program in the Lennon Diabetes Center — then at Huron Hospital, now at Cleveland Clinic’s Stephanie Tubbs Jones Health Center (STJHC).

“Miss Grace has long been one of our success stories,” says Sue Cotey, RN, CDE, certified diabetes educator at STJHC. “For many years, she has participated in our diabetes education classes and followed doctor’s orders related to diet, exercise and proper use of prescription medications to manage her blood sugar levels, though it’s not always easy.”

“I put that fear aside because my health comes first. Not only do I inject myself, but I am eating more fresh vegetables and fruits, less carbs and sugar. My blood sugar is much lower, but I will continue to eat healthy foods because I want to get off the insulin.”

While she learned to prepare her food differently from that of her family members, Hildria admits she struggled with her diet, giving in to the temptation to eat some of her favorite foods.

“Due to the challenges of maintaining a healthy diet and exercise program, and the progression of her diabetes, Miss Grace recently began an insulin treatment program,” says Nana Kobaivanova, MD, medical director at STJHC (Dr. Nana). She sees Hildria for routine checkups every three months.

“Diabetes can progress over time so these healthy behavior changes must be continued for life,” advises Dr. Nana. “People with diabetes may revert to some of their past behaviors, resulting in weight gain and insulin resistance. This may lead to a more rapid progression of the disease. Routine visits with the healthcare team may help motivate them to stay on track.”

Hildria says she was a little upset when Dr. Nana suggested she start taking insulin because she doesn’t like needles. “But I put that fear aside because my health comes first. Not only do I inject myself, but I am eating more fresh vegetables and fruits, less carbs and sugar. My blood sugar is much lower, but I will continue to eat healthy foods because I want to get off the insulin.” she says.

Thanks to her commitment to her own health and the advice of Dr. Nana and the diabetes educators at STJHC, Hildria’s blood sugar levels are under control. This allows her to maintain an active lifestyle that revolves around her church, her family, travel, line dancing and daily walks.

Related Institutes: Endocrinology & Metabolism Institute
Patient Stories

Patient Stories

Alt text

Bariatric Surgery Patient Sheds Pounds and Defeats Diabetes

Feb 22, 2018

“It helped going in to know that I had the best on my side. The team was, and continues to be, there for me. Eight years out, and they are still there for me. It hasn’t been an easy process, but with a positive attitude and sticking to doctor’s orders, I’ve never felt better in my life.”
Read Story
Alt text

Nurse Gets Second Chance at Life After Bariatric Surgery

Feb 22, 2018

“Quite honestly, I didn’t know what to expect, but when I sat down with Dr. Schauer, I knew it was going to be different. He was the only doctor who ever told me he wouldn’t just do surgery. He said I needed to be educated as to all aspects of what surgery would entail.”
Read Story
Alt text

Virtual Visits Become Lifeline for Patient with Narcolepsy

Feb 20, 2018

“She knows the brain better than anybody else, as far as I’m concerned. She understands how I’m stuck with these medications and continues to help me search every avenue, including endocrinology and functional medicine.”
Read Story