Bertha is a recently retired high school teacher who dedicated 40 years to teaching business and Spanish classes. Originally born in Mexico, Bertha came to the United States at 8 years old and focused on her education, eventually obtaining her master’s degree in teaching. Together with her husband of 29 years, Bertha has three sons. She loves reading and knitting and looks forward to traveling with her husband again soon. This is her story.
When were you diagnosed, and can you tell us about your diagnosis?
I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes about 8 years ago. I love to eat. I don’t really eat junk, but it’s the quantity.
I was bummed when it finally got there. I played with it for 2 or 3 years when I was borderline. I was on pills for a few years. I was relying on my follow-ups but wouldn’t check myself. I’d ask my parents to check me when they were around because I just didn’t do it. Both my parents have diabetes and my sister has Type 1 diabetes.
When did you hear about Livongo?
I got an email last summer. I had the meter and would check every so often. I started checking all the time and I was stressed out because my mom had passed away in September. My blood sugars were high in the 200s all the time.
How has Livongo helped with managing your diabetes?
Because it’s opening up my eyes. I see what’s happening daily and logging my food, so I understood how my blood sugars were reacting to what I ate. I’d go back and look at my log and realize why my sugars were the way they were.
Has Livongo inspired you to change anything?
Every single day, my husband and I walk. My goal has been to hit the 10,000 steps and we meet it almost every day. And the nudges from Livongo are great. They tell you about exercise and the importance of sleep. I’ve learned about how stress impacts my blood sugar, and I’ve learned to do better because I want to see those grandchildren someday.
What’s your motivation?
I want to live long. I want to be healthy. I want to lose weight. It’s inspired me to take a look at doing better for myself. My sister has not taken care of herself, and I decided that I want to do better, I want to be healthier, and I want to feel good. Especially since I’m retired, I have more time. I’ve been reading and that’s really fun. I’ve been knitting. I’m really looking forward to traveling with my husband and seeing the boys more. But this whole coronavirus has impeded that.
When I wasn’t doing so well, I downloaded my numbers to send to the doctor. All that stuff is really good. Little by little I’ve been discovering more. I can easily see yesterday’s numbers, and how often I’m on target. I just love it so much. My brother also has diabetes and I’d love for him to have it.
Thank God I did it. I’m so pleased.
Who is in your care circle?
My husband and my sons are all about my health and helping me understand certain things. We have a rowing machine and a treadmill. My dad will ask about me and make sure that I’m taking care of myself. My doctor is great; she isn’t too pushy and that helps and she encourages me.
What would you tell someone who’s never heard of Livongo before?
I would tell them that it’s a meter that gives you the incentive to check your blood sugar daily because it’s so easy. The benefit of seeing everything so easily with the app and being able to follow everything so closely is great. You can really see if you’re doing well or not. It’s such an eye-opener, and it’s important to keep the good numbers because of how it affects your body in the long run. It’s so convenient.