From Chaos to Control: Jordan’s Journey with Type 1 Diabetes

Jordan Turner is busy. She’s a new mom and full-time college student. She is no stranger to feeling tired. It just comes with the territory... so she thought. Pregnant with her first child, she had symptoms of diabetes but they were easily confused with typical pregnancy issues. She was very tired, had no motivation, was thirsty all the time and had trouble concentrating.

Like most women, she went to her routine obstetrician appointment and offered her urine sample. From that sample alone, her doctors were pretty sure she was diabetic and confirmed it with blood tests. But, since she was pregnant and had no history of the disease, the diagnosis was gestational diabetes, a condition that occurs when insulin receptors are not functioning properly because of pregnancy-related changes to hormones resulting in high blood sugar. She started seeing an endocrine doctor in Greenville. Managing the diabetes was challenging. Yet, she gave birth to a healthy son and hoped for a return to normalcy.

After the birth of her son she still felt bad, really bad. Her blood sugar was out of control. She went back to Greenville for more tests. They confirmed that she not only had Type 1 diabetes, but also hypothyroidism, her thyroid was not producing enough hormones causing more complicated symptoms. Her journey just got more complicated.

Finding answers close to home

A new mom and new to diabetes, Jordan did the best she could to continue her studies. It was hard but she dug her heels in and kept going. With a two and a half year old, she learned she was pregnant again. Familiar with her disease and more informed the second time around, Jordan had a great local medical team supporting her, but she still had to travel to Greenville to see her endocrinology doctor. That meant a weekly two-and-a-half hour drive, round trip from her home in Abbeville County.

To make matters worse, her internal medicine doctor did not have experience with the conditions that were complicating her pregnancy making her question the quality of her care. She spoke with her cousin, a pediatrician, who advised her to seek the expertise of a high-risk OB/GYN immediately. She decided to go to AnMed Health in Anderson for her high-risk pregnancy—a turning point in her care.

Jordan spent nearly every day of her second pregnancy with doctors. The good news, most of them were close to home except for the endocrine doctor who managed her diabetes. Despite her difficulties, she gave birth to her second child, a baby girl.

This is when the trips to Greenville became too much. She didn’t feel safe driving all that way with her toddler son, newborn daughter and the nagging possibility of the quick onset of symptoms from dramatic swings in blood sugar—she felt horrible. Her maternal fetal doctors recommended a visit to Dr. Ravi Kant, endocrinology doctor at AnMed Health. They even called and made her appointment. That same week, she met Dr. Kant for the first time. Her daughter was about 6 weeks old.

Counting on the calculations

Right off the bat she liked Dr. Kant. He spent a lot of time with her performing several tests and making even more calculations. He was verifying herbasal rate, which determines her insulin needs. At that first visit, Dr. Kent cut her insulin by more than half. He was her hero. The overuse of insulin was causing the dramatic swings in blood sugar. She immediately felt better. In fact, she felt better than before her initial diagnosis more than three years earlier.

In Jordan’s opinion, “Dr. Kant is very smart and thorough. He determines insulin and hormone levels based on tests and calculations. Once he got my basal rate for my insulin pump under control, he started working on my carbohydrate ratio. Within 2-3 visits, he had me feeling back to normal. Now, I just go in for maintenance visits to make any slight adjustments. He also maintains my hypothyroidism with medication. We monitor that about once a year.”

She’s also happy with AnMed Health in general, “Everywhere I have been at AnMed Health in Anderson has been excellent. It’s great care all in one place close to home. It’s convenient and helpful for a new mom with two kids and a full time student. Now, I can concentrate on finishing my bachelor’s degree in business.”