A Patient's Story of Managing Diabetes

Long time Othello resident Olivia Salas made her first visit to the Othello Clinic recently. “A navigator (patient service representative) met me as I entered and helped direct me to where I needed to go,” she said. “The new clinic is really pretty and I felt very comfortable being here.”

CBHA has always served Olivia’s health care needs – medical, dental, vision and behavioral health. Dr. Randy Bunch is her medical provider and Dr. Callin Passey is her optometrist. Olivia also receives her dental care at CBHA.

Olivia was diagnosed with diabetes 24 years ago during her first pregnancy. Blood sugar levels returned to normal readings after the pregnancy only to rise to higher levels later. She gave birth to twins six years later. “Dr. Bunch delivered my babies and has cared for us all ever since,” Olivia said.

Dr. Bunch stressed the importance, when caring for diabetic patients, of keeping careful watch over their medical, vision, dental and mental health at the same time. “That is the beauty of having all these services available at CBHA,” he said.

Olivia said she learns so much when she meets with CBHA registered dieticians Karlee Kerr and Gabriela Araico. “I meet with the counselors in behavioral health when the stress of living with diabetes starts to bother me emotionally.”

Olivia pays careful attention to her health. She regularly checks her blood levels and has learned to recognize the warning signs when the sugar levels in her blood become dangerously low. Symptoms include blurry vision, dizziness and episodes of sweating. Olivia takes oral medication during the day and an injection of insulin at bedtime.

Olivia gets regular exercise and enjoys walking when the weather permits. She is on a mission to educate her children and teach them to eat properly. “My son goes to the gym and his sister is picking apples as we speak,” she said.

Olivia’s father was diagnosed with diabetes four years ago; her brother died from diabetes one year ago.

“I want to do everything in my power to keep my children from going through what my father, brother and I have gone through.”