Posted by Divya Sathyanarayanan

The first thing you notice when you walk into Marichel Verde’s office at CHA HPMC is a giant jar of candies. Don’t let this image trick you, because Marichel—Director of Medical-Surgical Unit at CHA HPMC—doesn’t eat a single candy, thanks to type 2 diabetes.

Family members and colleagues know Marichel as someone always on her feet, pacing through the hospital floors. “I was no longer the same person and felt tired and thirsty very often,” she recalls. After consulting the doctor, Marichel found that she had type 2 diabetes. “My Hemoglobin A1C (average blood sugar level) was 12%, when the normal range is below 5.7%. The doctor had never seen a case like mine,” she says.

Marichel’s journey with diabetes started in 2005. But diabetes was not the first major health setback for her. At the age of 24, she was diagnosed with uterine cancer and underwent surgery and treatment. “Nine years after I was diagnosed with cancer, my diabetic journey began—it was like I had one setback after another,” she says.

Marichel refused to be let down by another health setback. “As a nurse, I understand diabetes and its impact on other organs if not properly treated. So I started medications and treatment immediately,” she says. Marichel did not let diabetes impact her vigor and enthusiasm at work. She continues to be active, pacing around the hospital and motivating others, who have diabetes, with her own story. “Support is a key resource in conquering this disease and I like to share my experience with others to help them,” she says. Marichel adds that it is also important to be compliant with medications and follow-ups visits with doctor.

At work, Marichel’s team keeps a check on her health. Whenever they notice her unusually quiet or inactive, they make sure to check on her and her blood sugar levels. “My CHA HPMC family looks after me always,” she says with a cheerful smile.
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