April’s Follow-up Diabetes Story - Pella Regional Health Center

Felt Comfortable at Pella

April and Larry PothovenApril Pothoven, resident of Knoxville, was diagnosed with diabetes at the beginning of 2012 when she was admitted to the hospital floor for a week.

During that stay in the hospital she was taught the skills to navigate insulin injections and menu plans to keep her blood sugar low. By the time she left, she felt well-equipped to go home and care for herself.

Since April was doing well and feeling a lot better, she and her husband decided to try for the baby they had been planning. They were excited to find out that a baby was on the way within a short period of time.

“I wasn’t worried at all about being pregnant. I felt great and we were so excited,” said April.

Unfortunately, April struggled with dehydration at the start of her pregnancy which, given her health status, was high-risk. While her pregnancy was managed with the help of a specialist, April continued her diabetes care at Pella Regional with Marsha Collins, PA-C.

“I switched my care back to Marsha,” said April. “I just didn’t trust some of the medication changes that were being made and felt more comfortable back in Pella.”

April would fax her blood sugar levels on a weekly basis to Marsha and the diabetes team to check if adjustments were needed. She also found the nursing staff to be helpful with getting prescriptions filled and insurance issues.

While April’s diabetes treatment was managed well, unrelated health concerns led to worries that the baby wasn’t growing at a rate the doctors were comfortable with and they decided to deliver early. While due in May, baby Larry was born in March and was 1 pound 13 ounces.

While he was small and had a bit of a rough start, Larry is now doing great and being enjoyed to the fullest extent possible by his parents and other family. “He’s doing very well,” said April with a smile.

Throughout the experience, April said the main things she learned were to keep eating a healthy diabetic diet and to take and use the advice of her trusted medical professionals.