FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Saying ‘goodbye’ to diabetes. After decades of finger pricks, insulin shots– and some scary close calls– Lori Fulps is getting a new lease on life and it’s sweet.
“What do you want? Peppermint milkshake?” asks an Uncle as they approach the drive thru menu at Braum’s. “When I was a kid they used to have them,” replied Fulps longingly. “That was a long time go!” Uncle affectionately hits back.
Too long. Until now.
The sweet treats have been off limits since Fulps was diagnosed with Type I diabetes– at 13.
“When I first became a diabetic, it was sugar and then the carbs so it’s mostly breads, potatoes, fruits with high sugar content,” recalls Fulps, describing the dietary challenges of managing her diabetes.
But the health consequences didn’t stop there. The diabetes eventually led to kidney failure.
“The hardest thing was when my kidneys shut down, then you have to watch your potassium: avocado, tomatoes, phosphorous, the milks and cheese. So you’re pretty much left with cardboard, and no condiments,” she added with laugh.
But, even managing her diet and religiously checking her blood sugar levels, Fulps’ diabetes was difficult to control.
On more than one occasion it dropped so low that she lost consciousness– and the crisis could have been fatal. Then doctors recommended a double transplant– replacing both her failing kidney and pancreas. She had the surgery in May.
“I woke up and I looked over at my brother, and I said, ‘I’m not a diabetic anymore’.”
How sweet it is. “I saw her before transplant: she looks very prettier, now,” adds her doctor, Sridhar Allam, M.D., Medical City Hospital Fort Worth. “She was sticking herself 4, 5 times a day, checking her sugars… giving injections for insulin: she doesn’t have to do that anymore, she doesn’t have to go to dialysis 3 times a week. So she’s going to live longer, much better quality of life.”
Like a cold treat on a hot day. No needles necessary.
“It’s wonderful,” says Fulps, after taking a long, cold sip of peppermint milkshake. “I’d recommend it to anyone.”