Melissa Webb, 43, of Huntingdon has had Type I diabetes, better known as juvenile diabetes, since she was nine-years-old. She is the daughter of Stanley and Vickie Scates, and was raised in Clarksburg and also attended school there, graduating in Clarksburg High School’s class of 1995.
She was married to Craig Webb, who died suddenly on Oct. 28 of this year. They have one daughter, Ashley Horn, 26, of Lexington.
Melissa serves as first deputy in the Carroll County clerk’s office.
Her diabetes is a disease that she has to keep watch on daily. Her every day routine is four shots of insulin. However, she does not have to wear a pump, she is glad to say.
She knows from experience that she must always keep a check on her blood sugar.
She had a scare one time when she was at Opryland. She thinks probably that she drank a soft drink with sugar and her sugar level went out of control and became extremely high. She managed to make it to Jackson where she stopped off at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital. The medical staff normalized her blood sugar by giving her a small amount of insulin at a time.
Over the years an ambulance had to be called because of her low sugar level. However, she has never had to go to the hospital because an EMT was able to regulate it.
Becoming emotional, she said her late husband had saved her many times from having to go to the hospital.
Since her husband’s death, she is having to set her clock at 12:30, 2:30 and 4:30 a.m. and take her blood sugar to make sure it is ok.
A free style libre that she now uses to test her sugar level is a life saver. She has a sensor that sticks in her arm. She merely runs the monitor over the libra and it instantly takes the reading. The sensor has to be replaced every 14 days. She says she tests her sugar 30 or 40 times a day.
“I no longer have to do finger pricks,”she said. “I don’t like for my sugar reading to get over 150.”
She always keeps some type of snack, like peanut butter, crackers, cake icing and orange juice on a night stand by her bed so she can up her sugar level if it gets too low. Otherwise, she could lose consciousness.
As a child, she had the classic symptoms of weight loss, excessive thirst and urination, besides being excessively tired.
“My mother knew something was wrong because I wasn’t my usual self,” said Melissa.”She took me to the doctor and that’s when we found out. She was pretty upset because I was so young.”
Melissa was put in the hospital for about a week with her mother and daddy staying with her. There they gained knowledge of what she had to do to keep her blood sugar level as normal as possible.
For a while until she learned to do the shots herself, her mother administered them.
Aggression and anger go along with low blood sugar. Often if will be toward the person who is trying to assist and afterwards there is no remembrance of it. Unconsciousness can follow and even death if the sugar level is not elevated.
“Sometimes your sugar level will just simply get out of control,” said Melissa. “It’s a game of trying to regulate your food intake and insulin,. I’ve been lucky because for the most part I keep mine under control.”
She urges anyone who has it or suspects they have diabetes to think about their care longterm.
“Take care of yourself because it will pay off later in life,” she said.