Newark, N.J., native Elizabeth Jacqueline “Jackie” Dilley spent many years working as a manager for an insurance company and her husband, Fred, kept busy with his work. They also raised three children.
When retirement time came they wanted a place away from the snow and ice of the northeast U.S. and they chose a beachfront property right on the water in North Carolina.
Jackie, who is 87 and has been retired for 28 years, says she had heard about Type 2 diabetes but never had to deal with it until 10 years ago. “It showed up on a routine blood test and I have been good about watching what I eat, exercising, checking my blood sugar level with the test strips, maintaining my log and keeping all of my doctor’s appointments.”
In fact, she credits her physicians with helping her all this time. “My doctors really helped by keeping a close watch on me,” Jackie explains. “I can’t say enough about how much their help has meant to me. They order whatever blood tests I need then go over them carefully with me a few days later when I have my appointment.
“At that point I get to ask whatever questions I have whether it’s about my diet, my medication, additional tests, whatever.”
Knowing that she has had to play a large part in the management of her Type 2 diabetes, Jackie says, “I take it seriously but I don’t dwell on it. I go about my day and have fun. Three times a week I go to the senior center near my home and I get to do a lot of things there.
“The other seniors and I play games, do arts and crafts, and get to socialize. We don’t really spend time talking about our various medical problems – we get chatting and see what’s new in each other’s lives.”
Using her time wisely, Jackie makes sure that she does some floor and chair exercises when she is at the senior center. Jackie’s husband passed away several years ago but she and her daughter, who lives with her, keep busy visiting their many other relatives. “We always have something lined up to do,” she says.
When Jackie is not spending time on the beach, seeing relatives and socializing at the senior center, she enjoys reading a book that grabs her attention from page one. “I always have a list of books that I want to read. Watching TV all day long is really not for me but there’s nothing like getting engrossed in a good book,” she notes.