Wednesday, July 3, 2013

First week in Norfolk!

Hello everyone! 

My name is Adrian Cobiella and I am from Orlando, Fl. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 10 years ago the day after Mother’s day when I was 11 years old. I am currently a student at the University of North Florida.

For the past ten years I have always known that I wanted to work in the diabetic community helping others. Therefore, this internship is going to be fantastic for my future career! My internship at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) will consist of

  •  Assisting with community diabetes screening events. 
  • Facilitating screening activity
  • Assist with patient recruitment and patient enrollment 
  •   Assist with data collection for the Wellpoint grant.
  • Working with the endocrinologist, Nurse Practitioners, CDE’s, and other doctors.

My internship’s journey began on Thursday when my mom and I started our 12 hour drive from Florida to Virginia! The drive was not as boring as I thought because we were able to stop at the famous tourist attraction “South of the Border” in South Carolina. The attraction was full of mexican inspired buildings and fun souvenirs.

 Friday- My mom and I were able to experience the horrible traffic that Norfolk has to offer. On our way to EVMS our 10 minute drive turned into a 2 hour drive. I now know to always leave plenty of time to get wherever I need to be! After being in traffic I moved into my new apartment.

Saturday- My mom and I explored the city of Norfolk. We had a great time seeing what life on the  Navy Battleship Wisconsin was like. I became very claustrophobic in the bottom of the ship and lets just say I will not be joining the Navy anytime soon! However, it was a lot of fun to see what life in the Navy was like on the ship!

  Going to the very bottom of the battleship!
 These are the bunk beds that the sailors slept in! Very small and cramped! 

 The dentist office on the ship. 

The chapel on Battleship Wisconsin. 

Monday- was my first day at EVMS! I first received my employee badge and then went on to learn all about EVMS and the great things that they have done for the community. For instance, December 1981: Elizabeth Carr, the nation’s first child conceived through vitro fertilization, was born in Norfolk General Hospital under the care of IVF innovators Drs. Howard and Georgenna Jones. Dr. Mason Andrews performs the delivery(, EVMS History) 
Tuesday-I had a lot of training to complete before I could begin to work. However, I had the chance to meet everyone in the office and they are all fantastic. I am very excited to start working with everyone.
WednesdayToday was great I was able to work with Dr. Aloi following him while he met with patients. Hearing everyones story about how they handle living with diabetes was very interesting and educational. I also learned how to check someones A1C and cholesterol levels for when we will begin to go out on study's.  The second half of the day I was able to follow a nurse practitioner while she met with her patients. I learned about how different people view having and caring for diabetes.   

Thursday- Independence day! 
Friday-  I went to Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach to work with pregnant women with gestational diabetes mellitus(GDM). I had the opportunity to work with Phyllis Woodson an amazing Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) and Certified Dietitian (CD). I learned so much about gestational diabetes and what the mother must do to manage it. For instance, if a pregnant woman can control her GDM by eating a strict diet  she may never have to go on insulin or pills to control her blood sugars. The women I met today who had GDM had either had it in a previous pregnancy or had a family history of type 2 diabetes. Educating those with GDM is very important because GDM increases the woman’s chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life by 35-60%. Therefore, a CDE must educate the mother on how to not only have healthy eating habits now but also after she gives birth. The education process is mostly focused on the type of food and how much food the mother can consume while pregnant. Some major changes the mother must do:

  • No sugary sodas or juices. 
  • No milk and fruit together.
  • No milk or fruit for breakfast. 
  • Only 1 piece of fruit a day. 
  • Must eat protein with a carbohydrate. 
These changes in diet are also required for a pregnant woman with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. 
View from the office.

I had such a great first week in Norfolk, Va and I cannot wait to see what the next 5 weeks have in store!

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