Instructor battles disease, continues to live normal life

Dr. Casey Cole, associate professor of psychology, has been teaching for 13 years, the past seven years at Missouri Southern.

What most students and faculty might not know is that he has diabetes. He was diagnosed as being diabetic at the age of 3.

Not remembering much because it was at such a young age, Cole does recall he was sick and passing out a lot, and his energy level was nonexistent.

“It took awhile for doctors to figure it out,” Cole said.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, diabetes is a “metabolic disorder characterized by deficient insulin secretion, leading to excess sugar in the urine and blood.”

There are two types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Cole has type 1, meaning he is insulin dependent. Since he was diagnosed, he has been taking insulin shots every day. Up until three years ago, he switched to a new method of insulin injection: using an insulin pump.

“Using the pump is a much more efficient way of controlling my blood sugar,” Cole said.

The difference between the pump and injections by a simple shot is that the pump has a needle that is shot into the stomach, then taken out, leaving a little silicon-type tube in its place, which acts as a passageway for the insulin. Instead of injecting a needle into his skin every time he needs insulin, he pushes a button on a cartridge worn on his hip that is connected to his stomach. This shoots insulin into his body.

Cole said he does not believe his home or work life has been restricted because of the disorder.