It takes a community to care for a patient
By RENEE STOVSKY
Billie Jo Kesso, 43, has been struggling to manage her diabetes and its complications since she was 22. Two years ago, she and her teenaged son moved from Chicago to Phoenix to live with her mother, a retiree.
"I was unable to live on my own but I felt like my disease was suffocating me," she says. "I was afraid to leave the house because I worried about passing out whenever I was alone. But at home, my mother — who had already lost another daughter to diabetes — hovered over me. I was struggling financially and physically, and emotionally I just felt so isolated."
That's when Kesso's mother encouraged her to make an appointment at the Internal Medicine Clinic at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix.