Brynne's midwifery story

Midwife provides gynecologic care

I first made an appointment with a midwife with UI Health Care to treat a stubborn yeast infection.

As it turned out, this fairly routine visit may have saved my life.

Prior to meeting with a midwife, I spent three months battling the infection. I went to a handful of doctors, tried all kinds of medications, and yet nothing seemed to work. I was frustrated, uncomfortable, and desperate for somebody to help me fix the problem once and for all.

When I called the UI Health Care gynecology clinic to make another appointment, the scheduler suggested that I see Laura Dellos, a midwife, since she was available immediately. At the time, I didn’t know what a midwife was or that they could provide gynecologic care, but it didn’t matter to me as long as she could help.

Now that I know Laura, I couldn’t be more grateful that I landed in her clinic that day.

When I explained my frustrations and fears to Laura, I felt like she really listened to me. She gave me a prescription to treat the yeast infection, but she didn’t stop there. Laura decided we should run some tests to determine the root of this ongoing concern. After the blood work came back, we learned that the infection was actually a symptom of a much larger problem: I had undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes.

Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition in which the pancreas does not produce insulin. It’s commonly referred to as juvenile diabetes, but I quickly learned that it can be diagnosed later in life as well. Typically, when food is digested, a sugar called glucose enters the bloodstream and the pancreas makes insulin. Then, insulin is used to move glucose from the bloodstream to be used as fuel.

Since my pancreas doesn’t work properly, I can’t digest glucose unless I give myself a shot of insulin. Without insulin, the glucose stays in my bloodstream and spikes my blood sugar, which can be very dangerous. Normal fasting blood sugar is considered below 99 mg/dL. Diabetes is commonly diagnosed when blood sugar is over 126 mg/dL. On the day that I met Laura, my blood sugar was over 400 mg/dL.

My blood sugar level was the reason why I couldn’t get rid of the yeast infection in the first place. The yeast was feeding off of the excess sugars in my blood, Laura explained, which is why the traditional approaches to treat the yeast infection didn’t work.

If left undiagnosed and untreated, diabetes can be life-threatening. Fortunately, with Laura’s help and quick thinking, we were able to catch the diabetes before it led to something worse. Her diagnosis was the first step to getting my blood sugars under control and starting a new part of my life.

I still see Laura for my annual visits, and I always thank her for really listening and finding the root of my problem. It’s so important to feel comfortable and heard–especially when it comes to gynecologic care–and that’s exactly what I get from Laura.

Learn more about our midwives and the services they offer.

Iowa City