This Diagnosis Was a Shocking Surprise

In the immunodeficiency department, Cat Latuszek hit the unfortunate jackpot.

After a lifetime of ear infections, she was finally diagnosed with Common Variable Immune Deficiency, or CVID, at the age of 29. Her diagnosis was delayed because at age 11, she developed type 1 diabetes.

Because Cat adamantly refused to monitor her blood glucose levels, doctors blamed her poor health on being a “non-compliant” patient, a term Latuszek would like to see stricken from the dictionary.

fire burning book
Stricken. Burned. Either way, that term is gone. Source:

Diabetes is considered an autoimmune disease because it occurs when the immune system attacks the beta cells (the ones responsible for making insulin) in the pancreas.

  • In type 1, the pancreas produces zero insulin and the person is dependent on insulin injections.
  • In type 2, the person’s pancreas produces some insulin, but the body doesn’t use it properly.

In many cases, people with type 2 can control their diabetes through diet and exercise; but many take oral medications, and some also take insulin injections.

People with CVID are prone to getting infections, most commonly in the ears, sinuses, and lungs; and when infections occur, it can send blood glucose levels into the stratosphere — making it harder to treat the infection.

Despite the bevy of serious health issues Latuszek has dealt with throughout her life, she hasn’t let it stop her from moving forward.

She is presently attending college, she’s the mother to a toddler, and she occasionally blogs about her experiences.

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn is passionate about raising awareness of rare diseases and disorders and helping people connect with the resources that may ease their journey. Erica has been a caregiver, and is a patient, herself, so she completely relates to the rare disease community--on a deeply personal level.

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