Touchdown for Diabetes

       
        Our story        Touchdown for Diabetes Thursday, September 26th, 2019   
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Michael       

Michael

       

Michael has had Type 1 diabetes for the past 14 years. He had always done a good job of taking care of his own health. Then he lost his good paying job and insurance in 2008. He states that he felt abandoned and hopeless when he lost his insurance. He was always worried about being active due to possible low blood sugars. At that time he relied on his family for support. His own self care when it came to his diabetes was sparse. Instead of the quarterly diabetes check-ups he was seeing a doctor once or less per year.

       

Since his acceptance into the Diabetes Underinsured Clinic in June 2012, his attitude about his diabetes is much more positive. He shares that he has learned a lot more from the nurses, dietitians and Dr. Valitutto, than he thought he knew. Michael says he has now learned how to live a much more active lifestyle thanks to the great staff at Borgess Diabetes Center. He has received over $2000 in patient assistance for his diabetes medications and supplies. He states what he likes most about the program is that everyone is very personable and are open to when he needs help.

   
   
Susan       

Susan

       

Susan has been in the uninsured clinic since March 15, 2013. She says the program has been a tremendous help to her health. Upon losing her job and a new diagnoses of diabetes, Susan was fearful of what to do to care for her health and states she does not know what would have happened if it were not for the care she received through the DUC program. Her A1c was 9.9%, an average of 220 for her blood glucose. Her A1c is now 6.9% which is an average of 151 for her blood glucose.

       

Susan says she is glad she has been in the program. Since receiving education and care at the clinic she has felt proactive in taking care of herself and says she has even been helping some of her friends with their diabetes. Though she would not have wished this for herself she states that "it has been an awesome ride for the better." She has lost thirty pounds and now has lots of energy. Susan obtained a new job in June and will soon have insurance in the middle of September. She wants you to know that she is very thankful for the Diabetes Uninsured Clinic. "The support and the knowledge have helped me to get my life back!"

   
   
Tom       

Tom

       

Tom felt bad all over. The 57-year- old had gained 50 pounds, he could no longer pass a standard physical to drive a truck, and almost any movement was a challenge to the man accustomed to roofing, plumbing, or remodeling a house in his spare time. Tom's Type 2 diabetes was out of control. He needed help to control a devastating illness that eliminated his job and the medical insurance coverage needed to fight the costliest disease in America.

       

"My life changed from night to day after receiving care at the Borgess Diabetes & Endocrine Center (which includes the Borgess Uninsured Diabetes Clinic)," Tom said. "The advice of nurse practitioner Erin, and many others, restored my blood-sugar readings and AIC (long-term measure of blood sugar control) to near normal levels. Now I'm slimmer and again energetic," Tom said. "I can knock out a wall to install a patio door, re-wire a room, or again drive a truck."

   
   
Delores       

Delores

       

Delores, a usually cheerful 57 year old African American woman has had diabetes for 19 years. She had taken care of it until 2010, when her life began to crumble. She had a great job for thirteen years when the economic downturn changed everything. She had always had great insurance including eye and dental and had never had any difficulty with paying for co-pays for her appointments or her medications.

       

Losing her job turned her whole world upside down. She found out how expensive her insulin and oral medications for diabetes really were. She was baffled that she was in this situation. Her diabetes care began to fall behind. She checked her blood sugars at the most three times per week dramatically down from the usual two times per day. Her blood sugars were high and her A1C was 8.3. She did not care what she ate when she did eat. She fell into a depression. Her relationships also began to fall apart.  She was frightened about how and if she would be able to obtain her medications. She was fearful of how to continue to take care of herself.

       

She says she prayed about it, and talked with friends in her church. She decided to go to her primary care physician while she still had insurance. He recommended that she go to diabetes education classes. Delores was worn out and cried about everything. She stated that when she found out about our Diabetes Underinsured Clinic it was a great relief. Delores qualified for the Diabetes Underinsured Clinic in May 2011.

       

Since coming to the clinic she has brought her blood sugars within normal limits. Her most recent A1C in September 2011 is 6.8. She now checks her blood sugars 2-3 times per day. She also counts carbohydrates at each of her meals. The Diabetes Underinsured Clinic has helped Delores with patient assistance programs for her medications. From May to September 2011 the clinic has provided her $8000 in patient assistance. She states that since getting into the Diabetes Underinsured Clinic she has been able to focus. She exclaims how much energy she now has, and has also obtained financial aid to start taking classes towards an associate degree in business. She is proud of herself.

   
   
Robert       

Robert

       

When Robert first enrolled he was very ill. He was fifty pounds underweight and had been diagnosed with a complication of diabetes called gastro paresis. Robert says he had been seeing a gastroenterologist but the diabetes piece of his health was not being dealt with. Robert has no insurance though he does have a job he is unable to afford the cost of his diabetes. Robert states without the clinic he does not believe he would have gotten healthier.

       

Robert says that Dr. Valitutto has gotten him on the right track. Before he saw Dr. Valitutto, he stated that he could not stop vomiting and could not seem to eat anything. It took Robert six months for his body to recover after his initial visit. The Diabetes Underinsured Clinic (DUC) also provided him with diabetes education where he saw a dietitian that helped him with a strict specialized diet and a nurse that helped him to adjust his insulin to get his blood glucose back under control. His A1c which is a 2-3 month average measure of blood glucose readings at the start of the DUC program was 13.3 which is an estimated average blood glucose of 335. His current A1c reading is 8.5 which is an estimated average blood glucose of 193. While his blood glucose is still above the range that is recommended by the ADA, Robert has had a long road of healing his body.

       

Robert says that he has been impressed with the program ever since he walked into the Borgess Diabetes Centers office. He stated that all the office staff have been extremely helpful. He enjoys the shared medical appointments where patients share information about their experience living with diabetes. He says the information that has been shared has been really helpful. Robert has received patient assistance in the past year for his insulin and thyroid meds that have totaled $5,139.70. This has been a big relief for Robert along with the covered expenses of the DUC program.

   
               
                   
                       
                                                       

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