Jeremy B., a Diabetes STAR Patient
Many of Jeremy’s first thoughts about his diagnosis were driven by fear. Would he have to give himself shots? How would he deal with his health—and juggle his role as stay-at-home father? Would he die?
Not to worry! Jeremy has created a positive, loving environment and built up good habits to improve his health. He has lost over 200 pounds, cut his medications in half and brought his diabetes under control. “The more you do, the more progress you make,” says Jeremy. “I am very motivated to keep going!"
Finding the Positive
Jeremy was concerned by persistent swelling in his legs. So he visited his PacMed primary care provider. The diagnosis: lymphedema and type 2 diabetes. Diabetes runs in Jeremy’s family, so he wasn’t entirely surprised. Plus, his weight topped 475 pounds, and he knew he had poor eating habits.
It took Georgia four years to lose 130 pounds—an amount that’s more than her current body weight. She’s kept it off for five years. And this past spring, Georgia’s doctor took her off all her medications!
Jeremy wants to live a long life and enjoy his son and daughter as they grew into adulthood. To turn things around, he focused on the positive.
Nothing Like Good Friends
Jeremy’s first task was to create a caring, encouraging team. At home, he was in a stressful and unsupportive situation and felt isolated. Every effort at good health was sabotaged. So he made a big change: he left and moved in with a good friend.
“Ever since I moved, I’ve lost weight,” says Jeremy. In 15 months, he dropped close to 200 pounds. With less stress in his life, he no longer lets his emotions control his eating. “My friend believes in me. He encourages me to take walks—and gets on me when I slip up.” Twice a month, they loosen up, heading out for a meal and trivia at a favorite pub.
Jeremy continues to see the same doctor, even though he is now farther from the clinic. They have a strong rapport and have found solutions that suit Jeremy. Not a fan of needles, he is pleased to use pills rather than injections to help manage his diabetes.
Taking Charge for Good Health
“It’s important to take charge of your health,” Jeremy advises. He takes the stairs at the light rail station, instead of the escalator. He uses a blood sugar meter to make sure his sugar levels are between 40 and 150 . By attending nutrition classes, he has learned about ingredients and portions—“It’s all about the process of managing what you eat.”
After a recent snow storm, Jeremy shoveled a path for his neighbor. Not so long ago, he wouldn’t have even thought about doing that! He wasn’t emotionally and physically capable to help out like that.”
Today, he’s aiming for 300 pounds and hopes to buy a bike. “I feel so much better and have the energy to do more things,” says Jeremy. “It’s an incredible feeling!”
PacMed can help you find an approach that suits you. Talk to your provider and learn more at www.PacMed.org/diabetes.”