Diabetes. Disease. Chronic Health Issue. PWD. No matter how you refer to it, the diagnosis of diabetes is life changing.
Meet Vanessa. Hardworking. Busy living her life when BAM! She was diagnosed with Type II Diabetes in January of this year. The weekend after being diagnosed she cried and cried and then cried some more. But then she wiped away her tears and made up her mind that she COULD and WOULD make the changes she needed for her health.
First step. Her primary care physician referred her to the Athens Regional Diabetes Education Department. She considers the series of four classes as “the most important part of her journey to better health and well being.” Group classes helped her to realize she wasn’t alone. Knowledgeable instructors informed her about the physical effects of Diabetes. Working with educators and dietitians, she learned how to recognize the effects of what she ate to how she felt. Blood sugar monitoring and the need for exercise and nutrition were all things that Vanessa had to learn more about to manage her health and her condition.
Ongoing support group meetings help keep her on track and healthy.
As a “foodie,” Vanessa loved food. She loved to eat and loved the convenience of fast and processed food. Not anymore. She marvels at how different her pantry looks now that she reads labels and is educated on smarter food choices. Being healthy for Vanessa means fresh veggies, lean meats, and portion control combined with exercise. Lessons she learned from Diabetes Education. She’s amazed at the difference a few small changes have made in her health.
The Athens Regional Diabetes Education Department partnered with Vanessa to show her how Diabetes can affect her body and her mind. The lessons she learned in February have remained part of her daily life. The relationships she made as part of the Diabetes Support group give her strength. The Diabetes Educators provided her with the tools but she did the work. And she continues to work. Daily exercise has lowered her weight which has helped improve her health.
Be like Vanessa. Don’t let Diabetes be a disease that controls you. Let Diabetes Education give you the tools to learn small lifestyle adjustments that takes the control away from the chronic health issue and gives it back to you.
Our Support Group meets the first Monday of every month at 6 p.m. in the Education Center on the third floor of the Medical Services Building.