Meet Jan and Michael, two different people with hard-fought success in managing their diabetes thanks to the Diabetes Care Team and their own dedication to living healthy.

Jan’s Story – Team Support Makes a Winning Combo

Jan was diagnosed about ten years ago and although worked diligently to keep her blood sugar level in the good range, often found it hard to mesh daily-living routines with the regimen needed to manage her diabetes.

“As a typical working mom, I was taking care of everyone else but myself. I would take a class and be motivated for a while, but I found it hard to maintain my focus on keeping my A1c (blood sugar level) in the healthy range of 7 or below. Now that I have Caroline and Mandy (Caroline Vovan, Pharm D, and Amanda Imai, Nurse Practitioner), and the rest of the Diabetes Care team, I feel like I have my own personal support group. They’ve helped me with: recognizing my patterns of behavior both good and bad, developing strategies to change bad behaviors, managing stress and weight, setting goals, and they’ve coached me on making good diet choices. I feel that I receive personalized care, right down to the Team tailoring how they relate to me and my situation. And I love “myChart.” It is so easy to communicate back and forth online with the Team as well as see my test results so I know where my numbers and I stand. The bottom line is with all this help and support I have been able to significantly reduce my A1c and maintain it, and I probably couldn’t have done it without them.”

Jan’s story is not unusual. With dietary guidelines and medication routines, some patients can feel alone and isolated from “what everyone else is doing.” Managing diabetes is not a quick fix. It requires an on-going commitment to developing and using the right combination of strategies to successfully manage diabetes and reduce the risk of life-limiting complications. The Diabetes Care Team provides that support, education and attention, so patients know they have someone who understands what they’re dealing with and is truly on their side.

Michael’s Story – Back in the MemorialCare “Saddle”

Michael was one of those people who might not have found out he had diabetes if it hadn’t been for a trip to the ER in1993. While being seen for something else, the ER doctor told him to see his primary care doctor about elevated blood sugar levels. Referred by his MemorialCare Primary Care Physician (PCP) to the Diabetes Care Team, Michael began making progress in lowering his A1c test results to the recommended range of 7 or below. Then an unforeseen complication: his health insurance changed, and Michael was forced to switch medical groups. His A1c soared to over 11, and he did not get the same care and attention from the new medical group that he had with MemorialCare’s Diabetes Care Team.

After several frustrating months, Michael was finally able to enroll in his wife’s insurance and come back to MemorialCare Medical Group. Reconnected with the Diabetes Care Team, he found what he had temporarily lost: support and care.

I am so grateful to be back with MemorialCare and the Diabetes Care team - working both with me and for me. What a world of difference! My A1c is down in the “7” range, and I feel good. What I appreciate most about the Team is the support, encouragement, and guidance they provide. They give me focus and direction, especially when I come up against a challenge. They are like my own personal support team. We have the best communication, and unlike that interim medical group, they are responsive and timely. I not only know they care, I feel it. And now I’m ‘back in the saddle’ riding herd on my diabetes.

Like Jan, Michael needed help with achieving and maintaining healthy A1c levels and finding solutions when faced with a new challenge.

Diabetes and diabetic-caused complications are two of the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Currently ranked in the top seven causes, that number may actually be higher as many people are living, as Michael was, with undiagnosed diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions.

Diabetes is associated with long-term complications that affect almost every part of the body. It can often lead to blindness, heart and blood vessel disease, stroke, kidney failure, amputations, and nerve damage. Uncontrolled diabetes can complicate pregnancy, and birth defects are more common in babies born to women with diabetes. Once symptoms make themselves known, in some cases, it may be too late to prevent irreparable damage to the body.

MemorialCare’s Diabetes Care Team is for people having difficulty managing their blood sugar levels. If you, a loved one, or a friend are having trouble attaining and maintaining healthy A1c levels, talk to your primary care physician and ask if the Diabetes Care Team is the right match for you.