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St. Joseph Regional Health Network’s Diabetes Wellness program promotes self-management of the disease to achieve treatment goals that bring about healthy outcomes. Your gift to support Diabetes Wellness will help us create a healthier community by making a difference in the lives of our patients with diabetes.
Learning to Live Healthier with Diabetes
When Merlyn Davis was first diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes more than ten years ago, she was scared. She saw firsthand how the disease affected her mother and many family members who lost their limbs to diabetes.
Recently, Merlyn began to lose her vision and had cataract surgery to correct her vision problem. However, she was actually developing diabetic retinopathy, because she was not managing her diabetes. Reducing her blood sugar immediately was her only option. Fearing the possibility of blindness, Merlyn sought help to learn how to take care of herself and manage her disease.
Merlyn’s primary care physician recommended that she enroll in the Diabetes Management classes held at St. Joseph Regional Health Network’s Downtown Reading Campus. It was at these classes that Merlyn met Kim Wolf, DO and Kathy Henry, RN, BSN who lead the group classes with other St. Joe’s clinicians, therapists, dieticians and health educators.
Merlyn now manages her diabetes because she learned so much in these classes about nutrition, exercise, medications, and lifestyle and coping skills. “I learned that I did not need to be afraid of having diabetes – that, if you take care of yourself, the disease is manageable, and I can live a life like anyone else,” states Merlyn. Noting that her new motto is “A1C is key,” Merlyn has reduced her own A1C (average blood sugar over previous three months) to a level that is commendable.