Health Impact Story: Maximiana

I would like to share with you the story of one of our diabetes patients named Maximiana. Maximiana was diagnosed with diabetes about two years ago. After the diagnosis, she decided that she wanted to change her life and be healthier. She heard about our work at the local hospital and came to visit us. We enrolled her in our monthly follow-up program and referred her to the exercise group that Katie and I lead three days a week.

For patients enrolled in our follow-up program, we give them a booklet that walks them through several steps to manage their diabetes. We measure their weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar every visit and record it all in the booklet. The booklet shows the patient which laboratory tests are recommended every year and how to interpret their results in layman’s terms. It also includes several informational pages about various topics like carbohydrate counting and medicine facts that we read through together during each visit. Maximiana told me that the program really helped her to be informed about her disease and what lab work she needs to get done throughout the year.

I'm also happy to say over the past two years she has lost 35 pounds! She accredits this to eating healthier and exercising. She also says that every time she had an appointment with us she could see in her diabetes booklet that her weight was decreasing and it encouraged her to keep losing more and more weight. Going to the exercise group with Katie and I also helped her. She’s a regular now, but said that when we first told her about the group she was hesitant to come. She soon realized that it was harder than she thought to consistently do exercises alone at her house. The communal aspect of our group drew her in and she found it much easier when surrounded by other women who shared her goal of getting healthy.

She has kept her blood sugar levels under control for the past two years. She recently did an A1c test, which measures your average blood sugar levels over the past three months. Her results showed that she is within the target range and had improved from six months earlier. It was uplifting to interview Maximiana for this article. Even after being diagnosed with a chronic disease, she did not give up but instead decided to fight to be healthy and we were able to help her in her fight. It is for patients like her that we continue to do what we are doing with the exercise group and with the diabetes program.