When Sharon Thompson was diagnosed with diabetes, she had just celebrated a birthday. Little did she know things were about to change. “It came as quite a shock when I received a phone call with my Type 2 diabetes diagnosis,” says Thompson.
Though the news was certainly unsettling, Thompson was quickly put at ease after her physician, Dr. Bernadette Gyano, recommended that she see Jill Williams, Loring Hospital’s registered dietitian and diabetes education coordinator.
Loring Hospital’s Diabetes Education Program
Thompson has been a longtime participant in Loring Hospital’s Diabetes Education Program. She first began participating in the program back in 2017, and continues to meet with Williams once every three months as a way to keep her “health top of mind and maintain a measure of accountability.”
With Williams’ help, Thompson has been able to establish maintainable goals to better manage her diabetes. For her, Williams’ optimism shines through above all else. Thompson says about Williams, “She is so cheerful. She is so reassuring.”
Having participated in the program for four years, Thompson is a firm believer in the program’s effectiveness. Through the Diabetes Education Program, she’s learned how to become an active self-manager of her diabetes and how to take responsibility for her day.
“When I get up in the morning, I need to have a plan,” says Thompson. “I need to make a checklist to make sure I exercise, test my blood sugar, play the piano to relieve stress, as well as weigh the pros and cons of snacking and eating healthy.”
“Better Choices, Better Health”
A large part of Thompson’s healthy-eating mindset is due to a class she took last spring taught by Williams and Julie Gerdes, registered nurse at Loring Hospital. The class, entitled “Better Choices, Better Health,” is a seven-week course that focuses on managing good health – including identifying ways in which healthy eating can directly impact a person’s health – an important topic for individuals with diabetes.
“The class taught me to eat healthy and in moderation and to diligently pursue daily walking in an active attempt to lower my A1C numbers and my weight,” explains Thompson.
And it worked! “Dr. Gyano is thrilled with my A1C numbers,” says Thompson. “I’m always so happy when Dr. Gyano is happy.”
Interested in More Info?
For those interested in taking Loring Hospital’s “Better Choices, Better Health” class, another will be offered on Mondays beginning February 7 – March 21 from 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm. Please call 712-662-6379 for more information regarding the class or about Loring Hospital’s Diabetes Education Program.