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Georgia Patient Fights Diabetes with Communication

In the summer of 2008, Cindy S. was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Her first reaction was fairly typical: a painful combination of denial and fear. But as we all know, nothing is ever gained by hiding from reality.

Fortunately, her primary care physician from Kaiser Permanente TownPark Medical Center in Kennesaw, Ga., had helped many patients through this transition before. With large doses of consideration and encouragement, he patiently explained the realities of her new situation.

First, he signed Cindy up for two of our diabetes classes, “Diabetes Basics” and “Beyond the Basics,” which were taught by a registered nurse and a dietician. Being skilled motivators, the class instructors gave her the tools she needed to better understand diabetes.

Constant contact was the next step. Cindy’s doctor prescribed a glucose monitor and had Cindy e-mail him her morning counts for several months. Using kp.org, she e-mailed her doctor two to three times a week about her results, and he responded personally to every e-mail.

By using us as her support system, Cindy has lost 33 pounds, and her sugar levels have dropped from 142 to the high 90s. All these positive changes were made through diet and exercise alone. As Cindy says, “Some days my blood sugar hits higher numbers than I would like. The key is not to get discouraged. I look at how far I have come in a few short months, and am excited about what I can accomplish in the future.

“I have talked with other people who have been diagnosed with diabetes, and they were not given a fifth of the information that I was to help me lead a long and productive life. I really appreciate that the care teams at Kaiser Permanente are doing their best to help me control what I can at the onset of this disease, versus letting the symptoms get worse. Thank you, Kaiser Permanente.”