Seven months of focused healthcare and prescription medications is what it took to change Thomas’ life and put him on the path to a healthier future. Thomas* first came to Mission of Mercy’s clinic at North Phoenix Baptist Church in June of 2021 around his 57th birthday after losing his job, and consequently his health insurance, due to the pandemic.
At his initial visit, he was desperately in need of help stabilizing the Type 2 diabetes he had been diagnosed with in prior years. His fasting blood sugar was over 200 mg/dL (normal range is 80 to 130 mg/dL), and he had been losing weight even though he was eating more than ever. He lacked sleep and did not have the energy to find another job. MOM’s medical staff prescribed diabetes medications, and he met with the clinic’s Registered Dietitian Nutritionist to establish a lifestyle plan that would get his health and energy levels back on track.
Thomas’ first HbA1C reading was extremely high at 13.9% (American Diabetes Association indicates optimal levels are below 6%). This meant he was at great risk for developing severe diabetes complications that could affect his eyes, kidneys, feet or even damage his heart. At 6-foot-3, Thomas is a tall man, but his body mass index (BMI) was dropping rapidly. Most of the time patients with diabetes benefit from losing weight, but in Thomas’ case, he was losing weight because the food he was eating was not being utilized by his body due to low insulin levels.
With a plan to control his diabetes through medication and nourishing food choices, he returned one month later and his A1C already dropped to 10.2% with a fasting blood sugar of 118 mg/dL. By January 2022, Thomas was able to bring his A1C all the way down to 6.4%, which meant that his diabetes was under control.
Mission of Mercy’s clinic and diabetes education program not only provided Thomas with free medications to help him control his diabetes, but also with the education component that resulted in a better outcome due to his new understanding of how he can help himself at home by making healthy diet and exercise choices.
*Patient’s name was changed to protect privacy.