I became aware I had diabetes after dealing with many symptoms, such as extreme tiredness, sleeping all the time, blurred vision and having to go into the hospital for acute diabetic ketoacidosis. I was hospitalized for three days after finding my blood glucose level was nearly 500. It was a very eye-opening experience. I have three young children and my wife was left to care for them alone.
I searched long and hard for a doctor who specializes in diabetic care and Dr. Lloyd Bridges was right under my nose the entire time. I had access to the Marathon Health Charlotte Network centers through Mecklenburg County, so I logged into my Marathon Health portal, scheduled a virtual visit at one of the Network clinics and was able to get an appointment immediately. The hospital system had a four-month wait for a primary care physician.
I appreciated that Dr. Bridges looked like me. He was a black man with faith in God. This made all the difference for me. I can be a difficult patient, but he was patient. I asked a lot of questions, and he took the time to answer every one of them. He gave me instructions on how to take new medication and what I would need to do to get off the medicine. That was important to me.
Dr. Bridges also referred me to the Marathon Health Coach Nate Littlefield who provided the information I needed to make healthier eating choices and start working out regularly. Initially, I limited sugar completely and made choices about which fruits would be better based on the glycemic rating. I ate healthier and less, walked and began exercising.
I was able to get my A1C down from 11 to 5.7. I have maintained a healthier lifestyle. I’ve been able to stop taking many of the medications for diabetes, and I’m living healthier for myself and my family. I’ve lost 65 pounds and I’m continuing to lose weight.
I feel 100 times better! I was able to enjoy a vacation to Costa Rica with my wife to celebrate our 10th marriage anniversary. Our trip was active with zip lining, hiking, ATV riding, snorkeling, swimming and so much more. I felt great, while enjoying it all.
My life has certainly been made better because of my relationship with Marathon Health. Small changes can make big differences. There are people who can support you if you feel lost or don’t have the motivation to press forward. Call a health coach and just listen to your health team. — James Wright, Marathon Health Member