Diabetes is a complex chronic disease that you care for every day. Managing diabetes includes exercise, healthy eating, taking prescribed medications and monitoring blood sugars. At Think Whole Person Healthcare, we know this isn’t always easy. The Think Healthcare Team is available to you when you need more information or help in any area of your diabetes management. You are living with diabetes every day; here’s how the Think Healthcare Team can help when you need it.
Think’s resident Certified Diabetes Educator is Mary Jo Burkhardt. Her role is to learn your habits and the foods you like, then to guide you on a healthier path keeping your lifestyle, tastes and your diabetes in mind. She also knows that social situations, like going to a dinner party or out to eat, can be intimidating to navigate. Her plans provide suggestions and tools that will help you sail into that situation with confidence.
Sometimes with chronic conditions, you can feel isolated – when you can’t eat what everyone else is, when you have to leave the room to prick your finger, constantly having to regulate your blood sugar levels. You can feel like no one understands you or knows what you’re going through. Our on-site mental health therapists Krystle Eckhart, Meghan Herek and Jennifer M. Kelly and psychiatrist Rodney Nitcher can help you gain confidence, acceptance – anything you need to feel more like you.
You will also find support in Think’s Diabetes Type 1 and Diabetes Type 2 Support Groups: monthly gatherings where others living with diabetes, along with other healthcare providers, come together as a community to support, teach and learn from one another. Check the Think Event Calendar to find the next meetings.
Brad Copple and Reanen Michael are trained to treat feet and problems of the lower legs. Diabetes makes you prone to poor blood flow and nerve damage in the lower legs. You may get infections more often. Sores, even small ones, can quickly turn into serious problems. Any foot sore or callus needs to checked by your primary care doctor or a podiatrist. Do not try to fix these yourself, because you could cause an infection. Be sure to inspect your feet daily for signs of trouble.
Diabetes puts those living with it at a greater risk for gum disease. The excess blood sugar in your mouth makes it a good home for bacteria, which can lead to infection if you don’t see your dentist regularly. Think’s dentist Christine Keith emphasizes prevention and wants to see her patients every six months for a checkup and a cleaning. If you’re a Think patient, Christine will already know you have diabetes with her access to your records, and make sure to bring it up during your checkup so you can communicate about your whole health, too.
Exercise can help lower blood sugar, help your body use insulin better and help control your weight – something you need when you’re living with diabetes type 1 or type 2. Think physical therapists are the best people to help you and your doctor plan your fitness program, since they are trained in the scientific basis of exercise.
In addition to diabetes specialists, behavioral health specialists, diabetes focus groups, etc., Think also houses clinical pharmacists, nurses, and your primary care doctor.
Your Think primary care doctor and their team of nurses get to know you as a person– not a condition. When you’re a patient of Michelle, our Diabetes Educator, and our behavioral health team, your doctor has easy access to those specialists and your records. Having this comprehensive look at you – the person – helps your doctor know how to help you manage your health. Your doctor can then speak to your Think clinical pharmacist about the best treatments and medications for you.
Even more, you may qualify for our Care Coordination program, in which a nurse helps you plan, implement and monitor your healthcare.
Our goal is to give you control and ownership over your chronic condition and your health. If Think’s Team Approach can help you live fully with diabetes, fill out this short form to get more information. Life is for Living.