Patient Success Stories
If you or a loved one has diabetes, managing your condition can seem daunting. People just like you are successfully managing their diabetes every day with the help of the diabetes care team at Henry Ford.
Read these stories about our patients with diabetes and how we partnered with them to achieve their best possible health.
Taking action against diabetes
When Dennis Pellerin came to the Henry Ford Diabetes Care Center (DCC) at Shelby Medical Mall in April 2013, his A1C level was 9.0. As in many people, diabetes silently developed in Dennis over time.
When Dennis learned that he had type 2 diabetes, he went to work. As a retired design supervisor, he enjoyed delving deep into problems to discover the causes and find a solution. He took advantage of the information, programs and tools available through the DCC to regain control over his blood sugar levels.
Dennis uses the MyFitnessPal app to monitor his carb intake. He purchased a special meter that he uses in conjunction with his iPhone to upload specific readings so that he can chart trends, peaks or lows and adjust his diet accordingly.
"The great thing about Dennis is his ability to use his readings to change his behaviors," said Education Specialist Carolyn Loch, who works with patients at the DCC. "Two years after his initial diagnosis, Dennis is still testing his blood sugar twice a day to help him manage his meal planning."
"Dennis is very vigilant about his diabetes self-management and tracks his carbohydrates on MyFitnessPal so he knows exactly how many grams he can eat in a day. He is even able to enjoy an occasional bowl of his favorite Moose Tracks ice cream while maintaining an A1C of 6.0. This is because of his unwavering attention to his blood sugar numbers."
In addition to his lifestyle changes, Dennis is sharing his strength and wisdom with others at the DCC. He is a founding member of the DCC Empowerment Group, serves as a DCC Patient Advocate on the Diabetes Care Design Team and is involved at a national level, helping raise funds for the American Diabetes Association.
"I started off with the class that Carolyn taught," Dennis, 65, said. "It gave me a better understanding of what I had to do. My wife DiAnne and I also attend support groups. She doesn’t have diabetes, but she goes to support me. There are probably 3 or 4 couples in the group where one person has diabetes and the other person is there for support."
Dennis has also benefited from the guest speakers at the DCC, learning more about diabetes so that he can take preventive steps or just be more informed about his condition.
"The (DCC) helps keep me focused, Dennis added. Because of the guest speakers we have, I now have a better understanding of how diabetes can affect me. I have learned how it can affect my eyes, the nerves in my hands and feet, my teeth. I now regularly see a podiatrist and optometrist. I’m more informed and more focused."
Dennis’s experience is similar to those of many others who use the services at the DCC. He’s quick to point out other successes grander than his. Yet his story of knowledge put into action has helped him gain better control of his health.
"Dennis is a pleasure to know," Carolyn said. "He’s a true success story when it comes to diabetes self-management. He truly embraced the tools and knowledge available through the DCC to change his life. And, yes, he is only one of our many great success stories."
Learn more about diabetes self-management and the programs we offer.
Controlling diabetes with blood sugar management
Married 32 years, John and Brenda Goins spent most of their lives battling diabetes, John with type 1 and Brenda with type 2. Managing their blood sugar levels was a lifelong struggle for the couple, which hit a turning point when John needed a kidney transplant.
After the transplant, John’s surgeons insisted that he get his blood sugar in check. About two years ago, John made his first appointment at Henry Ford Hospital, home to one of the largest insulin pump programs in the country.
In the Division of Endocrinology, Henry Ford certified nurse practitioner Kelly Mann worked with John. She determined that an insulin pump was the best option to help him manage his blood sugar.
After going with John to all of his appointments, Brenda asked Kelly if she could help with managing her type 2 diabetes. With Kelly’s help, Brenda now uses medication to control her insulin levels.
The improved blood sugar control has resulted in major, healthy lifestyle changes for both Brenda and John. Brenda recently joined a gym, and the couple is working together to lose weight through diet and exercise. The results have been great.
"I feel so much better, and my husband’s blood sugar is the best it’s ever been," says Brenda.
Find out more about diabetes conditions and treatments and the high-quality treatment that our experienced team provides.