WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Diabetes is prevalent in Wichita County with prediabetes a constant reminder for some who are at risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
United Regional offers a way to lower that risk by as much as 58% and one Wichita Falls woman said she’s learned a lot through small changes.
RoseMarie Fidelie didn’t want her life to go a certain way.
“I enjoy cooking, I enjoy food and I enjoy the social part of eating and food and cooking for people,” Fidelie said. “I think it would be really hard to stay within the parameters of keeping yourself healthy.”
So, the former GS-12 Sheppard Air Force Base contractor took a chance, for her health’s sake, signing up for United Regional’s diabetes prevention program. It’s a free, group setting, course to have the necessary tools in her box to prevent becoming Type 2 diabetes’ next victim.
“There is a lot of diabetes in my family, actually on both sides,” Fidelie said. “It’s something that I think about, I’ve thought about over the years because I’m thinking well I’ve always had an issue with weight and I’ve always thought about it and I know that diabetes is a very serious condition.”
“Diabetes is up there, I mean it’s one of the top 3 disease processes that we actually have,” United Regional Transition Clinic Chronic Disease Manager Jessica Sanchez said. “So having the opportunity to prevent that before it becomes diabetes Type 2 is really just a great thing for us to be able to do.”
Participants learn things like how to grocery shop or fill their plates.
It’s no fad diet or hardcore workout plan, participants learn how to make simple lifestyle changes.
“I’m a widow and I have a lot of social, especially lunches with friends, and going out to eat can be a problem,” Fidelie said. “But I’ve learned how to handle it, you go online and you look at the menu before you go and you decide what you’re going to have.”
“The other thing that you learn in here is never give up and you have a bad day and you do fall off the wagon, you just pick yourself up and you start again, you don’t just say the heck with it I’m never going to do this,” Fidelie said.
Sanchez said this course is participant lead. They’ll need to bring an activity log and weigh in each visit.
“Our lifestyle coaches really wanna teach progress not perfection and consistency, you know we wanna teach those lifestyle changes that our patients can take and utilize for the rest of their lives,” Sanchez said.
“There is no chastising of any kind, no guilt, nothing, nothing like that it’s totally for you, for your benefit.,” Fidelie said.
There’s a clear benefit and it’s noticed in the statistics.
“If you can, like I said, reduce that risk of Type 2 Diabetes by 58%, to me that says everything right there, the proof is in the pudding,” Sanchez said.
For Fidelie, it all comes down to the support from others in her group.
“We share experiences, that’s the interesting part,” Fidelie said. “We also get to share, how was your week, did you have any challenges, how did you cope with those challenges?”
They have a support system, they develop some camaraderie in that class,” Sanchez said. “They’re small sessions so we really want that to be the focus, people can share as much as they want to or as little as they want to.”
A circle of trust that might just change the course of their lives.
Participants must be 18 years or older, with a BMI of 25 or greater. They cannot have been diagnosed with diabetes or be pregnant. Participants also had to have been diagnosed with prediabetes, gestational diabetes or score a high risk on the prediabetes risk assessment.
the course is one hour a week for 16 weeks, then monthly for six months.
Those who qualify can talk to their doctor about the program or call the Transition Clinic for more information.
The number to the Transition Clinic is (940) 764-8725.