“I had no job , had diabetes and no health insurance. I was quickly running out of insulin and then I found The Clinic. They made sure I received Insulin and treatment for my diabetes.” said George Schiele.
Ten Years ago, George Schiele realized that something was not right with his body. He was constantly tired, made frequent trips to the bathroom, and his weight began to drop rapidly. “I remember my urine looked thick like syrup, but I never gave it a second thought, said George.” Then one day, George fell ill at work and was rushed to the hospital where medical professionals discovered that George had a blood sugar of over 400 and he was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. George was in the intensive care unit for a few days because the high blood sugar started to impact his heart, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and blood vessel. He was clueless about diabetes and didn’t realize that it was a precursor to other conditions such as heart disease and stroke. According to the American Heart Association, Diabetes is treatable, but even when glucose levels are under control it greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. “The doctors told me that I was lucky because blood sugars this high could be fatal, said George.”
Shortly after being released from the hospital, George lost his position as a welder and had no health insurance. He grew increasingly concerned about his diabetes and was quickly running out of insulin. Then, a parishioner at a nearby church told him about The Clinic. “I will always be grateful to the doctors for taking care of me when I had no money or health insurance. They made sure that I got my insulin medications and helped me understand diabetes, said George.”
Although George is no longer a patient at The Clinic, he is an active participant in a new program launched in January 2017 called “Heart Healthy”. Led by physician, author, and clinic volunteer Ana M. Negrón, M.D. participants explore the connection between food and health. Learn how “diabetes runs in families through the kitchen,” how better food shopping can boost your heart health, and how you can help everyone in your family live longer, healthier lives.
“I joined the program because it’s a matter of survival for me, said George Schiele.” Like many of the participants in the program, George is learning to replace his high fat and sugar foods with a diet rich in grains and vegetables. Since starting the program in January 2017, George has learned to read labels and attempts to eat at least 4lbs of vegetables each day. He considers the change to be radical but necessary after realizing that his blood sugars have stabilized and have gone at night from 149 to 111. George looks forward to the day when he does not have to check his blood sugar 10 to 12 times or inject himself with insulin 5x per day. “Dr. Negrón is a great teacher and she really cares about all of the participants, said George who doesn’t want to see the program end. The Clinic’s Healthy Heart 6-week Lifestyle Program is made possible through a grant from the Chester County Health Department (CCHD), which is funded to implement the national Million Hearts® initiative promoting cardiovascular health and preventing heart attack and stroke.