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Persoanl Impact Paper

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Submitted By rlmclm22
Words 1140
Pages 5
Personal Impact Paper
Crystal Martin
Kathy Cavanaugh

Personal Impact Paper

Diabetes is one of the most common chronic illnesses that we see in the healthcare field. Majority of the patients I see and care for have either a mild, moderate or severe form of the disease. Along with diagnosing a patient with diabetes, a lot of education is to follow in order to manage it so long term effects don’t occur or can be prolonged. My father-in-law has had many health issues since he was a young adult. Diabetes is what has hit him the hardest and has affected him the most socially, financially and personally.

I have known my father-in-law for many years, before my husband and I of nine years were married. He’s has always been a home body and has struggled with money ever since his health issues came about. Before he could qualify for disability or medicare he was having to pay his $6,000 deductible, through his wife’s insurance, in order to receive help on his supplies to manage his diabetes. He struggles with credit card debt because he relies on them to get him through the year financially. He is in the works of possibly filing bankruptcy soon due to his high amount of debt and still has trouble making ends meet. I never really knew all the expenses involved when trying to manage this chronic disease. The medication alone is very pricey, then on top of that you have the test trips and glucose monitor to purchase. It all adds up and for a low income individual can be hard to keep up with financially. He eventually was able to get on medicare. He also qualified for disability after fighting for it for five years.

Due to financial struggles, my father-in-laws social life has been greatly impacted. He feels sick all the time and is also in pain which causes him to stay home most of the time. He does not have many friends, and the ones he does have he never sees because he never feels like doing anything. He said he would not be such a home body if it was not for his diabetes. He also cannot afford to do much of anything because of the financial struggle which keeps him home and unsocial. He would love to get out and do more with his friends and family.

He has been affected personally on many levels. A big effect is just last year (2014) he divorced his wife of 32 years in order to qualify for medicare. Due to her income, that he had to claim, he was over the financial cut off in order to get medicare. Since he couldn’t afford the medications without it, they chose to divorce but still live together in order to relieve most of the financial burden. This was very hard on them both to have to sever a long marriage just so he could afford medications. He states it’s just a piece of paper, but deep down I could see he was just trying to convince himself it isn’t a big deal. He claims to have had times of depression because he feels bad all the time physically and mentally. The diabetic neuropathy in his feet got so severe he had to retire at an early age from KOI auto parts so, in turn, won’t get the full benefits from social security. He loved his job and wishes he could still work. He knows that he and his wife even fight more due to his lack of income even though she knows he cannot help it. Overall his personal life has been affected greatly.

My father-in-law was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 30. Before going to the doctor he was having symptoms of blurry vision, dry mouth, frequent urination and a 30lb weight loss in one month. His grandmother, who had already been diagnosed with diabetes, tested his sugar and the reading was 360. He made an appointment with his primary physician to be tested again and his sugar was still very high. Once his doctor confirmed he had type 2 diabetes, he went on to prescribe him metformin and another oral med that he cannot recall. He was told to eat 4-6 small meals a day to help keep sugar as level as possible. He was also told to stay away from foods containing too much sugar and to check his sugar levels before and after every meal. He wishes now that he was taught more about his chronic disease so he could have possibly prevented or prolonged a lot of the health issues he has now. He felt he was not educated well and had to research the information on his own over the years.

He did not take his diagnosis seriously and only took his meds when he remembered which was not consistent. He checked his sugar occasionally and did not monitor his diet at all. He still consumed ice cream, chocolate, chips and other foods high in carbohydrates and sugars. It wasn’t until 5 years later, when he was placed on insulin, that he began to really understand how serious diabetes is. He started to check his sugar, eat only foods he was allowed and administer insulin when prescribed and needed. He noticed he felt better once he chose to follow his guidelines. Unfortunately the damage to his body was already done and only got worse over time and is still getting worse. He believes that if he was better educated and was more compliant with his diet and medications, he would not have so much physical complications secondary to his diabetes.

After hearing my father-in-laws struggle with diabetes and the poor teaching he had during his initial diagnosis, a big motivational tool for him would be to really understand how much better he could feel if he was fully dedicated to following his diet and medication regimen. Yes, he has days where he feels ok, but if he was persistent he could feel even better. Learning wise, he loves to read. I believe informational pamphlets or a book on diabetes would teach him a lot about his chronic illness and ways to manage it to fit his lifestyle needs. Support groups would be great for him also. It would get him out of the house, become more social and possibly make new friends who he can relate to. He loves to talk and exchange ideas and knowledge with others and in a support group they could all help teach each other. My father-in-law is a very smart man, he just needs the right tools and motivation in order to live his life to the fullest with diabetes.

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