Even though he’s lived with diabetes since a diagnosis in 2001, Tyran Davis says it wasn’t until 2015 when his health began spiraling out of control. He was skipping his insulin, drinking way too much soda, and eating fast food four to five times per week.
Davis says he didn’t feel well, and didn’t sleep well – his high blood sugar made him wake up frequently during the night, leaving him feeling sluggish and drained come morning.
“My diabetes was so out of control I was literally going back and forth to the emergency room,” Davis says.
The turning point came after his wife found him in the bathtub suffering from diabetic shock. He says it was then and there he decided to turn his life around and take control of his health.
Getting back on track
Davis says his A1C level was over 12 when he first met OurHealth regional medical director Dr. Teressa Watts at the MyClinic @ Northlake in Charlotte, North Carolina. The A1C test indicates a patient’s blood sugar over the previous 90 days. A reading above 6.5 indicates diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic.
As a health plan benefit of his employment with the City of Charlotte, Davis could access MyClinic services at no charge, so he began a routine of weekly meetings with Dr. Watts, a health coach, and a Certified Diabetes Educator. Together, they worked with Davis and planned a healthy path forward. One thing was certain: He needed to change his diet.
“I was drinking Cokes sun up to sun down,” Davis says. “That was something I was truly addicted to.”
Besides consuming unhealthy amounts of soda and fast food, Davis says he was quite fond of honey buns, cake, and pork — a combination that clearly didn’t mesh well with his diabetes.
It was time to get serious, so Davis committed to taking his insulin daily and changing his diet. That meant switching to Diet Coke, and significantly lowering his sugar and fast food intake.
Even with those small changes, Davis says his health started to improve. After three months, he cut his clinic visits to twice per month. After six months, it was once every 90 days.
His A1C started to tick down, and each time the clinic staff would call to let him know. Davis says it kept him motivated knowing he had support.
“They would call me and say, ‘keep up the good work. Keep doing what you’re doing,'” Davis says. “I think that was a major stepping stone for me. They were proud of me and I was proud of myself.”
Davis says the support made him want to push harder. “It sparked a flame in me when she would call me and tell me what my lab results were.”
New outlook on life
Today, Davis says he feels like a new man. His A1C is down to 7, a 5-point drop from 2015. “I feel so much better now,” he says. “I’ve got my numbers in control.”
He says he continues to eat well, checks his blood sugar 3-4 times per day, and adjusts his insulin as needed. He now feels more energetic and spends more time going out with his wife and attending his grandkids’ sporting events. “I used to shut myself out from a lot of those things,” he says.
Davis says he’s grateful for the support he received from the clinic staff and Dr. Watts.
“The staff helped me get through this and I want to give back to them. It wasn’t all my doing to get where I’m at today. It was the push, it was the caring, it was the love they gave to me,” Davis says. “I just can’t thank them enough. They are just so caring and compassionate.”
Indianapolis-based OurHealth is a provider of onsite and near-site primary care clinics and services focused on enhancing the patient experience and lowering healthcare costs for businesses of all sizes. OurHealth offers a comprehensive healthcare approach to its clients and their employees, which includes primary and urgent care services, wellness services, onsite laboratory and medication dispensing services and referral guidance. OurHealth has healthcare clinics in Indiana, North Carolina, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. To learn more about OurHealth, visit www.ourhealth.org.