February > UT System Success Story

UT System Success Story

Name: Bob Armstrong
Institution: The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler
Email Address: bob.armstrong@uthct.edu

"I gained control of my diabetes...

Listen to what your body tells you, and make sure you have a physician who will listen to you.

...I deserve this time!"

Bob Armstrong
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler

Learn more about Bob's Health & Wellness Success Story.

1. What health behavior did you change?
Gained control of my diabetes.

2. Why did you decide to make this change?
I became frustrated with not being able to control my diabetes, and watching my average blood glucose level (A1C) continue to gradually rise over a period of years, despite taking my prescribed medications, and following the doctor's orders.

3. How did you accomplish your success?
First, I switched doctors, from a family practice physician, to an endocrinologist, who specializes in diabetes and other disorders of the endocrine system. Second, I had him run an insulin resistance test on me to determine how much insulin my body was producing on it's own. The results of this test explained why the medications, I had taken for years, did not work. I was on medication designed to help my body more effectively the insulin produced by my pancreas. The test showed that my body was not producing any measurable insulin. Then he prescribed an insulin pump with an integrated 24 hour continuous glucose monitoring system. The combination of the pump and the glucose monitoring system gave me real-time knowledge of my blood glucose level and an effective means to control it.

4. How did the University of Texas System Living Well: Make it a Priority or your Institutions resources and tools help you?
Maintaining control of diabetes, like many other chores in life, take a continued commitment. Just getting reminders from Living Well helped keep me informed and motivated, and reminded that I must contiunally work to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

5. What goals and obstacles did you have?
My main goal was to reduce my A1C to a reasonable level. One of the main obstacles was just not knowing why the medications were not working for me.

6. Who supported you during this experience?
At home, my wife and children. When it came to my healthcare, I worked with an outstanding dietitian, and found a doctor who took the time to listen to me, rather than just assuming that the reasons my medication were not working were my fault. For years, my doctors blamed my A1C levels on lack of excercise, eating too much carbohydrates, and not taking my medications. After switching to an endocrinologist, who ran the insulin resistance test on me, the answer became very clear that I had been on a medication that was not designed to treat my type of diabetes.

7. What advice do you have for others who want to make this change?
Listen to what your body tells you, and make sure you have a physician who will listen to you.