Did you know The Mercy Ministries (TMM) is a lot more likely to say "yes" to a patient's application for care if they have some type of chronic illness, such as hypertension or diabetes? Did you know there are potentially 6,000 patients in Toombs County alone, who might need immediate access to care if they were to be diagnosed with diabetes or some other chronic illness?
Imagine for a moment you only bring home about $11,500/year from your minimum wage job. You used to have a better job, but you lost it because your diabetes made you too sick to work full-time. You don't qualify for government assistance in Georgia, and you can't afford health insurance. Now, imagine you're a diabetic in need of daily medications and blood sugar testing supplies, you need to see a doctor once a month, and you need to see a dentist once every three months!
How would you afford the care you need?
There are approximately 168 of our 509 Mercy patients in Toombs County alone who find themselves in this situation with diabetes today, and more are being diagnosed every day.
When I began working here, I had never worked in the healthcare world before. No one in my family had diabetes. It was eye-opening to learn the importance of a diabetic, for example, receiving monthly care management by a doctor or nurse practitioner. I didn't know that if a diabetic had tooth or mouth infection, it made it impossible for the patient to get their blood sugar under control. Making sure our diabetic patients see a dentist every three months is paramount to their overall health and wellbeing. It also surprised me to learn how dire the circumstances can be for a diabetic who does not have access to needed medications, such as insulin. Just a short period of time without care management can lead to the amputation of legs/feet, and even lead to kidney failure or blindness.
Recently, the death of actress/director Penny Marshall brought the epidemic of diabetes to the forefront of national news.
"Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects millions of people in the United States—many who live for years with the diagnosis. So the Hollywood legend’s death may have people wondering, how exactly does someone die from diabetes?"
We do hear of people, like Marshall, who die from diabetes, and there's an ever-increasing number of people being diagnosed in the United States. But, in the medical community, there's also a trend of hope for those who suffer. The article, which you can read here, went on to give many tips and links to diabetes education and say ...
Doctors are seeing fewer complications, but more diabetes cases overall
Dr. Mcclain says that doctors are getting better at treating diabetes—and at preventing complications so patients can live longer, healthier lives. “Just yesterday I had several diabetes patients in their 80s who are doing quite well,” he says. “It’s not easy, and it’s a lot of work on the part of the patient, but we have good tools that are getting better all the time, and we can do this.”
But at the same time, more and more people are being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes—which means that there are still plenty of people suffering from complications and dying from those complications, as well. “We’re doing better on a population level at managing it,” says Dr. Mcclain, “but we’re still fighting a rising tide of disease.”
So, as you can see, there's much work to be done. Thankfully, for TMM's patients, we offer Mercy patients a true partnership in their wellness journey. Just this morning we had one patient ring the victory gong in TMM's lobby and write on our win wall. We all celebrated with her, knowing how hard she has worked over the last 18 months to accomplish her goal. She has lost 50 lbs.! Once at a risk of diabetes, she's now on the path to wellness and a better life.
We also celebrated the expectant Areli, who works with Meadows Health Community Wellness teaching TMM's patients diabetes care and management classes. She is due to have a baby not too long after Christmas, and she's been working hard all 3rd-trimester-long to educate our patients. Education is the most important part of diabetes management. With the right knowledge and tools, our patients can live a long and healthy life! We're so grateful for a local community program giving our patients a hand-up at getting and keeping their diabetes under control.
If you would like to sponsor a patient-in-need for 2019, we have 52 patients in need of sponsorship, with approx. 18 of those patients being diabetic. For just $84/month auto-draft from your preferred account, we can give a patient access to care, medications and education. You can call TMM 912-524-4000 or Click here to donate now.
Thank you, and we wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
CELEBRATORY SIDE NOTE TO END THE YEAR WITH:
With the help of a partnership in Atlanta, TMM has begun treatment of several Hepatitis C patients, with six of those labs (blood work) all back within "normal" range. Basically, they've been cured! We have more patients awaiting medicines, but we're happy to report we were able to get $1.3 Million worth of Hepatitis C medications to Mercy patients this past year. One of those patients had been awaiting treatment for several years! Glory to God!