Effective Diabetes Management Transforms Lives on the Road

Steve is a 56-year-old male truck driver with diabetes. Based in Florida, this union worker keeps busy on the road with a challenging schedule. Although he had a primary care provider (PCP) and took medications, he was not successful at maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Due to his travel requirements, he did not regularly check his blood sugars as prescribed. His latest blood work revealed his diabetes to be poorly controlled, and he was referred to an endocrinologist for specialized care. Unable to get an appointment for several months, Steve was not sure where to begin. His Conifer Personal Health Nurse (PHN) was able to step in and take the wheel. Jessica listened to Steve’s concerns and diabetic needs. She also learned he was past due for various recommended screenings (including colonoscopy), and his excessive drinking was having a negative impact on his overall health and well-being. She began addressing his issues one at a time.

How Conifer’s Personal Health Nurse (PHN) Helped

Steve’s PHN coordinated a list of available in-network providers, and he was able to see an endocrinologist sooner than anticipated. The PHN also suggested that he ask his provider about a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device since he often could not check his blood sugar while traveling for work.

In addition, she educated Steve on the negative health implications that alcohol has on blood sugar levels. To improve his lab results, she provided practical information for healthy food choices when he is on the road. He set a goal to significantly reduce his alcohol intake and improve his diet and lifestyle.

Member Results

Steve was able to receive the recommended CGM monitor. As a result, he was able to closely monitor his blood sugars and adjust his diet and medications accordingly. He stopped drinking and reported having more energy and feeling better overall.

Steve told his PHN, “I never realized how serious my diabetes was, and I am now 100 percent committed to a healthier life.”

Through his PHN, Steve learned how to manage his chronic conditions. He has now completed all of his recommended screenings, and at his last appointment, all of his blood work was at goal. He not only has improved his overall health and decreased his risk of complications, but he is now teaching, advocating and assisting other diabetic co-workers as well.

Conclusion

Staying focused and committed to achieving those goals is key. Like thousands of other Conifer VBC members, Steve had a proactive, caring advocate to help him navigate the system, provide educational support, and drive him to reach his targeted goals.

Like an overnight, cross-country truck drive without a map, a member’s medical experience can be a confusing and lonely road. Thankfully, our Conifer PHNs are that light in the distance, a much-needed rest stop and a GPS for our members’ healthcare journeys.

*Member’s name has been changed for privacy.

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