“I’ve always been interested in functional medicine,” says Christine A., our latest success story.
“But I felt it was expensive, and I never had ‘an issue,’” she continues.
And then she did.
You see, out of the blue, Christine experienced horrible stomach pain post dinner one night. She was on her way home and suddenly felt extremely nauseous and began throwing up. “I thought I had food poisoning!” she recalls.
But a quick trip to the ER determined that it was worse than food poisoning–she needed an emergency gallbladder removal. That same ER trip also determined that she had an A1C of 14 (for reference, normal is below 5.7%). She was diagnosed with diabetes, and also had an A1C level that the doctors “freaked out” about.
“I found this diagnosis unacceptable,” says Christine. “I did some research and found out that you can reverse diabetes, and this was the path that I knew I wanted to take.”
Concurrently, Christine was doing some self-reflection as she navigated through some life changes. “I had taken care of my parents as they aged. I don’t have any kids, and I began to wonder – who is going to take care of me?”
It was time to take her health into her own hands. And this is when she found Companion Health.
“There were many things that were different about the approach that I had read about but never experienced,” she recalls. “Soon into the process, Dr. Jorge identified relational stress.” Listening to Christine’s story and understanding the big picture helped him to derive a plan for Christine to tackle her A1C (along with her overall health), which was supported by her health coaching meetings.
Within 6 months, Christine’s numbers dropped from 14 to 6(!)
Behind those number decreases was a lot of hard work and dedication from Christine, a solid plan, and support from her team. And you can imagine the thrill for all parties involved in seeing that positive change.
“I am proud that I took the initiative to improve my own health, even though it was spearheaded by this diagnosis, and to not just accept it and go on living on medication the rest of my life the way my initial doctor wanted me to,” says Christine. “(Health) coaching has gotten me back on a healthier lifestyle. I’m working out at a gym again, I focus more on mindful eating habits, and overall I’m more focused on my wellness.”
“I’m an active snow skier, hiker and scuba diver; I always want to have this type of lifestyle. I think this is what healthy aging should look like. I want to be able to maintain that lifestyle. And travel!,” she adds.
And one tip that Christine shares, that many of us can likely benefit from:
“One of the big things that I realized helped me was the constant encouragement and reminders (from Dr. Jorge and my health coach) to meditate. I knew meditation was good for you, but I was never good at it. I tried; honestly, I’m still not great, but my goal is to continue to try. I noticed that when I was doing it, I was able to take a breath … I was able to keep things under control – things that would have been triggering for me in the past. It wasn’t until I looked back that I realized that the one thing that had changed to help my response was me adding in meditation.”
As meditation can often be overwhelming or intimidating, Christine offers this advice: “Don’t give up on yourself. Keep doing it when you can!”
Things aren’t perfect, Christine realizes. There are other areas she still wishes to work on, such as sleep. But as she is learning, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. She certainly has made some beyond impressive strides so far, and at 67 years young, she’s proof that you can do it at any age!
In the last 2 months, Christine has seen:
- improvement in her cardiovascular endurance
- 29% improvement in grip strength/hang time
- 35% improvement in upper body strength