Jennifer Arant of Sweet Home has never had a ‘sweet tooth,’ but she used to eat a lot of take-out and drive-through meals, as well as frequent snacks while at work.
Her habits eventually led to a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes in June 2017, but she has successfully changed her eating habits and loves her new life.
“I wasn’t upset when I was diagnosed, but I wondered what the future would bring,” Arant said. “I’ve been around the medical field most of my life, so I knew this could have a positive outcome as long as I was willing to make changes. I also knew this was not only going to affect me, but my whole family as well.”
She was diagnosed during an appointment prior to shoulder surgery. Her blood work showed that her blood sugar was close to 300, so she began to see Lindsay Spurlin, RN, with the Diabetes Education team at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital.
“Lindsey has been the best - she has always been a positive light in dark times,” Arant said. “I would say she has made me sparkle during this life-changing event. She is extremely knowledgeable and up to date on current diabetes topics. She has always just been a phone call away no matter what the chat may be about.”
Since her diagnosis, Arant has made it a point to have balanced, home-cooked meals with her family. She keeps a meal schedule and loves snacking on vegetables. She has an active job as a library assistant, which keeps her moving throughout the day and, she has developed a love for walking and being outdoors.
As a result, her blood sugar has dropped to 140 and she loves her new life.
What would she say to anyone struggling with their diabetes? “I know this will sound like a broken record, but don’t give up,” Arant said. “Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t have a long, happy life. It just means you need to be more aware of what you can eat and how you live your life.”
She also encourages people to develop a support system. “Talk about your diabetes, tell your family and loved ones,” she said. “Don’t be ashamed of your diagnosis. Having a support crew is so important because we all know, ‘All we need is love!’”
Get inspired by more patients who are successfully managing diabetes.
Learn more about diabetes services offered at Samaritan-affiliated hospitals.