Empowered by Care: Glady’s Story with LVIM

Glady’s Story with LVIM

Before discovering Lakeland Volunteers in Medicine, Gladys Rodriguez faced numerous challenges following her type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Initially seeking medical care solely to manage her condition, Gladys received far more than she thought upon becoming an LVIM patient; she found a medical home where she feels not only comfortable but truly cared for by healthcare professionals who treat her like a friend.

Since becoming an LVIM patient, Gladys has embarked on a journey to better manage her diabetes and improve her overall health. Initially, her provider prescribed Metformin through the LVIM Pharmacy to help regulate her diabetes. However, experiencing discomfort with this medication, Gladys voiced her concerns to her provider. Thanks to the support from United Way funding for LVIM’s Pharmacy, which allows LVIM to offer a wide array of medications, her provider was able to adjust her prescription to Glipizide. This flexibility ensures not only optimal efficacy but also empowers providers to customize treatments to each patient’s unique needs, enhancing the quality of care provided at LVIM.

Gladys also enrolled in the Steps to Good Health program, which provides a membership to the YMCA, aiming to improve her health beyond medication. Reflecting on her experience with the program, Gladys emphasized the transformative impact of exercise on her physical and mental well-being, “The gym was 100% my favorite thing. I started losing weight, and I started feeling a lot more confident!” She enthusiastically described her favorite Zumba class and instructor, noting that regular gym visits helped her shed 15 pounds and boosted her confidence significantly.

Despite making strides in managing her diabetes through the Steps to Good Health program, Gladys’s A1c levels remained suboptimal. So, her provider prescribed her Lantus, an insulin medication. With increased physical activity and a combination of Glipizide and Lantus, Gladys successfully lowered her A1c from 13 to 10.

Recognizing her struggles with her mental health, Gladys participated in LVIM’s inaugural Group Therapy sessions led by Director of Patient Services, Londa Brown, MSW. Sharing her struggle with depression, Gladys credited Londa and the therapy group for their invaluable support. Regular gym visits not only improved her physical health but also provided a much-needed outlet for stress and tension, fostering an overall sense of well-being.

As another complication of her diabetes, Gladys experienced dental issues, resulting in the loss of several teeth. Fortunately, LVIM’s increased funding for its dental department enabled it to provide fully funded partial and full sets of dentures to eligible patients. Gladys received a partial set of dentures, significantly boosting her confidence and restoring her smile.

Eager to express her gratitude, Gladys highlighted how LVIM has transformed her life. She emphasized feeling supported by LVIM “all the time”, praising the staff and volunteers for their unwavering dedication. Gladys acknowledged LVIM’s pivotal role in the community and expressed how deeply she and countless others appreciate the invaluable services provided by the organization.