All in the family
Brian and Bron Tharpe learned about the challenges of making lifestyle changes when Brian was diagnosed with pre-diabetes.
“At first we chose to simply ignore it, hoping it would just go away,” recalls Brian. “After some time had passed, however, both Bron and I realized the diagnosis wasn’t going to go away. In fact, we accepted that the pre-diabetes might very well develop into Type 2 diabetes unless we took action.”
As busy working parents — Brian is a law enforcement officer, and Bron is a retail sales manager — the idea of making significant changes to an already-hectic lifestyle was daunting. But they decided to focus on reversing Brian’s pre-diabetes.
Together, as a family, the Tharpes did just that.
After finding conflicting information on the Internet, Bron scheduled nutrition education counseling sessions at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital.
“I chose to get on board because Brian’s health impacts my daughter and me, too,” says Bron. “Because I handle the menu planning, grocery shopping and cooking, it’s up to me to make sure we’re all eating a balanced diet. Our counseling sessions were enlightening.”
We had been missing some key components, like carbohydrate counts for meals and snacks. Rita Smith, our certified diabetes educator, gave us the time we needed to absorb the information and ask questions. She invited us to call or email her with questions. I took notes, and we came up with lists and options that we could implement right away to manage Brian’s blood sugar.”
Since then, the family has made many helpful adjustments, including which foods are served at meals and snack times, and which restaurants they visit.
“By starting slow, making gradual changes, having a game plan and working together, the steps we’re taking to reverse Brian’s pre-diabetes have shown success, and will help our family be healthier,” says Bron.