News | Published July 11, 2012

Local woman gets her diabetes under control

When Louise Tarman, age 77, was diagnosed last year with diabetes, she took it very seriously. Louise said she thinks that one reason she developed diabetes was because of the stress she experienced while caring for her husband who had early onset dementia. "I really neglected my own health while caring for my husband," said Tarman. "I was so stressed out that I just grabbed comfort foods like cookies and other sugary snacks. It's not surprising that I gained weight. Now I visit my husband regularly at an assisted-living facility and I can focus on my own health."

Tarman's physician, Frank Guillard, MD, Mount Nittany Physician Group, informed Tarman about her elevated A1c and fasting glucose numbers. He prescribed a diabetes medication and referred her to Amy Leffard, a registered nurse and certified diabetes educator at Mount Nittany Health. "I met with Amy for almost four months," Tarman explained. "She taught me how to eat better and encouraged me to get more exercise. Now I walk about forty-five minutes a day with a group of friends, five days a week."

Eating right and exercising regularly have really helped Tarman get her diabetes under control. She has lost about thirty pounds and is hoping her physician will take her off of her diabetes medication.

"Amy was also concerned about my feet, so I went to see a podiatrist," said Tarman. "When I met with the podiatrist, she found an ulcer on one of my toes. The doctor ordered a prosthetic insert for my sneakers which helped take the pressure off the ulcer to allow it to heal properly."

Tarman also credits attending one of the diabetes support group meetings that Leffard hosts monthly as a motivating factor. "Overall, the education and support were very positive experiences. I lost weight and feel very good about myself. I am so grateful to live in a community with so many healthcare professionals who really care about your health," concluded Tarman.

Mount Nittany Health offers a monthly Diabetes Support Group. Topics are guided by attendee needs and concerns, and the meetings often feature guest speakers. Friends and family members are also encouraged to attend. The schedule, along with information on guest speakers, is available on our events calendar.