Jan Udouj was shocked when Dr. Margaret Cox diagnosed her with type 2 diabetes last month.
“I thought my nurse had the wrong room when she came in with a testing kit,” said Udouj, 68, of Fort Smith. “When I got my diagnosis, it hit me like a rock and I decided I would do everything I could to overcome this.”
One of the first steps recommended by Dr. Cox, Mercy internal medicine provider, was for Udouj to enroll in a diabetes education class at Mercy Hospital Fort Smith.
“The classes taught me what to eat and what not to eat,” she said. “Before I was educated by Mercy’s wonderful dietitians I completely took the sugar that I could out of my diet, but the class taught me you can still have some sugar as long as you are counting your carbs.”
On Nov. 4, Mercy Hospital Fort Smith’s certified diabetes educators, registered dietitians and providers will host a free seminar to educate others in the community about diabetes and how best to manage the condition, including lifestyle changes they can make. Guest speakers at the seminar will include:
- Dr. Surbhi Chamaria, cardiologist at Mercy Clinic Cardiology
- Rachel Jones, nurse practitioner at Mercy Clinic Nephrology
- Jenna Siebenmorgen, registered dietitian at Mercy
- Liz Schluterman, registered nurse and certified diabetes educator at Mercy
- John Hall, pharmacist
By better understanding her condition, Udouj has learned that she doesn’t have to put so many limits on her life. Although it has only been a few weeks since her diagnosis, she already feels more energetic. She credits the medication she was prescribed to help control her blood sugar and the life-changing education she received at Mercy for the improvements to her health.
“To know that you have freedom to go places and do things makes it more manageable,” said Udouj. “If you go on a diet, you know you’re never going to stick with it. This is all about eating normal foods but learning how to control it.”
The seminar is from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 4 in the Hennessy Room near the main entrance to Mercy Hospital Fort Smith. The event is free, but registration is required. Please call 479-314-6722 to register or visit mercy.net/Diabetes19.
Mercy, named one of the top five large U.S. health systems from 2016 to 2019 by IBM Watson Health, serves millions annually. Mercy includes more than 40 acute care, managed and specialty (heart, children’s, orthopedic and rehab) hospitals, 900 physician practices and outpatient facilities, 45,000 co-workers and 2,400 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has clinics, outpatient services and outreach ministries in Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. In addition, Mercy's IT division, Mercy Technology Services, and Mercy Virtual commercially serve providers and patients from coast to coast.