Patient Story: Ed Nicholson

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Published on March 06, 2016

Patient Story: Ed Nicholson

Ed Nicholson of Concord saw an ad for a one-day class about pre-diabetes. He went and it changed his life.

Ed NicholsonEd attended the Concord Hospital Center for Health Promotion (CHP) class because it sounded interesting and he had been to other classes there. He left with important information about how diet and exercise can help prevent or control type 2 diabetes.

It wasn’t until a doctor’s appointment afterward that he learned just how important the newfound information would be for him. His doctor told him he had type 2 diabetes, the most common type of diabetes. People with diabetes have higher-than-normal blood glucose (sugar) levels.

Since then, Ed, who is 71, has completed a 16-week diabetes management class developed by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other classes on fitness and exercise at Concord Hospital Center for Health Promotion. Through those classes and his desire to keep his diabetes under control, Ed has changed his diet and exercise routine, losing 20 pounds and exercising more safely and efficiently.

“I learned what to eat, and what not to eat,” he said, and while he can’t have ice cream as often as before, he feels better and his blood sugar levels have dropped.

The key to changing his diet was keeping a log of everything he ate for nutritional counselor Donna Patch at CHP.

“I knew I didn’t want to pass in my diet log with the same things on it all the time,” Ed said. “If I wrote down that I was eating the same things all the time, I wouldn’t be helping myself at all. So by practicing what I learned, it helped me.”

He also kept track of exercise, and through fitness and exercise classes he has taken repeatedly, Ed learned that shorter walks were more beneficial and less straining for him than the hour-long walks he used to take and that using lighter weights was more efficient and safer than heavier weights that often left him hurting.

Although Ed is not a Concord Hospital Medical Group or Dartmouth-Hitchcock Concord patient and therefore did not receive a letter suggesting he take the pre-diabetes class, he knows what he would have done if one had arrived in his mail.

“You’d be a fool not to follow up on a warning like that,” he said.

He said instructors were thorough, took the time to answer questions and catered to everyone’s needs.

“Even though I knew that I knew everything, and that nobody could teach me anything, I learned a lot,” Ed said with a smile. “It changed my life.”