Paul Dworkin’s Success Story
When Paul Dworkin entered the hospital last spring for
treatment of necrotic cellulitis he received a second diagnosis he
wasn’t expecting: Type 2 diabetes.
News After Routine Tests
“I was surprised, but kind of shrugged it off,” says Paul, 44, who
got the news after routine blood tests. During his 10-day hospital stay,
his doctor and nurses talked to him several times about the importance
of taking his diagnosis seriously, and they put him on a strict
1,800-calorie-a-day eating plan for diabetes.
“Still, it didn’t
really sink in,” says Paul, who works as a restaurant manager. “I had
this attitude that I was invincible.” That is, until a nurse told him
during his hospital stay, “Look, you’re a diabetic and you’re still
going to be one when you leave here.”
“That hit home,” he says.
Shortly after he was discharged, Paul started attending classes at
the St.Vincent Diabetes Center. There he learned about key aspects of
diabetes management and treatment, including blood sugar management,
monitoring blood glucose, nutrition, meal management and exercise.
In just a few months, Paul has made significant changes and
progress. He’s exercising regularly and eating healthier, his weight is
down, and his blood glucose level is improving. He says he would not be
where he is today without the care and support of his St.Vincent
physician, Dr. Jason Everman, and the staff at the St.Vincent Diabetes
Center, including certified diabetes educators Karen Ten Cate,
Registered Dietitian, Joanne Lewis, Registered Nurse and Chris Linares,
“These people are so helpful and
knowledgeable,” Paul says. “Whenever I have a question or a concern
about something, I call them and they get right back to me with an
answer. I can’t thank them enough for all they have done to help me.”
Turning Things Around
Karen also credits Paul for doing his part to turn things around.
is very motivated to take care of himself and achieve optimum blood
sugar control,” she says. Paul stays on top of his insulin doses,
carbohydrate gram intake and activity level, and he has adopted a
cooking style that is lower in total fat and higher in fruits and
vegetables. He also looks up the nutritional information at restaurants
whenever possible and checks his blood sugar before and two hours after
“I think he continues to do all these things because he feels dramatically better,” Karen says.
says he’s taken what he’s learned at the St.Vincent Diabetes Center,
and through his own research has created a personal plan that
incorporates his lifestyle and hectic work schedule.
example, Paul is on his feet all day and doesn’t always have time to sit
down and eat a balanced meal in the middle of his work shift, so he
eats protein bars and small snacks at work to maintain his energy level.
He also ensures that he allots time for exercise before work four to
six times a week. And because he loves to cook — and eat — he has
learned how to make some of his favorite meals healthier.
“My philosophy is don’t think about what you can’t have,” Paul says. “Think how can I have what I want?”
says he is committed to his new lifestyle and reaching his long-term
health goals of losing even more weight and becoming insulin free.
“When I play by the rules and do what I should, I feel great and jump out of bed in the morning.”
Here are some of Paul’s tips that have helped him on his journey to healthful living:
- Pay just as much attention to the number of carbohydrates you’re eating as to the number of calories.
- Think about how you feel when you check your blood sugar — are you tired, happy, hungry, etc.?
- Exercise regularly. It will lower your blood sugar.
- Look for hidden carbohydrates and calories in sauces.
- Take your own light salad dressing when you go to a restaurant and ask your server for smaller portions of certain foods.