When Stephen Marfione thinks back to where he was two years ago, it’s as fresh as yesterday.
He remembers all of it – the denial, the despair – and of course, the breaking point when he could no longer ignore that his health was spiraling out of control.
“My blood sugar and my weight were on the rise, and I was extremely stressed,” said Stephen, scheduling coordinator for Eastman Dental. He knew he had to do something, and more importantly he knew he couldn’t do it alone. He needed help. “I started learning about what was available through the University, and I took advantage of it,” he said. That’s when he enrolled in the condition management program sponsored by the YOURhealth employee wellness program.
For Stephen, the first steps were the hardest – admitting he needed help, and going to his first coaching session. “I’ll be honest,” he said. “I had a lot of apprehension. What would it be like?” Since he didn’t know anything about condition management or wellness coaching, he had no idea what to expect. “But once I started talking with my coach and we created goals, I was so excited. Things were moving, and I had a path to follow,” Stephen said.
Although he initially enrolled in condition management for diabetes, he also wanted to lose weight and reduce his stress. His wellness coach, Suzanne Armstrong, Registered Nurse Wellness Coach, showed him how to better manage his diabetes while also helping him address his weight and stress. “Our condition management program uses a whole-person approach,” said Suzanne. “We treat the whole person, not one condition. We help you define and set goals -- not just around your condition, but around all the health challenges you face like nutrition, exercise, stress and more.” Stephen also suffers from sleep apnea, and when he mentioned this during a coaching session, Suzanne was able to help him learn how to better communicate with his doctor about issues he was experiencing.
From that day forward Stephen has never looked back. For him, the condition management program has been an environment of encouragement, support, and a safe place where he can be himself. “They accept you as you are, where you are, and work with you from there. If you fall, your coach helps you get right back up and move on,” said Stephen.
That was more than two years ago. Today, Stephen is re-enrolled in the condition management program, and his health is on the mend. His blood sugar is under better control, he is losing weight, and he’s learned coping methods to handle the stress in his life. “CM showed me how everything is connected. Once my coach taught me how to manage my diabetes and stress, my blood sugar readings and eating habits improved, and I began to lose weight. It all started to come together,” he said. “The program worked on my entire being and strengthened me physically, emotionally, and mentally.”
Condition management helped Stephen learn more about his diabetes and his health in general. And what sticks out in his mind most is that wellness is a journey with no final destination. “Am I there?” Stephen asks. “No. But we’re taking steps and my health is improving.” And that’s why he continues to re-enroll. This is his third year in the condition management program, and he’ll be back. What does he like best about the program? Without hesitation, Stephen replies, “The one-to-one-coaching. With my coach, we’re a team working together towards better health.”
Have questions or ready to enroll?
Condition management programs include:
*participants will receive a prescription drug discount on eligible medications