A Member Story: Tyrone Gillispie

Truck driver credits Health Partner with steering him back to good health

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If there’s a day Tyrone Gillispie would like to forget, it might be Jan. 20, 2015. Already in the hospital receiving treatment for a heart attack, he also found out that he had developed type 2 diabetes.

“I’d been to the eye doctor a few days before, and she saw something that concerned her with my eyes,” Tyrone recalls. “She told me to get my blood tested, and it showed that my blood sugar was elevated. That night I began having chest pains, and when I got to the ER they tested it again and it was extremely high.”

As he recovered from his heart attack, he was visited by Joyce Miller, a Health Partner on MissionPoint’s Transition Team who works with members who are, or have recently been, hospitalized. Tyrone was, understandably, a little overwhelmed, but he says Joyce helped him get down to basics in terms of the next steps to a healthier life.

Prioritizing Helps Wellness Efforts

“She was really nice, and she got me to relax and start talking about how I wasn’t sure what to do next,” he says. “The diabetes was such a surprise, because I’m not overweight and I do exercise. But I’m also a truck driver, and I will grab the doughnut or the Snickers bar when I’m on the road instead of having a healthy meal.”

Joyce helped Tyrone connect with an endocrinologist, as well as start being more proactive about a healthy diet. Those changes, along with continued exercise, have allowed him to get his blood-sugar levels under control in just a few months. He also has been following his doctor’s advice regarding his heart health, so has made progress on that front as well.

“I have taken every word of her advice,” Tyrone says. “We talked about what had happened, and what needed to happen from that point on. She pushed me on what to eat, portion sizes and how to prepare my food. I ate a lot of fruit, but it was apples and bananas, which have a lot of sugar. She made some recommendations, and it was like a light going off.”

Since that first meeting the two have remained in touch by phone, and Joyce has followed his progress through updates from the endocrinologist as well.

“It was like giving me a road map after I’d taken a left turn and gotten lost,” Tyrone says. “She gave me the confidence I needed when she told me everything would be OK that day in the hospital. She gave me the motivation to make some changes and make some right turns to get back on the road.”

To see how MissionPoint Health Partners can help you, call us at 855-288-6747 or email us at members@missionpointhealth.org.