Nassau County Health
Is Our Mission

Nassau County Health
Is Our Mission

Reduce the Risk of Complications from Diabetes

Here is Mustafa’s Story:

I have had diabetes since I was 10 years old. I use insulin and check my sugar daily. When I was younger, my parents kept track of all my medical appointments. They took time off work to make sure I saw whatever specialists I needed. They always told me they would never forgive themselves if they let their son get any of the complications of diabetes. They wanted my diabetes to be under perfect control. And it always was.

I know I am supposed to see the eye and foot doctor every year. But I am working and in college full time. My wife just had a baby. I can barely keep my regular medical appointments every three months. I don’t have a lot of money for transportation or time to go to all these appointments. Plus, I feel fine. A few months ago, when I saw my regular doctor with my wife and baby, he noticed that I had missed several appointments for the eye and foot doctor over the last few years. I told him I didn’t have the time or money to go to these extra appointments. My eyes and feet were feeling ok. I felt great and my diabetes was under control. Wasn’t it enough that I took my medications and kept my visits with him?

He said he was happy to hear I was feeling great and taking all medications. But there could be small changes happening in the blood vessels and nerves of my eyes and feet that could cause big problems for me later on. Since I’ve had diabetes for a long time, I had more risk of getting complications like vision or nerve problems. If I saw the eye and foot doctor when these changes were small, there was more they could do to stop the changes from getting worse. He said to speak to the office Community Health Advocate for help with transportation.

My wife was worried when she heard what the doctor was saying. She told me how important it was that I stay healthy for myself, her and the baby. She wanted to help me schedule and keep these appointments. That day, I was able to speak with the Community Health Advocate. It turns out my health insurance pays for transportation to medical visits. The next month I saw the eye doctor. I had early changes in my vision called diabetic retinopathy. The eye doctor gave me a list of different foods and nutritional supplements that would help support my vision. Since it was caught early, I didn’t need treatment. She said the most important thing to do was to make sure I kept my daily sugar levels stable and keep my A1c in control.

I should see her more often. If anything changed, we could treat the changes as soon as they got more serious and keep me from losing any vision. I am ready for my appointment in two weeks with the foot doctor. I need to stay healthy for my family by staying ahead of any problems the diabetes can create in my body. Just like my parents used to do for me.
The Long Island FQHC, Inc. is a family health center that provides comprehensive primary and specialty care for the whole family. We provide services for all adult, pediatric, OB/GYN, Behavioral health and dental care needs at several location throughout Nassau County. We will see patients regardless of their ability to pay and regardless of citizenship status.

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