Poor lifestyle habits and lack of healthy choices can put a person on the fast track to illness. That’s exactly where Simeon Pierce found himself when his elevated blood pressure had taken a toll on his kidneys, bringing him to stage III kidney failure.
It was years of smoking, lack of blood pressure medication and poor diet that led Simeon to this situation. But it was his positive relationship with Hunt Regional RN Christy Hider, however, that motivated him to change his lifestyle.
Simeon turned to Hunt Regional for its Care Transitions program, which provided him with the tools, education and motivation he needed to kick unhealthy habits, improve his blood pressure and live a healthier life. The program helped Simeon access blood pressure medication at a more affordable price and connect him with a primary care physician near his home with a no charge visit. Christy also gave Simeon his own blood pressure cuff so he could track his levels at home.
One of the biggest challenges Christy urged Simeon to tackle, however, was to quit smoking. At first, Simeon wasn’t on board.
“I went along with it while I was in the hospital, but I planned to smoke right when I left,” Simeon said. “If it wasn’t for [Christy], I don’t think I’d have stopped smoking.”
Unlike most smokers, Simeon kicked the habit. And he did it cold turkey – without medicine or any other help. Only 7 percent of smokers are able to complete such a feat, according to the American Cancer Society.
A Changed Lifestyle for a Changed Number
Not only did blood pressure medication and quitting smoking help Simeon stabilize his blood pressure levels – he also took up a nutritious diet with help from Hunt Regional’s nutrition services department. He cut down on his old favorite foods – pork and bacon – among others. As a result, Simeon has lost about thirty pounds and reversed most of the damage done to his kidneys.
“Mr. Pierce did all the hard work himself, we were just here to listen and help him make informed decisions on his health care,” Christy said. “Each and every one of us is one life event away from needing help. Mr. Pierce took our help and made the best of it.”
Simeon isn’t alone – everyone has room for improvement when it comes to healthy lifestyles, whether it be smoking, diets, exercise and more.
“You can quit anything you want to,” Simeon said. “You’ve just got to have the willpower.”
Learn more about the nutrition services offered at Hunt Regional Medical Center today.