“I learned everything about how to eat, how to exercise…Now I can sleep.”
Dick Levardi worked on a farm all his life, rising early and working hard. He loved the farming life, and it kept him healthy and fit. Since retirement at 65, however, his fitness declined. His health took some turns: blood pressure, cholesterol and weight gain crept up on him.
In late 2015, he had a blood pressure checkup at a local pharmacy and was told to get a doctor right away. He made an appointment with CHP Neighborhood Health Center, where he saw a doctor, who diagnose a pre-diabetic condition. After his medical appointment, he was referred to a CHP nutritionist, Lori Reamer, who took charge and helped Dick change his lifestyle. He saw Lori once a month.
“She was so helpful, I learned everything about how to eat, and how to exercise,” said Dick. “She was fantastic. This diabetes business changed my life: my opinion was I’d better straighten up or die.”
He was eventually able to get his blood sugar under control through diet and exercise. He lost 40 lbs. Now, at age 78, he is still an early-bird like he was as a farmer: he gets up early and walks most every day at Onota Lake.
“It moves the blood around,” he said. “Before, I couldn’t sleep. Now I can sleep.”
A patient of Dr. Patricia Lehmann, Dick says he likes her straightforward style. “She’s blunt. She’s a nice person. She takes time, and listens.”
But it was nutrition education that made the big difference in his life, said Dick. Dick does his own shopping and cooking, and he and keeps on top of his health.
As for CHP Neighborhood Health Center, he’d recommend them to anyone, he said.
“Absolutely, without a doubt,” he said. “I’d recommend them to anyone.”