Healthy Horizons

Success Stories

Charles WilliamsCharles Williams

Charles Williams was an engineer for Indiana Bell/Ameritech for 25 years, then led a couple of non-profit organizations before joining Butler's College of Business in 1995 as an Executive in Residence. Williams, who has been diagnosed with diabetes goes to Healthy Horizons every couple of months for a general wellness screening, including monitoring of his A1C level. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) describes the A1C test as a picture of a person's average blood glucose (blood sugar) control for the previous two-to-three months. A1C results indicate how well an individual's diabetes treatment plan is working. The ADA recommends that people with diabetes have their A1C levels measured at least twice a year.

Here is Charles' story, in his own words.

How has Healthy Horizons helped you meet your health goals? ~ Show Response

I've been using Healthy Horizons for the past seven or eight years. From them, I learned the usefulness of the A1C, how valuable a tool that is to control diabetes.

I visit my doctor once every six or seven months. I go to Healthy Horizons about every other month. In the process of measuring my weight and blood pressure, they'll monitor my A1C.

Optimally, I'd like for my A1C count to be lower than 7. It's good if I can get it lower than 8.

About a year and a half ago, it was, at its highest-13. I was between medications because this med wasn't working, and that med wasn't working. Healthy Horizons sent the A1C results directly to my doctor. Finally, we got a good medication and a good dosage.

The last time I looked, my A1C was around 7.5 or 7.4.

Healthy Horizons has helped me learn the place of monitoring, food, exercise, medication-how that all comes together to make sure that I have a relatively good control over my diabetes.

Healthy Horizons is right next door [in the Pharmacy and Health Sciences Building, adjacent to Williams's office in the Holcomb Building]. It's handy and easy to get to. The people of Healthy Horizons have been very gracious and considerate with their time. There have been occasions when health questions have come up between appointments and I've asked if I could come over in the next week or so. They've said, "Let's make it in a day or two."

In addition to the A1C monitoring, they've had other programs that I've taken advantage of. They give me brochures and tips for my personal health and safety-that's appreciated.

Diabetics soon learn that their diabetes plays a role in almost everything in health. I've had open-heart surgery and other illnesses. With diabetes, if I were to have any significant cardiac issue, diabetes would add serious complications to it. Keeping a better handle on my diabetes keeps a better handle on my health in general.

I take medications for my heart, and the pharmacists at Healthy Horizons have talked with me and helped me keep all of my medications in balance. I didn't realize it but there are certain dosages and certain medications that it's better to take at night, and some are better during the day.

They've encouraged me to use the HRC (Butler Health and Recreation Complex) for exercise. I can see the positive results from exercising three or four times a week. Left to my own devices, I wouldn't do it.

With exercise, I have a much better body tone and improved personal self-view, self-I feel better about myself. I get a better night's sleep and awake refreshed. The HRC combined with Healthy Horizons has been able to do that for me.

What are some obstacles you have faced in maintaining good health and healthy habits? ~ Show Response

Aging and the deterioration of energy levels. Certain things that happen can take a toll on your body. Earlier in life, I had a ruptured appendix and consequently had to have nine operations in two years to get it resolved. That still has some effect on me; I still feel discomfort from it. But, that's not a complaint. I'm still here to complain about it.

What did you do to overcome those obstacles? ~ Show Response

Healthy Horizons and the HRC have helped me put some of those things in perspective and try lifestyle changes and exercise to get past obstacles. Encouragement is always important. You need a good nudge to do the right thing.

There's also the mental aspect of health challenges. Getting good solid information from Healthy Horizons about what I'm up against has been extremely helpful.

What keeps you motivated? ~ Show Response

Being here with the Butler students has been a big motivation. I enjoy the students. They're young, vivacious, and active. They are certainly engaging.

I enjoy that, as an Executive in Residence, I'm required to read and study. I love to learn new things. Those are some of the things that keep me involved.

I'm married and have two adult children who are wonderful parents, and two terrific granddaughters, 16 and 10. I want to be a good role model for my children and grandchildren, to be a good steward of those things that were given to me.

My colleagues at Butler motivate me in a healthy manner. In addition to getting a lot of things done, we have a lot of fun and enjoyment with each other.

What health tips do you have for others at Butler? ~ Show Response

Overeat the right things. Start with a good diet. I am a fundamental overeater, but I overeat the right things. I love salads and green vegetables. I could have a salad for breakfast. I don't have a lot of fats and sugars.

Exercise to your ability. If you can, get in some vigorous exercise three or four times a week.

Take care of yourself mentally and spiritually. I think it's helpful for one to be spiritually engaged and mentally challenged.