We get calls every day from people looking for assistance.
This one started out pretty routine. “I’m so worried about my friend,” it began. “He just got out of the ER and he needs help.” Bruce was new to town and had uncontrolled diabetes, no insurance and a bad wound on his foot. During the conversation, the man on the phone became upset and started yelling. Bruce had passed out and fallen down on the sidewalk. “Hang up and call 911!” we told his friend. “Call us back and let us know how he’s doing.” We worried we might not hear another word, but we got a call the next day. Bruce was feeling better and was looking to sign up for health insurance. Dolly, our Enrollment Coordinator, told him to come right over. She would drop everything to get him taken care of. Bruce arrived a few minutes later, clutching an envelope with our address scribbled on it and a note from his friend: “Cool people, I like this place.” When Bruce came through the door, he got a warm welcome. We all had heard his story and sensed that he needed some extra love and support. Bruce was very frightened about the condition of his foot and knew that his diabetes was way out of control. But he was hoping he could take care of it on his own. He hadn’t had many good experiences with doctors and certainly wasn’t expecting to be treated like family. During his first visit he looked up at Dr. Jill with a big smile and said, “I forget to be nervous here!”
Bruce came in for a visit every week after getting his dressings changed at the Legacy Wound Clinic. He started feeling more comfortable with our staff, all of whom fell in love with him. His health insurance came through, and all of his treatments were covered. But his blood sugars of 300 or higher were making it impossible for his foot to heal. His heavily bandaged feet were hard to walk on, and he hadn’t been able to wear shoes for months. He was frightened of needles and hated the idea of checking his sugars, not to mention using insulin shots. Over a few weeks, Bruce started checking his sugars every day and came around to the idea of using insulin shots. The Oregon Health Plan covers Lantus, a once-a-day insulin, and Bruce thought he could make that work. He tested his sugars and used his insulin every day and pretty soon saw his numbers coming down. He paid us a visit at least once a week. With good blood sugar control, Bruce’s foot wounds started to heal. Dr. Jill and the Wound Clinic staff stayed in close touch, communicating every time he had a visit. Finally, word came that his feet were healed and Bruce would soon be fitted for new diabetic shoes. When the big day came Dr. Jill and Sharetta, North by Northeast’s Community Health Worker, paid a visit to Legacy to help Bruce celebrate and to say thank you to his incredible team at the Wound Clinic. Bruce is so grateful for the care he receives at North by Northeast. “The clinic is so professional and yet so laid back and comforting,” he says. “Whenever I leave there, I feel so much better. They put the sunshine back in my life!”