From Grumpy to Grateful: Shelba Wilson has Found her Purpose
As a widow approaching her 80s, Shelba lived alone in a 3,000-square-foot house on two acres. A self-described “grumpy old lady,” she was battling chronic back pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, sleeplessness, and depression. Shelba took 11 medications a day and felt like just another number at the large corporate medical practice where she was a patient.
A casual conversation with a salesperson changed the course of her life. Shelba mentioned that she was looking for a new doctor, and the salesperson told her about her family’s favorite physician, Dr. Wayne Dysinger with Lifestyle Medical. Shelba’s first appointment was in January 2020.
Dr. Dysinger spent time getting to know Shelba. He introduced her to the Four Pillars of Health: Nourishment, Movement, Resilience and Connectedness. Together, they formulated a plan that would help Shelba regain her health, reduce her medications and live a vibrant life.
Shelba joined the in-person cooking classes led by Nan Simonsen, Lifestyle’s Nutrition Health Coach. She attended only a few meetings before the COVID pandemic hit, but she had learned enough to begin experimenting and researching at home. Because she finds it hard to cook for just one person, Shelba looks forward to re-joining the in-person classes for more inspiration. “Nan is a wonderful instructor,” she says. “She’s truly interested in the people who attend her classes, and she convinced me that there was a better way to eat if I would just be open to it.”
“Just nutrition alone has been a big part of the positive change in my health,” Shelba says. “I feel so much better when I eat fresh vegetables and fruits. I’m not a vegetarian, but I don’t crave meat very often. When I do, I’ll have pork, but most of my protein comes from plants. My comfort food now is a big baked potato!”
Nan says, “Shelba has made so many good decisions! Her enthusiasm about self-care and her willingness to investigate new ways of eating are helping her create that healthy, beautiful life she was looking for.”
Shelba found that living by herself in a big house was overwhelming and lonely. She invited her grandson, Matt, and his family – including her two great-grandsons – to live in the home, while Shelba moved to a smaller guest house in the back. “We built a big play area for the grandbabies and will be putting in a garden,” Shelba says.
Watering, weeding and walking are natural forms of movement that are now a part of Shelba’s daily routine. She’s also working her way up to riding a stationary bike twice a day.
“I’m learning to take time for myself,” Shelba tells us. “I spend time focusing on being grateful for the good things in my life, and the love of my family. That gives me a great deal of enjoyment.” Shelba has also taken up the practice of meditation. “It doesn’t come easily to me, but I know it can help with stress relief and mental wellness so I’m willing and trying to learn.”
Maintaining social bonds and having a sense of purpose are important keys to longevity. “I have some really good friends in my world,” Shelba tells us, “and I have my family. My family is my purpose. I’m so thankful for them.”
As Shelba reflects on her life prior to joining Lifestyle Medical, she says, “There was a time when I was in a very dark cloud, and I was just looking for a way to make the sun come up again. Dr. Dysinger has played a big role in helping me find that happiness. When I come in for a visit, he notices a glow about me. He tells me he’s proud of my progress, and he encourages me to keep moving forward.”
Today, with the guidance and encouragement of her Lifestyle Medical team, 82-year-old Shelba has reduced her medications from 11 per day to only three. She requires no blood pressure medications, her cholesterol medications have been cut in half and her pain medication is down to one daily.
Dr. Dysinger says, “My favorite part of Shelba’s story is that on her first visit she told me she was a ‘grumpy old lady.’ Now she says, ‘I wake up every morning grateful.’ To me, that’s incredibly beautiful! And it speaks for itself, beyond her decreased meds and improved health outcomes.”
At Lifestyle Medicine, you’ll find a deeply caring medical team, coaches who really listen, compassionate support groups and strategic medical interventions. We’re here to help you build a lifestyle that empowers you to heal. Schedule your free introductory visit today.
By Lifestyle MedicalLifestyle Medical is a primary care practice with a mission to ignite hope for a healthy, flourishing life. We are dedicated to empowering you to make healthier lifestyle choices, so you can reduce medications, restore energy and regain freedom from chronic diseases.
We know how it feels when health issues get in the way of activities that you used to love, or spending time with your loved ones. Lifestyle Medical is a primary care provider dedicated to empowering people to make healthier lifestyle choices. Many of our members have reversed chronic conditions, reduced medications, and regained their energy and joy.