His Way to Health: Richard Zglobicki's Diabetes Management Journey

 Back to Patient Stories

When Richard Zglobicki was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes over 10 years ago, he knew managing his blood sugar levels and A1C—an average measure of blood sugar over the previous three months—would be crucial to maintaining his health. However, Richard’s busy life, filled with caregiving duties, made it challenging to stay on top of his health.Man outside, smiling and holding model airplane.

“For a while I was taking care of my mom and I wasn’t taking my medication because I was constantly working with her, making her food, making sure she had her medications,” Richard explains. “I just stopped taking my medication and my A1C got progressively worse, and my weight went up.”

As Richard’s diabetes worsened, at his next doctor’s appointment with Dr. Khaled Abdelkader from Baystate Primary Care - Palmer, he was referred to Baystate Health clinical pharmacist practitioner Derek Charron for diabetes management and education to help him get on track. Derek, who typically sees type 2 patients when they are newly diagnosed or have uncontrolled A1C levels (typically over 7%), prescribed Metformin and adjusted doses on other medications to Richard to help him lower his A1C while he was making lifestyle changes.

“Metformin has been around for a long time,” explains Derek. “It acts as an amplifier to make your body more sensitive to the insulin that you have, and essentially makes the insulin that you have work a little bit better. If a patient can take a medication like Metformin, and get over the hump to lower their A1C, then we often don’t need to use insulin, which comes with its own challenges.”

This treatment plan was extremely effective for Richard. “My A1C went from 12% to 6%,” he says. “When Derek told me my results, I was really excited, and so was he. My primary care doctor, Dr. Abdelkader, was also thrilled and encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing. That support is so helpful.”

My A1C went from 12% to 6%
Richard Zglobicki

With Richard seeing positive results, he is hoping to stay the course. He acknowledges the challenges of maintaining a healthy diet and losing weight, but it is a lifelong journey, and having medical support is crucial to success.Man outside, crouched down to examine a model airplane.


“My advice is to listen to your doctor, take your medicine, and eat well when you can," he says.


With many type 2 diabetes patients like Richard trying to make those important changes, Derek focuses on meeting patients where they are, providing comprehensive education, and finding solutions that fit into a patients’ own circumstances and food preferences.


“The food prices are high, and it's really hard to tell people they have to eat healthy all the time,” he says. “I recommend small lifestyle changes with an eye on their wallet. You can still have the things you normally eat and maintain your blood sugar. I’ve found the easiest way to do that is to have them check their blood sugar two hours after a meal. If it is over 180, then maybe they can’t have that meal right now, or maybe they can get by with a little less of it.”


With Derek’s guidance, Richard is finding his own ways to manage his type 2 diabetes and do the things he loves, like riding his bike and flying model airplanes with friends. Amidst a busy life, Richard is making his health a priority, something Derek encourages in all of his patients.


“You have other things going on. You might have to take care of others. I get it. But you have to be important to yourself,” Derek advises.

baystate health's the beat monthly e-newsletter subscribe image

Health & Wellness Tips

Sign up for monthly emails from Baystate Health.

Back to Top