Alanda Braxton-Miles brings joy and a smile wherever she goes. But over the course of the last few years, this grandmother, Ward 8 homeowner and preschool teacher grew mysteriously sick – so sick that the simple tasks of daily life became a struggle. She had two strokes, two years in a row. She experienced waves of exhaustion and chronic pain. Gout in her leg caused uncomfortable swelling. But perhaps the scariest symptom of all was the occasional bout of memory loss. She joked, “I called them my dummy days.” Her symptoms got so bad that her work performance was slipping, and she started taking sick day after sick day. “I started worrying that I might lose my job,” she admitted.
Her rushed visits with her doctor weren’t yielding answers. When she stubbed her toe and her leg swelled up with gout, her doctor didn’t have time to see her so Alanda ended up in the emergency room. “That was the last straw,” she reported. “My daughter told me then and there, ‘Mom, you need a new doctor.'"
Alanda scheduled her first appointment at Community of Hope’s Conway Health and Resource Center two days later, in need of a provider who could get to the bottom of the cause of her worsening symptoms. “I was so swollen, I looked like the Hulk!” she said. Within minutes of her first appointment, she knew she was in the right place. “Dr. Shayla Graham-Brock took time to listen,” she said. “She’s loving and caring. I know she’s busy, but she treats every patient like they’re her only one!”
With a few good questions and a blood test, Dr. Brock easily recognized the cause of Alanda’s suffering: diabetes. “I’d been walking around with diabetes for years, and didn’t even know it!” she exclaimed. “How did my old doctor miss that?”
Eight months since that first appointment, Alanda has her health back. She follows Dr. Brock’s suggestions on healthy diet: no sweet drinks, less starch, almost no meat. She has lost 50 pounds and has energy to do her job well and stay active at her church. And she says that she has her doctor to thank. “I’m so pleased with my care here; I wouldn’t go anywhere else.”
Good health begins with good primary care, and Community of Hope is proud to offer it at three health centers across the city. We served over 9,000 patients with medical, dental and behavioral healthcare in 2014; in 2015, our impact will be even bigger.
We wish Alanda the best as she continues to live each day to the fullest. “I thank God I’m alive,” she says. “I’m just so grateful to be healthy.”