November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. A time when we pay attention to the lives of those dealing with this illness and boost awareness for the progress we have made and, and the gaps that still remain.  I am sharing my personal stories as they align to my 5 key coaching principles which I believe are game changers for your best life with diabetes. 

This week I’ll start with education.  Don’t feel like reading?   Watch the replay of my video chat on the same topic!

Patient Education

Patient education was a significant focus of learning while in nursing school. I spent hours training to convey information to the patients I cared for, so they understood their medical care and achieved their best health.  I educated them about what would happen before a procedure, how to recover after the procedure and signs that might indicate a complication.  Medications were explained, so the patient understood how to take them, what they did, how they benefited and what to do if you missed a dose.  Every interaction with a patient was an opportunity to fill them with knowledge that would lead them back to health.

Patient Performance

Despite flooding my patients with reams of paper and a myriad of facts about their injuries and illness, many didn’t do it “right”.  They failed to finish the medication, change the dressing, call when it looked infected or modify their diet and activities. As a nurse it was frustrating, that my efforts appeared to be in vain.  I knew I was doing my part.  Why were these people not able to do theirs?

It takes more than education

It took a diabetes diagnosis for me to understand how wrong the medical community’s efforts were.   Heck, I didn’t even need the education.  I was adept at injections, insulin dosing, glucose monitoring and recommended diet plans.   I knew diabetes. The young diabetes educator who “trained” me, was less informed about the disease than I was.  I ended up showing her a few tricks during my mandatory education.  If I knew all this stuff, then Why Oh Why wasn’t I able to make it happen?  Had my entire nursing career and focus on patient education been a hoax??

The truth

It took a lot of struggle, tears, frustration and angst to come to terms with the expectations of the medical community.  Their purpose is to point out all the potential pitfalls, show you what “good health” looks like and prescribe the best treatments. Unfortunately, that is only part of the battle of dealing with a chronic illness. The truth is, our medical care addresses the physical needs of our body and it assumes we have the coping skills, tenacity, inner grit and fortitude to reinvent ourselves in ways that align with our body’s needs.

Diabetes is a burden to every aspect of your life, not just your body. While a good understanding of what is going on inside you and expertise in medications, diet, exercise is imperative to living long and strong, it is not enough.   You need support for your mind and spirit as well to manage this life-long challenge.  If you continue to struggle, you are likely lacking support in caring for your body, mind and /or soul.  Maybe all three!

Time to revisit

National Diabetes Awareness Month is a great time to re-assess your diabetes needs, successes and struggles.   Mercury also just went retrograde so if you follow the stars, this is also the perfect time to reflect, revisit, reaffirm, redirect, and restate your goals.  If it seems impossible to sort it all out, that is where coaching can be very helpful.  An expert set of eyes, ears, and thoughts to help you untangle and start moving in the direction you want to go!

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Best,

Patricia Daiker Diabetes Coach

PS – I am walking to raise money for JDRF on 11/16/19, any donation you could make is much appreciated!!!

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