Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Aaahhh The Dreaded Appointment!

You know what I’m talking about! You look at the calendar and realize that your Diabetes appointment is only two weeks away and you let out a deflated sigh a couple of times.

It’s because you know what you’re facing. The doctor will go through your Blood Glucose diary and highlight all of the high readings and then you will realise that there are so many of them. You then have to sit through the judgement and lecture that you’ve heard time and time again. You’d think the doctor would know by now that this tactic doesn’t work and that (s)he should try a new one.

I finally realised after I don’t know how many years that my doctor is supposed to help me not hound me. My attitude has changed; I prepare for my appointments now. I go through my blood glucose diary beforehand and walk into my appointment with my own opinion of what changes need to be made to my insulin regime and if my doctor thinks otherwise they have to convince me of it.

If I feel that my doctor is not educating me about how to better manage my diabetes then I shop around. I mean if we don’t get a good meal in a restaurant then we don’t go back for more do we? Why should I settle for less where my health is concerned? (Aside; it paid off because I now have the nicest, supportive & competent doctor I’ve ever had).

What my change in attitude means is that there is a two way conversation about the management of MY diabetes and that I’m not pushed around. I understand that my doctor is depending on me to provide him/her with the information (s)he needs to serve me best and how can (s)he get that information if I don’t speak up?

The level of understanding we get from healthcare professionals is limited because not very many people with diabetes go into the profession – why is that? Maybe that’s a question for another blog entry?

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Diabetes; Ask the Experts.

Thinking, thinking & thinking.
My experience of Diabetes Public Information meetings is that of me sitting in a large hotel function room and being subjected to all sorts of presentations from medical professionals. The presentations range from poorly prepared and poorly delivered to entertaining, informative and easy listening. So it’s like a lucky dip as to whether the meeting is worthwhile.

So when I heard about the “Diabetes; Ask the Experts” event I registered the very next day. We rarely, in the Irish Diabetes Community come across an event where some of the speakers’ reputation precedes them. I’m specifically talking about Dr. Steve Edelman, who is a person with Type 1 Diabetes, an endocrinologist, author of “50 Secrets of the Longest Living People with Diabetes” and a diabetes activist.

I then logged onto his website www.tcoyd.org to see what the “Take Control of Your Diabetes" movement was all about. They do day-long conferences for people with diabetes that includes presentations which we are used to. However, there are, what’s referred to as “Roving Diabetes Educators” wearing ribbons that read “Ask ME! I’m an Educator”, who will talk to anyone who taps them on the shoulder.

You might be saying that it sounds just like what we already have! But the difference is there is more interaction between the medical professionals and the people plus, some of the medical professionals have diabetes themselves so they talk the same language as us.

TCOYD are also doing a TV series called “Extreme Diabetes Makeover” which is airing on the website at the moment.

I started to think about the possibility of having something like that here. Would people turn up and pay money for this? Would the people of Ireland be willing to invest in a movement like this?

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Golden Blood Glucose Day.

I woke up on a regular morning and I took the first BG test of the day. Low and behold it’s 4.8. I smiled and thought “what a warm fuzzy feeling to start to the day”.
As the day went on my BG readings seem to check all the boxes. I tested 7 times on this day which is my usual and the highest reading was 8.2. I though “Well that’s a little above the recommendation but thank god it’s not 10 or more”. As the day went on the nice feeling of “job well done” continued. The rest of my readings fell between 5.6 and 7.3 – I mean how did that happen?
It’s like all the stars & planets in the universe aligned – just for me. The only difference between me on this day and me on any other day was a much-relished lie in and not running around like a headless chicken. I went to bed feeling so proud of this one day.

“Pride comes before the fall”!! Yep, it was so nice while it lasted.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

February; Lots of Type 1 Support Group Meetings in Ireland

Following my previous post there is a Type 1 Support Group "Meet & Greet" evening on Tuesday, 8th February in the Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis, Co. Clare. In Dublin the very first meeting of the Dublin T1 Support Group on Wed. 9th Feb. And the Time to Talk Teen Support Group in Cork on 24th Feb. See the link for more details.