What we can learn from those who thrive with diabetes

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Diabetes Health Monitor just ran this article featuring 13 great and grounded tips for living well with diabetes from four seasoned people who do it – all of whom are my friends.

Jessica Apple and Mike Aviad who manage the superb diabetes magazine, A Sweet Life. Scott Johnson who has been a wonderful advocate in the Diabetes Online Community DOC since it all began, and moi.

Do you understand the power of choosing healthy eating over weigh loss? That you can’t compare your diabetes to anyone else’s? And that “perfect” does not belong in the diabetes dictionary?

Sometimes we learn more and better when we learn from each other.

The power of words on our diabetes experience


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I just listened to a wonderful podcast produced by tudiabetes. Click the link, go down to the video and hit the play button. If you aren’t a tudiabetes member, you may need to sign up. But it’s one of the richest social media sites in diabetes.

The podcast features CDE/PWD, Associate Professor at Columbia University Jane Dickinson. She comes into the video around 10:35.

First, I have to say how small the world is. I met Jane only three weeks ago at DiabetesMine’s Innovation Summit. Immediately, we knew we were kindred spirits. In our respect for people with diabetes, making the experience of diabetes more positive as well as the language.

In the podcast, Jane shares what she learned from people with diabetes regarding how we feel about words like “compliant” and “control.” Control happens to be one of my hot buttons – it doesn’t exist! Stop saying it! Yet getting most HCPs to undo that hard wired language they hear everyday is a Herculean task. This may just be a time when WE have to teach THEM.

Jane also shares the really intriguing background of how “control” and “test” as in “testing blood sugar” came into our diabetes language.

Host Emily Coles says why don’t we talk about “pride” with diabetes for all we do? Why indeed. I will now use a great line Jane threw out when she was at her dermatologist’s office and she told her she should do something. Jane said, “Don’t should on me!” It went over her provider’s head, but not mine and probably not yours.

It’s time to change the conversation. Jane plans next to study if we change our diabetes language to rid it of the judgment and replace judgement with praise, can we affect clinical outcomes. Truthfully, I expect so.


IDF World Congress Vancouver and the positive side of diabetes

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It was an amazing week. I presented my Award Lecture the first day of the conference and presented with my husband about how we manage diabetes together the last day.

My Award Lecture was on a Flourishing Treatment Approach which I believe can take people with diabetes further than our current Coping Treatment Approach. Thanks to the IDF, the video of my presentation will be online this month or next. I will be sure to post it. For now, I can point you to a very short write up already in the Endocrinology Advisor. The hour presentation was multi-faceted so this is just to whet your appetite.

I cannot thank the International Diabetes Federation enough for giving me a world stage to share the work I’ve been doing in diabetes. The work that is closest to my heart – helping people with diabetes flourish and helping HCPs work with people who have diabetes in a way that helps them flourish. The fact that more than 200 people attended my Award Lecture and received it so enthusiastically makes my heart full.

The husband and I presented twice on how my diabetes helps our relationship grow. The first time for the conference participants – more than 8,000 scientists, researchers, clinicians and health care providers – and the second time for people with diabetes and loved ones.

For us, my having diabetes and how we live with it, has only made our relationship closer and stronger. Again, it is a positive position few really expect, but we have made my diabetes, ours. In doing so we have, and continue to, create ways that make it easier for me to manage diabetes and help the husband get more sleep, worry less and have a valued role in my diabetes.

I am indebted to all the support we had throughout the week and to all the wonderful new people I met at the conference with whom I now feel a special bond. My only complaint is with whoever arranged the weather. Rain, rain, rain and more rain!