Health education: coming to a small screen near you

Last week my friend drove me west to a studio in New Jersey. As we entered the building we were greeted with a thermometer check to take our temperatures and a bevy of people in masks and face shields. I was there to be taped for a health video that will play in doctor’s waiting rooms. I talk about about my story living with diabetes and give 4 tips (at the end) how people with diabetes can make their visit with their health professionals more successful. It was a blast!

The first stop in the long, low rise building was meeting the stylist. I was in her chair for an hour while she put on my camera make-up. Pots and pots of powders she dipped, brushed and brushed them again onto my face. The highlight was her careful insertion of wisps of eye lashes into my own. Only to be pulled off later that evening sitting outside at a local restaurant to celebrate my tiny stardom with the husband.

Groomed, my friend and I entered the studio where the six person crew awaited. They too were all in masks and face shields and did their utmost, quite admirably, to remain socially distanced from me and each other. I spent an hour reading my script off the teleprompter. It couldn’t be easier: the teleprompter was directly in my line of sight, and I could read at my own pace. The script stopped rolling when I stopped speaking.

After several readings the crew was happy, I practiced sitting and getting up, going off stage and coming back, adjusting my watch and glasses, all for them to frame me within the camera lens. These pictures are the result of my friend’s smarts as she watched off to the side while I was completely unaway she was taking them. Yes it’s hot under those lights. Imagine also being in a mask and face shield!

Once the 3 minute video is ready, (should be mid October,) I’ll post it if allowed. Below were my 4 tips for a successful visit:

1. Come with your “burning” question – and don’t wait til your hand’s on the doorknob to ask it. 

2. After you discuss what you might do better, ask your doctor, “What am I doing well?” Feel good about it, this is hard work and you deserve congratulations.

3. Ask if there are any new medications or devices that can help you.

4. If you haven’t already, don’t leave without a referral for diabetes education classes. That’s 10 free classes, covered by Medicare and most health plans. Sometimes doctors are just too busy to tell us or forget. 

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