Reach Out and Touch Someone

My husband asks me every week or so, "How's the diabetes going?" As I'm mumbling some innocuous answer, I'm always thinking: "Geez, no 20 minutes go by in my life when I don't think about this thing." It's so constant, so all-consuming. I've come to the conclusion that the only people who can really converse with you about it are others who live with it too.

That's why you're here on the dLife site, right?

On top of support groups and online message boards, did you know that informational classes and seminars are offered around the country by community groups and diabetes supply companies for minimal or no entrance fees? This is a great way to "mix" with other people with diabetes and learn something new about achieving better control at the same time. These classes cover the basics of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, effects and glucose trends, advanced carbohydrate counting and more. Two examples are the non-profit group TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes), and Medtronic MiniMed's free Patient Information Event series. Finding classes and classes and support groups in your area is as simple as a quick online search or calling your local hospital.

Personalized Help

If you or someone you love is overwhelmed or under-motivated far beyond the point of this pep talk, there's still something you can do.

Clinics and medical groups across the country now offer top-notch diabetes education and meal-planning programs that are personalized for each individual patient. These one-on-one sessions with an educator or nutritionist help patients work out a treatment plan that fits their own lifestyle, so they can experience success rather than continuous feelings of failure. People with diabetes a decade or so ago could only dream of such help!

I recently read about a study in Detroit in which teens with diabetes were assisted with intensive, in-home counseling. No surprise that "diabetes-related stress was reduced," resulting in "improvements in metabolic control."

Thank goodness for this new focus on overall well-being. Years ago, patients were handed drug prescriptions and a strict generic meal plan and sent home. Anyone who didn't follow doctor's orders to the letter was labeled "non-compliant." Nobody asked how the person with diabetes felt, let alone how their mood or motivation level might affect their ability to care for themselves.

In short, the good news is: for whatever it's worth, now is the best time ever to have diabetes. Our "toolbox" of treatments is fuller than ever, and there are more programs, more classes, conferences, company resources, and a bigger support community available to you now than any time ever in history for any disease. That ought to give us some inspiration!

Read more about Amy Tenderich.

dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.

Page: 1 | 2

Last Modified Date: July 17, 2013

All content on is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

Sign up for FREE dLife Newsletters

dLife Membership is FREE! Get exclusive access, free recipes, newsletters, savings, and much more! FPO

You are subscribed!
You are subscribed!
You are subscribed!
118 Views 0 comments
by Lindsey Guerin
As the thoughts of adoption cross my mind, I have a nagging on my heart that reminds me that I am not alone in this. Not alone in a positive way that I have the support of my husband and I'm building a great medical team to help me tackle any fertility challenges that come along. But not alone in that it's not just my emotions and desires that dictate how, when, or if I have children. Yesterday, I was chatting with a volunteer at work. He and his wife have a two year old and we...