Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you. (Thanks go out to Kim of Texting my Pancreas for inspiring this topic.
My Aunt is struggling. She has type 2 diabetes and has made some serious changing to her life to fight back. But lately it seems everything she does is never enough and this continuing spinning of her wheels is bringing her down.
When I read the prompt for today's post it made me think of my dear aunt and what she is going through. She started to eat right, skip snacks and sweets she sould sneak now and then, and started exercising. It has gotten to the point now where she will skip meals to keep her blood sugar down.
Why? Why would she do this? Because of insulin. Or I should say, insulin injections.
The fear and disappointment she feels makes me terribly sad. After talking to my cousin about it she said that her mom is so scared of going blind and losing her limbs that she thinks starting insulin is the end of her life.
I explained to her that high numbers are what she needs to worry about, not taking insulin. Insulin can help her keep her numbers in tighter control which could help her avoid complications. Insulin is not the enemy or a punishment for a job poorly done.
This is what really grinds my gears. Doctors that threaten with insulin. Doctors that say, "if you don't do _____ you are going to end up on insulin!" So what happens if you do need it? Are you being bad? Are you to blame? Are you a failure?
Why not let PWT2D know that doing all they can may not be enough and if it is not then insulin may be needed. We are not there yet but if the time comes you may need to take shots to control your numbers. Say something like, "our goal is to keep your numbers as tight and steady as we can! We can work with all the tools we need as we need them but you are not alone! We are going to get through this together!"
Those tools may be change in diet, pills, exercise, insulin, and who knows what else! There is a way to approach it that does not make the patient feel like a failure or that they are getting what they deserve.
No one asked for diabetes and no one wants complications from it. And I know that this sort of "motivation" does not actually motivate. It makes me shut down, give up, and find a tub of ice cream to dive into.
Insulin is not an enemy or a punishment!