What I have Learned as a Diabetes Educator

August 22, 2017
 

Most days I sit across the table from someone who has made the decision to change their life. Diabetes is like that.

Let me just say that I don’t have diabetes and I don't profess to know what life is exactly like for those who do have this condition. But over the years of counseling, educating and supporting people in their health goals, I have learned many lessons along the way.

The most important things I have learned are these:

1. No two people with diabetes are alike. There is a huge set of variables that affect someone’s health. How a person approaches a path to well-being is something they, and only they, know how to do and what will work for them.

2. I have learned to be a better listener and in doing so I have felt privileged to be a part of that pathway to health. Listening is something I continually try to get better at, but I know sometimes I try to give too much information. (If you find this happening, please let your diabetes educator know to slow down and listen to your concerns.)

3. I have learned that not everyone will succeed the first time. In maintaining a goal there may be many stops and starts but that is part of the process. Because I have witnessed so many successes, it gives me hope that with support and the will to keep on trying, in the end goals can be reached.

4. I have learned to be patient. We all want things to happen right now, but the truth is the human body doesn’t work like that. In many cases it took years for this condition to take hold and it can take time to turn things around.  

5. The last and most important thing I’ve learned is that the thought that “life isn’t fair” or “why me” that comes up in the beginning are usually fleeting thoughts. Those initial, uncomfortable feelings melt away as new lifestyles are established and people begin to feel better. It's a beautiful thing to see.

Tags: diabetes, DaCruz

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