Frequently Asked Questions
Here’s the scoop on my practice and programs!
When it comes to diabetes, there are many different approaches to managing your blood sugar. What works for one person, doesn’t work for someone else, so I always start there. With the person first, not the disease.
What is a Diabetes Coach?
Not all diabetes coaches are the same. It depends on what sort of coaches training they have had. This might include Life Coaches (focused on making changes), Wellness Coaches (focused on exercise and nutrition), or some other coaches’ training. It’s a mixed bag of skills.
Patricia is one of 700+ board-certified Nurse Coaches in the US, which means she is a bachelor’s prepared registered nurse (RN, BSN), with years of clinical practice and extensive training in holistic coaching modalities from Wisdom of the Whole Coaching Academy. A holistic approach considers all the needs of a person, not just their physical body.
As a medical professional, she brings a level of expertise and experience in how you implement a plan of care, specifically focusing on how to make it work in your life.
There is so much mis-information about diabetes, what is the correct diet plan?
While there are many opinions and products that offer varying diet plans, there is no one size fits all program.
Diabetes is complex set of metabolic disorders that inhibit your ability to regulate glucose. Glucose is derived from the carbohydrates we eat which are found in starchy foods and sweets. These include: potatoes, rice, bread, lentils, legumes, corn, pasta, potatoes, candy and other sweets.
So the first order of business is to understand how much carbohydrate you are eating and how much your body tolerates. It’s very individualized based on your genetics, medications, activity, stage of life, other health conditions and hormone levels.
What works for your someone else, may not work for you. Once you understand your unique needs, then you can adjust your diet accordingly.
What's the difference between Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2?
Type 1 Diabetes is an auto-immune disease. This means your own immune system attacks the cells that make insulin. People with Type 1 will always need to take supplemental insulin.
Type 2 Diabetes is a metabolic disease. This means the internal system that regulates glucose is not functioning properly. In most cases, overproduction of insulin makes your body become resistant to it. High levels of the hormone insulin can have a cascade of detrimental effects on the body, including increased fat storage, decreased satiety (feeling full), vascular and cellular inflammation (which lead to heart disease, hypertension, and stroke), and many others. Treatment of Type 2 typically includes carbohydrate reduction, medications to impede glucose production/absorption by the body, and increased activity.
What can I expect from your online program?
The program is self-paced and private so you have control of the process. It was important to create a program accessible online, so people living with diabetes avoid the stigma often associated with seeking help. Especially if you are feeling judged or ashamed that you aren’t where you want to be.
Patricia has gathered the information that has been most helpful on her own journey and the support that wasn’t being provided by her providers or diabetes educators.
The program is structured in 5 Steps, each building on the previous information. You watch a short, interactive video to learn the material. The Home Coaching Journal is a companion book where you can take notes, answer pop quizzes and explore each lesson more deeply and personally.
The Journal is where the magic happens! The questions, activities, insights, and tools provided teach you new ways to face all that diabetes will throw your way. It helps you to change from the inside out.
Change what you think, believe, and know and you automatically change your life. It’s that simple.
Tell me more about the program content.
The 5 Steps guide you on a structured path through the most common barriers to managing diabetes well. Yet most of the content isn’t provided in typical diabetes treatment or education. Diabetes is a self-managed condition and the “self” needs all the help it can get!
- Step 1 – Basic Diabetes Information. It’s the diabetes primer on what is happening inside your body, why complications develop, how diabetes is treated, and the different types of diabetes. It’s foundational information that you must know and it’s good to revisit this if it’s been a while since you had a formal trainer.
- Step 2 – Understanding Your Emotions. How you feel inside plays a MAJOR role in your ability to execute against your diabetes plan. Diabetes is a burden and will get you down. You need to understand your “inner self”, so you can do what you want to lower your A1C.
- Step 3 – Why you can’t do what you want to do. This step is a big one, but super simple and transformative. Until you understand what is in your way, you are powerless to change it. We explore why you “fail” (although you really don’t!) and how to find your inner power (it’s right there!).
- Step 4 – Taking back your life. Diabetes can strip you of your life if you let it. So many restrictions and frustrations. In this step, you learn how to get back into the driver’s seat and be in charge of your destiny. Hint – a few simple insights will change how you see yourself!
- Step 5 – At some point in our diabetes journey, we will feel alone, unheard, and misunderstood. Looking into your communication style can reveal how you can get your point across in the most effective way. We wrap up the last step with strategies to ensure others hear you and you get what you need.
What do you mean by 'holistic'?
Where traditional diabetes care focuses on the treatment of just the body, my holistic approach includes all aspects of you – body, mind, and spirit.
I believe you are the sum of your mind (thoughts, feelings, beliefs), body (bones, organs, blood), and spirit (inner wisdom, intuition, energy). If you change one part, the others are impacted. If your physical self needs help, we can use your mind and knowing self to help out.
When it comes to diabetes care, it’s a lot easier when your mindset is on track and you feel energized.
Do you have any recommendations for reference material?
Sure, check out these sources!
Meditation – I love using guided meditation to relax, release tension, promote healing, and get centered. Insight Timer is a free app with thousands of free meditations, talks, and music tracks. I am one of their teachers and have been hosting weekly meditations specific to diabetes needs and other chronic illnesses.
The Myth of Normal by Gabor Mate. An insightful book that explains how our “normal” culture can actually harm the human animal, resulting in disease, addiction and mental health issues. This book taught me that diabetes is a traumatic situation that requires attention to the stress of the illness. Packed full of research to support this theory!
The Obesity Code by Jason Fung. Dr. Fung is a nephrologist (kidney doctor) that sees many patients with kidney diseases related to diabetes. He presents some compelling research that reveals type 2 diabetes as a metabolic issue, not just poor health choices. His explanation of how our modern diet contributes to states of unhealth makes a lot of sense!
Dr. Sarah Hallberg’s TED Talk shines some interesting light on the treatment of diabetes and the definition of the disease itself.
Dr. Anoop Kumar – an ER doctor and pioneer in developing a model of how “we” fit together: body, mind, and spirit. I am fascinated by how his novel approach unifies allopathic medicine, energetic healing, and experiential consciousness into “health” and wellbeing. Read more: Shauna’s Story Four Pillars of Wellness Anatomy of Second Mind Medicine.
Deb Dana – a licensed clinical social worker who has leveraged Polyvagal theory to understand the impact of trauma (which included diabetes) in our lives. She offers strategies and tools to help us find safety and emotional regulation in our lives.
Jesus Calling – Daily Inspiration in practical and modern language.
The Four Tendencies – Gretchen Ruben
Dragonfly Lights – Finding Your Perfect Purpose (companion activity book )
What's up with the Dragonfly?
When I first entertained the idea of starting my own business, I wasn’t sure what to call it. I was seeking something to explain that finding a better way to live with diabetes wasn’t about perfect glucose control and a strict life devoid of passion and purpose. God sent a little dragonfly to me one day. He flew so near to me for so long, that I had to google “What do dragonflies mean?” and I found this definition.
“The dragonfly, in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization; and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life. The traditional association of Dragonflies with water also gives rise to this meaning to this amazing insect. The Dragonfly’s scurrying flight across water represents an act of going beyond what’s on the surface and looking into the deeper implications and aspects of life.”
Those words summarized my experience. Diabetes got better, when I transformed, developed emotionally and looked into the deeper aspects of life. Beyond just my physical self.
I named my LLC Dragonfly Lights, because both the dragonfly and light are symbols of transformation, growth and awareness. I wear a dragonfly necklace to remind me of this every time I touch it! And the dragonfly has a significant presence in my branding to represent the same thing.
Still have questions?
Please send me a note! I am happy to answer them!