Diabetes Coaching: Why I Do What I Do

by | Oct 29, 2018 | Blog, Dealingwithyourdiabetes, Education | 0 comments

Managing diabetes is a multi-dimensional challenge. There are yearly challenges, monthly challenges, weekly and even daily challenges involved in managing the disease. Every person with diabetes knows about consulting the doctor, counting carbs, visiting the pharmacist, and sticking to the prescription medications, but there are more difficult and debilitating challenges, such as finding the daily motivation to face the health challenges, making good diet choices every day, and emotionally coping with the new reality that is now marked by the permanence of diabetes.

However, the majority of people with diabetes  are not equipped with the coping skills required to deal with these challenges.

Even as a healthcare professional, I found myself sorely lacking the coping skills and mechanisms required to keep  diabetes a high priority. I needed help to develop the skills I needed. Through my experiences on the receiving end of medical care, I came to a stark realization that customer service fundamentals were missing in traditional healthcare.

The Missing Link

You are the most important member of your health care team!

That’s what the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says about managing diabetes. And, they are right. You are in complete control of managing this lifestyle illness. Despite your central role in this lifelong wellness journey, traditional medicine focuses entirely on disease management, while ignoring the physical, emotional, and cognitive aspects of YOU. As a result, the patient is often left clueless about their emotional state, powerless in the face of overwhelming challenges, and in utter despair.

The Acceptance

Mismanagement of diabetes is often cited as the cause for the worsening of health among diabetes patients. However, what goes unsaid or unnoticed is the underlying cause of that mismanagement. Faced with the new reality of a chronic illness, patients often find themselves in a state of distress. What they don’t realize is that diabetes is not just a physical illness, it is a challenge for the mind and spirit too. They do not receive any support through the grief processing stage and fail to achieve the self-acceptance that is sorely needed.

Without self-acceptance, they hate the disease and the fact that it afflicts them. Such thinking only makes them feel bad about themselves. This makes their situation worse, as people cannot get better at something by feeling bad about themselves. Positive feedback loops are critical for motivation and self-improvement.

Together, We Grow

As a person living with diabetes, I have experienced firsthand  the lack of assistance and the feeling of helplessness. From a customer service perspective, I have seen firsthand the benefits of effective change management strategies and motivation.  And  medically speaking, we know our bodies are a complex system of mind, body and spirit that must be cared for together.

Through diabetes coaching at Dragonfly Lights, I empower people to address the emotional and cognitive challenges that they face in their daily life. I facilitate their exploration of the grieving process,  challenge them to take a deep look at the effectiveness of their current coping skills and guide them to create a new framework for managing their life with diabetes.   It has been nothing short of miraculous to see the changes people make in a very short amount of time when they feel cared for, understood, and develop useful strategies for making real change.

I do this because I know it works.  It saved me. It is time for people who live with diabetes to step out of victimhood and regain their purpose in life.  I am called to help them.





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