November is Diabetes Month. Put me in Coach!

by | Nov 8, 2017 | Blog, Dealingwithyourdiabetes | 0 comments

So most of us know the diabetes statistics – right.    The CDC has ample data to describe the prevalence of the disease and the impact and I have copied a few of the major statistics to illustrate.  It’s big and getting bigger.

  • More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes, and 1 in 4 of them don’t know they have it.
  • More than 84 million US adults—over a third—have prediabetes, and 90% of them don’t know they have it.
  • Diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the United States (and may be underreported).
  • In the last 20 years, the number of adults diagnosed with diabetes has more than tripled as the American population has aged and become more overweight or obese.
  • Medical costs and lost work and wages for people with diagnosed diabetes total $245 billion yearly.

It is a very bleak picture and the medical community is struggling to provide treatments that adequately control the disease, let alone a cure.  I challenge that anyone reading this has met someone who has been impacted by the disease.  Nearly everyone knows a co-worker, friend, family member, or neighbor that has diabetes.  It’s all over and its a big, costly deal.  Traditional treatment plans include medication, blood sugar monitoring,  diet, and exercise.  And if you play the gameright you avoid complications that can harm your heart, kidneys, eyes, blood vessels and pretty much any part of your anatomy.

The good news (always looking for the silver lining)  is that there is a game to play.  Until there is a cure, there are things that can be done to manage the disease and mitigate the complications.  There are some diseases out there for which nothing can be done.  I count my lucky stars, I can do something about mine.    And over the past 25+ years, I have become quite the game player.  To date, no complications!  Thank you, God!!!   Good eyes, good kidneys, good heart.  Two healthy pregnancies against the odds at ages 39 and 41.    I had a few cards in my favor, being a nurse I certainly understood (all too well) what diabetes was and how to inject insulin.  But those are really things anyone can learn.  I was stubborn.  I didn’t like being told “no”, “don’t do that”, “you can’t” and I figured out ways I could. And,  I got really depressed.  (Did your eyebrow just go up an inch?)

Yes, I consider depression an advantage.  I was so tired of feeling bad, I did something about it.  I got low enough that something had to give.  To use a football analogy, I got knocked down enough times that I finally came up fighting.  What I learned was that I was stuck in a grief process and hadn’t fully accepted that there was a game to be played and I had some options.   I am sure you are thinking “Enough with the bold underlined word “game” already – what gives??”  Glad you noticed.  Let me explain.

Since we are using football analogies, I’ll continue on the track.  If Diabetes is thegame, then education, medication, and insulin are all plays in the playbook.  Anyone reading the playbook should get what to do.   Easy- breezy right?   But neither football nor diabetes is that easy.  Any successful player has a coach to help turn the rules in the rulebook into strategy, motivation, guidance.  All of which continue to change and evolve according to the current situation, opponent and field conditions.   The player who is playing the game has enough on his mind just playing his position on the field.  The player benefits from someone with an outside view giving him direction and motivation to avoid the onslaught of the opposing team.   The coach has the expertise and a big picture perspective to act on the player’s behalf to achieve the best outcome for the player and the team.  And no player is ever so good that they cannot benefit from a coach.  Everyone needs a little help.

The idea of a coach is somewhat new to diabetes management, but it is my firm belief that a mentor, motivator, and advocate is just what we diabetics need.  Having a coach on your side to help you keep your head in the game, be motivated to play and ensure success may be the game changer you need.  The game is your life.  And you are worth it.

As we think about Diabetes and its impact this month, consider the role a coach could play on your team.  I am here to help you if you think it is the right time.  Click the link below and we can chat.


Patricia %



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