My name is Jane Abbey and I am a Registered Nurse and a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE). I have been involved in Diabetes Education for over 20 years.
Sometimes, I don’t like to use the word “Educator,” because it implies that education is my sole role. For all of you who have had the experience of working with a CDE, I hope that you have found that we also offer you support, guidance, and assistance. We intend that you not only learn about the disease itself, but how to fit diabetes into your lifestyle, so that your life can still be fulfilling. We aim to empower you to take care of yourself with diabetes.
When dealing with a chronic illness, there are many gray areas. Managing chronic illness impacts your routine, and complicates everything you do or desire to do each day. For example, with diabetes you need to think about food choices each time you eat. It requires attention to detail and wise, educated decisions.
As a diabetes educator, I frequently wish I had a magic wand to make diabetes disappear and simplify the lives of my patients. Unfortunately, none of us have that magic wand.
Luckily, a lot has changed and continues to change in the sphere of diabetes treatment. We have gained a tremendous amount of tools, knowledge, medications, and technology to assist in treating diabetes. Yet, the task of staying healthy with diabetes is multi-faceted. Despite advances in the field, people with diabetes still face many barriers to successful self-management.
It’s common for people to experience barriers to diabetes self-care. I bet you can name a few barriers quite easily. Running into these roadblocks can result in feelings of failure, frustration, and unsatisfactory A1c levels.
In this blog post series, I will address how to overcome some of the major barriers that patients face:
- psycho-social factors
- financial issues
- medication side effects.
I will ask you: How do you approach these barriers? Effectively or ineffectively?
I certainly don’t claim to have all the answers, nor do I believe that what works for one person will necessarily work for another. We are all individuals and face barriers that may be similar, but how we choose to deal with them can vary greatly. As a diabetes educator I have learned over the years to listen, educate as needed, assist in problem-solving, provide feedback, and encourage along the way.
Let’s talk about strategies to overcome barriers, so you can rock your diabetes!
By: Jane Abbey, RN, CDE