I have been in kind of a funk lately because of my foot – and saying “kind of” is putting it mildly! Normally when I start feeling crappy like that, exercise is a big release that helps put me back in a better mood. I can’t exercise because of my foot so I have no release.
Yesterday I had a very interesting meeting with someone. I am not sure of her exact title (I didn’t take notes!) but the management company where I live hired her to help assist people. The manager thought that I would able to help her with diabetes things so she set up a time for me to meet her and talk.
It was a very interesting conversation. Although she is not a PWD, her mother was diabetic so she does have a very good understanding of diabetes. She was also a teacher and had some diabetic kids that she had to test and give insulin to. Her daughter is a pharmacist that is continuing her education so that she can specialize in diabetes and helping elderly people.
We talked about some of the groups that I belong to for advocacy – Diabetes Advocates and People For Quality Care. I had last year’s brochure for the Diabetes Advocates so gave that to her. I talked to her about Diabetes Daily and TuDiabetes and some of the projects that the Diabetes Hand Foundation does.
I also talked to her about one of my elderly neighbors that I am concerned about. I told her about a conversation that I wrote about last year when this woman’s caretaker is baking stuff on a daily basis and she thinks because she uses Splenda, it is OK for someone with diabetes to eat as much as they want. The elderly woman is not on any fast acting insulin and is not even adjusting her Levemir so she now wakes up with blood sugar over 200 and doesn’t understand why. She doesn’t like people telling her what to do and I am not interested into turning into the diabetes police. From the things that I have heard, I feel like this caretaker is literally killing her – I have told her over and over it is not the sugar, it is the carbs but she thinks she knows more than I do. Her doctor just shrugs it off because she is in her 80s so what does it matter.
From talking to my elderly neighbor, I know that she has had zero diabetes education, which is unfortunately very typical. In talking to the new employee here, we decided it might be good to have a get together for the PWDs and even family members so that they can learn some basic stuff.
Last summer, we had a picnic with a bunch of neighbors and the elderly woman’s daughter was here. The elderly woman asked me a question and her daughter immediately spoke up. She knew that you needed to know what your BS was before a meal to know whether it was that meal that actually made high. The elderly woman only tests in the morning when she went up so she has no clue what her BS is throughout the day.
Doctors don’t have the time to spend with people to teach them basic things that they should know. My elderly neighbor did not even realize if she put Splenda in her tea and got some on her hand, then tested her BS, that could make it look higher than what it really is. I think it will be fun to do this and hopefully help some people.
I also talked to her about last year’s Big Blue Test walk that I tried to organize and only one person showed up. She offered to help get that organized for this year and hopefully we can get more people interested. She even thought it would be fun to get some shirts. Last year I scheduled it on November 14th and probably would have had a better turn out if I had done it on the weekend.
It does feel better to be able to help someone else!