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So you now have a blog…

 

Sounds like a good idea but a writer I am not.

My blog is a place in which I can share my knowledge and expertise simply for all involved and living with diabetes, including the innocent who stumble across my website or blog and take time to look read and learn.

As Diabetes Complete Care UK takes shape, there are expectations:

 

 A website to let people know about the business

 

Self-promotion people need to know about you, so social media is the way forward Facebook, twitter etc.

Finally,

 

A blog

Okay sounds like a good idea. So, here I am a Diabetes Specialist Nurse with over 20 years’ experience and still surprised by the sheer lack of knowledge patients have about their diabetes.

NICE regulators for guidance, who put in place a technical appraisal meaning it has to be done. Especially for newly diagnosed Patient Education for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes; you may have heard of DAFNE, BERTIE, XPERT, DESMOND all accredited, researched patient-centred, self-management education programmes.

I needed help what do carers and those living with diabetes need to know?

So I asked one of my Practice Nurse colleagues who has insight into what people with diabetes need or want? She works with a high Asian population GP Practice and, who are known to be at greater risk of diabetes.

 

 

  1. She told me to write about the risk factors, I was somewhat amazed, as anyone who takes a special interest in a subject instantly knows where to go for answers.
  2. She asked if I could possibly come up with simple information for easy translation.

 

Straight away I said Diabetes UK, they translate all their information into a variety of languages.

She surprised me by saying that the Asian community is unaware of Diabetes UK and have no idea how to access the information. This made me truly sad. The number of good works carried out by this charity and the monies plowed into research to ensure that there is equity across their services and still there are major gaps.

So here are risk factors were taken from the Diabetes UK website:

You are over 40 (or over 25 if you are South Asian)

You have a close family member with diabetes (parent, brother or sister)

You are overweight, with a large waist size (over 80cm (31.5 inches) for women, 94cm (37 inches) for men, or 89cm (35 inches) for South Asian men)

Being of South Asian, Black African, African Caribbean descent – even if you were born in the UK

You have ever had high blood pressure, a heart attack or a stroke

You’re a woman with polycystic ovary syndrome and overweight

If you’re a woman and had diabetes whilst pregnant (called gestational) or given birth to a baby over 10 pounds

If you have a severe mental illness for which you take medication (such as schizophrenia, bipolar illness or depression)

You’ve been told you have impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) or impaired fasting glycaemia (IFG)

Note: Some of these risks factors are genetic factors and there is little you can do to reduce them, so it’s best to concentrate on those you can change, such as your weight.

What does not cause diabetes (Diabetes UK)

Viruses or germs – you cannot catch diabetes like a cold

Stress, though it may make the symptoms worse in people who already have the condition

An accident or an illness won’t cause diabetes but may reveal the condition if it is already there.

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© 31 March 2014 MC

Positive about Diabetes!

Diabetes (1)

What a title for a blog?

Why Positive? Someone with diabetes would say there is absolutely nothing positive about Diabetes.

So why call it so? It’s because of my passion regarding diabetes, I cannot help the enthusiasm I have for the subject.

Key facts about Diabetes

It’s about People

It’s about balance

It’s about a healthy lifestyle

So what makes people living with diabetes different from everyone else?

They have been labelled, classified Type 1 or Type 2?

Identified by their Insulin, medication or diet?

What most do not realise is that they have the power like everyone in the world to turn their lives around.

YES!

It’s hard work

Takes dedication

You need a passion for your life!

You are lucky!

Now you definitely think I am Nuts!

But you have your own army of caretakers – a multidiscipline team of Health Care Professionals:

Practice Nurse

GP

Clerical workers

Pharmacist

Biochemist

Podiatrist

Dietician

Ophthalmology

Hospital Diabetes Team

Diabetes Specialist Nurse

Consultant Endocrinologist and Diabetologist

The greater extended Specialist departments of secondary care, plus you will have your own caretakers as in family, friends, and carers.

Those living with diabetes who have also accepted the fact by taking up the gauntlet of taking control their life with diabetes. Will have realised that their diabetes is as individual as they are.

No one will understand the effect of your own diabetes has or the response your body has to food, exercise and medication better than you do!

This is probably why I am Positive about Diabetes because it allows me, as part of an extended team, an opportunity to share my knowledge and expertise to support and motivate others to care for themselves.

© 31 March 2014 MC

Okay, so you have diabetes…..

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This doesn’t mean the end of your life as you know it, whatever the diagnosis whether it is Type 1 – insulin no longer being produced by the pancreas or Type 2 due to the need to lifestyle changes because your insulin receptors are not working as well or your pancreas is running out of insulin production cells

You are the one in control of your life, not your Doctor, not your Diabetes Specialist Nurse or GP and Practice Nurse…. It’s about you!

Key Facts

It is important to keep your Doctor or Nurse Appointments – it may feel like you are going to the GP Practice but you are going for you.

If you have a burning question ask it – no question is stupid if it helps your control

If there are results ask for them and write them down, keep a record it’s about you, then you can see improvements

If a blood pressure is taken ask for the numbers don’t be brushed off with “it’s fine” or “it’s normal” – you need to know and record the numbers

If you are on medication ask – What it is for? How it works? When do you take it? Are there side effects? If you stop taking the tablets make sure the Doctor or Nurse knows.

Please remember to keep your eye screening appointments they may seem a waste of your time because you can see. I can assure you when things start going wrong it happens quickly. Any eyesight changes – Tell someone!

It is important to also get your feet checked if you notice any changes at all such as temperature, strange feelings on walking, unusual painfulness, numbness – Tell someone!

This probably seems all very daunting but you will find that once you pick up the gauntlet of self-managing your diabetes, you will take back your life. The most important thing to remember is that you had a life before diabetes. Once you take control of your diabetes life becomes normal again.

It may feel like, oh what does she know she hasn’t got it! But I have worked alongside and with a lot of people who have come into my Clinical Room with the whole World on their shoulders but have left laughing, relieved and back in control.

©28 March 2014 MC
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