November 27, 2012

News from Our Informal Peer-to-peer Group

One of the members asked me why I have not blogged about our group lately. I asked what happened this summer and fall. He said many of the group traveled during the summer and some had just recently returned the first part of October. Some of us had gotten together occasionally, but not regularly, as there were not a lot of new things to occupy us as a group. Even now, we have not had the entire group present.

Some of us are excited about the new study from Sweden that identifies a new marker for determining diabetes approximately ten years before diagnosis. True this needs further study, but may be a lead in the right direction. It means nothing to those of us that already have type 2 diabetes, but if this can assist in making potential diabetes patients make lifestyle changes now and delay or even prevent diabetes - this is a good thing. We will be watching for further research on this topic.

In addition to my having to take a forced writing vacation per my doctors to let my wrist heal, two of the group has had some illness and another has a family member with an illness that put the spouse in the hospital. This has caused us to be more careful and less likely to take time to get together. Some of have been exchanging emails of late attempting to figure out a convenient time after the holidays for all to get together and possibly introduce three new members. I have the two women that I met recently and Barry and Ben have a new friend as well. There may be others that we haven't heard from yet.

Several of the members are quizzing me heavily about my peer mentoring experiences. Three of the group is asking if they could sit in on a session, see how I answer questions, and possibly consider doing something similar. We have talked extensively about how I answer questions. I first told them that I do not make suggestions in many areas unless it preface it with “you must talk to your doctor.” I make sure the question is answered with talking with your doctor and suggest two or three possibilities to help guide the questions. I warned them about making recommendations that might sound like advising people to take a certain medication. I said that we cannot do this and this type of advice can create legal liabilities we don't need. I explained about one participant that was trying to get me to do just that. I also said I would need to talk to the doctors and see if they were willing to have others sitting in. I said it could be beneficial having more than one person relating experiences. They agreed I should get permission first. We also are looking for a place to allow more than one person since my office is not the most convenient.

Allen and Max have been on my case and in my face lately about being a turncoat and helping a type 1. I know this is good-natured as Allen lives three houses away from the now 14 year-old young girl that I wrote about here. He did not realize I knew them until one day this last summer when he saw me visiting with the family. He came over and then Max who happens to live directly across the alley saw us together and joined in. They all knew each other, but not that Lily had type 1 diabetes and her family did not know that Allen and Max were people with type 2 diabetes. What was to have been a short visit from me concluded about four hours later after the evening meal. We all had an enjoyable time and Lily had a great time teasing the three of us asking questions since we are all on insulin.

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