February 13, 2015

Help in Diabetes Management Education – Part 12

Part 12 of 12

This will conclude the blogs in this series. One factor in diabetes management that is often overlooked by people helping others and especially certified diabetes educators (CDEs) is the proper assessment of the person you are trying to help. Most CDEs omit this altogether or if speaking to a group will only assess to the lowest common denominator. When I wrote this blog, it was done with a little tongue-in-cheek, but does fit this discussion.

We, as people with type 2 diabetes, are often better equipped to relate to other people with type 2 diabetes. No, we do not have the training that the CDEs have, but we have our experience to rely on and are not afraid to ask questions. We are finding out that some in our support group and a few that have left want secrecy. Those of us that have been in the group since the beginning, have no time for this and we want people to help us and for us to be able to help others. This is one reason that most of us are happy to have Brenda as part of our group and the rest respect her.

We are attempting to help the new members and this has turned into a challenge for those of us that have been with the group for the longest. Even Sue's husband, Bob, is asking why they are not listening to us and trying to manage diabetes and their health more effectively.

In some email exchanges, we are asking ourselves what we are doing wrong. Are we missing some clues? Do we not understand what they are feeling? We are all trying to reassess them and figure out why we are being ignored. We have a good feeling about some of them and we are concerned about the rest. We are thankful for Jerry and James as they are listening and learning. Even James's wife Jill has become a great support for him and another of our new members.

We are dividing the older members into groups of three to approach those that are not as open about their diabetes to see what we can do to help them. Barry, Ben, and Allen are asking to work with those that are veterans and we have agreed, but will help if needed. Allen has agreed to let Brenda take his place for the three women veterans. Sue and her husband Bob will work with the other two women with Jason.

Tim and I are available to anyone needing help and will support other members that feel the need. We are not sure where this is going, but all have stated that we must find out those that want secrecy and those that are willing to learn. We have decided to take our time and assess and reassess to help us find a common basis for an open dialogue and overcome the secrecy within the group.

Tim did receive one phone call after we started, telling Tim he would not stay in the group and some of the questions we were asking were none of our business. He did listen to Tim when he explained that we are a caring support group and may be taking some things too far, but we don't believe we are being nosy. The fellow said he did not feel we were being nosy, he just did not feel we needed to know the information. Tim did let him go with the understanding that if he could accept us in the future, we would be willing to reconsider him for membership again.

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