This isn’t about me.
It’s about the T2’s who don’t get what they need to learn to live well with Type 2 Diabetes. In my work, I’ve met many people who are trying their best to control their T2, but they seem somewhat clueless, and I don’t believe it’s their fault.
Working with the needy, I keep seeing people who are struggling to pay their bills and eat. Some of them have T2.
Recently, one told me how he needed extra food money since he had to buy special food for his diabetes. We had a long conversation about food choices…
Today, a welfare employee wrote that we should help someone who needs more food money as she’s on a special diabetic diet. I promptly replied that there’s no such thing. She replied, yes there is, my brother has diabetes and he has to buy special food. I replied, well, so do I have diabetes. We talked later and it turns out her brother has T2. According to her, he has to have orange juice in the house at all times because his BG goes low so frequently (he’s on insulin, obviously). According to her, her brother takes tons of insulin, but hasn’t stopped eating white bread, cereal, etc…
I am NOT a d-expert by any means but I’ve certainly been able to learn so very much by blog reading, book reading, the DOC (T 1’s & 2’s) and meetings with my CDEs. I don’t think the people I see are getting much help or direction.
The woman I worked with today sort of knows what to eat and what to avoid. She tests twice a day and writes it all down. While talking, she told me how she’s just so tired every day. She is supposed to go to some d-education classes but – – – hasn’t gone. I stressed to her that she’d learn how to be in charge of her own body, if she’d just attend the classes. She said, she had a nurse who told her that if she felt jittery or shaky, she should drink orange juice. Nobody told her to test – but then – I don’t think she can afford to test more.
I’m not a medical professional. I shouldn’t be giving advice. But – jeez, it’s hard not to.
Last year, an older woman (a parishioner) came in and said, “They said you could help me.” I said ok, what do you need? She’d just been dx’d with T2, was given a meter and DIDN’T know how to use it. So we practiced. She’s doing great this year and knows what she’s doing.
I went to the classes shortly after I was diagnosed 6 years ago. At the classes were a hodge podge of us, all trying to figure out what was going on. One younger woman in the class, just wasn’t getting it and usually slept through the entire session. I thought it was terrible, not that she slept, but that it was fairly apparent that she wasn’t going to learn much. And even more obvious, she needed more help than the class was giving her. At the end of the final class, I went to the director and let them know I was concerned about the young woman. They assured me that they were aware of her difficulties and would be working with her further. I have no way of knowing if they did, or didn’t.
We d-people are scary to many. And some of our town’s “needy” d-people have learned to play the system. And that frustrates me. They’re alone, they need the education in a way that they can learn. (I’m also a former SpEd teacher…)
I know, I’m preaching to the choir here but… people like Wil, who work so hard with those who need the most help, impress the hell out of me (and I probably have a lot of hell in me…). Rachel tried to get some group stuff organized, also.
I also know this is a very disorganized, rambling post. But I just don’t think it’s fair that some of us “get it” (d-education) and some don’t. This lack of learning really, really bothers me. (Can you tell?)
And just for fun, a bear wandered through our yard this morning. Love living in the woods!