Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Diabetes Coach

Living with diabetes as a caregiver or as a person with the disease is a challenge. Diabetes has lived in our house for almost 13 years now and some days I still remain exhausted and desperate for it to simply disappear. 

Its the unwanted house-guest that makes a visit from your mother in law seem magical.  Diabetes makes a root canal sound pleasurable.  Its a disease that few understand and leaves you feeling hurt and isolated. 

Diabetes is invisible for the most part. It is a silent killer that lurks around each corner.  We fear sleeping and we fear the damage that it is doing to organs and the brain while we are awake. As parents, we fear our children going to school, heading off to university, and living alone. We worry about the chances of them finding an understanding partner and the dangers of them drinking when a family member isn't there to watch out for them. 

After diagnosis, parents often want to fix the world for their child.  They could not protect them from the disease so they will change the world to accommodate their child.  We have energy and courage.  We are fueled by our own grief.  

Those living with diabetes have told me that after diagnosis, they tended to spend their time in denial.  They cannot see a faulty pancreas and therefore they do not have anything "seriously" wrong with them.  They soon pass off the recommendations of their diabetes team as not really pertaining to them. They are different.  They don't have diabetes "really bad".  They will be fine if....they don't test, they don't watch what they eat, they don't take their insulin. 

Both scenarios are unhealthy. The person in denial is jeopardizing their health by putting themselves in very dangerous situations. The parent who has taken on the world runs the risk of serious burnout.  They need to find a middle ground. They need to find balance. 

That is not an easy task.  It often requires the help of support groups, counselors  or workshops. Yet another solution is a process called Diabetes Life Coaching. Like all other areas, diabetes coaches come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They specialize in a variety of areas such as exercise or living life with diabetes.  As a parent of a child with diabetes, I have become very interested in this process. 

For years I have found great support in an online support group.  I have learned through various conferences and diabetes gatherings.  These were always places that I felt at home.  Over time, I found myself giving back. I was spending more and more time listening and offering parents ideas that had worked for my family and families.  I facilitated mom's discussion groups and found a passion. 

This summer I took this passion a step further.  I became a Certified Coach Practioner.  I was now able to take my knowledge and put it into practice in a specific way that would help even more people living with diabetes.  I now had the tools and a very specific process to help parents and patients regain control of their lives.  

Life coaching does not fix everything. It does not cure you but when used in conjunction with your current health care routine, it can help you to feel better. Together we can set manageable goals.  We can work together to put fears in perspective.  We can work to find a way to reclaim your life and your relationships while maintaining your best diabetes care. 

If this sounds like a process that you would be interested in, contact me today to begin.  Pricing is reasonable and coaching takes place online or over the phone so you never have to worry about getting to an office appointment on time!

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