Because Diabetes is such an unwelcome part of my life and lifestyle, I’ve decided to begin a series of postings sharing how Diabetes has affected my life and my lifestyle.
Some of you may know that in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association, Way of Escape is sponsoring a six-week Diabetes Self-Management class. The class began on Thursday, January 21, but it’s not too late to register and attend (Contact Cynthia Jackson @ 856-782-6751 for more information).
I’m not sure what I expected for the first class. Would anyone show up? Would the class be interactive, or would it be the humdrum “do as I say and not as I do” extremely boring lectures that I’ve experienced in the past?
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the class filled to capacity and beyond! It couldn’t have been more interactive. It was obvious that everyone enjoyed the sharing and learning that we experienced. In just one class, I am more excited about controlling my diabetes, rather than having it control me, than I’ve been since my original diagnosis.
So, what makes this diabetes self-management class so different from other classes or workshops I’ve attended in the past? The camaraderie is obvious. Although some attendees, including myself, entered the classroom with a sense of apprehension, the presenters immediately put us at ease as they established a friendly “we’re all in this together” atmosphere. They immediately introduced themselves and when the class began, they shared their history of diabetes with us. A round-table (even though the class was u-shaped) discussion allowed each of us to share our history of diabetes with the class.
We discovered the class consists of diabetics, pre-diabetics, caregivers, and individuals who have a family history of diabetes. Diabetes management can be a lonely journey. It becomes exhausting to live with the struggle and then attempt to discuss the struggles with others who may not care to know all of the details associated with managing this chronic disease. It is so comforting to be part of a group that is dedicated to sharing these struggles and offering possible solutions to those struggles.
We also have accountability by way of a weekly action plan where we’re put on blast to not only identify our task for the upcoming week, but we must explain how we will accomplish that goal. It immediately becomes a challenge and I for one, love challenges. Yes. I’m that teacher’s pet that you remember from school that always does what the teacher requests. I haven’t changed in that respect. So, I’m excited to tackle my action plan and share the results with you in the next week or so. Stay tuned…
By Lorraine Castle