Category Archives: coaching

The cure for Diabetes-Overwhelmus

The other day the Diabetes Research Institute asked the question on their Twitter feed, who/what helps you get through the hurdles that you face when dealing with diabetes?  This question is very similar to the theme of the Diabetes Advocacy cover page on both Facebookand Google+–finding support amid the stress.
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When living with diabetes, we have all had those days.  The days when we don’t want to get out of bed. The days that we feel diabetes has won and we just cannot be bothered to fight any more.  The days when you just want to cry and cry and cry.  The days when you are certain that you just don’t have it in you any more. You are done.
 
If our child has diabetes, we may take over care for a day to let them just tune out for a short period of time.  When it happens and you are the parent or an adult, what do you do?
 
In my post on the three tips for parents of the newly diagnosed, I give one option to decompress…cry in the shower.  Let the water pour over you. Scream and let the tears flow.  No one will see your pain but you will be able to watch it flow out of you and hopefully will feel stronger and more refreshed when you emerge.
 
It is also important to have outside support networks though.  Support groups–online or in real life can offer a huge relief.  They are made up of people who understand your world. They live there and have experienced many of the same feelings that you have.  From these groups, we often find a few people that we “click” with and those individuals often become an even stronger source of support for us.
 
I was once warned that spending too much time with these people who get it could lead me into depression. It was not a good thing, this person told me, for people to sit around discussing the burdens in their life. I told this person how wrong he was.  I had a wonderful group of women that I connected with out of a support group.  We enjoyed regular “therapy” sessions that included dinner, drinks, and talk about diabetes, children, and our lives. Sitting with people who understood 3am lows and carb counting errors at school was exceptionally therapeutic.  We shared stories of life…and our lives happened to also include diabetes.  The connection was a true gift.
 
I have also been lucky to find this same connection through the internet.  Years ago…about 13 years ago to be precise, I stumbled across something called the Children with DiabetesParents Mailing list. My first email to this list asked how to get my son to eat. He was 3 years old by this time and I had been fighting alone for almost a year.  I was at my wit’s end. With that one email came friendships that have grown and lasted to this day.  I “met” people who had been where I was and could offer guidance on how to make it through. The best part for me is that they did not always coddle me.  They did not always say, “Poor Barb”. Occasionally they said, “Now that you are done whining, pick yourself up and get back to it! Living under a rock is not allowed.  You have to join us but we will be here to lean on while you move forward.”  Sometimes a well-meaning kick can be the best therapy.
 
Today, the Diabetes Online Community has grown to reach Facebook, Twitter and many other social media outlets.  Diabetes conferences and annual get-togethers are more common and eagerly anticipated by everyone involved.
 
Over the years diabetes has brought me many amazing friends and acquaintances but first I had to let them in. I had to ask for help…and when I did I was given the greatest gift of all. I was given a family that I never knew I had. A family that was united by tragedy but grew from understanding.
 
If you are struggling to deal with a diabetes diagnosis of yourself or your loved one, ask for help! Find local support groups through your hospital or local diabetes organization. Go online and search out the DOC on Facebook or Twitter.  Follow blogs like this one, share and engage yourself.  There are also many great diabetes coaches available to help you.  There are coaches and nurses online that will help with diet, exercise and making readings a bit more understood.  There are also people like me who will help you to wade through the day-to-day and find your footing with the emotional aspects of the disease.  The first step is to ask for help–seek answers and support from friends, family, and outside networks.  It truly is the cure for Diabetes-overwhelm-us.

I am a Diabetes Life Coach!

Diabetes is a complex disease.  It often leaves us feeling isolated and alone. It doesn’t matter if we are parents of children with diabetes or the person living with the disease the feelings of grief and futility are present.  Diabetes can be overwhelming, trying and leave us wanting to crawl under the covers and wish it away. 

In March of 2000, I came face to face with diabetes in the worst possible way.  It was killing my two year old son.  When he survived and his doctor began the process of telling me what to expect and how our life would change, one thing popped into my head.  I simply heard “This is what your life is all about.”  I don’t remember what he said.  It was a lot of jumble about complications, honeymoon periods, and impotence at 20.  I do remember that voice though. It was clear and to the point.  I have spent the past 12 plus years trying to figure out how to come to terms with that simple sentence. 

I used my degree in psychology to try to reason with a toddler who refused to eat despite having injected insulin surging through his veins. I worked on advocacy issues. I have shared our stories and shared Rufus bears with people in the diabetes community.  I have volunteered at conferences. I have organized fundraising walks.  I have sat down with political leaders and told them our story. Nonetheless it still never felt like I was doing enough.

Recently I came across a phrase that changed that. It was the phrase “life coach”. I had no real idea as to what it was but I decided that I could use one! After thinking about it, I realized that better yet…I could be one.  My life has been nothing if not full or ups and downs.  I have been blessed with some incredible supports. Perhaps it was time for me to pay it forward. 

I completed the Certified Coaches Federation‘s Life Coaching program and knew that I could readily apply the knowledge they provided me to families and people living with diabetes. Life coaches are a great resource to help people with diabetes identify and reach their goals.  I am not a doctor, although I play one in real life.  I do not give medical advice. I am not a counsellor. I am a mom of a child with diabetes. I am an advocate for people with diabetes. I am a storyteller of our life with diabetes. I am also now a Diabetes Life Coach.


I can work with you to help you become more focused on your care. I can help you to find your way through the maze of jargon and new lifestyle rules.  I can  give you someone to be accountable to when trying to keep yourself on track.  I will listen when you feel overwhelmed and help you to see your way through.  

I will not look at your past.  I will not judge you.  Together we will look at today, examine where you want to be tomorrow and work together to help you get there. I will not judge.  I will listen and help to guide you forward. 

A life coach can be a wonderful tool to help you on the path to better diabetes management…for yourself or your child.  Coaching can be done from anywhere.  A telephone call from your living room or a conversation in your kitchen via Skype can be the perfect setting for you to take those first steps to taking control of your diabetes with a life coach.  

For more information on Diabetes Life Coaching as well as special pricing offers, please follow me on Facebook.  Finding the right life coach is key to any journey forward.  I may not be the one for you but please make sure to find someone who is qualified and understands your situation.