Category Archives: diabetes life coaching

What if Diabetes Hadn’t Come Knocking?

What if diabetes hadn’t entered our lives 14 years ago? What if my son never had to lance his finger or inject himself? What if we had never heard of insulin pumps or continuous glucose monitors? What if I was able to sleep through the night once he turned two and never looked back? What would our world be like?
 
I have no idea and after letting these questions sit in my mind for all of a minute, I decided that it really wasn’t worth my time to even ponder. Chances are that my world, and his, would be vastly different but nothing will allow us to go back.  Nothing will change what is
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Perhaps I would have returned to the workforce once he entered grade one as I had originally planned. Perhaps I would have found a job related to my degree…or not. Perhaps I would have still been involved in school politics…or not. Perhaps I would have still stood up to injustices that I saw locally, provincially, or nationally…or not. It doesn’t matter what I might have done. It only matters what I have done. 
 
My son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was 2 years old. He knows no life before injections, carb counting and the lancing of fingers.  His life is filled with diabetes supplies and nutritional information packages.  He has to learn to adapt to peer pressures, girlfriends, career goals, and diabetes care not necessarily in that order.
 
After diabetes moved in I made a decision not to return to the workforce. I stayed home with my children to be readily available to my son at school and throughout the nights. I was lucky to have been able to make that choice.
 
I created a website, rambled in a blog, and turned to social media to seek support and later hopefully provide some.  I stepped up when I saw something that I didn’t like, and as always had been my way, I worked to change it.  The difference was that diabetes made these issues that I stood for more meaningful, more personal, and impacted more people.
 
I don’t spend a lot of time looking back and saying what if… I spend some time wondering if I could have done some things better but I try not to live there. I rarely, if ever think about what life would have been like without diabetes. It is a part of our lives. It is my son’s disease but it has impacted our entire family.  It has brought us blessings and has lived in our nightmares.  It creates struggles and issues that would not otherwise exist but it is part of our life.  It requires constant vigilance but so does life.  It shows us our strengths and reminds us of the importance of family and friendships. It shows us a new definition of family.
 
 
I don’t spend time wondering “what if diabetes missed our family?”  I don’t spend time thinking about a cure. I pray for a time when my son can access new technologies like the bionic pancreas that will make his life easier.  I quietly hope that he will live to see a cure but it is a hope that sits at the far edge of my mind.  More importantly, I pray that my children are happy. I hope that they both have long lives. I want them to maintain their health and hope that  they always know how much they are loved, valued and cared about.
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Diabetes Coaching? What is it all about?

In the past few weeks, I have had quite a few people asking me about diabetes life coaching. What is it? What is involved? Can you help me to get my readings under control? Will you help me to fix my dosages?
 
Life Coaching is a process driven by you.  Just like a hockey coach will help to bring out your very best hockey game by offering you skills drills, a life coach will suggest tools and exercises to help you to get the very best out of your life.
 
As a coach, I cannot change your insulin dosages but I can encourage you to work with your CDE and even suggest some great people who are qualified to do this.  I can help you to work with your moods or those of a loved one. I can help you to find coping mechanisms that work for you and your family.
 
I cannot help you to figure out how to deal with exercise and your diabetes.  There are great coaches out there like Ginger Vieria who already do a fabulous job at that and are much better qualified than I am. Again, I can help you to get in touch with someone who can help you.
 
As a life coach, and a person who has lived with a child with diabetes for the past 14 years, I listen and will offer my own experience. I work with you to find ways to deal with the issues that you are facing each day.  A life coach helps you to examine your life as a whole and see how to work on the parts that are out of whack with how you would like things to be. I work to help you to adjust to this new life.
 
You decide what needs fixing.  Together we decide how best for you to fix it.  It is then my job to keep you accountable to do whatever we have decided will help to fix things for you.
 
I am not a counselor, although I may suggest that you see one.  I am not a CDE, although they may be what you require. I am a parent. I am a certified life coach. I do have a university degree in psychology.  I have been learning about diabetes daily for 14 years. I have overcome my own obstacles and continue to meet new challenges.  As a life coach, I pass along my experiences and help you to find your own way
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If you would like more information, please feel free to contact me and we will connect to see what is right for you to help you get your life back on a track that you can once again enjoy to the fullest.
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Finding your Diabetes Balance

November is coming up and once again we are facing Diabetes Awareness Month.  I once asked a person with diabetes what they do in November and they looked at me rather strangely.  I was told that every month is Diabetes Awareness month in their world! So very true!! 

Despite that, I still try to give an extra push to politicians and do some added awareness “stuff” during the month.  The month is only a few days away and while there are many great ideas floating in my head, including how to make use the US JDRF’s Diabetes for a Day campaign, I have nothing concrete planned yet. 

I have however come up with something that I am hoping will help some people who are living with diabetes–be it parents or people who struggle with the disease. “Finding your Diabetes Balance” involves four intense diabetes coaching sessions offered by me during the month of November for those who feel overwhelmed by the disease.  There will be no further commitment required besides once a week for the month of November but the sessions will be intense and require your full effort. 

We will begin with looking at how diabetes has impacted various aspects of your life.  We will work together to figure out where it is hurting you the most and allow you to dream about where you would ideally like things to be in the near future.  You will then be given some homework to prepare for the second week’s session.

In week two we will create an action plan.  We will see what has stopped you from reaching your goals in the past and look at the tools and resources you have to be a success this time around. 

By week three we are halfway there!  At this point you will be given an affirmation to help you relearn old habits and provide you with the encouragement to go forward.  Together we will discuss changing your perspective to allow new and more positive thoughts to become part of your frame of reference. 

For our final session, we will create a 90 day plan for you.  You will now have a clear idea of how to move forward and we will work to see that you can succeed.* 

This will bring you into December with clear goals and ready to tackle the holiday season and the new year with renewed enthusiasm! Better still, for the month of November, and for people who have diabetes living with them only, these sessions will be offered at four sessions for the price of three! So you will be able to begin to get things on track and save money for the holidays at the same time! 

Remember that you do not need to go to an office or leave the comfort of your own home for coaching sessions.  They can be done via telephone or through Skype with the same effectiveness. If you are interested in this offer or know someone else who could benefit, please contact me or pass the information along! 


*Please note that Life Coaching sessions usually take place over the course of three months.  This is a brief guide to help you move forward. Should you wish to continue with my services beyond this intense one month introduction, continued pricing will be discussed at that time. 

Since I can’t adopt you…

This summer I had the chance to sit in on a CWD Friends for Life Canada session led by Korey Hood on Diabetes Burnout. It was a great chat that once again brought out the D-Momma in me.  

I listened to adults talk about wanting a break and my heart broke. I finally spoke up and told them that I so wanted to be able to take them all home and give them that break. Sadly, I was serious! A few people were willing to take me up on my offer and asked what day they could come over. I wish my house was big enough to accommodate them although slipping into an adult’s room, that was not one of my children, to test them at night may border on the creepy. 

Nonetheless, I still have that feeling–the need to protect and make life easier for people living with diabetes no matter who they are or what age.  As a result, I have been emailing daily with a young lady who was recently diagnosed.  Her struggles also touch me and make me want to adopt her–obviously I forget the frustrations that come from my own teen with diabetes during these moments! I want to help her to find her life again. 

I have been this way for a long time. It has led me to do a lot of the work that I have done in the diabetes community–the Disability Tax Credit reform, working with schools, and working with governments. I want to make it easier for others but I have struggled trying to find a place where I could make a difference to someones daily life. This past summer I found it! 

I enrolled in a course to be a Certified Life Coach Practitioner.  I was anxious and excited. Could I do this? What was I going to do? Could I really apply this to the diabetes community? Could I pass this course? The answer was a resounding YES to all of the above.  Not only could I apply it but I had finally found my passion.  

Life Coaching is about holding people accountable while they find balance in their lives.  I could now help parents to find themselves again after being swept away in the diagnosis of their child. I could help adults who struggle to find their way through weight loss goals and new restrictions because of a diagnosis of Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.  I could help people living with diabetes to get back to living.  I could help people to move forward to find the balance in their lives. I could be a safe place for them to vent, to cry, to scream and to move forward.  I had found my calling and the energy it has created in my life is amazing! 

Since I can’t adopt everyone who has diabetes living in their homes and I can’t move each and every one of you into my house, I can only offer you my ear, my insight, and a safe harbor to help you find your way through the storm. If you are interested in the idea of having a Life Coach to help you through the trees and find the sunshine again, please consider contacting me.  There are many coaches out there and I may not be your fit but I am a mother who has lived with diabetes in her home for over 12 years now.  I am passionate about diabetes care and have learned from the very best people in the world–others living with this beast! I love what I do. I love helping, listening and walking with you as you journey forward in a life with diabetes not one ruled by diabetes.