Category Archives: life coaching

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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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.

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. 

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. 
   

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.