I have been a Registered Dietitian for over 30 years. From the beginning, I have been intrigued with diabetes. As a child, I saw several of my relatives suffer with the disease. My Aunt Lizzie, 100 lbs soaking wet, had diabetes and took insulin. My Uncle Syl had part of his foot amputated and had a bad limp. My grandmother and Aunt Kate both developed diabetes in their late 70’s. About 20 years ago, my brother was diagnosed with diabetes. He was in California, driving a 14 –wheeler. His doctor put him on insulin and his career as a truck-driver was essentially over. His struggles with diet, medication and trying to work have been enormous to cope with. This past year, my mom was diagnosed with diabetes because of steroid use and I was diagnosed with pre-diabetes.
My style of education is called empowerment. It is a model of education that asks people what is important for them to learn, there-by placing the responsibility of their disease and management with them, the patient and me as the person to help them. The educator can then build on this, building trust and communication with each success the patient has.
I have been a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE) for 26 years, and continue to learn about diabetes care from up-to-date literature and also from the patients themselves. Listening to their trials and successes is what makes it all worthwhile for me.
All that said, Diabetes education is a passion for me and now preventing diabetes has become a life goal.