Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Captive Audience

Last week I received an email from my favourite person at the Niagara Diabetes Centre. She asked me if I would be willing to speak at the Hamilton-Niagara Chapter of the DES (Diabetes Educator Section) in March.


An opportunity to speak to people who work with people with diabetes? To tell them what it is like to have diabetes, to struggle with a diagnosis, to dread medical appointments, to fear the A1C?


To tell them about the amazing things that I have had the opportunity to do because of diabetes? To tell them about the DOC and how important a role it plays?


To inspire them so that they can inspire others who are struggling with the daily tedium of diabetes management?


So now I need to prepare a presentation. There will be twenty-five minutes (give or take) of talking and then five minutes (or more I hope) of questions. The audience will be forty to fifty nurses, nurse practitioners, doctors, pharmacists, dieticians, social workers and psychologists.

This is the kind of thing that would have instilled terror a few years ago. Chances are, if I were asked, I would have said no.

Now I say 'bring it on!'.

So, dear readers, I will have a captive audience for half an hour. What do you think are some important messages that I should share with them?


  1. Dude.. this is pretty rad!
    I am sure you don't need ideas from us. You're ideas never stop.

  2. I'm with Scully; you have this in the bag.

    But, since you asked... I find that many health professionals have trouble being judgment-free. Everyone's diabetes and personal situations are different, but often we're prejudged based on numbers that lack enough context to tell the whole story of our treatment protocols. Too many times I've shared a "noncompliant" number with a nurse or doctor during the routine medical ingest procedure at the beginning of a visit and gotten judgment in return, even though those same providers aren't actually empowered or prepared to take any time to help make my diabetes "better."

    I'm sure healthcare providers feel an obligation to help encourage people to move their A1c and averages into a specific clinical range, and that's good. I'm also sure they've met with many patients over the years who have been "out of compliance" with those indicators, and that could conceivably make them jaded or cynical; I get that. But I think they should understand that a failure to meet standards every quarter with a chronic illness isn't "failure" at all or even a reasonable expectation, and a person who repeatedly can't attain those standards might have larger issues that require a different clinical or mental health approach.

  3. This is awesome! What a great choice for them - they are going to love you!

    I had the opportunity to do a presentation to a similar crowd last year. I have it online - you're welcome to review it and use anything from it that might help.

    Can't wait to hear how it goes for you!