New Diabetic-Learning the Hard Way

  1. I have been a med/surg nurse for years. I think I have taken care of and taught hundreds of diabetics about the disease process and how to do the proper things to maintain their health. But, until I developed this disease I never understood just how painful this disease can be. No one has addressed so many of the problems I have experienced, and I know I did not address these problems with my patients. I can only say, in the future, I will take the time to teach more than fingersticks, meds, foot care, and diet. Believe me, that is just the tip of the iceburg with this disease. I won't go into details but when you see a newly diagnosised diabetic looking overwhelmed, sick and sad, take a second to be kind. It means a lot.
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    About gitterbug

    Joined: Jul '06; Posts: 557; Likes: 47

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  3. by   gentle
    Quote from gitterbug
    I have been a med/surg nurse for years. I think I have taken care of and taught hundreds of diabetics about the disease process and how to do the proper things to maintain their health. But, until I developed this disease I never understood just how painful this disease can be. No one has addressed so many of the problems I have experienced, and I know I did not address these problems with my patients. I can only say, in the future, I will take the time to teach more than fingersticks, meds, foot care, and diet. Believe me, that is just the tip of the iceburg with this disease. I won't go into details but when you see a newly diagnosised diabetic looking overwhelmed, sick and sad, take a second to be kind. It means a lot.
    Gitterbug,

    Hmmm, you have an interesting post with apparent wisdom from the side of disappoint, discouragement, and pain. my heart goes out to you as you traverse through the various stages of grieving to reconcile your life with the diabetes.

    I too have had diabetes affect my life in quite a different way as I am not the patient but the assisting/helping/caregiver.

    I now tell my patients to get involved with support groups as this is a life changing event. I also tell the spouses with the patient to learn how to support each other especially in the area of food, as this can be a very difficult experience. Believe it or now, yes, I do go there . . . when it comes to sex. I do talk about the dreaded ED. I have even had one spouse pipe up and say - "we are already having a problem with this."

    I have chosen to start tackling some of these topics because the general mechanics of self care aren't typically what trip up diabetics. It is the emotional part of living that becomes attached to food/diet choices and lifestyles. I have noticed these to be the more difficult areas to tackle.

    Some of my patients just think that taking the medicine will handle all the problems and never choose to check the blood sugar because the poking hurts - again a very valid painful complaint.

    I will continue to encourage support group meetings and hope that the families choose to get involved. This way, when crisis management kicks in and the ability to hear/listen decreases, they can catch everything being repeated several times and gain emotional support for those overwhelming days.

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