Sheryl and I have long supported the work of ‘the Betes’ both with our time and money. We are proud to do so and we deeply appreciate the important work Marina is doing to help those of us with diabetes incorporate mental health into our everyday treatment plan. This past summer Marina presented ‘the Betes’ message at camps, in small groups and at large assemblies like MasterLab and the ADA scientific sessions. It was an amazing year and the success that was realized was driven by the hard work of Marina, the creator, and main facilitator of our programs.
So the question at the completion of this past year was how can we follow up and do a broader range program? One thing that is often heard is that diabetes is not the main worry of People with Diabetes (PWD’s). We all can sort of manage our disease. What is left unaddressed except in nonproductive ways are the complications associated with diabetes. Most of our experiences occur in the hospital if we are type 1 or in the doctor’s office if we are type 2, and it goes something like this.
Doctor: If you do not take care of yourself and do as I tell you then you can expect complications
Patient: What are complications?
Doctor: You will lose a limb, go blind and or lose kidney function among others.
Patient: Are you saying I will have this?
Doctor: No one knows for sure, but you are more likely to have them if you do not follow my instructions exactly.
Negative Self Talk
And that is typically the end of the conversation. What this often inspires is unhealthy self-talk that replays over and in our mind. Perhaps it is a reaction of self-rage (when the anger is turned inward and creates resentment), or a wish for compliance (when the PWD says this will not be my experience if I follow the doctor’s instructions even if it is an impossible task all the time), or a decision is made to not follow our doctor’s advice (when the PWD says nonsense this will never happen and goes blissfully along), or perhaps we live our life in fear of fouling up lest we have these complications. Regardless of how we frame it none of that self-talk is particularly healthy especially if continues to replay over and in our without better ways to discuss the underlying issues.
We ‘at Betes’ believe there is a better, more mature way to discuss complications. There is a way that makes sense for the majority of PWD’s and which allows us to face the issue in a more productive manner. After all, when it comes to addressing the mental and social health of People with Diabetes nothing weighs heavier than the issue of complications.
However, exactly how to go about this is a matter of conjecture at this point. For that reason ‘the Betes’ is asking that people with diabetes take a short five question survey about complications. We will use the results to better shape the next phase of our mission to assist People with Diabetes with their mental health needs.
The survey is easy to complete and will only require a minute or two of your time. The results will be extremely useful. I hope you follow this link to complete the survey. After all, when it comes to discussing complications you are the expert.
Follow this link to complete this important survey and allow your voice to be heard as a part of the conversation.