When I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it was on my birthday in January 2015. I have never been so scared as I was that day! Two weeks later, my son was diagnosed with a pituitary tumor, and about a week after that, my mother was placed in hospice end of life care. I moved to stay with her as she lived her last months. During that time I had no access to health care of my own as we had recently moved from California to Kentucky, when my husband retired.
I got online and started looking for help and just like so many people with diabetes do when newly diagnosed and searching, I had no idea what was correct information and what wasn't, so I fell for the "cure your diabetes by eating this way" posts. Now, I did drop my numbers some and took off some weight, but still was not in normal fasting range. I found another online support forum and met Max Szadek, the Divabetic online. Bless his heart, he latched right on to me with good help and hooked me up with his online blog talk radio group, Divabetic, and through him I met Susan Weiner and Patricia Addie Gentle, who both loved me enough to point me in correct directions to find a good educator and help, as well as them giving me pointers and SO much good information. I called my insurance company and spoke with their dietitian by phone, and saw a certified diabetes educator who taught me basics in the one hour provided but I still wanted to learn as much as I could about this disease and how to manage it.
I got online and started looking for help and just like so many people with diabetes do when newly diagnosed and searching, I had no idea what was correct information.
I finally called our District Health Department and asked if they had healthy eating classes. They did, and through them I was blessed yet again when I met Mechelle Thacker Coble. This lady has been my lifeline. She knows diabetes and every in and out of care for it. She not only taught me the plate method of eating, but I also got to take a comprehensive class with her through our local extension service, and learned even more about diabetes, how our bodies work, and all the different drugs used to manage it and how they work.
She has been so good about being available to me through email and by phone to answers questions and I still drop in on her classes occasionally. She is the most loving person to everyone she meets. She is also one of the most community involved people I have ever met. She helps any person with diabetes that comes to her, she teaches healthy eating classes, is involved with all of our state's diabetes groups from training on to helping keep a summer camp for type 1 children, up and running. She has more energy than anyone I have ever know and is tireless when it comes to helping educate. She even holds cooking classes for us from time-to-time and they are always interesting and fun! Our area is mostly rural, yet she helps organize a wonderful Diabetes Expo in one of the larger towns at least once a year and sometimes twice.
What I love about her most is that she is straightforward with me. She tells it like it is and if she says it I don't have to wonder if it was the best information I could have gotten or is it up to date; if she says it, then that’s the way it is! She is well educated and stays current. She won't sugar coat a thing and will take all the time she needs to, to make sure any patient fully understands what she is telling them. She is not only a great educator, she is a wonderful person and I am so glad to be able to call her friend. I feel the same toward Susan and Patricia as well. They have given me so many opportunities to learn and grow and I am forever thankful to them all.
I am easily in touch with more than 100,000 people online per day doing my best to make sure that they have accurate information and can easily learn how to find help by helping them find an educator or dietitian.
All in all, I dropped 70 pounds in 10 months, am in better health at 62 than I have been most of my adult life and so far have been able to keep my A1C between 5.1 and 5.4 with diet and exercise. I know that at some point I may require medication, but so far I am med free and doing well. I am so thankful for all the help I have received!
This year I became an AADE member and attended as a part of the Diabetes What to Know Organization. I admin two support groups for them online and two other support groups online of my own, with over 50,000 members between them. With all the groups I share information with online, I am easily in touch with more than 100,000 people online per day doing my best to make sure that they have accurate information and can easily learn how to find help by helping them find an educator or dietitian. I have written some articles and made some videos for the website as well.
I can hardly believe how lucky and blessed I have been by the opportunity to meet all of these wonderful educators that have come into my life as well as to call so many of them my friends.
Thank you so very much for allowing me this chance to say thank you to all of them!