t’s that time of year. We head to holiday concerts, purchase and wrap packages, make special meals and treats, and send cards and emails around the globe. It’s a busy time of year, adding to our already over-committed schedules of taking care of our patients.
I am so often amazed at all that diabetes educators give on a daily basis. We listen to our patients, provide lifesaving information, cry with them when the burden becomes too great, and coach them whenever they call…and that is the paid job! In addition, we volunteer for diabetes days, help to train teachers and school nurses about children with diabetes, and organize fundraising events. We are on association committees for advocacy, boards or helping to write practice standards. We connect families with one another through organized activities and via email when the requests come in, and the requests never stop coming.
Recently I received an email from a dear friend that included a link to an article called: “These four words that may offend you...may also just save you,” by Louis Profeta, MD. I actually clicked on the link, unusual for me on a busy day, and stared in wonder as I realized he was talking to me. I care so much about my patients and work, that I sometimes forget about the rest of my life.
I encourage each and every one of us this holiday season to be grateful for the wonderful careers we have, to continue to embrace each opportunity to help our patients, but to also take a bit of time for ourselves.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love
my profession and have been living it – really living it – day in and day out for over 30 years. Recently, I have been fortunate to combine with a few other educators in a practice and am working on letting a bit of my obsession go. I have taken several vacations without my cell phone, have visited places without internet access – not just for a weekend but for a week or two. I have enjoyed another part of myself – without the feeling of guilt
at not always being available as I allow others to take my patients’ hands and guide them through their immediate needs.
I encourage each and every one of us this holiday season to be grateful for the wonderful careers we have, to continue to embrace each opportunity to help our patients, but to also take a bit of time for ourselves. To slow down, drink a cup of hot tea or a glass of fine wine, take a bubble bath, read a good book, take a walk on a new path, and take a deep breath. We need to take a bit of time to take care of ourselves too!
Happy holidays to all of you and enjoy the upcoming New Year!
About the Author:
Carla Cox is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. She has been a certified diabetes educator for over 25 years, and served as an assistant adjunct professor for 14 years, teaching in areas of sports nutrition and exercise physiology. Currently she works in Missoula, Montana as a diabetes educator in both in- and outpatient settings.