Feeling inspired is an emotion I LOVE to experience. I’m happiest when I’m motivated and filled with a grateful spirit that what I am doing makes a difference. Lately, I’ve run into many educators who were walking around not feeling or being inspired and this made me sad. You see, an educator—in particular a diabetes educator—is one of the most special kinds of people in the world.
Diabetes educators take people with diabetes and make them realize not only that they are not alone, but that they have the power to take care and charge of their diabetes management. I know my first experience with an educator was like meeting a wizard. She was a magical, wonderous diabetes wizard who understood that dealing with diabetes everyday was a bit of a crap shoot and that I wasn’t always going to get it right. Not only that, but this magical wizard knew tips and tricks that helped me spend less time shooting in the dark trying to hit a target I could neither see nor describe to anyone.
"It can be easy to get overwhelmed, feel like you can't do anything, but that's why we have each other."
This kind of inspiration keeps me going and on my darkest days with diabetes, when every little thing goes sideways, I remember her talking to me (imagine Glinda the good witch from The Wizard of Oz) saying, “You can do this!”
But how do you inspire an educator to keep promoting this wonderful, gentle, inspirational resource so that the font of inspiration never runs dry? How do you inspire the wizard? For myself, I look outside the world of diabetes when I can to find people doing incredible things I can relate back to the patient experience, my experience, and the world’s experience of managing a chronic disease.
There’s one video I play over and over for inspiration by Kid President about how we are all at the “cool table” and that helping inspire each other and doing good things is just plain awesome. It sounds random, but it’s not – remember you are Glinda the Good Witch and your voice can last for the next 20 years in your patient’s head. Make sure the voice playing in yours is also encouraging and supporting you.
About the Author:
Molly McElwee-Malloy is the Clinical Services Manager for Tandem Diabetes Care. She previously worked for TypeZero Technologies and UVA's Center for Diabetes Technology. Molly is the chair of the technology workgroup for AADE. She's active in the diabetes online peer support community: @MollyMacT1D.