This is the sixth post reviewing a spoke (or cluster of help) in the Diabetes Wellness Wheel. Below is the wheel with my standards, 2022 assessment, and adjustments for 2023 for Education.
Diabetes Wellness Wheel
Living with diabetes is better with education.
Remember that high school geometry class where you had to prove a theorem? Lots of hard work, head-scratching, and frustration. Eventually, you got it. But later, the formula was given! (Maybe you avoided Geometry or chose to forget it … hang in there with me on this!). Although we developed problem-solving skills when proving the theorem, the formula is what we used … again and again.
Type 1 diabetes is a lot like that. Once we figure out a formula that works, we use it again and again. Our diabetes formula must include nutrition, insulin, medical professionals, medical devices, and money. Optional but powerful variables include exercise, friends and family, our minds, and education.
We could use trial and error to determine our formula, but why not learn from others’ experiences and education? Research shows that people with education about their diabetes are more likely to be in better control, improve their quality of life and prevent long-term complications. What a huge benefit education is for our diabetes!
Here are my standards, 2022 assessment, and adjustments for 2023.
- Identify education needs in the required areas of the DWW where my knowledge is below standard.
- Decide which optional areas in the DWW I want to include for improvement in my diabetes care.
- Commit to getting educated in my identified improvement areas.
2022 Narrative & Assessment (Score: 4 of 5; 5 = High)
Detailed narratives and assessments for 2022 are in the posts reviewing each area of the DWW. Here’s a summary of my 2022 Diabetes Wellness Wheel results:
- Medical Professionals: 3 of 5
- Insulin & Medications: 5 of 5
- Medical Devices: 4 of 5
- Nutrition: 5 of 5
- Money: 4 of 5
So, my improvement areas include medical professionals, medical devices, money, exercise, and mindset.
An endocrinology practice is usually the focal point for improving our diabetes care. It’s their job to be the resource or know others to help in each area of our diabetes care. Since my endocrinology practice is one of my improvement areas, I’ll have to get more creative this year.
I will identify two new endocrinology practices by networking with other Kansas City type 1s and medical device representatives at places like Adult Type 1 JDRF meetups. I will also use www.healthgrades.com. I will then assess my current practice and the two other practices for:
- knowledge of new medical devices (especially closed-loop infusion systems)
- prescriptions support
- educator knowledge
- ease of access
- communication efficiency & effectiveness
My improvement here is to stop judging my diabetes results. I haven’t found help in my endocrinology practice (they might even be an influence). I am searching for resources, and they include:
- Joining or starting a diabetes mastermind group.
- Expanding my meditation to 10 minutes daily using the meditations in the Mindfulness book by Mark Williams and Danny Penman.
- Reading and re-reading the back half of The Almanack of Naval Ravikant with particular attention to the Happiness Habits on pages 149-151.
Rehabilitating my left hip after two surgeries in Q4 is a priority. I will continue to work with the orthopedic surgeon that performed my total hip replacement to determine if or when I need physical therapy. (I will integrate them into my commitment to work out 3-5 times a week).
I will utilize my endocrinology practice, medical device sales reps, online resources like www.diatribe.com and www.diabetesmine.com (now part of healthline.com) to stay current with the likes of Tidepool-approved devices, FDA approval of Medtronic’s 780g and other tech, including the Dexcom G7 and Abbot Freestyle 3.
I stopped working after my hip surgery in Q4 2022 and am now on Cobra for medical insurance. Cobra is expensive, and resources include insurance brokers and working with access to high-quality, lower-cost solutions.