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Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N., and Peggy Moreland, R.N.read biographyclose window
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N., and Peggy Moreland, R.N.Nancy Klobassa Davidson and Peggy Moreland
Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N., B.S.N, C.D.E
Nancy Klobassa Davidson is a registered nurse who has worked in diabetes education for 17 years. She is a certified diabetes educator (C.D.E.) and is currently in graduate school working on a Master of Science in nursing (M.S.N.) and health care education.
Nancy works with adults who have type 1, type 2 and other forms of diabetes. Nancy is coordinator of the Diabetes Unit's intensive insulin therapy program within the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, & Nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Nancy has worked extensively with insulin pump therapy and continuous interstitial glucose sensing.
Peggy Moreland, R.N., M.S.N.
Peggy Moreland is a certified diabetes educator (C.D.E.) in the Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes, Metabolism, & Nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
Peggy graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing and Health Care Education from the University of Phoenix and is a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators and the American Diabetes Association. A certified diabetes educator (C.D.E.), Peggy enjoys working with patients to set and achieve diabetes self-management goals.
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Dealing with the diabetes 'police'
By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N., and Peggy Moreland, R.N.
We were at a family gathering, having ice cream for dessert, when "Uncle" pointed his finger at my son, who has type 1 diabetes, and said, "You can't have that!"
My son sat in stunned silence, so I spoke up and said that he has good control of his diabetes and can have sweets as long as he gives himself insulin to cover the carbs.
Friends and family usually have good intentions. Uncle had a good friend die from diabetes and was a little emotional. Keep in mind that diabetes affects the whole family, not just the person with the disease.
Other family members often don't understand why you get frustrated with diabetes management. Or, they don't see the need to change their own lifestyle. Do you ever find that some people think that diabetes shouldn't be all that hard to handle, and that you just need to make more of an effort?
So what can you do to deal with the diabetes police?
- When you encounter an outburst such as my son received, use it as an opportunity to educate others about diabetes management. Explain that you are allowed to eat a certain number of carbs, including simple sugars.
- Ask not to be singled out. Help them to see that you need their encouragement and support. Give them some examples of how they can help.
- Examine your behavior. Your natural reaction to pushy, nagging family and friends is to dig in and resist their attempts. Be honest with yourself. Your family is concerned about your health because they're concerned about you. No one manages their diabetes 100 percent perfect. There are days when you eat things you shouldn't or feel like skipping testing your blood sugar. Letting diabetes management slide and seeing your blood sugar levels skyrocket is another matter. You can minimize their concerns by doing your best to stay on track.
- Family members, ask how you can help. Most of all, listen and acknowledge that you don't understand the difficulties of diabetes management, but would like to offer support.
As a mother of two sons with type 1 diabetes, I've resisted the urge to nag. However, when one of my sons expressed to me his frustrations with 24/7 diabetes management and took a break from it, I expressed my concern. I acknowledged his feelings and offered support. I told him I didn't want to nag, but wanted him to know I'm there if he needs support. He was appreciative and even gave me permission to call and "hassle" him once in awhile.