- With Mayo Clinic diabetes educators
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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Living with diabetes blog
April 24, 2013
Coping with diabetes: Helping your loved one
By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N., and Peggy Moreland, R.N.
How do you help someone who won't help themself, especially when he or she is an adult?
Let's face it, diabetes isn't an easy disease to have or manage. It can be frustrating and takes work. On top of that, everyone seems to have an opinion about diabetes, whether it's valid or not.
As a family member or friend of someone with diabetes, you may see your loved one struggle with diabetes management. And some people with diabetes tend to minimize or ignore their diabetes. Burnout can occur from years of managing the condition. But, as William Polonsky, Ph.D., author of the book, Diabetes Burnout, says, "Ignoring something bad that is happening to you makes perfect sense only if there is really nothing you can do about it." That's part of why watching a family member or partner do little or nothing to keep his or her diabetes under control can be so heartbreaking.
Still, if you're a family member, friend or partner of someone with diabetes, it's important to remember whose diabetes it is and respect boundaries. Nagging, being a watchdog, extracting promises and manipulating someone to do what you want them to do doesn't work.
So what should you do? Dr. Polonsky offers the following advice:
- Don't assume you know what your loved one with diabetes is thinking.
- Do try and understand how your loved one's actions make sense from their perspective.
- Don't offer advice unless you're asked.
- Do offer to help if the individual is receptive.
- Remind your loved one that he or she is loved on a regular basis.
- Take care of yourself and seek education about diabetes.
In addition, it may be useful to:
- Ask your partner, friend or family member to join you for a walk, bike ride or other activity (but accept "no" if that's the response).
- Offer healthy food options, but don't make demands. Ultimately, it's the other person's choice.
- Try not to nag.
- Don't let another person's diabetes take control of your life.
- Seek counseling if you feel overwhelmed.
- Try motivating yourself to make lifestyle changes if needed.
- Learn to set boundaries.
The bottom line is to take care of yourself and find your own support system. Respect your loved one's wishes and show them you care. Hopefully your loved one will discover that he or she isn't powerless and can do something to cope with and control his or her diabetes.
Have a great week.