Diabetes diagnosis: First reactionsBy Mayo Clinic staff
Original Article: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/new-diabetes-diagnosis/MY01727
- 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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Diabetes diagnosis: First reactions
By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N., and Peggy Moreland, R.N.
Throughout my years as a diabetes educator, I've seen many people faced with the shock of a new diabetes diagnosis. There's the diabetes diagnosis itself, and then being thrown immediately into the required management of the disease. Everyone processes and reacts to this information differently. Unfortunately, the disease generally doesn't allow much time to ease into its management — scheduling and giving medications and injections, counting carbohydrates, storing insulin, understanding hypoglycemia and its treatment, using blood glucose meters, foot care, exercise and much more.
People's response to a new diabetes diagnosis varies. It's natural to respond with shock and stress. You might feel dazed or agitated, have poor concentration or a narrowing of attention, have difficulty comprehending information, anxiety, panic, a rapid heart beat, sweating, and shakiness and flushing. Some statements I've heard include:
- Honestly? I wasn't expecting it, I don't eat sugar.
- No one in my family has diabetes.
- I ate a bunch of candy yesterday. That's why my sugar is high.
- Test my blood sugar again, I don't think it's right.
- I can never eat cake again.
- I'm not overweight. How did I get this?
People are frequently told they have diabetes, then rushed into a quick education session to learn how to test blood glucose, take the medications and insulin required, modify their diet and treat low blood sugar. These quick educations sessions aren't ideal. They may happen because of lack of time, at a patient's or physician's request, or because a person doesn't have insurance. I've looked at a person sitting there in shock and wondered how much of the information he or she really absorbed. This isn't my preferred method of education, but people amaze me sometimes at how well they adapt to it.
Studies show that after three days, adults only remember 10 percent of what they read, 20 percent of what they hear, and 30 percent of what they see. However, when adults are actively involved in learning new material, they'll remember up to 90 percent of what they say and do. So, the more active a role you can play in your diabetes education, the better.
What was your reaction to first being told "You have diabetes?"
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