Diabetes Education classes

By T'Leesa Latest Reply 2013-06-03 02:34:55 -0500
Started 2013-05-24 01:27:44 -0500

How long have you been a diabetic? One year? Five years or more? Did you attend a course for newly diagnosed patients? Do you still have plenty of questions about dietary restrictions and substitutions, recipes, and various other topics? How many of you have considered taking a 'refresher' class in diabetes education?

I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes almost sixteen years ago. I have recently signed up for three refresher courses at my clinic. Besides reading articles on this site as well as magazine articles, I want to be up-to-date on any advances in treatments for this disease. I want to know about the latest medications, complications, treatments and many more topics. I also want the in-person group encouragement that can prove so beneficial. Basically, after all these years, I need some help. I'm not ashamed to say it. "Knowledge is power." Knowledge can also prevent a host of problems later on.

Let me know what you think. I'm really interested.

17 replies

Jeanette Terry
Jeanette TerryPA 2013-05-30 14:06:21 -0500 Report

I think it is very important to stay up to date on diabetes research and treatment options. The reason they do the research is so that we can have a better way of life.
I don't hear about a lot of education classes offered especially refresher type classes. I think it is great you have the opportunity to attend some.

T'Leesa 2013-06-01 02:14:38 -0500 Report

Thanks. I welcome it. It's been such a long time, I welcome any additional opportunity to learn about any advancements, research, new treatments, etc. I don't know how good the classes are. I'll find that out when I get after they begin. But I'll find out starting Tuesday.

Stuart1966 2013-05-27 18:09:26 -0500 Report

"New info" no longer exists at some point. New toys, new standards, but no serious or meaningful changes. But the lectures are essentially identical ones that existed when I was a child, forty years ago…

I can give them FAR better than most who "present" them… They are never geared for those of us with ANY tangible experience… beginners, sure. Experienced not terribly helpful or frankly useful… look forward to lectures geared for those of us with "diabetic scars"

T'Leesa 2013-05-27 23:06:59 -0500 Report

That is a good point. I do wish the clinics would address the concerns of us who have had diabetes for a while. Our questions and concerns will differ because of the length of time we have had to deal with this. Perhaps we, being our best advocates, can make the suggestion to gear a lecture or two towards us "seasoned" diabetics. Thank you very much for responding.

Stuart1966 2013-05-29 21:31:25 -0500 Report

Uncomfortable look…

Hearing the verbatim-identical dietary/death/dismemberment/gangrene/impotence/exercise… (sic. worthless lectures) The junior most among the group (23 yrs. T2) I led a small "rebellion" at regional refresher classes.

Suffice to say we did not suffer their lectures for beginners very long. As a group we demanded useful presentations meaningful for OUR experience level … -tiny brief smile-.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-05-26 21:09:35 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed several years ago. I educated myself. I went to a diabetes class not too long ago. I will never go again. I research everything so when I was diagnosed, I bought books, reverted back to some of my medical books from school and made notes. When I went for my second visit, my doctor was impressed with what I had leaned, the questions I asked and the ability to speak with him on an informed medical level. He didn't bother to ask me if I wanted to attend a Diabetic Education class. I went to a Diabetic Health fair just to pick up new information to read. There was a lecture on nutrition. I was shocked by the people who had diabetes for 20+ years who didn't know what to eat, what to do or how to take care of themselves. It was apparent that these people didn't bother to learn about their disease and relied on others to help them.

At the DE class, a 70 year old woman got up and said Diabetes is a Common Sense disease and she is correct. If you have common sense you would have enough sense to know what to eat, communicate with your doctor and depend on your self to take care of yourself. She also said Diabetes is your disease own it and be responsible for it.

Knowledge is power and there is no excuse for anyone not knowing how to take care of themselves. You can go to the library and borrow books on diabetes. I found them in a flea market and have seen them in Goodwill. Many of the books are current. If you have the internet WebMD and the Mayo Clinic are great sources to self educate. Knowledge is the one thing that can never be taken from you.

T'Leesa 2013-05-27 15:56:20 -0500 Report

You took the initiative and educated yourself. That is so important. I read and educate myself as well. I ask questions. (It also helps that I have some medical professionals in my family. We discuss things all the time.) I think, however, it's important to remember that not everyone will read articles or may feel comfortable asking the physician questions. So sad, but it's true. Some individuals may benefit from the group setting of a class, while others may not. I do agree that diabetes is common sense. But it is more than what to eat, let us not forget that. I think when one takes the time and attempts to acquire knowledge about diabetes (or any illness), they are being responsible. That person isn't resting on their hind parts and doing nothing. Bottom line - it doesn't matter how one educates himself/herself. Just get educated! . Thanks for sharing.

teacherspet 2013-05-25 21:15:54 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed 13 years ago. The clinic I was attending had an excellent on-going diabetes training and education, so I feel very fortunate to have been there. When I had to leave that clinic, I felt lost and started grabbing on to anything I could read or gleen from sources about diabetes and it's treatment. The new clinic that I am going to has an excellent Diabetic Educator who will meet with you every two weeks for FREE! That doesn't happen very often in the medical field. Again I am so thankful. I think because ultimately we are responsible for our own bodies, we have to educate ourselves with the most information we can. We also have a diabetic support group and bring in speakers and guests who have expertise in working with diabetes. It really helps when you have information and sources in hand to help your medical team in helping you.

T'Leesa 2013-05-26 01:51:51 -0500 Report

Wow! The new clinic sounds terrific! It does seem like some clinics provide more training and education for diabetes and other illnesses. (Mine does too.) I know my clinic will even allow others to attend the classes for a small charge if he/she is not a member of the clinic. I'm glad you have the opportunity to meet with the Diabetes Educator every two weeks for free. That can prevent so many potential problems. You are right. It helps when you have the information and sources to assist your medical team in treating you. Thank you very much for sharing.

KG66 2013-05-25 18:03:27 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed with type 1 almost 2 years ago and had a sort of education class while I was in the hospital learning how to take insulin. I learned a lot and still am. Although I don't take classes I got to my clinic every 3 months and almost always learn something new or have more questions to ask!

T'Leesa 2013-05-26 01:40:13 -0500 Report

I'm glad you had some sort of education class. I'm glad to hear that you visit your clinic regularly. Fantastic!

Murphy228 2013-05-25 14:23:03 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed with type 2 over 10 yrs ago. I went to diabetes education classes. At first I did ok with diet and exercise. Then later oral meds. For years my a1cs ran in the low 6's.
Eventually I guess I got looser with diet etc. I got to where I was only testing for a week or so before a dr visit. Within the past year my a1 c got up in my 7s. I changed meds and it improved only slightly. My dr and I discussed either adding another med or waiting to see if I can improve. I decided to hold off on more meds as it seems like I have a ton already. The dr referred me to a nutrition / diabetes refresher course.
I put off going to the class for several months because of work etc. I got a note from the class that they were letting the dr know that I was non compliant. So I finally made time and went to the class. I am glad that I did.
A lot of the stuff I remembered, but there was a lot that I had forgotten. The class touched on a lot of topics such as medication, complications, highs, lows, exercise, testing, and meter use. There were also pamplets to carry home.
When they were talking about the different equipment available, I found a different lancet device that I like much better than my old one. I am now trying to test 2 times a day. Most days I do. I am also back to watching my carbs as I did when I was first diagnosed. I am on day 5 of getting 30 minutes of exercise daily.
I am actually looking forward to when I go back to the dr and seeing the progress I have made. The class was a big part of that. I think that it would be good for me to go occasionally. There are always new things and things that you missed. Also in the class you hear other peoples experiences.

T'Leesa 2013-05-26 01:28:21 -0500 Report

I am so glad you went back for the refresher class. It is so easy to let life interfere with us taking care of ourselves. For some it's a matter of becoming comfortable with the routine. For me it was both. I'm glad you're exercising as well as testing your levels more often. Congratulations! Good luck in managing your blood sugar levels. Please keep in touch. I want to know how well you've progressed! Thank you very much for sharing!

T'Leesa 2013-05-26 01:28:15 -0500 Report

I am so glad you went back for the refresher class. It is so easy to let life interfere with us taking care of ourselves. For some it's a matter of becoming comfortable with the routine. For me it was both. I'm glad you're exercising as well as testing your levels more often. Congratulations! Good luck in managing your blood sugar levels. Please keep in touch. I want to know how well you've progressed! Thank you very much for sharing!

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