Newly diagnosed diabetes education

Jeanette Terry
By Jeanette TerryPA Latest Reply 2014-04-03 05:17:09 -0500
Started 2014-03-25 15:03:06 -0500

I am just curious to see how many people received education either in a class or from a diabetes educator when you were diagnosed?

48 replies

Becky26 2014-03-30 08:30:47 -0500 Report

I would love if u posted the link. I've already lost 20 pounds and I plan on getting off this medicine. Thanks for the encouragement. My only problem, (well the biggest one) is that I can't eat veggies!! I just can't do it. That has me a little freaked but I've been assured there are ways around it.
Thanks again!!!

jayabee52 2014-04-01 23:12:44 -0500 Report

Yes Becky there are ways around it A former GF who was Dxd with prediabetes also hated veggies. the only thing she would eat was sauerkraut (for some reason she liked it) But over the months she has reported that she ate veggies. She would take a bite of a veggie and then chase it immediately with a bite of meat. That was her method. When I was living there I made home made vegetable beef soup (low sodium) and she liked that too.

Now about the meal plan; You can find it here ~ Please do me the kindness of reading the plan and then replying on that discussion regarding your thoughts on it. You are of course free to adapt it to your tastes.

God's best to you and yours


haoleboy 2014-04-01 23:35:22 -0500 Report

my Bohemian heritage demands that I defend the honor of Sauerkraut … how dare you sir ;)


Becky26 2014-03-29 20:26:11 -0500 Report

Just diagnosed 3/19 met with a diabetic educator on 3/28. Can't get in to nutritionist until 4/25. I have no idea what to do about what I eat! It's all VERY overwhelming and confusing.

jayabee52 2014-03-30 03:20:46 -0500 Report

Howdy Becky

eat non starchy Vegetables, nuts and beans, lean meats (avoid luncheon meats) berry fruits, avoid breads, potatoes, peas.

That may be a start till 4/25.

I have developed a meal plan where I have stopped my need for diabetes meds,while keeping my Blood Glucose in the normal range, lowered my A1c to 5.5, and lost 65 lbs in 5 mo. I have been on this basic plan for 3 yrs. and things are good with it. If you are interested just ask and I can post a link.

God's best to you and yours
James Baker

lanykins 2014-03-29 11:18:42 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed 35 years ago with Type 2 diabetes. I was only told to "watch my diet" and given some pills. Over the years I've had a lot of doctors but didn't even know there was education. I started on insulin 5 yrs. ago but was only told to stick myself as I would an orange. Finally, I was taught about portion sizes but that was all. Right now I am trying to teach myself how to count carbs. How I wish they would immediately educate all newly diagnosed diabetics.

ImOnGuard 2014-03-28 12:48:38 -0500 Report

When I was diagnosed I received a prescription for Metformin, a statin for my cholesterol, and told that I should be eating a diet low in carbs and veggies, and high in lean meat. That was about 2 months ago. I have read books, and researched a lot on the internet to begin to build up a little knowledge. My wife and I are planning on making an appointment with a dietitian soon.

wipackrfan 2014-03-27 22:11:53 -0500 Report

I had an appt with a diabetic educator and a dietitian right after being diagnosed and then a follow-up with the dietitian about a month later. They also offered classes but they didn't work in to my schedule. I am going to try to fit those in this summer.

pumper1 2014-03-27 17:01:57 -0500 Report

They really had no "classes" on self care when I was diagnosed with type 1, back in 1974. No home test equipment like meters either. The nuns in the hospital showed me how to fill syringe and administer dose using an orange. Fasting blood glucose once a week at the hospital, till I got the hang of it. At home meter was available about 8 years later. The "glucometer II". Not very user friendly. Diabetes classes came quite a few years later. Man, I. Don't miss those days!

Chopstix 2014-03-27 16:02:00 -0500 Report

I had to self educate. Being an over the road truck driver trying to find knowledge was very difficult. I would come up with an idea and have to wait until the next time I was at home to do any research on it. Finding places just to go walking was also a challenge as most places we pick up or deliver won't let you walk around the property. Plus it is hard talking to someone about diabetes when they don't have it. Most people don't understand how we feel when our blood glucose is too high or too low. I did drive for one company where the secretary in Safety knew and understood about being diabetic because her husband is. Some times we would pick each other brains…

BB42 2014-03-27 07:17:35 -0500 Report

I received both types of education, classes and from an educator friend. They were the best things I ever did. I learned so much and it help me develop the life style I needed to follow to keep my disease under control. Also, by taking classes with my wife helped her understand how important her support was to me.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-27 13:16:09 -0500 Report

Learned everything on my own with the help of friends who are diabetics who take care of themselves. I also did it without support because I am not going to depend on my support always being there. I think when people are diagnosed, it should be mandatory that they get a meter, shown how to use it, a referral to a diabetes class and a nutritionist.

You are lucky to have an educator friend. My nutritionist is a friend and neighbor. She stepped in when I told her what the nutritionist my doctor referred me to did to me. I should have known I was in trouble when she walked in the room weighing about 400lbs with swollen legs and could barely walk. She changed my meal plan and calorie intake. I gained back all but 12lbs of the weight I lost. I was miserable for about two days when I went back to the doctor. He told me not to worry and put everything back to where he had it. My neighbor did my meal plan and I have not looked back. She is licensed and certified and she met with my doctor before doing the meal plan. Even though she had to go out on disability due to a lung disease, she started her own business and teaches classes from time to time and is the Executive Director of our Community Association. She is doing wonders writing grants to bring healthier foods to the community.

Michael_1960 2014-03-26 21:21:27 -0500 Report

I more or less learned about it by reading, the internet and I came across this website which was a big help, and my mother was a diabetic so I learned from her, I asked my doctor, dieticians, pharmacists, and other people with diabetes as well.

shoulders 2014-03-26 20:50:38 -0500 Report

Hello Jeanette Terry, I have had several diabetes classes, first one when I was diagnosed with diabetes, another class about how to give yourself your insulin shots. Then I take a refreshers course when I get drained and start to fill like I want to stop taking care of this disease. The classes are not just for the "new" diabetics, you can take them as a refreshers class.

Jeanette Terry
Jeanette TerryPA 2014-03-27 14:19:18 -0500 Report

Shoulders, I think that is great that you take refresher classes periodically. I think we could all benefit from some friendly reminders and refreshers every once in a while.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-27 10:52:19 -0500 Report

shoulders after the one I took, I won't ever take another one. This is my life and I am never going to get tired of taking care of my disease. I want to live with all of my limbs, organs and vision. I have a cousin who is an insulin dependent T2. I called her this morning to see what she was up to today. She said her sugar spiked on it. She took her insulin it was coming down. She had taken a shower and was going to get dressed to go out to lunch with a neighbor. She is older than me and is always on the go since she retired. None of us diabetics in the family view diabetes as a disease. We all say we have diabetes, it does not have us. We are always out doing things. We are all getting ready for a surprise birthday party for the oldest of the first cousins. The best thing to do with diabetes is keep a positive out look on life. Don't let diabetes stop you from living life and having fun while doing it.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-26 19:29:55 -0500 Report

I actually did not go to a diabetes class until last year during my 5th year of being diabetic. I wasted my time.

jigsaw 2014-03-29 14:50:37 -0500 Report

Were you still wearing those headphones I saw you wearing on the whirley bird? Just curious! (-;

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-01 21:09:36 -0500 Report

I swear you should do a Stand Up routine in Vegas. You are hilarious. No. I needed them. I want a ride in that copter but I would have to be deputized by the Mayor to do that. I have to ask her about that the next time I see her.

jigsaw 2014-03-26 09:56:37 -0500 Report

Not when I was first diagnosed, but I eventually came across a class that was helpful. Eventually, and after I moved to NC, it was my new doctor that employed diabetes educators, and dieticians that offered free classes to patients. I found the entire team of diabetes specialists to be very helpful. It was through this team of specialists, that i was made aware of some excellent information and possibilities.

Nick1962 2014-03-26 07:44:11 -0500 Report

Nope – was handed a meter, shown how to use it and that’s it. Was never told when or how often to test. Any education I got I had to seek on my own, and the one class/group I did attend was not as beneficial as I needed it to be.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-26 19:35:01 -0500 Report

I didn't even get a meter. Learned on my own. By the time I decided to go to a class it was a waste of my time. People whined and complained about being diabetic got on my nerves until a 70 year old woman who had diabetes since she was in her 20's chewed out the whiners and complainers. This is why I don't go to Weight Watchers classes. I can't stand people who whine and complain. Last time I went I was so through with the same women whining and complaining I told them to grow up and be quiet. The rest of us learned something. I never went back.

Nick1962 2014-03-27 08:20:45 -0500 Report

Pretty much my same experience. Only thing I got out of it was a sugar free brownie recipe.
Our “group” was made up of people who wanted their diabetes to conform to their lifestyle and not the other way around. Being a naïve newbie, I thought this was the way it worked. It was a pity party and very depressing. Almost as if it were training us to be victims.
My first night was spent “testing” different sugar free cookies - as if the world would end if they had to give up cookies (and for some of them, it probably would).

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-27 10:44:59 -0500 Report

I was talking to my neighbor this morning. She went to a refresher class yesterday in the building where her doctors offices are located. She said it started out with people complaining about not having support, people complaining about hating diabetes and complaining that nothing they read on line about taking supplements cured them or helped them. She said one of the doctors was listening in and he asked if he could speak. She said when he got finished people were pissed. He told them to grow up and stop depending on people to help you take care of your own diabetes. That there is no cure for diabetes and to stop going on line finding information that is false and the longer you hate diabetes the worse shape you are going to be in. He said if anyone in this room is one of my patients, don't come to him telling him what a friend or family member said for them to do, he no longer wanted to hear it.

My neighbor said 3 months after she was diagnosed, her husbands job had a diabetes education class for the Senior Citizens in the building where he worked. He attended the class and didn't tell her. She said 3 months later he sat her down in the kitchen with two of their grown children and chewed her out. He told her to grow the hell up he was sick and tired of taking care of her. That she knows what to eat and when to test and he was no longer going to tell her what to eat or when to test. Her kids told her she was driving them crazy because she wanted to be babied and they have their own families to take care of. Her husband said I took the class and I learned that the longer you depend on others to take help you the less likely you are to take care of yourself on your own. After things calmed down. He told her he had been diagnosed with cancer and that odds are he wasn't going to be there to take care of her and that it is unfair to ask the kids for her to constantly call them asking them what should she do. He died a year later and but she learned that she had to take care of herself. She has two diabetic sisters who take care of their own diabetes. They said she was always babied as a child and thought it would get her somewhere. They forced her to grow up and face the real world when her husband died. Sometimes people need a building to fall on them before they get it. Diabetes education classes should not be pity parties.

Nick1962 2014-03-27 12:12:56 -0500 Report

That certainly seemed to be the road some of those in my class were headed down. I think physicians now need to check A1c starting at young ages rather than just at the age markers or if there’s a hospitalization. Sending at risk folks to a general healthy/proper eating class (which we’ve clearly lost touch of) early might head off some diagnosis’ rather than dealing with it as a focused, after-the-fact diabetes issue.
My diabetes is in control because my lifestyle habits are in control (well, most of them). From the shape I was in, there was clearly no diet “tweaking” that would work, and I’m smart enough to know that if all those supplements and stuff worked, there’d be no need for Metformin. So, for me anyway, it was continue to be miserable or change. That meant finding healthy people – not specifically doctors - who were willing to share their realistic methods. Diabetic side effects aren’t just limited to medical problems. Had I gone down that road I’d be that cranky, friendless, single old guy at the end of the block sitting on the porch yelling at kids to get off his grass. Not the life I wanted.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-03-27 13:08:14 -0500 Report

I agree. I think they should also. It will give people a chance to work towards preventing diabetes. I think if my neighbors husband had not told her to grow up and if her kids had not agreed to what he wanted her to do, she would be in bad shape. She wanted support because she was not going to do it for herself. Even today she thinks being helpless is cute. Being helpless is expensive.

I stay away from supplements and supplement shakes. You can't replace non working supplements and shakes for the vitamins and minerals found in real food.

My friends are not all healthy people but they are friendly people. If you look at life, people who are miserable do not attract people. Who wants to be around miserable people who whine, complain and always need some kind of support? At some point in life you do have to grow the hell up and take care of yourself.
I was raised to learn to take care of myself and to not depend on people to always be there to help me. I don't think people understand that if you always need attention, support and won't help yourself, people get tired of you.

I take care of my diabetes without help from anyone. I know what to do and when to do it. I don't ask anyone to remind me to take medication or test. People who need someone to do that don't want to take care of themselves they put that burden on others.

Diabetes was in a sense the best thing to happen to me. I changed my lifestyle and it gave me a more positive outlook on life. One of the things I admire about you is the fact that you know what you need to do and you do it and you also enjoy life.

Pynetree 2014-03-25 21:39:32 -0500 Report

Sadly, No, 22 years ago, my GP confirmed what I suspected. Gave me a Rx for Metformin, and one sheet of a two page diet tips..they had mistakenly given the original to a patient,and only had the photocopy of the first page! Said to avoid having too many carbs at one meal, and don't drink soda. And he really didn't see the point of even bothering with a meter, said let's wait and see how your A1C is in 3 months, and 6 mos.
Eighteen months later he suggested I see an Endocrinologist .. and that Dr. sent me to Diabetes class at the hospital. It was 3 or 4 Wednesday nights. And must have made a A1C dropped from 11.6 to an A1c of 8.?, and then to 7.0, Eighteen months later it was below 6.0 and has stayed there for almost 18 yrs.

Pa1kid 2014-03-25 20:43:24 -0500 Report

I got mine at the VA with a diabetic educator in a classroom with about 8 other vets and their wives.

Chris Clement
Chris Clement 2014-03-25 17:55:01 -0500 Report

I had mine in the hospital after diagnosis. I was shocked to learn much later that this is not common practice.

Jeanette Terry
Jeanette TerryPA 2014-03-27 14:54:52 -0500 Report

I also received mine in the hospital. I too thought that is how it was with every diagnosis. I am coming to learn that there are very few people that actually get proper diabetes education. It is just a shame.

haoleboy 2014-03-25 17:18:04 -0500 Report

Nope … I was handed a prescription for met, a meter and a few strips, told to lose weight and 'watch' my carbs and sent on my way. Not sure it made a difference but had no insurance at the time.


Gloria241 2014-03-25 17:14:30 -0500 Report

I went to a one hour session and have a 4 hour one planned for later in the month with a local hospital. Even if I can't remember it all it does help to have material to go back to or someone to ask questions to. I think everyone should get educated.

jdenton360 2014-03-25 16:56:12 -0500 Report

I did & felt the classes were very beneficial. My daughter went with me so if I forgot something from class she would remind me. I feel more of these classes at different levels would be helpful :)

kimfing 2014-03-25 16:52:52 -0500 Report

I was educated by cde many years ago because my hubby been db many years. When i was dx last year met w cde for one session. We go to support group as well.:-) the classes they offer here are during business hours on days i am working

GabbyPA 2014-03-25 16:40:39 -0500 Report

I didn't. I did sign up for a class about 6 months later that was put on by TCOYD and it was great. Very insightful.

jayabee52 2014-03-25 15:14:26 -0500 Report

Howdy Jeanette
I had a diabetes education class not long after I was first Dx'd in 1995. I learned a little bit but the class seemed too long (the mind can absorb only what the seat can endure)

They covered a lot of information and I likened that first class to trying to take a drink out of a firehose with the nozzle full on. A lot of water coming out, but I didn't get much of it.

In 2009 I did have another class which was focused on nutrition for diabetes and Chronic Kidney disease, which was a little easier on me.

However I like the pace of information here on DC. It fits more with the way I learn.

God's best to you and yours