Diabetic Class

Just Joyce
By Just Joyce Latest Reply 2014-04-10 22:25:41 -0500
Started 2014-04-03 15:35:13 -0500

My cousin was diagnosed last week as T2. She dragged me to her diabetes education class. The way the instructor held the class was interesting. She divided the class into two groups.

Group one was newly diagnosed and group two was refresher. She explained to the refresher group that she was first taking a question from the newly diagnosed first. There were only two people newly diagnosed.

I sat with my cousin so I could help her and explained to the instructor that although I was diabetic, I had no questions. She answered all of the questions for the newly diagnosed like an angel. Some of the refresher people she knew and they were ripped to shreds. It was 8 in that group.

She told all of the ones she knew that if they didn't care enough to take care of themselves they were wasting her time. They had all kinds of excuses for not taking care of themselves and actually blamed their spouses and children.

My husband is not diabetic so he brings home cookies and I hide some to eat when he is not around.

My daughters school was selling candy so I bought 4 bars and ate them in 24 hours.

My daughter job gave her cupcakes for her birthday and I ate 3 after dinner

My husband will not stop me from eating sweets

Because she knew them, she told them. You and only you are responsible for what you put into your mouth. All of you are suppose to be adults so along with being an adult requires you to be responsible for your actions and to understand the circumstances surrounding your actions. If you choose to ignore what you learn here who's fault is that? If your husband buys cookies and you steal them and eat them who's fault is that? If you don't care enough about your health, I don't care enough to keep answering the same questions and listening to the same excuses every month. Grow up and stop coming in here wasting my time with your childish whining and complaining about why you won't do what you know you are suppose to be doing.

My cousin asked what could he do to be as healthy as possible. She said unlike those who don't or won't listen, eat healthy meals, do not skip meals and use shakes and protein bars as a meal. Exercise and talk to your doctor about any problems you have. She gave him and the other person all kinds of information. She went over carb counting, label reading, how to test, the best time to test after eating. He also asked about what to eat when exercising and how should he test between exercise routines. She gave him clear concise answers.

One of the people in the refresher group who was not one to give excuses asked about diabetes and colds and flu. She told him about over the counter sugar free cough syrups and told him to make sure he speaks with his doctor if the cold or flu persists more than a few days. He said he had joined Planet Fitness and my cousin said he joined yesterday so they plan to work out together this evening. They joined at the same location.

She ended the class by telling them that when you don't do what you know you should do, the only person you can blame is yourself. She explained what damage diabetes can cause and to live a productive life. She has been a T2 for 8 years and said had it not been for a caring doctor, self support and family support as well as self motivation motivation from others she don't know if she could have taken as good of care of herself. She said a positive attitude, keeping an open mind and teaching others helped her. She is a former RN who devotes her life to diabetes education, relaxation therapy and traveling. She is developing a program for personal trainers so they can better work with diabetic gym members which I think is great.

I think everyone should attend a diabetes class when they are first diagnosed. It will help them. If your doctor tells you to wait, look for the classes on your own. The one today was free and it was held at a Senior Center. Even if you have to pay a fee, I think it is worth every cent. The most important commodity we have is our health.

33 replies

Stuart1966 2014-04-10 21:49:59 -0500 Report

Hello Joyce

in the generic i agree that a class has benefit, for raw beginners. However that being said i have taken many refresher classes over the decades. Tragicly none remotely touched nor covered on any level (literally) those of myself, my peers or elders in terms of diabetes experience.

Bluntly they had no value or merit for those with serious or meaningful experience. More than once I have been party to active rebellion at such classes. Few of us suffer the repeated garbage anyone with signifigant experience in terms of diabetes possesses. I can give the death dismemberment gangrene speech far better than they do. Im painfully aware portions are deceptive, forty plus years in a serious teacher

the mental components are the critical pieces. Nobody is touching them. What do we do the understandible fears low high blindness impotence take your fear of choice. Until they qctively qddress those pieces, classes are not designed for the anybody with 10 years much less far far more experience.

I had serious hope the Behavioral Diabetes Institute in CA was heading a critical and new grounds. But somebody castrated them severely and left the proverbial body by the side of the road to rot.

I keep hoping the cognitive and behavioral aspects will get tackled someday. So far they arent touched at all. Deflect irrational stuff, teach us to play with our real and dangerous fears and i for one will become a spokesperson screaming from the rooftops. They can keep their silly dietetian porkchop demos. Give us something more depthful-

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-10 22:25:41 -0500 Report

They really don't have any value for experienced diabetics. What they do not teach you as a new diabetic is how to make the information work for you as an individual.

I don't think the mentality of the diabetic has been studied to a point that cognitive behavior can be treated or adjusted. A persons mental status can determine how well they treat their diabetes.

You can see it here in some of the postings. There are people who know what they should be doing and won't, people who are in denial to the point they start having other problems, people who use this site for medical advice, people who think that placing blame will make it easier for them. The list goes on and on.

Human behavioral science is vast. There are so many elements that to change the behavior would almost resort to Pavlov's methods. I took a behavioral psychology class and some of my classmates would have been perfect specimens to study. Many could not understand what it takes to change behavior. You simply cannot change some behaviors over night.

I think once they delve into the behavioral aspects of a diabetic they might be able to help so many people take proper care of themselves.

MrsKarlaD 2014-04-07 17:22:34 -0500 Report

Wow, I truly hope those who are supporters of the "just do it, gut it out, never make a mistake" camp get a different type of support than what you are advocating if you ever need it- and you will. We ALL do.

MrsKarlaD 2014-04-07 17:05:21 -0500 Report

I obviously am in the minority, but I would NOT be spoken to that way. if she doesn't want to deal with anyone who is not perfect in dealing with their diabetes, she should quit and find another job. People with diabetes have enough to deal with without being publically humiliated by some Nazi diabetic educator. There is no such thing as a perfect diabetic, and there are times when your control will not be where you want it even if you are doing all you can. It is frustrating enough, and I will not be judged for that. No I do not hide cookies and no, if I eat them I will not blame anyone else, but I also will not allow anyone to judge me. She would not have to worry about me coming back to that class, and if I had anything to say about it, SHE wouldn't be coming back because she would be fired. Sorry, don't mean to ramble, but this just really makes me angry.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-07 18:18:43 -0500 Report

First and foremost I do not agree with your statement that people with diabetes have enough to deal with. If you face your problems, if you don't create your own problems, and if you don't make things harder than they have to be, you won't have a lot to deal with.

Since you can't get people who don't listen, who refuse to take care of themselves, who are disruptive, harsh words are needed. It is illegal to beat sense into people. I also don't like the sentence "People with diabetes have enough to deal with without being publically humiliated by some Nazi diabetic educator." If you ever visited the Holocaust Museum you would never use that word in the manner in which you used it.

She may have gotten through to them. The problem is people think it is okay to not do what they know they should be doing and when they are called on it, they get upset. You said this made you angry. Think about it, how many people do you think would care if you are angry? Probably no one or a very few. People always get angry over the least little thing. I was not angry by what she said and I didn't care if the people she said it to were angry. They needed to hear what she said.

Adults who walk around wearing rose colored glasses thinking all is right in the world need to be yelled at sometimes. When they are disruptive to the point they were heckling then yes, I say yell at them. I am sure somewhere during your life you were yelled at. It was not the first time and it certainly won't be the last. Which is why getting angry when getting yelled at causes some people to miss the point. I do a lot of community work and get yelled at all the time. It goes in one ear and out the other. I don't waste time getting angry because two angry people do not accomplish anything.

Nick1962 2014-04-07 12:04:43 -0500 Report

We had the same issue with my health class – lots of people with “buts” – “I could do this but my……..” or “I could do this but I have…..”, Some buts were reasonably legit – one girl dropped out because she had bad knees and had a hard time exercising (she also needed to lose about 100 lbs.) so she just never fully bought into the plan. I’d run into her from time to time over the years at my chiro’s office, and in fact got a recommendation for a great surgeon for my back issues from her.

Ran into her last month and she finally dropped about 80 lbs. Same surgeon who did my back said he wouldn’t do her knees until she was thinner and in better shape. She’s only early 30’s, so she finally caved and got on board with a decent diet, which was her main stumbling block it turns out. She fully admitted that once she got going it wasn’t all that tough, and now is kicking herself (with 2 new knees) for not doing it 5 years ago and avoiding the pain she’d been through all that time.

Yes, sometimes the message has to be harsh for it to sink in. I’ve had several friends and co-workers ask me to fill them in on how I lost so much weight. If it’s just a question, I answer generically “I changed my diet”. If it’s because they need to drop weight and are looking for advice, I ask them first if they’re willing to commit to a major change. If not, my way of saying “don’t waste my time” is “we’ll talk when you’re ready”. Like anything in life, going through the work to help someone out, whether it be dieting, diabetes or car repair, I’ve run out of patience for people who want the results, but want to cut corners to get there when there are really no corners to cut.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-07 13:01:56 -0500 Report

Nick people suffer from the "yes, but syndrome" when you here yes, but, you know an excuse is coming. Some times harsh words are like a slap in the back of the head. It opens your eyes.

I have two neighbors one a Crossing Guard who was hit by a car, and the other a cook and baker. Both over weight and both needing knee replacements. The Crossing Guard needed it after being hit by a car on duty. They both lost weight to have the surgery. The neighbor who was a cook said she went in to see her orthopedic doctor. She said when she left she felt like he had turned her over his knee and whipped her butt. She said he told her he was sick and tired of her coming in his office complaining about having trouble walking and standing because of her knees. I have told you for the past 2 years that you need to lose weight. You choose not to change your eating habits. You are either too stupid to pay attention to what you have been told or you simply do not care whether or not you want to walk again. You need to put the fork down and back your fat butt away from the table and lose weight. DO NOT come back in here complaining again because I don't want to hear it. Go get a scale and when you lose 10lbs, call me. She said she got in her car came home and cried her eyes out. She said he humiliated her to no end. She called her daughter and her sister and they asked her what do you wan't us to do about it, either lose the weight or stop complaining. Two weeks later she ordered a Wii, went on you tube found exercises she could do, she changed her entire meal plan. I saw her a month later and you could see she was losing. She lost 100 llbs and went back to her doctor. He was shocked and hugged her. She said she told him at first she didn't appreciate the way he talked to her but if he hadn't, said what he said, she might not have been able to walk into his office. He told her he said it because he cared about her as a patient and a human being.

For people who said they would have walked out, they missed the point. Sometimes you have to say what needs to be said regardless of what others may think. You may not like it but not one person cares whether you like it or not. The fact is that the people who harsh words are spoken to just might get the message. The world is not all bunny rabbits and rainbows and one day they just might open their eyes and realize that.

valentine lady
valentine lady 2014-04-04 19:30:52 -0500 Report

I am a big advocate for taking a class upon being DX Diabetic. I agree with Gabby that one make sure it's going to be a good class which is run professionally for everyone who attends. Personally, I would not have stood for a dressing down infront of my peers. I would have walked out.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-04 21:49:23 -0500 Report

I don't think you would behave in their manner. I must share this with you.

I was having our monthly police meeting.as we were wrapping up a 30 something man running for office rushed in and asked if he could speak because he was running for office. I said no, people running for office cannot campaign at this meeting and to contact the community association leaders and ask to attend their meetings. He told me he could speak if he wanted to. I said you will not speak here tonight or at any of our other meetings. He then asked me who do you think you are. I said watch this. Sarge could you escort him out and the Sargent showed him the door. Two days later he got arrested for attacking one of the people in office in front of the mans house. He lost the election. I see him from time to time. He told me he didn't think I had the nerve to put him out of a meeting. I told him that i don't have time to play with people let alone him.

Valentine when you let people be disruptive they control the room and once that happens the person in charge loses control. No one disrupts my meetings because they know they will be put out. I do not play with people simply because I don't have to.

GabbyPA 2014-04-04 13:26:20 -0500 Report

Yes, I HIGHLY recommend taking a class. However, I would make sure it is a good class that is professional and going to be productive for everyone who attends. I absolutely loved my class and there was a mix of old and newly diagnosed. We all benefited from what was shared.

My years of managing people taught me that you don't humiliate someone in front of their peers like that. You pull them aside and "discipline" them in private.

I understand tough love and getting people to do what they know what to do. But the very end of your post here you said she said, "Had it not been for a caring doctor, self support and family support as well as self motivation motivation from others she don't know if she could have taken as good of care of herself. She said a positive attitude, keeping an open mind and teaching others helped her." Why would she not be that support to others?

Not everyone learns the same way and those who really don't want to change or find a bit of hope in a class of something that will help them have their "ah-ha" moment, will stop coming.

I agree with Shileigh, I would have walked out and found another class to attend.

MrsKarlaD 2014-04-07 17:17:55 -0500 Report

Absolutely, being yelled at and humiliated is NOT going to get a person to do what they need to do. It is only going to cause them to withdraw further.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-04 21:27:45 -0500 Report

Gabby the people who kept coming to the class were there for attention. Apparently they must do this at every class she has there. She knew them and knew they would not do anything they needed to do. .The group of people knew each other. When she asked a question or asked for questions they made excuses. They were basically a group of hecklers.

I don't think it is fair to hold up others and prevent them from learning because of the same people who won't do what they need to do. They had an excuse for not doing anything. I would have said the same thing. They were disruptive.

The class I attended was almost as bad until a 70 year old woman got up and chewed them out.. Everyone has a breaking point and the instructor reached hers with those people.

If you were the instructor what would you have done? Go work in a school and you will see how bad it is for some teachers. I worked in a school. Kids were out of control and when the parents came to get them, they were out of control. The principal finally fixed the problem for the 5th graders. She created a class for the disruptive ones. The kids wanting to learn were glad they were removed. They did not get out of 5th grade that year because they simply refused to cooperate and they also had the worse parents.

As adults they should have known their behavior was disruptive. They were getting on my nerves but the people there to learn paid attention and asked very good questions and she gladly answered and encouraged them. I would have put the disruptive people out. However, since they didn't have to pay for the class, they would not have learned from being asked to pay. She did say she was not coming back to that center again. I don't blame her.

GabbyPA 2014-04-05 06:42:36 -0500 Report

I would have done it in private. Not in front of the class. As a leader, you don't stoop to the level of the people, you must raise them to yours.

Or a peer should have said something.

Shileigh 2014-04-04 07:05:15 -0500 Report

I guess I am the only one here who disagrees, but I think this instructor deserves to have everyone walk out and not come back…resulting in a loss of her job. This person is a teacher and as a teacher, she should have enough wisdom to know that life is not all cookie cutter perfect and not all people fit her mold. I am a teacher. When my students fail, I consider it a reflection of something I am doing or not doing. How many people are motivated by being told they are a waste of someone's time? Her patients are failing because, for some reason or another, they are not motivated or don't have the means to succeed. She needs to get her rear end in gear and find out what it is that is keeping them down. The fact that they showed up for her class is amazing!! NO ONE WANTS DIABETES COMPLICATIONS!! I agree that all diabetics should attend a diabetes class when first diagnosed, but not this one!! My journey with diabetes has been very successful, but I had many advantages most people don't have…#1 a great Diabetic Educator and endo who believe in my abilities.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-04 09:30:50 -0500 Report

Her problem was with the same people who came to every class with the same problems. She did the right thing. She is not teaching children she is teaching adults who from the excuses they made refused to take care of themselves. Their main purpose was to bring all of the attention to themselves. I certainly do not blame her for not wanting to deal with them any longer. They were taking away from those wanting to learn and ask questions.

These people knew what to do, they also knew that what they were doing was not helping them. It is not her responsibility to find out what is keeping them down. As adults it is their responsibility to find that out. Most of them admitted they knew what to do. They simply didn't want to do it. You can't blame the teacher in this case, you blame the student. Personally, I would have done the same thing. They are taking advantage of a situation because it is free. If she started charging them, they would not be at every class they would be doing what they should be doing.

If as you say, no one wants diabetes complications then the people in that class who were making excuses for not taking care of themselves need to look at what they are doing and find ways to help themselves. I do not feel sorry for anyone who makes excuses for not doing what they know they should be doing.

pandalays 2014-04-03 22:01:53 -0500 Report

Its a nice advise.Even if you know so much about your condition and know what you are supposed to do an donot your mind plays a trick and leads you away.So regular discussions and classes brings you back to reality and gives you a motivation.support from family is necessary but self support is a MUST.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-04 09:31:54 -0500 Report

Your mind isn't whats playing tricks on you and lead you away. It is your lack of will power that does that.

pandalays 2014-04-04 13:27:17 -0500 Report

That's what exactly I meant.To have a willpower you should be strong at your mind level

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-04 21:29:13 -0500 Report

Exactly. However, you can't make excuses if you choose to not have strength and at some point in your life you have to stop blaming others for your shortcomings.

pandalays 2014-04-05 06:28:34 -0500 Report

In my first reply the last line was support from family is necessary but self support is a MUST. And what I meant was you can not blame anyone,you ,you alone should guard your health.

Fefe12 2014-04-03 17:55:13 -0500 Report

Sounds like very good advise. I do know that as we grow older and still hang onto old habits it is sometimes hard to change. But to be diagnosed with T2 and to continue in these habits is so… Immature! Don't we hold our children to do better then that? We can get very upset when our kids don't act their ages. How much better are we when we can't look at a cupcake and say no? How do we teach our children to say no? I love to eat as much as the next person, but I have limits. We ALL need limits its just the way life is. You can't have everything you want, nor should you. Think hard before you eat that cupcake, steal a piece of candy, or take that second helping. Is your life worth that? Really?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-03 19:12:59 -0500 Report

Fefe a lot of people do what they do for attention. They want sympathy, their hands held and they want people to feel the way they do. I do not have time for grown ups who want attention and to be babied. They need to grow up. You know that the cupcake is going to raise your blood sugar so why eat it then complain your blood sugar rose. Just because a working teen or spouse or significant other comes in the house with a bag of cookies or candy that you should not site down and eat as much as you want. One piece of candy or a cookie isn't going to hurt you.

I totally agree everyone need limits just like everyone needs to or should know the consequences of their actions. So if you don't know what to eat, don't have enough sense to call your doctor when you have a medical problem, won't eat they way you should, don't complain and don't make excuses. the only person you can blame is yourself.

Glucerna 2014-04-03 18:09:18 -0500 Report

Joyce, thanks for sharing your experience at the diabetes class and it's great that your cousin is taking control of diabetes and found someone to exercise with him. Fefe12 I love the way you describe setting limits and making choices. This is a powerful message for all of us. ~Lynn @Glucerna

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-03 19:14:14 -0500 Report

Lynn, this is why I tell people if they don't have support at home, get out and meet people. You never know who you are going to meet and you never know how they can help you.

Type1Lou 2014-04-03 17:44:07 -0500 Report

I admire her no-nonsense approach and wholeheartedly agree with her about the personal responsibility issue. Thanks for posting this.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-03 19:22:53 -0500 Report

Lou, I am like that. I don't have time for nonsense. It drives me crazy. There are people who simply will not take responsibility for themselves or their health. They want others to do it for them. I can't stand people who choose to be helpless and rely on others to constantly be supportive of them. They never think that spouses leave or die. Children grow up and move out and start their own families and friends get tired of it. You have to learn to be responsible and take care of yourself. Your diabetes is not the responsibility to take care of, it is yours.

Type1Lou 2014-04-04 10:31:55 -0500 Report

I, too, have precious little patience for people who are constantly blaming others for their conditions or always have an excuse. Ultimately, we are the masters of our fate and the choices we make, or opt not to make, are our responsibility. Life isn't fair…deal with it!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-07 13:56:47 -0500 Report

OMG I almost spit water all over my screen…ROFL. I was not going to say that but you can best believe I thought it.

kimfing 2014-04-03 17:32:37 -0500 Report

Awesome. I love the instructors attitude! Thanks for sharing

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-04-03 19:23:58 -0500 Report

Kim I love what she said. I could not believe that she knew some of them because they came to all of her classes and never learned a thing or refuse to take care of themselves. They thought they could skate by on excuses. It did not work today.