I’m a Steadfast Coach. What Type are You?

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I am a Steadfast Coach. I also happen to be a mom, a volunteer, an organizer, a leader, a big talker, a teacher, and I hope an inspiration to many others! Oh, did I mention that I have Type 1 diabetes? When I meet someone new, I don’t usually stick my hand out and introduce myself as, “Hi. I’m Marianne and I have type 1 diabetes. It’s nice to meet you.” Most people that know me already know that I have diabetes and the people I meet will usually find out shortly.
I am not afraid to hide my diabetes. I do occasionally like to hide my insulin pump under clothing, but that is more of a “fashion over function” thing! I am happy to let anyone know that I live with diabetes anytime. Don’t get me wrong, I am not in love with living with this disease. However, I am sometimes proud of how I live my life with it, at least thus far. I have high blood glucose (BG) levels, low BG levels and in range BG levels. I cry about this disease, I feel terrible some days, I feel fine some days, I can make fun of this disease, I can also appreciate that some of the best things in my life have come about due to my life with diabetes! I am by no means a “perfect” diabetic. I do not think such a thing actually exists. I am and have a million different labels in this lifetime. Being a diabetic is a part of me! I don’t even usually mind using the label that some take issue with of “being a diabetic” versus “being a person living with diabetes”. True a Diabetic is a label, but so are all the other things that make up the woman I am now!
I am The Diabetes Coach. I help people and families that are affected by diabetes of any type. I have lived through most every stage of life with diabetes or I have worked with someone going through a stage. I try hard to help others live their best life with diabetes. I am a steadfast coach. I care about my clients and how they are feeling. I care about my clients long after they move on as clients. I will always care about each and every one of them. I care about them when they are trying their best, when they are not trying their best, when they want to give up, and when they feel like they can conquer the world!
As a coach I try to be a good example. I try to do most of the stuff we are told to do in order to stay healthy. I try my best to exercise. If I don’t get in a full workout, then I at least try to be active that day. I eat a fairly lower carbohydrate menu than others. I do confess to being able to fully consume a carton of ice cream from time to time. I also believe in enjoying high carb treats occasionally in order to live a balanced lifestyle. I check my blood glucose (BG) levels relentlessly. I wear a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM), an insulin pump, and my medical ID bracelet. I get my lab work done quarterly, see my endocrinologist regularly, get my eyes checked annually, and remember to see all the other doctors if I need to do so in order to maintain optimal health. I carry glucose tablets with me at all times and I also carry my “In case of Emergency” card at all times. That is all the basic stuff and we all have to do it. It is not so remarkable, even if difficult and tedious. If we want to live a healthy lifestyle these things are just part of the deal!
The most important thing that I want to tell others as a coach is to let go of the guilt! Living as a T1 diabetic, I juggle guilt each and every day. Most people with diabetes feel like they live in a constant state of pass/fail! All day long we seem to have numerous opportunities to either pass or fail. It never stops. There is no pause button – EVER! We are watched by others and sometime judged by our BG levels. The little pieces of guilt begin to add up and then become insurmountable. The guilt needs to be given up at the end of each day in order to tackle the next day of choices. This is by far, easier said than done!
Each time we test our BG we wonder if it is high/low or in range? (Pass/Fail). Did we test at the appropriate times? Yes/No (Pass/Fail). Did we count the correct grams of carbohydrate each time anything passed our lips? Yes/No? (Pass/Fail). Did we remember to inject our insulin or take medication at the right times and in the right doses? Yes/No (Pass/Fail). Did we exercise that day? Yes/No (Pass/Fail). Did we log all of our information correctly and in a timely manner? Yes/No (Pass/Fail). Do we have all of our supplies on hand? Yes/No (Pass/Fail). Do we have fast acting carb sources for lows? Yes/No (Pass/Fail). Are our HbA1C results high, low or in range? (Pass/Fail). This doesn’t even begin to include the normal responsibilities of everyday life that we all manage.
I want my clients to know that they need to take their health seriously. They also need to keep it from beating them down all the time! We don’t always feel good about living with diabetes, but somehow changing the attitude from “this is too much to handle” or “this is such a bother, I’ll deal with it later” into a sense of feeling positive about the effort you put into trying to manage it, helps!
I am a steadfast coach. I coach by example of both my strengths and weaknesses. I coach because I have been there before. I coach as a parent. I coach as a volunteer. I coach when I lead. I coach others when I organize events. I coach as a diabetic. Most importantly, I coach as a human. I am not perfect and that is just fine. I try my best when I can and refocus and try again when I stumble. You can do this. Diabetes defines a part of me, but thankfully it has helped turn me into a steadfast coach all along the way!

All The Best,
Marianne Tetlow
The Diabetes Coach

Oscar provides health insurance in New York and New Jersey. They use technology to simplify the healthcare experience and deliver high level customer service to their members.

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