This Summer Share Diabetes Dedication With My Clients! Hear Their Stories.

Today is the first day of summer, at least in my house. School is out! As I venture into these freedom months, I am grateful for so much. I have a full calendar filled with clients, speaking engagements, and volunteer opportunities. I have had the privilege to witness clients start the new year off with lowered HbA1c results, renewed motivation to regain control of health, and renewed energy in life in general. The summer ahead is full of possibilities, challenges, and adventure. The year 2014 had its fair share of challenges for many, including myself, but also had some amazing results for my clients. I am proud to share some of their stories with you. I hope these stories motivate, inspire, and prove to be something with which you can identify. So jump into the possibilities of summer! Let the motivation of others inspire your own improved healthy lifestyles.

I have had the incredible privilege to work with some amazing kids and adults living with diabetes. I have a client and friend that amazes me with her strong will and determination. I usually refer to determination as the intent to improve one’s health. This kid has a determination all her own. She is a tough one. She is smart, determined, and stubborn! She is also not immediately changing her daily habits the way everyone would like to see her. This is not always a bad thing. She is gaining control of her life with diabetes in much the same fashion that many of us adjust. She knows what to do and what is best to take care of her health. She also is healthy and determined not to let diabetes win, that it can take the back seat to many of our daily activities! This doesn’t mean she doesn’t care. It means she wants to be above and beyond the restraints of this chronic illness. This is a normal part of this cycle. Hard to accept? Yes. Hard to tolerate? Yes. Will she come around? Of this, I have no doubt! She is a frustrating and wonderful example of the drive that someone can have. She will win this battle, with or without my help. It was a special time however, to help her through some of the social issues and hard times of life with diabetes.

Another teen is perhaps one of the most fun people I have yet to meet. She is strong and tentative at the same time. This girl is the spitting image of me when I was younger. Well, if you saw the two of us side by side we don’t actually look a thing alike! The brains are there. She is hesitant about her looks. There is an underlying current of guilt that runs continuously beneath her surface. High school stinks, no doubt about it. Grades, dating, friends, and the future are all paramount. How do you fit in within a standard group of teens while wearing an insulin pump, needing to test blood glucose (BG) levels, and take each moment of your day more seriously than any of those people around you? When does it “click” for most of people? For some it takes an extreme disaster. For others, it takes a few years of struggles, a little growth, and a bit of maturity. Will it come for her? Yes. Will her road be uphill? Unfortunately, I predict Yes. Caring what others think of us is a difficult feat. We are all told not to let it impress upon us. That is so much easier said than done. I am not sure that anyone can achieve this, even the most renowned among us. Those living with diabetes are not the only ones subjected to this issue. We do however seem to face scrutiny or judgment on a daily, if not hourly basis! It is hard to carve your own way, when you are supposed to fit into so many daily criteria! I know she will get there. I only hope it is with less pain and within fewer years than it took for me to do so. I hope and pray that my advice or friendship can help expedite this process.

I am also impressed with a T2 client of mine. He has fought an uphill battle under a storm of stress this year! This is a deliberate man. He is intense. I admire the way he and his wife can banter back and forth. I am sure they have seen their share of things in this lifetime and they manage to face life head on, opinionated, and determined as each sees fit! This is refreshing. This man has seen his physicians regularly. He took his physician’s warnings about his diabetes control and “grabbed it by the horns” so to speak. He has researched, called me for guidance, and exemplified the sure fire will to tackle this challenge. He is one that I feel unfortunately has drawn the short end. He eats almost an entirely low carb diet. He tests religiously upon instruction. He is vigilant. His blood glucose levels don’t always reflect this effort. He exercises, tests, eats, and counts. He still may end up on more T2 meds and possibly insulin as time goes by. It hurts my heart to watch someone try so hard to simply keep just “acceptable” levels. I also cringe when a T1 talks about the T2 population’s “lack of effort or understanding”. He is fighting an uphill battle just like anyone else. I have loved seeing his numbers improve and his motivation strengthen. He is a great example for us all!

This is just a brief glimpse into the lives of a few of the many that I work with. They have inspired me to tackle new challenges this summer! I am taking these months of freedom and embracing all they offer! Life is not always fair, not always easy, but seeing these client’s fight their battles continually reminds me of strength and determination to keep going in this life!

All the Best,
Marianne Tetlow
The Diabetes Coach

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