So, I am thinking about writing both an orientation training manual and a more extended training manual. My initial thought is to do it on a website and conduct a twice yearly one week training in South Florida that would be experiential. This is my introduction to the orientation.
This Orientation assumes that you are either on Lantus and using a short acting insulin to cover meals or you are on the insulin pump. If you are using another insulin therapy it might be interesting reading but not applicable when it comes to the insulin delivery section. I know that some doctors use a different approach. I have been on most of them. While insulin delivery is just one aspect it is a critical one and it is my opinion that the insulin pump is, by far, the best method for insulin delivery. Lantus combined with short acting insulin is often referred to as “The Poor Man’s Pump” because it attempts to simulate what the pump can do but it offers much less flexibility and certainty.
There is one other assumption that is instilled within this training; You are motivated. Dealing with Type 1 diabetes is an extremely challenging thing. The initial diagnosis is a shock to the person and to the family. It is a crisis that must be dealt with. Everyone reacts to crisis in a different way. In my 31 years of experience with the disease I have been through many periods of time when I just did not want to deal with balancing my blood sugars. I did things that were dangerous and that did not lead to being well. I always took my shot but I did not always test my blood sugars on a regular basis to know what was going on. I really did not want to look at the reading from the meter. I often went off of how I felt or what color my urine was or how much I peed. I did not want to check. I crossed a point where I made a decision that I wanted to feel better and master this thing and it happened. I was lucky and blessed with tremendous support from family and friends and good doctors. Thank you to all of them. I assume you are motivated because you are reading this. However, I will give you a few reasons to become more motivated. First, if you can consistantly receive A1C results below 7 you will significantly reduce your chances of acquiring complications. Complications stem from the detriotion of blood vessel integrity as a result of high blood sugar levels. Good control greatly reduces this from happening. Second, you will feel better and be more productive. Third, you will achieve success in a proactive manner. This fosters a sense of control where control has been absent. And fourth, you will affect others around you. It is very difficult for people who love you to know you have diabetes. They feel for you and wish they could make it better. When they see that you are mastering it you will provide them joy.
If you are motivated then this orientation will provide you with a base level of information that is necessary to achieve success. I do not know everything about the disease but I have lived with it for 31 years and have a profound understaning of what it takes to survive and then to thrive. I want to share that with you. The Extended Training Program is designed to be an intenisve thrust in strategies outlined in this orientation section. If you find the orientation helpful and are not getting the support you need from your health care professionals then it might be of benefit to you.