If you have found this blog, saying Welcome does not really seem appropriate. I know you wish you weren't surfing the internet for diabetes. I felt the same.

A big part of me wishes I were not writing about diabetes, nor did I anticipate to become so opinionated or informed on the subject, but it happened. In 2010, my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

It wasn't really part of the plan… Correction - it was not part of the plan, but it happened. It is not always easy, but I think we are all doing okay, and I hope we continue to do so.

Why the Middle East? I happen to live in Dubai. I don't think that living in the Middle East makes mine or my son's diabetic experience any more unique or challenging than it does elsewhere in the developed world.

I hope you stick around, or read something you like. Feel free to comment and join the conversation, subscribe or follow this blog by liking the Facebook page Diapoint.

Please note: This blog does not give medical advice. I am opinionated, and I share my experiences, but the first rule of diabetes is to follow up with your doctor and/or nurse educator about your care, diagnosis or medication. If you do not have a medical practitioner that is helping you find your way through this crazy world, then do not give up until you find the right one.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Changing the World…Well, Let's Start with Education

I have just learned about Bitter Sweet, Karen Graffeo's blog and her organization of Diabetes Blog Week.  The event runs this week and many bloggers will share their experiences about the same topic every day.  It really is a great idea, so thank you Karen for bringing it together and inspiring these thoughts.

Today's topic: Changing the World.  

Of course there are many things I would like to change in the world, and specifically in the diabetes world.  It is very difficult to follow the wisdom of Ghandi and "Be the change you want to see in the world" if you are a Type 1, or the care taker of a Type 1.  You can manage it, but changing your behavior or eating habits will obviously not cure it.

I am a strong believer that knowledge and information is empowering.  This is one reason why I started this blog.  If my rant can help even one person, then that would hopefully be a positive impact for the better.

One of the things I would like to change, and that I am really passionate about is the knowledge of medical staff about Type 1 diabetes in relation to patient care - quality patient care.  This was one of the topics I discussed in my presentation earlier this month.

We have experienced a few DKAs over the last few years since diagnosis.  While hospitalization and DKA are never great, those experiences could have been better if the nursing and support staff, and in some cases doctors better understood diabetes and how to manage a DKA.

For example, discovering the emergency room doctor on duty looking up how to manage DKA in a medical manual after my son was admitted did not give me great confidence.  I am not saying that healthcare is all bad here.  We have had good experiences, and there are some good doctors and a great deal of effort to improve the care.  However, in a country where the rate of diabetes is one of the most prevalent on earth, I feel pretty passionately that medical staff should know more.  

I later learned this was not just the case here.  Last year we experienced a DKA and hospital visit in another country where healthcare is generally good.  It was frustrating to know the pediatrician on duty was desperately calling around the entire country to find anyone that could help her manage a DKA.  In the end we managed it with her between our physician here by day, and our physician in the US by night (his daytime).

By the end of both of those incidents, I was driving my son's healthcare.  I learned a lot and I am so thankful I have gained that knowledge.  But in the case of the patient that has not worked in healthcare or does not have a medical background, that may not always be possible.  

The only way to make it better now is to arm yourself with information.  Arm your staff with information and once they are knowledgeable and confident discuss how to best do what is needed to provide the best possible care for the patient.

And by all means, as the patient or caretaker, arm yourself with as much information as possible.  Do not be afraid to ask questions.  In my experience, we sometimes know more than we think.  When we share what we know it can change things as well as possibly improve the outcomes and experience for the next patient.

1 comment:

  1. Aww your son is lucky to have you! I'm sorry you have gone through a rough time with the DKA. I can't believe doctors don't know more about it; hopefully you helped them to learn so the next patient doesn't have to deal with what you went through.