Gibson City, Ill. (WCIA)
November is National Diabetes Month. Eileen, a Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES) at Gibson Area Hospital, has been providing support to people with diabetes in the area for over 20 years and has a grandson with Type 1 Diabetes.
My grandson Elliott was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes 2 years ago, and it’s been a learning experience for all of us. But what has been most inspiring has been all our family and friends coming together to support Elliott. As the 2 years have gone by, I’ve noticed growth in all of us – we are finally getting more comfortable with the management of diabetes.
On Elliott’s “Diaversary”, we got together and had a walk (pic 2 & 3) with family and friends to raise money for JDRF.
Blue is the color for diabetes awareness so my daughter Allison, granddaughter Emmerson (pic 4), and I recently got a blue streak in our hair. It’s a conversation piece – when we get asked about it, it gives us an opening to talk about diabetes!
Normally Elliott takes diabetes in stride, he’s a tough kid – he was diagnosed at 2 and doesn’t really remember a world without diabetes. But some days can be challenging. In one of the pictures (Pic 5), Elliott was having a rough time with an insulin pump change, which can be hard even for an adult. So just being there to provide a shoulder to cry on, like big sister Emmerson did here, is so important.
Daily diabetes care is a lot to handle, from taking meds, injecting insulin, and checking blood sugar to eating healthy food, being physically active, and keeping health care appointments…the list goes on. Support from family and friends can help people with diabetes feel empowered.
How to supporting someone with Diabetes:
• Get educated
• Know diabetes is individual
• Ask how you can help (and listen to their answer)
• Accept the ups and downs
• Focus on the positives
• Show support in a non-judgmental or critical way
• Words matter – “Person with Diabetes” vs “Diabetic”
Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (CDCES’s) provide support to people with diabetes as well as their family or caretakers. Diabetes can be stressful and overwhelming, and working with a diabetes care and education specialist can help with that stress and empower people to be successful in managing their diabetes.
People with diabetes should see a CDCES:
• At Diagnosis
• Annually and/or when not meeting treatment targets
• When complicating factors develop
• When transitions in life or care occur
Gibson Area Hospital offers diabetes education to all people with diabetes.
Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services Diabetes Support group meets monthly. The next meeting is November 18th, 2021
Those interested in meeting with the Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist at Gibson Area Hospital can contact Eileen Woolums at 217-784-4093.
Gibson Area Hospital
1120 North Melvin Street