Daily Post: Good Teamwork in Developing Creative Solution

As a diabetes educator,  I have been blessed to work alongside with numerous persons with diabetes and their families.  There is one particular person with diabetes, Bill, and his wife, Betty,  who have become very dear to my heart as they face the challenge of Bill living with diabetes and dementia.  Remembering to inject insulin before eating and drinking have been a daunting task for Bill.  So the Bill, Betty and I put our heads together and developed a creative sign to put on the refrigerator to provide a reminder for Bill to inject insulin before eating.  Guess what?  It worked.  Even his grandkids are asking Bill if he has injected insulin before eating.

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#teamwork #creative #solution

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A “Lump of Coal” …a Life Forever Changed

When we first meet somebody, we have no inkling just how much they may end up changing our life forever. It was the fall of 2001 when I met Joe for the first time during a job interview. At the time, I really needed a job after completing a one year post graduate residency program in pharmacy. During the interview, it became clear Joe was a very well-established pharmacist and businessman. Joe had a clear vision for a new innovative diabetes program. He was looking for a “less seasoned” pharmacist who could take the ball and run hard in developing this program. In many ways, I felt this was the ideal opportunity since I was looking for nontraditional pharmacy work that would allow me to utilize the unique skills learned during the residency and to not be tied to a desk all day.

Initially, I was skeptical of Joe’s opportunity since if something seems too good to be true – it probably isn’t true. Yet something seemed different about Joe. After accepting the job, I would learn over the next few years that Joe was different, he possessed a kind, calm, and selfless spirit who could see the best in everyone around him. Yet, he did not hold back in pushing towards a goal all the while inspiring others to join him…no intimidation, not brash.

I was caught off guard the first time that Joe said to me, “…you are a “lump of coal” and I am going to help you become a diamond…” To some extent, you could say I was a bit overconfident at that time, so I found these words harsh. However, as time went on, I realized how I was a “lump of coal” and had a whole lot to learn. I would say that I am still a ways off from becoming the “diamond” Joe envisioned, but I am sure to strive hard each day towards that end!

But back to Joe, he not only was an innovator, pharmacist, and an inspiration to others, Joe lived with Type 2 diabetes as did his wife, JoAnn. They understood the real day to day challenges of living with diabetes. There paths crossed with scores of people learning to live with Type 2 diabetes and Joe and JoAnn were there to educate, encourage, and to love on these individuals. Joe and JoAnn quietly made a difference in the lives of so many people.

So for those short 2.5 years, I was privileged to work with Joe as his apprentice in managing an employer site based diabetes wellness program which was part of a national diabetes self-management initiative. I not only facilitated training of pharmacist in diabetes management and how to be a diabetes coach, but I also worked directly as a diabetes coach providing ongoing support for individuals living with diabetes. My love of working with those living with diabetes and training colleagues in diabetes took deep roots in my soul during this timeworking alongside Joe.

Unfortunately, after no longer working with Joe directly, I lost contact with him for a few years. His investment and impact in my life never got lost! Recently, my heart hit the ground when I learned of Joe’s death a few weeks ago. My one regret is not having kept in better touch with him. My life has been forever transformed by Joe. And I will faithfully continue my journey to become the “diamond” that Joe imagined! As a footnote, Joe and JoAnn passed away within 32 hours of each other – what a life these two lived!

Who is the “Joe” in your life? Are you the “Joe” in someone else’s life?

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#lump #coal #life #forever #changed

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Daily Piece: World Pharmacists Day

What a great day it is…it is World Pharmacists Day!  Wishing all of my fellow pharmacists a cheers and thanks today for all that you do each day.  Each of you provide individualized care that has a profound impact at the individual, community and population levels.  Thank you! 

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#world #pharmacist #day

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Daily Piece: No Such Thing as Diabetes Diet

We all know that diet is a form of medication for diabetes as well as diabetes prevention. What we eat truly matters.  We also know that there are multiple approaches to the dietary aspect of living with diabetes or prediabetes.  There is certainly NO one size fits all or NO diabetes diet.  We must continually remind others of these truths.

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#NO #diabetes #diet #multiple #approaches

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Daily Piece: Opportunity to Share Principles of Healthy Eating

You never know when the opportunity to share principles of healthy eating will arise.  As well we all know, healthy eating principles are not just for persons with diabetes rather it is everybody.  Now, I have certainly not reached perfection in terms of having consistency in eating healthy yet I have come made some big strides towards this end.  Yesterday, while in the break area at work, I had the opportunity to share with a colleague some basic principles of healthy eating specifically that moderating carbohydrate content is is vital.

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#diabetes #opportunity #healthy #eating #opportunity

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Daily Post: Advocating

Are you like many folks in your belief that advocacy is someone else’s job to do? Well, I used to believe this myth as well.  Advocacy is critical and vital for each person.  As a diabetes educator and pharmacist, much of my advocacy efforts are focused on persons with diabetes and access to care for their diabetes.  Earlier today, I met with Brad Williamson, Field Representative with U. S. Senator Johnny Isakson regarding S. 3366 bill which expands access to diabetes self management training for Medicare beneficiaries.  So what exactly did I do in preparation for this meeting?

  1. As a member of AADE, I received notification about this vital bill (as well as the U.S. House companion bill).  I gathered the 6 – 7 bullets (aka talking points) (AADE provided this which made it easy) on the bill.
  2. I contacted the field office in Georgia for U.S. Senator Isakson and requested an in person meeting with one of the senator’s staff locally.
  3. I prepared my talking points – bill number, name of bill, current sponsors, 6 -7 bullet points of how this bill helps Medicare beneficiaries and my asks (to be a bill co-sponsor and support the bill).
  4. During the meeting, I provided Brad with the key information on the bill, asked for Senator Isakson to be a bill co-sponsor and support the bill.
  5. As follow up, I sent a thank you email to Brad, and will follow with Brad in a couple of weeks.

In all honesty, my advocacy efforts for S. 3366 did not take much time at all because I utilized resources from AADE.  Step out of your comfort zone and beginning advocating today.

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#AADE #Advocacy #diabetes

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Daily Piece: New Term, Glucose Management Indicator

Do you find yourself a bit like me always learning about new terms and innovations in healthcare daily? I learned a new term today when reading a game changing article in Diabetes Care.  This term, glucose management indicator, describes taking all of the rich data from continuous glucose monitor to determine the estimated A1c (or the newly termed glucose management indicator). How exciting! Below is the link to article in Diabetes Care. Happy reading!

http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2018/09/17/dc18-1581

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#diabetes #cgm #eA1c #glucose #management #indicator

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Daily Piece: Who is Leader of Healthcare Team

Today, I had a great afternoon teaching first year students from several health profession programs about interprofessional education and practice.  In addition to team based care, the truth of the patient being the leader of the healthcare team was emphasized.  The patient (aka the person with the chronic or acute health condition) is the team leader. Listening to the patient is a must!

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#interprofessional #healthcare #team #leader #patient #listen

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Daily Piece: Early Morning Unexpected Encounter

I arrived a little early for my 7 am ultrasound appointment earlier this week.  Being a friendly person, I engaged in conversation with the very pleasant intake clerk.  Of course, I shared that I was a pharmacist and certified diabetes educator who thoroughly enjoys working with persons with diabetes.  She perked up and shared that she was glad that she did not need to see a diabetes educator as she stated, “my diabetes is not bad.” She then shared that she struggled to consistently take her evening dose of insulin.

My heart sunk as I thought she does not understand working with a diabetes educator is an avenue for ongoing support, education and clinical management.  Then I jump right in to share with her that working with a diabetes educators is not a punishment or any indication that a person with diabetes is doing bad. Rather it is a great source for support, education and clinical management as well as a  person to walk the journey with her in the day to day management of diabetes.

Please click below to see more details for the four key times to work with a diabetes educator.

https://www.diabeteseducator.org/news/aade-blog/aade-blog-details/press-releases/2016/11/15/four-critical-times-to-see-your-diabetes-educator

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#diabetes #education #support

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Hurricane Preparedness for Persons with Diabetes

Written by: Freddi Mehlhorn, 2019 Doctor of Pharmacy Candidate Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) Georgia Campus School of Pharmacy; Mandy Reece, PharmD, CDE

As we dive into what is already shaping up to be another interesting hurricane season, it is important for persons with diabetes (especially those who live in coastal areas) to be prepared in case the need to evacuate arises. It is also important to be prepared in case you are not able to evacuate but are without access to stores or even power. Below you will find a list of helpful tips and ideas to ensure that you stay medically safe and healthy in the event of a natural disaster.

REFILLS, REFILLS, REFILLS!! This point cannot be stressed enough! Whether you are staying home or are planning to evacuate, it is very important to start working on making sure you have enough medications as soon as possible. A safe recommendation would be to make sure you have at least 2 weeks work of medications before the storm is scheduled to make landfall. (This same tip applies to testing and insulin supplies as well!)
• Stock up on snacks/drinks/glucose tablets for cases of hypoglycemia. Try to aim for things that are non-perishable (juice boxes, small cans of regular soda, hard candies, etc.)
• Regular non-perishable food and snacks are important to have as well. Try to find a good mixture of carbohydrates and protein (nuts are a great option for non-perishable protein). Maintaining as close to a regular eating schedule during this time will be important for stabilizing your blood sugar.
• A small cooler and ice packs are great to have for storing any unopened insulin pens or vials that you may already have or will plan to get from the pharmacy before the storm hits. This will help avoid wasting insulin
• While this is very important during all times of the year, it is especially important during times of uncertainty to always have an active medication list with you
Establish contact with any family members/friends/loved ones that are outside of the path of the storm well before the storm makes landfall

Additional resources:
https://www.facebook.com/DiabetesDisasterResponse/

https://www.healthcareready.org/rxopen

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#hurricane #preparedness #diabetes #medications

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