Latest in a series of e-patient requests.
Last year in an airport I bumped into a long-ago co-worker. In light of the work I do in my travels it was stunning, because he said he’d been diagnosed with diabetes and he’d felt so alone … he’d never met another person with diabetes.
It stunned me because I’ve long said that diabetes patients are the archtypical e-patients – they have to be engaged in their care, and diabetes has long been the disease with the biggest online communities. But his providers had never mentioned connecting with others.
We parted, and he went back and did so. Today we’re Facebook friends, and now he writes this call for assistance. Kerri, Manny, Amy, Ginger, any of you, what say you? Thanks!
(As I read his notes below about all the things he’s done to be proactive, it’s deeply moving. He’s made a lot of progress but with some embarrassment he’s owning up to what’s not working; still committed to his goal, he’s reaching out for more support. Ain’t that engaged, empowered and responsible??)
So please, DOC (diabetes online community), dish up some advice. I’ll link this discussion on my Patient Communities page for future reference.
I thought you might have some suggestions of who to contact. As you said in a previous conversation, “Diabetes is the perfect application for the empowered patient.”
My medical group is no longer providing a health management program for diabetes (unbelievable isn’t it) and I have directed them to your website. I have also passed your name to one of the sr execs at the insurer who runs the health group where I go in hopes they become more proactive.That being said, the following is why I am writing you. The background below is more for someone that might be a resource for me, but also gives you some background for my request. Bottom line I am looking for a health coach that can work with me remotely. I have a few requirements.
Specifically someone who:
- Is well steeped in working with Type II diabetics beyond just teaching to read labels.
- Has worked with business people that travel to help come up with better strategies and understands the demands of eating on the go, and dealing with restaurants.
- Has worked with people that also train athletically (I have become semi serious recreational cyclist and need to build muscle and manage nutrition for long rides)
- Has dealt with the psychological aspects. Not a psychologist per se, but there are so many ways this impacts how you think about how you eat and how you think about yourself. For example, there are times I feel helpless and others that I feel guilty.
- Understands medication, supplementation and can help with some decisions. I am nervous about supplements because they are unregulated and in some cases sound like snake oil. On the other hand, I believe that the vegan strategy helped me to see food as a source of health/disease and manage it differently.
In the end I want to be able to work with someone regularly and consistently to help me make progress on my goal of effectively managing diabetes. I would like to talk to a few people to see fit and make sure their approach and background match what I am looking for and see what results they have been able to achieve.
The following is some more background for anyone that wants to know more.
I have read a few books (china study and reversing type II diabetes, the end of over eating) I have tried to keep well read, but quite honestly I need to be spoon fed by someone. I have met with nutritionists who follow a formulaic approach that doesn’t work for me. Plus with travel and given my need to be more actively helped, I think I need a weekly connection else I slip into old patterns.
I have taken up cycling for enjoyment and health. I have tried the food apps on line, but I fall out of practice. I have lost 30+ Ilbs and want to lose at least another 15 more (I am 6’4” and 230). I am not using insulin, but fear that day may be coming soon. When I was diagnosed 10 years ago my A1C was 15 and at that point I started on a host of medications that also had their own side effects. Eventually I dropped all meds and went vegan (driven by Dr Bernard reversing TII diabetes). I got my A1C under 7 without meds. My habits slowly eroded and now take 2,000 Mg of Metformin. Today I am around a 7.4 A1C. I am back on a path of adding more medications and possibly moving the insulin unless I make changes.
I have talked with my Dr. and made a commitment to try this approach and she supports this and is interested in what I find. My hope and expectation is that there some well qualified sources that can help me and who have helped others in my situations. I would like to interview a few recommendations to determine fit using the criteria above (and any other criteria I might be missing) .
David Doherty says
A company that I work with in Europe provides a wide range of resources that could really help your friend. In addition to providing a FDA cleared mobile connected glucometer (that automates the process of logging BG results and gives automated feedback to Patients based on their real time results and set targets) the company have developed a 5 star rated app for iPhone/Android called the “Diabetes Pal App” that I’m confident will help your Patient reduce the complexity (and cost) of working with someone regularly and consistently:
The company also have great results on improved outcomes and cost savings available on their website (http://telcare.com) that would be really helpful for this Patients medical group and health insurer as it will help them appreciate the evidence that supports them moving to becoming more proactive in their approach to care.
Here’s a link to a great 30 min video overview by company CEO Dr Jonathan Javitt that gives a balanced picture of how it’s not about any particular app or sensor but the programs that we need to build around these:
e-Patient Dave says
Thanks, David! Your comment got held up by my spam blocker because of the multiple links – thanks for the resources, and I’m glad I caught it!
e-Patient Dave says
From Ginger Vieira on Facebook:
I believe the best person (especially for the athletics and vegan support they’re looking for) would be Jennifer C. Smith of Integrated Diabetes Services!!!! Absolutely absolutely.
the guy says
Dave, thank you, I will research these resources.
Roz Brooks says
I work with many diabetics and have had great success. It’s a fairly simple disease to overcome. I’m a vegan and athlete as well. I have clients that live in other states who I’m also working with. You may pass my information along to him. We would be a great fit together. Thanks!