The Road Not Taken

by Robert Frost

Have you ever taken the road less traveled? What did you learn about yourself and would you take that road again?

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Celebrating Ms. Davis on this first day of Black History Month

In 1976, President Gerald Ford started officially recognizing Black History Month during the celebration of the Bicentennial. Black History Month is now celebrated all across the country in educational institutions, centers of Black culture, and community centers, both great and small.

President Ford urged Americans to “seize the opportunity to honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history”.

In light of celebrating the accomplishments of Black Americans, I would like to honor a role model and mentor that made an indelible impression on this diabetes nurse.

As a new, slightly goofy nurse working at UCLA Medical Center in the 1980s, I was developing my sense of who I wanted to become as a professional. My style was relaxed and informal and I was often arrived to work a few minutes late.

Later that year, I started graduate school and transferred to the night shift. That’s when I met Ms. Davis, who role modeled the professional I wanted to become.

Ms. Davis was the only black nurse in our unit and she commanded respect. As a charge nurse, she arrived to work early and listened intently to the report, taking careful notes. Her crisp white uniform, sparkling white shoes, and nurses cap pinned proudly on her head inspired me to be better. As a matter of fact, I got my nurse’s cap down from it’s shelf and started wearing it again, along with shining my shoes and arriving on time.

We never called Ms. Davis by her first name and we never questioned why. We understood that she had earned our deference and respect.

As a new nurse, I had plenty of questions, which Ms. Davis answered with kindness, never making me feel embarrassed or inferior. She was knowledgeable, hard working and a natural leader. I was excitable and known to overreact in crisis situations. Ms. Davis role modeled calm composure coupled with swift and deliberate action.

Once Ms. Davis found me crying in the break room.

One of my patients had a constricting trachea, gradually stopping airflow, that no surgery would repair. I was devastated and in despair. Ms. Davis wrapped her arms around me and patted my back. This moment might have lasted for seconds or minutes. It didn’t matter, her hug seemed to set my world right again.

Ms. Davis made me proud to be a nurse. She inspired me to start wearing my nurses’ cap and embrace professionalism.

Thank you Ms. Davis for showing me what I could become. You are one of my most influential role models as a professional nurse. Your presence, grace, and dignity are etched in my memory forever.

In gratitude,

Coach Beverly

We want to post your stories!

In celebration of Black History Month, please share your stories with us so we can highlight a colleague, friend, or role model that made a difference in your life. We will publish your stories throughout this month in recognition of Black History Month to celebrate our black role models and heroes!


Recorded and Ready for Viewing Annual Level 2 – Standards of Care Update!

This course is an essential review for anyone in the field of diabetes. This course summarizes the 2021 updates to the American Diabetes Association’s Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes and provides critical teaching points and content for health care professionals involved in diabetes care and education.

Earn 2.0 CEs and get ready to lead the charge to implement best care practices for the New Year. 

Topics Include:

  • A review of changes and updates to the 2021 ADA Standards of Medical Care
  • Identification of key elements of the position statement
  • Discussion of how diabetes educators can apply this information in their clinical setting

Sign up for Diabetes Blog Bytes – we post one daily Blog Byte from Monday to Friday. And of course, Tuesday is our Question of the Week. It’s Informative and FREE!  Sign up below!

AccreditationDiabetes Education Services is an approved provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider 12640, and Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), Provider DI002. Since these programs are approved by the CDR it satisfies the CE requirements for the CDCES regardless of your profession.*  

The use of DES products does not guarantee the successful passage of the CDCES exam. CBDCE does not endorse any preparatory or review materials for the CDCES exam, except for those published by CBDCE.

Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. Day

“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”

This quote, by Martin Luther King Jr., reflects his conviction that justice for all includes access to health care.

People with diabetes are more likely to struggle with food insecurity and lack adequate resources to pay for medications and diabetes supplies.

As Diabetes Specialists, we honor Dr. King’s words by advocating for affordable diabetes care, medications, and access to nutritious foods.

During these challenging times, I am comforted by his resonant statement  “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

On this 35th national celebration, we thank Dr. King for being a beacon of light and clarity. 

With Gratitude,
Coach Beverly


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Winter Solstice – The Great Conjunction

Today, is Winter Solstice, when we experience the shortest day and longest night of the year. From here we will slowly gain more light each day, marking this as an astronomical shift from darkness to light.

For many cultures, winter solstice marks a day of rebirth, saying goodbye to the past year and a universal deep breath for the future.

Susan Cooper penned a beautiful poem about winter solstice that we are thrilled to share with you below. Given this incredibly difficult year, it seems especially poignant and I hope you enjoy the read.

Great conjunction this close last happened 400 years ago.

As a special bonus this year, Jupiter and Saturn will align in the night sky today, December 21st, in an event astronomers call the “great conjunction.”

The last time Jupiter and Saturn came this close was 1623, but that conjunction was too near the sun to be seen by Earthlings. 1226 is actually the most recent time such close conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn was visible to humans.

You can watch it online with webcasts from The Virtual Telescope Project, Slooh at NASA Telescope here.

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper

And so the Shortest Day came and the year died

And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world

Came people singing, dancing

To drive the dark away

They lighted candles in the winter trees

They hung their homes with evergreen

They burned beseeching fires all night long

To keep the year alive

And when the new year’s sunshine blazed awake

They shouted, reveling

Through all the frosty ages you can hear them

Echoing behind us—listen!

All the long echoes, sing the same delight

This Shortest Day

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:

They carol, feast, give thanks

And dearly love their friends

And hope for peace.

And now so do we, here, now,

This year and every year.

Welcome, Yule!

rule

This poem is available as a children’s hardcover with beautiful watercolor illustrations by Carson Ellis.

Happy World Diabetes Day

Today, November 14, is Dr. Banting’s Birthday

World Diabetes Day is celebrated in honor of Dr. Fredrick Banting, whose leadership, tenacity and belief led to the discovery of insulin.

The discovery of insulin has saved the lives of countless millions of people over the past hundred years and will continue to save millions of lives in the near future and beyond.

During a hot summer in 1921, Dr.Banting secured space to test out his theory at the University of Toronto. Along with his colleague, Charles Best, and a bare-bones lab, they conducted dozens of experiments on dogs, which ultimately led to the discovery of insulin. 

Historical Insulin Powerpoint Slides – here is a collection of some of my favorite powerpoint slides, depicting the discovery of insulin.

Dr. Banting and Charles Best began their experiments ligating the pancreases of dogs, thinking this would prevent destruction by the digestive pancreatic juices, and then isolating the extract from the islet cells. They then processed the extract from the islet cells and injected this extract they called “insulin” into diabetic dogs.  According to an audio interview with Dr. Best, by July 1921, they had 75 positive examples of insulin lowering blood glucose levels in dogs. 

In February 1922, doctor Frederick Banting and biochemist John Macleod published their paper on the successful use of an alcohol-based pancreatic extract for normalizing blood glucose levels in a human patient.

Here are some photos of the first insulin bottles produced by the University of Toronto and Eli Lilly.

Soon, word of their discovery got out and the race was on to produce enough insulin to treat the flood of type 1 patients arriving in Toronto to receive this miracle injection.

But, as with any amazing discovery, there is always more to the story. 

One of the biggest barriers to Banting was the simple fact that he was not involved in the field of diabetes research. The idea leading to the discovery of insulin came to him after preparing a lecture on the pancreas and diabetes, a subject he knew little about. He wasn’t a trained researcher and thus securing support for the project was initially difficult.

First Children to Receive Insulin

The first patient to receive insulin was a ‘welfare’ case at Toronto General Hospital – no clinical trial structure to say the least. People from Canada/US flooded into Toronto to receive treatment. Banting struggled with the lack of accessibility of insulin – volume needed issues of purification.

The earliest patients were “selected”, some youths from Canada/US, some soldiers with diabetes (probably because of Banting’s service in the First World War), and then later some select private patients. During this time they were working hard to increase the volume and continue to improve the purification process. Insulin was available for testing in the US, namely through Dr. Elliot Joslin in the late summer of 1922.

Takes a Team

While Best played a critical and important role, credit must also go to Professor Macleod, from the University of Toronto, who provided the lab space, showed Dr. Banting how to operate on dogs, provided his student Best and suggested they switch from saline to alcohol to purify the ‘extract’. Dr. Macleod also secured the support of JB Collip, the 4th man on the team, and the first person to purify insulin for human use. Best is also known for pushing Banting to return to the research during a particularly dark period of failure.

Dr. Banting – Fun and Interesting Facts

  • Sold insulin patent for $1
  • Was wounded during the First World War and received the Military Cross
  • Youngest Nobel Laureate in Medicine
  • First Canadian on the cover of Time Magazine
  • Among the last Canadians to receive a knighthood and have the title, Sir Frederick Banting
  • One of only two “non-Americans” to have a Second World War Liberty Ship named after him (USS Frederick Banting)
  • Has as a crater on the Moon named after him (between Apollo 15 & 17 landing sites).

Want to Learn More About Dr. Banting?

  Visit Banting House FaceBook Page


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Keeping it Person-Centered | QoW Rationale

Our October 27th Question of the week quizzed test takers on person-centered language. We are happy to report that 88% of respondents chose the correct answer. We thought that this was an important topic to discuss further, so we can pass on correct info to people living with diabetes.

Before we start though, if you don’t want any spoilers and haven’t tried the question yet, you can answer below: Answer Question

Question: Language use while interviewing someone with diabetes can have a profound impact on the meaningfulness of the interaction. 

Which of the following comments uses a person-centered approach and exemplifies the use of updated diabetes language?

Answer Choices:

  1. We don’t recommend avoiding breakfast
  2. Tell me more about skipping your afternoon insulin
  3. I notice you haven’t tested your blood sugars daily 
  4. Exercise is important because it helps control your glucose levels

As shown above, the most common choice was option 2, the second most common answer was option 3, then option 3, and finally option 1.

Getting to the Best Answer

If you are thinking about taking the certification exam, this practice test question will set you up for success. Test writers anticipate possible answers based on the details in the question. They will wave those “juicy answers” right under your nose. Your job is to weed through the particulars, pluck out the most important elements and choose the BEST answer.

Most of you chose the correct answer, which is really terrific.  I have noticed an increased awareness of the new language paradigm when coaching people with diabetes. I am confident this person-centered approach will strengthen the meaningfulness of our interactions and improve quality of life for people living with diabetes.

Answer 1 is incorrect. 1.44% chose this answer. “We don’t recommend avoiding breakfast”

The fact that this sentence starts with the word “we”, gives us the first clue it is not person-centered. This approach and language align more with the out-dated compliance model, which simply gives people direction without seeking input or collaboration.

Answer 2 is correct. 87.77% of you chose this answer. “Tell me more about skipping your afternoon insulin”

This is an example of the preferred curiosity-based approach that is free of judgment.  It simply acknowledges the fact that the person is skipping their afternoon insulin and requests more information about the circumstances.  It represents a person-centered and collaborative approach.

Answer 3 is incorrect. About 5.76% of respondents chose this. “I notice you haven’t tested your blood sugars daily”

This approach is not strength-based, instead, it has a hint of judgment and criticism. The person receiving this message might feel shame or embarrassment.  A strength-based approach would be, “You have been checking your blood sugars 4 times a week.”  Then we could have a conversation to determine if that is often enough or if more checks would be beneficial.  This strength-based approach engages the participant and acknowledges what they ARE doing.

Finally, Answer 4 is incorrect. 5.04% chose this answer. “Exercise is important because it helps control your glucose levels.” 

Instead of telling people TO exercise, a better approach would be starting with a question like, “Did you know that every minute of exercise lowers your blood sugar about one point?”.  Or, “Is there a type of activity you have done in the past that you enjoyed?”  In addition, we avoid using the word “control” and replacing it with the word “manage”.  We could also say, “The great thing about exercise is that helps manage blood sugars for 24-28 hours.”

Want more info on Language and Diabetes?
Check our our FREE Webinar and Resources Page – Lifting People UP with our Words.


We hope you appreciate this week’s rationale! Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our Question of the Week and participate in this fun learning activity!


Test Taking Toolkit (220+ practice questions) | Online | $ 49.00

Whether you are preparing for the updated CDCES or BC-ADM exam, this test-taking toolkit is designed to prepare you for success. This toolkit includes two courses with over 220 practice questions to help you prepare and simulate the exam.

Our exams incorporate changes to the CDCES content outline, including a more intensive focus on technology, social issues, and emergency readiness. Plus, we have added a FREE bonus course, Language and Diabetes – What we say matters (0.5 CEs). Coach Beverly added this course because she believes it contains critical content for the exam and for our clinical practice!

  • ADA Standards Test Taking Tips
  • Preparing for CDCES Practice Exam

Sign up for Diabetes Blog Bytes – we post one daily Blog Byte from Monday to Friday. And of course, Tuesday is our Question of the Week. It’s Informative and FREE!  Sign up below!


AccreditationDiabetes Education Services is an approved provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider 12640, and Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), Provider DI002. Since these programs are approved by the CDR it satisfies the CE requirements for the CDCES regardless of your profession.*  

The use of DES products does not guarantee the successful passage of the CDCES exam. CBDCE does not endorse any preparatory or review materials for the CDCES exam, except for those published by CBDCE.

Self-Kindness Improves Mental and Physical Health

By taking time for self-compassion, you can decrease your body’s threat response, lower heart rate, and even boost your immune system.

This is especially important to keep in mind and share with our clients during the pandemic since many people are struggling with feelings of isolation, fear, and sorrow.

According to a study conducted by the Universities of Exeter and Oxford, thinking compassionate thoughts about yourself and others has physical benefits.

Researchers believe that meeting negative thoughts with self-compassionate thoughts can be highly beneficial to not only mental health but physical health as well.

In the past, studies have shown a link between self-care and higher levels of overall health and well-being, but scientists didn’t understand why.

“Our study is helping us understand the mechanism of how being kind to yourself when things go wrong could be beneficial in psychological treatments. By switching off our threat response, we boost our immune systems and give ourselves the best chance of healing.”

Mindfully decreasing our threat response, increases relaxation, which is a key factor in allowing the body to regenerate and heal. Our threat response, includes “increased heart rate and sweating, the release of the stress hormone cortisol and over-activity of the amygdala, an integral part of the brain’s emotional network. And a persistent threat response can impair the immune system.”

The study asked participants to listen to either compassionate audio recordings or critical and competitive recordings. Scientists would then record their vitals and ask them a series of questions.

Those encouraged to practice self-compassion had a lower heart rate and a general feeling of “safety.” While those who listen to negative critical audio statements had an increase in heart rate and higher sweat response.

We invite you to watch our FREE Mindful Diabetes Encounter Webinar designed for diabetes professionals.

To learn more: Self-Compassion Exercises Show Physical, Psychological Benefits – Psych Central


Sign up for Diabetes Blog Bytes – we post one daily Blog Byte from Monday to Friday. And of course, Tuesday is our Question of the Week. It’s Informative and FREE!  Sign up below!

Accreditation: Diabetes Education Services is an approved provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider 12640, and Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), Provider DI002. Since these programs are approved by the CDR it satisfies the CE requirements for the CDCES regardless of your profession.* 

The use of DES products does not guarantee the successful passage of the CDCES exam. CBDCE does not endorse any preparatory or review materials for the CDCES exam, except for those published by CBDCE.

Blessing the Boats | Mindful Monday

With everything going on in the world, I thought today we would move gently into Monday with a poem by Lucille Clifton.

Blessing the Boats

may the tide

that is entering even now

the lip of our understanding

carry you out

beyond the face of fear

may you kiss

the wind then turn from it

certain that it will love you back

may you

open your eyes to water

water waving forever

and may you in your innocence

sail through this to that

~ Lucille Clifton (at St. Mary’s)


Mindfulness and Compassion | A Special Webinar for Diabetes Specialists

View OnDemand FREE Webinar Now

Being a diabetes educator can be challenging. This one-hour presentation by Heather Nielsen, MA, LPC, CHWC will provide diabetes educators with helpful hands-on strategies to incorporate mindfulness and self-compassion into our daily lives and professional practice.  As a counselor and a certified wellness coach, Heather has an abundance of wellness wisdom to share with educators who provide lifesaving diabetes education and support to people living with diabetes.

Objectives:

  • Understand why mindfulness and compassion skills can positively affect both our personal and professional lives-and participant outcomes.
  • Experience several types of mindfulness and compassion practices.
  • Discuss and plan how you can take these tools into your work and personal lives.
  • Gain new resources to use following the workshop.

Sign up for Diabetes Blog Bytes – we post one daily Blog Byte from Monday to Friday. And of course, Tuesday is our Question of the Week. It’s Informative and FREE!  Sign up below!

Accreditation: Diabetes Education Services is an approved provider by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider 12640, and Commission on Dietetic Registration (CDR), Provider DI002. Since these programs are approved by the CDR it satisfies the CE requirements for the CDCES regardless of your profession.*  

The use of DES products does not guarantee the successful passage of the CDCES exam. CBDCE does not endorse any preparatory or review materials for the CDCES exam, except for those published by CBDCE.