Announcing number 5 in our month of 'language challenges' - to get us all talking more about the everyday ways we can transform the diabetes conversation! Feel free to take any or all the challenges, whatever seems most relevant to you :)
Challenge Number 5. Let's Talk Feelings. (What else, on Valentine's day? :) )
Your mission is to listen out for words, phrases or descriptions that indicate feelings relating to diabetes, or life or work with diabetes, and acknowledge them or ask a bit more about them. Perhaps saying 'you sound worried about that', or 'managing diabetes seems really stressful at the moment' or (don't forget the positives and the non-verbals!) 'you look delighted at that result'.
The background to this Challenge is that diabetes is every bit as much an emotional condition as it is physical. For example, there can be specific diabetes-related distress, brought about by the demands of taking medication, blood glucose checking, fear and worry about hypos and long term effects, among other things. There can also be more anxiety, depression, eating problems or fear of needing insulin injections. As well as this, parents and others caring for people with diabetes find it emotionally straining, with fears and worries about the person. There can also be positive feelings of success, mastery and pride, which are often overlooked, too, but when discussed and supported, help to build confidence and resilience.
Acknowledging and discussing the emotional side of diabetes, even for a minute, or in a few words, can be a great relief and promote trust and confidence between people, be it a health professional and a person / family with diabetes in a consultation, people living with diabetes on social media or in support meetings, or friends and family. So, this Valentine's, and every day, you're invited to spare a moment for the language of diabetes emotions.
Challenge 5 - over to you!