Each assessment done for our diabetes self management skills program requires a complete food history - including the speed of one's eating: "Do you eat quickly/fast, normal speed or slowly?" I have asked this question to approximately 2,000 patients in the last three years. Since we are preparing for program re-accreditation, I found that approximately 70% of the patients answered "Fast"! How do they decide what fast is? They usually say that they were the first person finished at the table and were already reaching for a second helping.
I just returned from a high school reunion and I will say it has been more than 40 years since I have seen most of these people. As with the general population, there were people who gained weight, grew beards, went bald, wear glasses and developed chronic illnesses over the years including diabetes. Being a nurse/diabetes educator, I am always interested in how people age both physically and mentally. Of course, we all caught up about our careers, spouses, significant others as well as children and grandchildren. I also wanted to learn about how everyone was taking care of themselves and dealing with the aging process.
According to The American Podiatric Medical Association, "more than 65,000 lower limbs are amputated yearly from diabetes complications. Including a podiatrist in your diabetes care plan can reduce the risk of lower limb amputation up to 85% and lower the risk of hospitalization for foot problems up to 24%".
I had hoped that the summertime would give us time to reflect and relax with a slower pace and offer less responsibility. This definitely has not been the case. I have recently instructed several patients who are under a great deal of stress whether it is related to family issues, work, finances, or their own health problems.
There are a few diabetes articles that I keep bookmarked on my laptop because I am always going to them as a reference point for information. Similarly, I do the same with some of the diabetes publications that I get in the mail, especially if I find something that I can share with a patient or co-worker.