A POSITIVE OUTLOOK LEADS TO A POSITIVE OUTCOME
As I walked slowly on campus, with barely enough energy to get to my classes, I thought to myself, “The world is passing me by!” The route to my classes went by every water fountain. As I drank to quench my unquenchable thirst, I thought to myself, “Even if I drank the ocean, I would still be thirsty!” Then, I was always running to the bathroom. But, I was losing weight – without really trying – and thought that was terrific. I had no idea how sick I was!
I went along to the doctor’s office with my parents and sister because she needed a medical form signed. I was so embarrassed when my parents started talking to the doctor about me. They told him that I had “lost the sparkle” in my eyes! The doctor definitely had an idea what illness I had and scheduled me to come back for a glucose tolerance test. The day we came back for the test results was the day my life changed forever. My diagnosis was “juvenile diabetes.”
I, personally, did not go through that “Why me?” reaction when I was diagnosed at age 20. My own reaction to the diagnosis allowed me to accept my illness very quickly. This was partly due to the fact that as I was undergoing my five-hour glucose tolerance test, my mother had a student in one of her classes who was also ill and also going for medical tests. When my mother’s student’s diagnosis came back with a brain tumor, it put my illness in perspective. Mine was a disease that I could live with! My journey with diabetes led me to my specialty treating patients with diabetes as a Clinical Psychologist and Certified Diabetes Educator.
While nobody would choose to have diabetes, if you do, the best coping strategies are to put your diagnosis in perspective: you can live with it. Or, try thinking “Why not me?” and adopt a positive attitude. Or, try looking at it from a spiritual perspective and appreciate the blessings in life. That idea became the basis for my “MY SWEET LIFE” series of books. When I was diagnosed in 1975, there were no resources available to understand diabetes, there was no modern technology to manage diabetes, and there were no social supports to help cope with diabetes. Times have changed! Among the changes are social media, diabetes websites (such as the Diabetes Daily Post), and books to help promote healthy living. My two books – MY SWEET LIFE: Successful Women with Diabetes and MY SWEET LIFE: Successful Men with Diabetes are the first to have chapters written by people with diabetes to inspire and motivate people with diabetes; the message is that we can all be successful – in our personal/professional lives AND managing our diabetes. Despite a diagnosis of diabetes, we can adopt a positive outlook which can lead to a positive outcome. After 38 years of living with diabetes, I am proud to say I have no complications. Likewise, let your goal be to feel empowered to take control of your diabetes life!
About the Author/Editor:
Dr. Beverly S. Adler is a licensed Clinical Psychologist, Certified Diabetes Educator, Speaker and Author. Known as ‘Dr. Bev’ to her patients, she specializes in treating the emotional issues of patients with diabetes. She sees children, adolescents, adults, and seniors in her private practice in Baldwin, New York. She is a member of the American Psychological Association and the Nassau County Psychological Association. She is also a professional member of the American Diabetes Association as well as the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. In addition, she is also a member of the American Association of Diabetes Educators.
Dr. Bev is uniquely qualified to treat patients with diabetes, as she has had type 1 diabetes for the past 38 years. Over the years, she has made numerous presentations to various diabetes support groups, as well as to healthcare professionals and diabetes educators. She has published two books which include insightful lessons of empowerment written by successful men and women with diabetes. She has published articles in print and online about diabetes management – always with the focus on emotional adjustment. Dr. Bev has been quoted in numerous magazines and contributed to a monthly diabetes-advice column online.
Brought to You By:
Beverly S. Adler, PhD, CDE
Clinical Psychologist and Certified Diabetes Educator
And New DDP Staff Writer
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