Did you know that this Saturday, November 14th is World Diabetes Day?!
This day marks the 99th anniversary of the discovery of insulin which occrred in London, Ontario!! Whoop! Whoop!!! The theme this year is: Nurses Make the Difference and boy, do they ever!!!
For more information on this campaign, visit HERE!
I interviewed Janice Knapp who is a Diabetes Nurse Educator from Kentville, Nova Scotia about her role in helping Diabetes patients. Janice has such passion for her work, see HERE!
Question: Have you or a family member been personally affected by Diabetes?
Janice: My dad (Bob) has Diabetes. It’s an interesting story as he was diagnosed at Diabetes Camp (where I volunteer). Diabetes Camp is a wonderful experience for children living with Type 1 Diabetes. Diabetes Camps are run by the great people over at, Diabetes Canada and can be found across the country. I volunteer at Camp Morton which is in Nova Scotia.
Question: What is the most rewarding aspect of being a Diabetes Nurse Practitioner?
Janice: Helping my patients break down their care/treatment via encouraging personal self growth. For example, being a child with Diabetes can be really scary (for both the child and the parent). I work together with the patient and their families to have the right tools to make informed decisions about their health. Seeing patients begin their Diabetes journey with fear and then seeing their success and happiness is EVERYTHING to me! It’s all about making the IMPOSSIBLE, POSSIBLE!!
Question: What is the most challenging aspect of being a Diabetes Nurse Practitioner?
Janice: Honestly, financial barriers. Even if a patient has coverage, it’s tough being responsible for the co-pay, the test strips and not to mention, the high cost of food. In managing Diabetes, fresh food is key! Eating healthy is expensive and thus, can really create significant challenges for those facing Diabetes. It hurts me that not everyone has access to the medication and resources but I know that with much attention and greater awareness, there will be better opportunities for access and education.
Question: How has COVID changed the way you treat Diabetes?
Janice: COVID has actually increased the opportunities for me to see my patients. Now more than ever, they can connect to us via phone or zoom. No issues with having to find a ride, pay for gas, or parking. There’s more opportunities for engagement in the sense that it’s easier to get the Diabetes care that my patients so desperately need.
Question: What will you be thinking on World Diabetes Day?
Janice: I’m going to be thinking about the mental and physical struggles that my patients experience. I wish there was less judgement and more praise. For example, patients with Diabetes have to constantly and consistently manage their symptoms. Family and friends may create judgement about their choices and decisions. That’s hard. That’s the emotional toll that needs to be factored in as well. Unlike with other diseases and health issues that are more physical (something you can actually see on another) Diabetes is INVISIBLE. There’s NEVER A DAY OFF living with Diabetes. The true heroes are my patients.
I want to say that after this super engaging interview, I learned so much about the work that Janice and all her counterparts do to fight for those patients with Diabetes. Janice cares, Diabetes Nurse Educators care. Nurses Truly do Make the Difference!
On behalf of all of us MOMS and the greater community as a whole,
THANK YOU JANICE.
Disclaimer: I partnered with Novo Nordisk Canada Inc., on this blog post. All comments and opinions are strictly mine.