Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending “Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes” at Magnuson Park in Seattle and meeting hundreds of people touched by diabetes. Whether they had family members or loved ones with diabetes or had diabetes themself, each person had a clear passion for finding a cure for this condition. That passion was contagious and I was happy to catch it!
Joining doctors and Certified Diabetes Educators from Swedish’s Diabetes Education Center at a booth, I heard about patients’ challenges, from staying at a healthy weight to getting the right nutrition to checking their blood sugar. Facing a chronic disease like diabetes (which affects nearly every aspect of a person’s life) is truly heroic! As a health educator, I understand the risk factors for diabetes and how to treat it, but until you meet someone that deals with the finger pricks, test strips and insulin shots every day, it is difficult to grasp what living with diabetes is truly like.
What it also made me realize is that there is always more to learn about diabetes care and treatment. And many of these lessons can help those without diabetes! Learning how to stay healthy and practicing these skills does not have to be boring either. In fact, the Diabetes Education Center has a series of cooking classes where you can learn how to cook tasty healthy food (and eat it, too!) The interactive classes are usually held every few months with the next one coming up at Swedish/Cherry Hill on Tuesday, November 13th from 6-7:30 p.m. Frankly, I’m a poor cook but classes like these help remind me that being healthy can actually be fun. They are even hosting these classes at Swedish/Issaquah starting in 2013, too! Who’s coming with me?
Even as someone who works at a hospital, I find myself grabbing for that second treat more often than I should and a regular reminder of healthy habits is always welcome. Being at the Step Out walk was one of these reminders and it made me realize how strong those with chronic disease are. For those out there that deal with conditions like this every day, you are amazing.
Thanks for stepping out this weekend and reminding me why it is awesome to work with patients and families like you!
The Swedish team at Step Out: Walk to Fight Diabetes 2012