Steady voice of reason keeps him in the game

Facing the challenge of living with diabetes is easier if you have good support from a compassionate team.

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Marc is a diehard Montreal Canadiens fan. There used to be nothing he’d like more than to put on the game, grab a big bag of something sweet, and relax. But then he was diagnosed with diabetes and his world changed.

Marc was surprised to find out that he had Diabetes. Sure, it explained the tiredness, the aches and pains, and a host of other symptoms, but it still felt like it came out of nowhere. He didn’t think 44-year-old guys suddenly developed Diabetes. It was a lot to suddenly deal with, and it overwhelmed him at first. “It felt like I was down a goal and on the penalty kill. It was so hard to keep track of my blood sugar, and my diet, and to avoid all of the sweet stuff I love.”

It’s even more challenging because Marc deals with low literacy: he can’t simply leave himself a reminder note to pick up more insulin or double-check his blood sugar on a long day. Luckily, Marc had a great coach giving him guidance. Evelyn is a registered nurse working with the Health Centre in their diabetes outreach program. She meets with Marc every week to talk about his diabetes management. They work together to find solutions to issues, like his dislike of needles. And the entire medical team at the Health Centre works collaboratively to give Marc the support he needs to manage his diabetes.

Every day has its ups and downs, but Marc is making progress. At the regular diabetes support group meetings, he takes his turn showing everyone how to cook a new, healthy dish that works with their diets. And he still finds room for an occasional sweet treat, as long as he plans ahead for it. “If I’m going to have a chocolate bar, I have to make sure the rest of my diet for the day is really good. I have to be really careful, and Evelyn has shown me how to be careful and safe.”

And the most important part of Evelyn’s support is listening to Marc without judgement. She is the steady voice of reason that keeps him on track and in the game.