Life in LADA land

Living Philippians 1:6 with type 1.5 diabetes

Thoughts on becoming a mentor

on October 27, 2013

I attended a training session to become a mentor to another type 1 diabetic yesterday. The session was actually pretty fun.  Turns out it is pretty encouraging and very affirming to hang out with other diabetics who really GET what it takes to manage this disease.  The content of the training was good too, and presented well by all three of our trainers.  I was heartened to realize how much I really do know about dealing with diabetes, even though I have only been at it for three years now.  All that they presented about ways to spur another diabetic on to better control of their blood sugar was review for me. I admit, I needed to have some kind of confirmation that I really do know enough and have enough experience to mentor another diabetic, and probably someone who has had the disease way longer than me.

I do feel some insecurity about taking on this assignment.  I WANT to do it.  But self-doubt plagues me.  Will I ask the right questions?  Will I know when to refer them to get advice from their doc or CDE? Will they think I’m not entitled to talk with them about their diabetes since I’m a relative newbie to this disease?  Will I even be able to help them at all?

Then I think about what motivates me to go on day after day with unpredictable blood sugars even after being diligent about trying to manage them.  It’s the encouragement of those around me.  The “how’s it going today?” from someone who genuinely means it, a friend checking in to see how my bg responded to my morning swim, the texts back when I rant and rave about how much diabetes frustrates me.  I have only really talked with one other type 1 diabetic since I was diagnosed (other than the occasional conversation at our medical practice’s pump support meetings), and yet I have an amazing support system of family and friends who spur me on to stick with it despite the random nature of type 1.  My best and most faithful mentor is not a diabetic, but she ‘gets it’ better than anyone else I know.  And she cares.  So can I do that for someone else?  Yeah, probably.  It doesn’t necessarily take another type 1 diabetic to mentor me, but it IS nice to talk with others who live with it from time to time, as I learned at our training session yesterday.   So I can do that for someone else.

OK, I’m ready. Let’s get this going!

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2 responses to “Thoughts on becoming a mentor

  1. Colleen says:

    Of course you can do this. In fact, I think it’s better when a mentor doesn’t have all the answers but is willing to join in the search for the right answers. Heck, just having someone to talk with who “gets it” will be awesome.

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