Learning Lots… and My Day with Mother Love

*Reporting live from the annual ADA Conference in San Diego*

Due to some official scheduling changes and my own fickle interests, Day 1 turned out quite a bit different than planned. This morning I sat in on a session about how healthcare providers can use the National Diabetes Education Program to help their patients improve BG control. This was particularly interesting since the audience was mostly doctors and educators, and the slant was “how to talk to patients and motivate them.” Essentially, it was all about having an upbeat, proactive practice and importing a “can-do” attitude — mostly to help get Type 2s and “at-risk” individuals to make the necessary lifestyle changes for prevention or optimal management.

A good portion of this session focussed on the tools created for the NDEP’s public awareness campaigns, like “Small Steps, Big Rewards” and their “Get Real” motto to convince patients that they don’t need to run marathons to stay fit, just get moderately active. They even created a slew of materials in Spanish for the Latino population, including a music CD and video called “Movimiento.” You should’ve seen a room full of medical professionals squirming in their seats to the groove when they played this one. Diabetes Rap en Espanol!

If you ever wonder where your nurse-educator and the rest of your care team get their inspiration, check out www.betterdiabetescare.nih.gov. Soon professionals will even get continuing educational credits for using this site! (traditionally reserved for more formal courses)

And of course, there was a dazzling array of booths at the Expo showing the latest in pumps, monitors, books, drug facts, tracking systems, and even Viagra! I kid you not. More on all the new stuff soon…

On top of all that (and much more fun), I spent the good part of an hour tagging along with Mother Love, hostess extraordaire of dLife, as she made her way Motherlove_80x80 through the crowds passing out promotional photos and happily yakking with conference attendees. What a force that woman is! People stop and listen to her intently. And I’m pretty sure that’s not just because they’ve seen her on TV. She has an incredible positive aura about her (as does Nicole Johnson Baker, who I met here as well). Mother Love told us about her own mother, sister, cousins and other family members who suffered the worst from diabetes. Her mother died of complications at age 59. She is determined to turn this around, for herself (she just lost 110 pounds!!) and for the community; she has been visiting primarily black churches across the country, to bring the “gospel” of diabetes care “home” to the people who need it most.

Did I mention that she was wearing an electronic belt that flashed messages in neon blue like those giant freeway signs you see in LA? “Yeah, you just gotta have some fun with it!” she said. “Should I wear this one on the show, honey?” We thought she should.

I’m off to the dLife cocktail party. Wish me luck!

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2 Responses

  1. Paula
    Paula June 12, 2005 at 9:19 am | | Reply

    I want a Mother Love belt. ;-)

  2. Tim
    Tim June 12, 2005 at 2:21 pm | | Reply

    Richard Kahn is also blogging from the ADA meeting. His excellent blog is here:
    http://web.diabetes.org/am05/blog/blog.htm

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