Note to self … do not say the word ‘crap’ when being interviewed by a reported! Ah, well – live and learn, we did have a great morning!
Feature article from the Brandon Sun
Allison Dowd, Journalist
Small changes make a big difference.
That was the message from Winnipeg-based life coach Stephanie Staples to a crowd of about 50 people who gathered at Brandon’s Central United Church on Saturday to celebrate World Diabetes Day.
A motivational speaker with a health-care background, Staples says it is up to each and every person with a chronic illness like diabetes to ensure they are creating their own daily happiness.
“It’s about taking responsibility for yourself, building yourself strong from the ground up so that when this all this other crap comes — which it will — then you feel like you are better able to handle it,” she said.
Because the presence of diabetes in one’s life or the life of friend or family member can be, at times, overwhelming, Staples urges people who are struggling with such challenges to start with the “small choices” — things that they can accomplish each day that will help to put a smile on their face.
“If they can pick just one small thing — what can I focus on today? What’s one little thing I can do today to make my life more happy, more healthy,” she said.
“I want them to have a fun, great, interesting time when they are here. But it doesn’t help if they leave and they don’t do anything … so, the next time they pick up a roll of paper towel, it’s as simple as thinking, ‘What can I do that’s fun with this? How can I make my life more interesting, more engaging, more enjoyable?’”
Retiree Marlene Fisch was diagnosed with diabetes five years ago and says she agrees that the disease will cause you to become depressed and hopeless if you let it.
“I really, really had to fight that and cope with this disease and all the changes, so it’s been quite a road,” Fisch said.
“I don’t think you ever feel like you have a 100 per cent handle on it, but more sessions like this, the more things you can go to, the more things you can read, it just moves you along that path.”
The Brandon RHA-organized event, which included a number of health-related informational displays, attracted both those who live with diabetes and those who were there to learn more about how to support someone they know living with the condition.
“We wanted to bring people together to celebrate the day because we need to celebrate that people are living — and living well — with diabetes, but just also as an awareness,” says Arlene Wolfe, a dietitian with the RHA’s Prairie Health Matters department.
“It’s also the same theme for people living with other chronic diseases. It’s all about those lifestyle changes that can make a difference.”
For more information about the resources available for diabetics and their families, call the Canadian Diabetes Association’s Brandon office at 728-2382 or visit diabetes.ca.