Diabetes University

The Great Spousal Unit is thinking of taking a few adult learning classes next year, and she picked up a course listing from the local community college. She knows what she wants to study, so her choices were obvious.

When I pick up a catalog like that, I can’t help but peruse the variety of classes offered by an institution. Everything from A+ Certified PC Repair Technician to Veterinary Assistant. I love reading course descriptions about HVAC repair and Kung Fu and wondering, could I really do that? Kind of like when I was a kid, looking at maps and wondering, could I go there? What would that be like? Oh hell… I still do that.

This time, as I thumbed through the courses a few things under Health, Fitness, and Wellness caught my eye. Classes like “Healing with Crystals and Gemstones”. If that’s something you’re really into, you can also take “Advanced Crystals: Healing with Crystals and Gemstones”. How about “Awaken Your Purpose Through Numerology”? My brain is filled with numbers all day already, so I’m not sure how much my purpose needs to be awakened (Awoke? Wakened? How about “Awaken Your Purpose Through Proper Grammar and Spelling”?). There’s also “Think Yourself Healthy”. That caused a V-8 slap to the forehead and an exclamation of “Whyyyy didn’t I think of that?”.

These course offerings did make me think about diabetes, though (admit it—you knew I was going there). What kind of wellness courses could be offered by People With Diabetes, for People With Diabetes?

A few of these are serious… the ones under Alternate Choices are just for fun. My apologies to anyone who may already be teaching courses like these. Honest, I’m not stealing your idea.

Serious Courses

Social Media and Diabetes – You Are Not Alone
Learn how to find online resources who are discussing subjects of particular interest to you and your diabetes. Explore real-life experiences told on blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and more. Course includes membership at TuDiabetes.org and MyGlu, as well as participation in the weekly DSMA Twitter Chat. Requirements: Internet access, empathy, and a willingness to tell your story too.

Diabetes Math 101
Learn why math is so important to managing your diabetes. Instructors will cover everything from calculating bolus amounts to determining the proper insulin to carb ratio, and how exercise and diet affect your ability to use insulin. By the end of the course, students should be able to manage glucose readings, CGM data, and pump information to help maintain an optimum balance between 80 mg/dL and 120 mg/dL as often as possible.

Pregnancy with Diabetes
In this course, prospective mothers and fathers learn how to prepare for, and how to manage through, pregnancy with diabetes. Course includes history of diabetes/pregnancy myths (“I am not Shelby”), and why preparation and micro-managing your glucose is the key to delivering a healthy baby.


Alternate Choices

Interpreting Hypoglycemic Dreams
Our minds work overtime when we’re suffering a low, especially while sleeping. Learn from a “certified” astrologer what it means when your glucose is under 50 and you’re imagining your spouse riding a purple elephant on the wall of your living room. Course materials include a diary to log your most disturbed unconscious thoughts while you’re bottoming out.

Guide to Alternate Infusion Set/CGM Sites
Learn that your arm isn’t just for picking up your child or driving. Find out why your hips are not just for doing the salsa. Experts detail the use of those “other sites” that manufacturers and the FDA won’t tell you about. Warning: This course is not for credit. Students must sign a release exonerating the instructors and the university from all liability before starting class.

Mastering Glucose Food Enemies (Foodemies?)
We all have those foods that are so yummy, yet so crummy to our BGs. Students in this class will learn the basics of the square wave, dual wave, and super bolus. Begin to get the upper hand on foods like pizza, ice cream, and more. As always, moderation is key. Final class includes cupcakes! Prerequisite: Diabetes Math 101.


Okay, now it’s your turn. What are some of the course offerings you’d like to see at Diabetes University?

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  • Heather Gabel  On December 17, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    You had me at ‘Healing with Crystals and Gemstones’.

    What a fabulous idea! A diabetes university. I do think that things like AADE are designed to be like this. But they are made up of 1 hour disparate talks. There isn’t enough time to really delve into these topics. Maybe there is someway to create them online? Maybe Corsera is an option?

    You also caught my attention with the dreaming bit. hahaha! I’ve certainly had some very very strange dreams right before waking from a low.

    At Diabetes University I would also like to see a course like this:

    Diabetes Rhetoric 101
    Everyday language impacts our vision of ourselves and the effort we make toward self care. Students will learn to explain, argue, and approach diabetes using non-charged language with the potential to improve health outcomes for the individual and others.

    GREAT POST! Thanks for sharing!


  • kelly2k  On December 17, 2013 at 11:13 pm

    Great post!
    I think that your university needs a course called: Diabetes As A Second Language.


    • StephenS  On December 18, 2013 at 12:59 pm

      Love it! The textbook for that course would have to be amazing, but would also have to evolve each semester. Bummer for students like me who liked to buy the used versions at the bookstore.


  • RachelH  On December 18, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Can I be an Enrolment Advisor and Soccer Coach at The Diabetes University? I would not mind taking the “Foodenemies” class! Especially, if you are making the Yummy Ramon Recipe!


    • StephenS  On December 18, 2013 at 6:15 pm

      Oh no, Rachel. I think we’d have to move you up to Dean of Admissions! Any time I’ve got extra for dinner, you’re welcome to it. Thanks for commenting!


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