Tag Archives: health coach

4 Things I Learned During My 2 Weeks on Crutches

It’s been a little over two weeks, actually.

The quadriceps tendon basically attaches your knee to your thigh muscle. I badly hurt mine stretching one morning. You might agree with the urgent care doctor who told me I “need a better story.”

In thinking about how stupidly easy I hurt myself and how it resulted in severe inconvenience, I realized there were many lessons I was getting out of this experience if I so choose to embrace them.

4 Things I Learned During My 2 Weeks on Crutches

1. “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” doesn’t go far enough in my opinion. I would change that to “Be sweet and patient towards the hand that feeds you” even though it’s not as catchy.

My husband, Alex, helped me out of bed in the morning. He made my food. He did the laundry. He took over things with the kids. He washed the dishes. He took the time to make my “second coffee” because the first is for me to wake up and the other to enjoy slowly. He even visited with me so that I wouldn’t feel lonely in between all his work, which included building an entire fenced-in garden.

At first, Alex was overwhelmed. Why wouldn’t he be? He has an entirely different routine every day of the week. Stepping into someone else’s busy day without having their habits and experience is harder than it sounds. I’ll admit I was secretly a little pleased that he saw how hard I work, even though he doesn’t make me feel like I don’t work hard.

I initially insisted that things be done a certain way or asked him to do more and realized this was counterproductive. The first two days were rough with him trying to adjust to some rhythm, and I worked hard to bite my tongue and really sweetly say nothing other than “thank you”. My gratitude for all he was doing and patience for his learning curve paid off. I saw my efforts rewarded with a superman I’ve never seen before. Alex was like a young Alfred Pennyworth. For various brief moments, I considered never walking again.

Be sweet and patient with those helping you out. 

2. It’s a real act of courage to be vulnerable. Now, normally I’m all about doing whatever we all can to avoid being pitiful. I try to take care of myself, handle my problems on my own whenever possible, and I don’t let myself be a pushover.

Sometimes, we simply are vulnerable. Not only could I not walk, my tendon was causing me a lot of pain so even if I was sitting still, I was grimacing or tearing up. For the first week, I tried doing everything myself and hopped around so much my good leg started feeling sore. I didn’t want my husband to help me or see me having a hard time because I didn’t want him to pity me. I told him this, and he reassured me that he didn’t pity me in an “ugh” way but in an “I love you, and I’m sorry you’re hurt” kind of way.

So, I tried to let go and be what I was–someone who couldn’t even put pants on. After all, if I was going to heal, I needed just to accept help and be ok with someone looking at me like “awww…”

I cried a bit over the helplessness I felt at everyone doing everything for me. But maybe I also cried because of how lovely it was to be taken care of in all those ways.

Accept help when you need it and don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. 

3. Sometimes life makes us stop and smell the flowers because we’re too busy to remember they’re even there. I found myself looking out the window at the lovely trees and wishing I could take a stroll around the block. I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t taken the time out to enjoy Spring! How silly of me!

I’ve made a list of things I want to do, like plant some stuff in the garden, as soon as I am able. It’s funny how we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone.

In the meantime, I’ve embraced what I can do now, so I’ve been watching movies that Alex enjoys (he deserves it) and reading books and sleeping more. I cleaned out my closet while on crutches by throwing clothes I don’t wear on the bed to fold once I was sitting and then putting them in a bag for donation. I’ve also been able to catch up with my parents and brother and sister who have come over to help me.

Do what you can, today, because tomorrow you may not be able to.

4. I’ve also surprised myself by missing chores like cleaning the floor, cooking, and washing dishes. Not because I particularly enjoy these tasks, but because doing these things keeps the house nice and tidy and they are acts of love for oneself and one’s family.

I watched my family doing these things, and I felt the love. And so I thought, “Is this what Alex and the kids feel when they see me doing all these things?” This felt like an epiphany, and I vowed to never complain about cleaning and cooking again but be glad I have the privilege to do it and the loved ones for whom to do it.

Work isn’t a drag, it’s an honor.

I try to go through hard times gracefully, and I think I manage ok, but always only after a rough start. The first week of my injury I woke up every single morning from a nightmare. I cried every single day. It seems silly now that my leg finally feels like it’s beginning to heal. I’ve been nervous because the earliest a specialist could see me was weeks away! What if I wasn’t doing the right things for my leg to heal properly?

But I think it’s going to be ok, and I believe I’m going to be better off because of this experience and what I’ve learned from it.

Is it Your Doctor’s Job to Motivate You?


I hope everyone’s Holiday weekend was grand.  Mine was full of wonderful memories, highly excited children, and some laryngitis.  I still sound like a dying squawking bird but luckily I can still write!

I recently read a doctor’s article on how health coaches are becoming more accepted and recognized for the service they provide.  His case was that doctors endure many years of medical school and get no training on human behavior and how to motivate others.  He says that really isn’t a doctor’s job.  He says that is why he “prescribes” patients a health coach, someone with the time and training to help get a person’s motives down to a nitty gritty and support them to follow through with lifestyle changes they want to make.

You know, I have always assumed it was a doctor’s job to motivate patients but now that I think about it, doctors really are trained in medicine and I doubt they get classes on perfecting their bedside manor and figuring out how to engage people.  I don’t think they’re trained in counseling.  Not to mention, most doctors have a very limited amount of time with each patient.  A former doctor of mine said he had about 7 to 15 minutes with each patient.  That’s barely enough time to figure out what’s wrong with a person let alone talk to them about how life is going and how they are feeling about their diet and exercise and the stress in their lives.

Ideally, health counselors or life coaches are built into the system and covered by insurance companies for widespread accessibility.  That is not the current state of our health system however and that means that so many people are left to their own devices.

I think that’s why I focus SO many of my posts somewhere inside the realm of motivation.  Every totally impressive person I know has locked into what personally motivates them.  They latch on to this and keep it in the forefront of their mind.  They eat, breathe, and sleep it.  There is no other way to be very successful at something than to know exactly why you want to do it.  Losing sight of this equals failure. The what, when, how, and where all sorts itself out as long as you know why you want to do something.

I’ll be taking on clients soon as a holistic health counselor and I am making plans right now to remember all those who can’t afford this service.  I’m thinking about giving local group sessions and seminars for free or at highly discounted rates.  Those with less money are probably those who don’t even make it to the doctor often enough and could use more support with their lifestyle habits.

Sometimes all some of us need is a little encouragement and attention to what motivates us and perhaps, in the current paradigm, it isn’t our doctor’s job to do all those things.

What do you think?

Going back to School and Calling Guest Bloggers

Courtesy of Ana Morales


I wanted to let everyone know that I signed up to attend the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.  It was a tough decision.  Not because I don’t have time or the energy or interest to do this but because it involves money.  All the money in the bank actually.  But if there is anything I have learned in the last few years of my life, where I’ve improved a lot of the ways I do things and changed many of my circumstances for the better, it’s to act today, instead of wait for tomorrow.  Tomorrow has a funny way of turning into never, you know?

When my kids were born I experienced something like an epiphany because they were healthy and I feared they wouldn’t be.  So two weeks after a painful c-section I thought, “I need to share what I’ve gone through right away!”  And in particular, I felt I needed to share the hope I felt after having healthy babies with type 1 diabetes.  I wanted others to feel that hope for themselves and know that I was doing ok despite many really difficult years and that if they were going through a difficult time, it didn’t mean they couldn’t overcome it.  It saddened me to think of other women out there to be as worried as I had been and to feel so helpless as I had felt.  I’ve learned we’re not helpless at all.

So my husband recognized my passion in this area and when I said I’d love to do this program in a few years he said, “Why don’t you do it now?”  All sorts of excuses popped up in my mind like the fact that my kids take up a lot of my time and energy (as they should) and my husband works long hours and in a field that doesn’t always provide steady work.  Alex is very, very practical with our expenses and yet I guess he knows that I find the topic of nutrition and health one I never tire of.  Truth is, I was interested in the body’s relationship with food as a child before I had diabetes.  Diabetes helped that interest grow and my first two years of college even focused on science, only I couldn’t decide between nutrition and sports medicine.

This program recognizes that there are different ways of eating that work for different people and it takes into consideration the emotional and psychological influences in our lives and how that affects our bodies.  This program focuses on a holistic approach to nutrition and exercise and I totally appreciate that idea!  I feel very aligned with the idea of learning how to coach people in a way that let’s them do all the deciding about what’s best for them and helping them pinpoint their motivations so they can leverage those for energy in their lives.  I love helping people with their health because I know it’s everything and I don’t take mine for granted and I look forward to learning so much more this next year. I can’t wait to share what I learn with you all and see what you think!  I learn so much from you and I thank you for that.

Wish me luck!  I’ll be documenting my journey with this program on the blog.  I’ll have my own health coach and I’m eager to see how the techniques used to coach someone can positively impact their lives.  I’ll let you know how it goes :)

I also want to open up the blog to more writers.  So if you want to guest post some time, contact me at sysy@thegirlsguidetodiabetes.com.  You don’t have to be a pro blogger or anything.  You don’t even have to be female.  Plenty of men read this blog, simply glancing over all the pink.  You can be a caretaker of someone with diabetes.  The type of diabetes doesn’t matter, either.  What I don’t want is copywriting.    Thanks :)