Using humour to teach about living with diabetes

Just because diabetes is a serious condition, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun learning about it.

Just because diabetes is a serious condition, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun learning about it.

Getting you to laugh is just one of the goals of an event at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre on Nov. 28.

The Living Well with Diabetes Public Health Forum includes a session called Laugh and Learn with Mrs. Pudding — also known as Sue Schaefer, a registered nurse and diabetes educator.

Schaefer, who has specialized in diabetes care for the last 22 years, has performed as her fun and feisty alter ego, Mrs. Pudding, in over 60 communities across Canada using humour and drama to teach in a way that is meaningful, practical and joyful.

Anita Dotts, a family nurse practitioner, will be presenting Feet First: A Step in the Right Direction. She is currently providing care to people in the Okanagan who have complex diabetes cases.

Lynn Kelsey, a local diabetes educator and volunteer of the year with the CDA, said this kind of ongoing education about diabetes is important; education not only results in cost savings for the health system, but a better quality of life for those with diabetes, as she can personally attest.

“My own story is that even though I had a lot of education, by getting more education and getting better, more modern tools to use, I was able to drop my blood sugar to target levels,” said Kelsey. The drastic drop in blood sugar levels meant an improvement in quality of life and health for Kelsey, and even improved eyesight.

“I am not going to be as susceptible to any of the complications,” said Kelsey. “The key is getting your blood sugar down so you can avoid or delay complications such as heart disease, kidney disease or blindness.”

More than nine million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes, and the CDA is the registered charity that helps them manage their disease as effectively as possible while also working with people to prevent or delay the development of type 2 diabetes.

The forum runs from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Nov. 28 at the Trade and Convention Centre. Participants can register at no cost by phone at 1-888-628-9494, or by via email at glenna.armstrong@diabetes.ca.

For more information, visit diabetes.ca.