Diabetes Patient: The Impact of Chronic Illness

Interview Responses

What is your name? How old are you?

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My name is M.A. I am 52.

When were you diagnosed with diabetes for the first time? What were your symptoms that made you visit a physician and make tests?

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes two years ago. I had the most common symptoms such as increased thirst, my mouth felt dry frequently, and I was feeling week and tired. Two weeks prior to my visit to a clinic o started experiencing frequent urination as well.

Were there cases of diabetes in your family? If yes, who had it and for how long?

Yes, my father’s mother and her brother had type 2 diabetes for 12 and 16 years correspondently.

Did your mother have gestational diabetes during pregnancy?

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Yes, my mother had gestational diabetes although it disappeared after I was born.

What is your current weight?

About 230-235 pounds. I have lost 20 pounds after I was diagnosed with diabetes and hope to lose more.

Describe your weekly activities. How often do you do any type of exercise? Do you play sports or games? How do you get to work?

I do not like much exercise. I walk my dog twice a day, no sports or games; they make me short of breath. Usually, I get to work by car.

What is your diet? Describe your regular meals at work and at home.

I do not have breakfasts. I may have a cup of coffee on my way to work. Then I have lunch at work. Sometimes I take a salad and some meat from home, and sometimes I go to a local cafeteria where I eat a sandwich or soup or a salad. I am trying to reduce my sugar consumption so I do not take any fizzy drinks. In evenings, I have dinner at home with my husband. We are trying to eat healthy because he has heart problems, so we cook grilled vegetables with fish or meat.

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Are there many stressors in your daily life? What are the major ones? How do you cope with stress?

No, I do not think I have any meaningful stressors.

Do you know your blood glucose level? How often do you measure it? What do you do in case it is increasing?

Yes, a week ago it was 6 mmol/L before meals and 8.4 mmol/L after meals. I measure it twice a month and it has not increased above the normal limit for more than a year. When I had increased blood glucose level, I consulted my doctor and took the prescribed medicine.

How often do you have dental, foot, or eye examinations?

I visit my dentist twice a year and do the eye examination annually. Currently, I do not have any feet problems and I do not need an examination.

Do you apply any devices to assist your blood glucose level control? If yes, which ones? Do you consider them helpful?

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Yes, I am using an application that traces my glucose level changes and reminds me when I have to make another test. It was very helpful when I had to take medicine regularly due to the adjustable reminder.

Would you like to test mobile applications that are designed to assist managing diabetes?

Yes, I am open to innovation and I would be happy to try something new that can be helpful for my condition.

Interview Analysis

The interview indicates that Mrs. M.A. has accepted her disease and makes attempts to manage it. She is aware of her condition and controls her blood glucose level regularly. She does not use self-treatment or any traditional practices and visits her doctor in case her condition becomes worse. She finds support from her family in changing eating habits. On the whole, the woman possesses the necessary coping skills and the disease does not have a negative impact on her quality of life. Still, she does not cope well enough with a diet for patients with diabetes and is still overweigh, which is a risk factor.

Also, she is not very active and is not involved in any sports or games, which is a negative factor. As for the treatment, she follows the doctor’s prescriptions in case of necessity. Finally, she is attentive to her health and is aware of some diabetes complications. Therefore, she does regular examinations of her eyes and teeth.

Impact of the Responses on Care Planning

The case of the patient and her attitude to the disease is likely to have impact on the care plan development. Although the woman is aware of her condition and accepted the chronic character of the disease, she fails in some significant aspects of managing diabetes and providing a normal life. First of all, she lacks physical activity and does not do any sport. Her only regular activity is walking her dog, which is not enough. Another problem is the non-strict adherence to a diet, which is critical for diabetes patients. Due to these factors, she did not lose enough weight to eliminate obesity as a risk factor for diabetes and its complications.

Consequently, care planning should be personalized and focus on these aspects to teach the patient how to manage her condition in the most beneficial way (Coulter et al., 2015). Also, care plan should consider Standards of Medical Care in Diabetes (American Diabetes Association, 2015). For example, the care plan should include some physical activities relevant to her age and shape, such as yoga or tai-chi. Moreover, a consultation with nutritionist should be included as a part of the care plan to provide M.A. with tips on following a diet necessary for diabetes patients. Another important aspect of care plan is patient education.

For this group of diabetes patients, it will consist of two major aspects. First of all, patients should be informed about the possible comorbidities and diabetes complications so that they could be timely revealed and treated. Also, technology should be included as a component of education for patients with diabetes. There is a variety of applications and gadgets that can be helpful for diabetes patients and give them an opportunity to manage their conditions successfully and improve their ability to provide self-care.

References

American Diabetes Association. (2015). Standards of medical care in diabetes—2015. Abridged for primary providers. Clinical Diabetes, 33(2), 97-111.

Coulter. A., Entwistle, V. A., Eccles, A., Ryan, S., & Perera, R. (2015). Personalised care planning for adults with chronic or longterm health conditions (Review). New York, NY: Wiley & Sons.

Lin, P.-J., Kent, D. M., Winn, A., Cohen, J. T., & Neumann, P. J. (2015). Multiple chronic conditions in type 2 diabetes mellitus: Prevalence and consequences. The American Journal of Managed Care, 21(1), e23-e34. Web.

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