Blogging Diabetes

She was surprised to learn that only one-third of the people who have diabetes know it.

By Christine Contillo, RN, BSN
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If you’ve been following nursing blogs at all, you know that Kim, an emergency room RN and author of, has quite a style and quite a following.

She has the time to write another blog, found at, in which she details the medical problems of her own family. Her middle-aged husband has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, and she describes how she took her nurse/wife role seriously by taking control of his medication for him. That didn’t work, however, when he needed to be away from home and have his meds renewed. He was confused when they didn’t look the same and wasn’t sure of the amounts, leading Kim to admit that she didn’t know that he really didn’t understand anything about his medication.

We can probably all sympathize with whether or not our role should be one of educating our families about their problems and then sitting back and letting them decide how to manage chronic conditions. Being a nurse certainly complicates the issue.

Medical blogger Amy Tenderich from has coauthored a book with Dr. Richard Jackson of the Joslin Clinic called Know your Numbers, Outlive your Diabetes. It came out in January 2007 and she has taken it on the virtual road (not my joke, thank blogger Elisa at She was surprised to learn that 20 percent of the American population has diabetes, but only a third of them know it. Diabetes is a particularly numbers-oriented chronic disease, relying on frequent blood glucose readings and quarterly A1C levels to manage insulin levels. You can see the book for yourself at Amy’s blog, and link to if you think it is something you’d like to share with your patients.

Nominated “Best New Medblog of 2006,” has a good post about the issue of whether of not schools should be measuring student’s BMI and sending notes home to parents when the findings are abnormal. With the amount of childhood obesity increasing it would seem that anything we can do to fight it should be done. On the other hand, what about the emotional health of kids labeled “fat” in school? Read for yourself and weigh in. (Was that an intentional pun? You be the judge.)

Christine Contillo, RN, BSN has worked as a nurse since 1979, and has written extensively for various nursing publications as well as the New York Times.

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