Desmond is a course for patients with newly diagnosed type 2 Diabetes which all our patients go on. One such patient took the time to write her feedback on attending this course locally. We are so grateful for our patient to take the time to do this and we hope this letter from her will help others planning to attend the course in the new future.
“Overall, I found the workshop very useful and the information shared was very valuable. The ladies who ran the course went over the science of diabetes and explained in detail how the disease works. We looked at what causes diabetes, what insulin resistance means, what the symptoms can be and what the outcomes could be if not managed correctly. The instructors were knowledgeable and could answer questions confidently, being an experienced diabetes nurse was definitely an asset in running this course.
It was very interesting to learn about the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetes and how looking at sugar also means looking at carbohydrates. We went through starchy and sugary carbs and how they affect diabetics. We also looked at the part cholesterol and saturated fat play in diabetes and what to look out for in fact we looked quite a lot at food and talked a lot about portion sizes of foods that we wanted to eat. This was important to me because I have been quite strict with my diet since my diagnosis and it was reassuring to know I could eat pasta and fruit without guilt. The ladies also had lots of practical advice – mentioning that this was a lifetime dietary change, so you had to be realistic about never eating chocolate again or drinking alcohol. They were good natured and made the whole group feel at ease.
We talked about activity and exercise with practical tips about what can be considered an activity that doesn’t involve working out in the traditional sense. I felt this was important because not all diabetics will have the time, ability or access to go to the gym or take up a sport, so I found this very useful.
There were a few parts which I think could’ve been improved – we did a few breakout sessions looking at how much sugar was in foods, working out what was low-fat and which activity was the most effective, these were prop-led and a little patronising. The information was a little basic and probably didn’t require the time or repetition of facts we had already confirmed. That being said, it might’ve been useful for some of the other participants but didn’t add anything for me. I feel these sessions could be updated or changed or perhaps eliminated completely, which would cut down the length of the course.
The length of the workshop was also another negative factor – taking a day off work wasn’t ideal and that factor would probably put off some other newly diagnosed patients from attending when it would be beneficial for them. I think the best part of the DESMOND course is the fact-sharing. It’s a safe space to ask the questions you need to and to cut through all the misleading and conflicting information that’s already out there about diabetes. I think if there were some cooking or recipe sharing that could’ve been excellent and a takeaway guide of foods that were good for diabetics and managing weight would have been helpful. The group also had a really good rapport and a good laugh and maybe suggesting we stayed in touch to support each other as we were all newly diagnosed could’ve been helpful too.
We left the course with a plan in place, lots of information and a sign up to diabetes UK to use their online resources which were also good. An app for DESMOND might be useful in the future, and perhaps an online version for those who can’t take the time off to attend would also be good. There was also a reference to a good resource called carbs and cals, which is a pricy book and app – a discount similar to the gym referral scheme would also definitely be a bonus. “Leave a reply