I went through a phase where I was fascinated by couples’ engagement stories. I had several friends and family members who had especially cute or romantic ones. Now engagement has a different twist for me. It still means a connection or a commitment, of sorts. Instead of two people in a relationship; however, I now think of engagement as connecting with diabetes management – a commitment to take care of ourselves.
These days we often hear the phrase “patient engagement.” This, too, has different meanings. Health administrators may think of it as engaging with the system: making appointments or looking up lab results online, for instance. I think of patient engagement as healthy relationships between patients and providers. And between patients and their health.
When did you get engaged in your diabetes management? When did you take an interest and start learning and doing more? Maybe it hasn’t happened yet…
For me it was in 1994 when I started getting engaged. It became solidified when I started working in diabetes. Being a role model really helped me take my diabetes management seriously. Once taking care of myself became a habit I stopped thinking about it and just did it.
While there are certainly moments when I’m less engaged, in general, I’m pretty married to my health. My health is like my life partner: I pay attention to it (most of the time), I take care of it, and I’m aware of it. Because I want my health to continue to be a positive thing in my life, I put in the effort required to maintain it. Being engaged in my health definitely takes work; so far I’d say it’s worth it.