Is your relationship with diabetes like ‘Beauty & The Beast’? Do you feel like a beauty who is dealing with beastly blood sugars?
In the popular Disney movie, Beauty and the Beast a young woman named Belle lives in the captivity of a hideous monster, the Beast. For many people living with diabetes, it’s not hard to re-imagine the story line with diabetes in the role of the ‘beast’.
I reached out to Poet Lorraine Brooks to get her take on this diabetes twist to the popular fairy tale. Enjoy!
‘Beauty & The Beast’ by Lorraine Brooks
A beauty named Belle, says the story,
Was a lovely and humble young lass,
She was regal in all of her glory,
But she had diabetes, alas.
She thought diabetes was just a big beast,
And that it was going to get her.
But with education her courage increased,
And she knew she was going to get better.
One day she was high, And the next day too low,
She tested and looked at her meter.
She took her supplies with her, where’er she’d go,
Diabetes wasn’t going to defeat her.
She looked at that beast right straight in the face
And said, “I am not scared of you!”
Diabetes was something she couldn’t erase,
So she had to do all she could do!
Take care of it, own it, and make it your friend,
And don’t be afraid to embrace it.
There is no beast on earth that you cannot defend
If you only have courage to face it!
For eight years I presented diabetes education and empowerment at the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Expo in Pittsburgh, PA. Every year I would come up with a different theme to our outreach presentation to make learning about diabetes more fun and enjoyable. Our themes ranged from the ‘Golden Girls’ and ‘Gillian’s Island’ to Diabetes Time Machine.
One year I came up with the idea to present diabetes education using fairy tales. Its quite possible that I stumbled upon this idea after watching too many episodes of ABC’s ‘Once Upon A Time’ television series. I believe fairy tales can teach us about the higher qualities of ourselves and others and make us feel like we can conquer our fears about living with diabetes.
Thankfully Lorraine agreed to write nine wonderful Diabetes Fairy Tales featuring popular fairy tale characters and diabetes self-care advice for our Expo show. (Beauty & the Beast happens to be one mod my favorites.)
Before anyone accuses me of making ‘light’ of a diabetes diagnosis or diabetes self-management by using costumes, props and games in my ongoing diabetes outreach efforts, I’d like to add that every Divabetic program features qualified healthcare professionals. Although today it’s much more trendy to use ‘peers’ to educate about diabetes, I still prefer to working with healthcare professionals. Call me ‘crazy’ but I like the fact that certified diabetes educators spend over 3,000 hours learning about diabetes from a diverse patient base before they are certified. For our Diabetes Fairytales program, our Pittsburgh team featured an outstanding group of local educators, CDE’s, RN’s and MD’s who provided expert advice on different topics such as food, fitness and managing medications.
LISTEN NOW: Diabetes Fairytales podcast featuring Connie Frazier RD, CDE, Lori Bednarz RN, CDE, Makeup Artist and Esthetician Sue Perez, Poet Lorraine Brooks, Lorraine Starsky RN and Neva White CRNP, CD.