My mission is to create a supportive environment that helps you integrate the emotional and mental aspects of diabetes care into your day to day management of Diabetes for a full and valuable life.
My name is Leann Harris and I’m a type 1 diabetic. I was diagnosed August 1, 2000 at the age of 26. I have had multiple medical issues and have learned how to use these to grow as a person and inspire others, as well as fulfill the day to day tasks of a chronic disease. As a trained coach, I work with people who are looking for help in assembling all of this diabetes information into concrete, actionable steps and who would like a comforting hand to hold while doing it.
Comfortable Enough for Change
My main focus is helping people get to the place where they feel comfortable enough to change, and I believe there has been a serious lack of attention to the emotional and psychological side to diabetes, which is my focus with you. I believe we don’t know how to sick, and some of us can’t admit it. I think there is more fear and shame in diabetes than in most illnesses and since I don’t see many people talking about it, then I will. There’s a great deal of issues to be handled if you are newly diagnosed and not many resources, so I’m working to change that.
The Slogan – “Know Yourself, Know Your Diabetes”
I believe a life with diabetes can be improved to whatever extent you wish. When you sit down and figure out what’d important to you, what you value, and how do you want to take care of yourself, I believe it makes this intense self treatment must easier, hence my slogan “Know Yourself, Know Your Diabetes”. I have found awareness to be the key: awareness of how I feel, awareness of the painful part of this disease, and awareness of the gifts I wouldn’t have without it.
My Articles on DiabetesDaily.com
Here are some highlights:
Take a Look
My background gives me a holistic view of a person’s life. I’m trained in:
- Positive Psychology Coaching
- Life Purpose and Values
- Evidence Based Coaching
- Shame Resilience Training
- Compassion Based Techniques
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT)
- Body Work
- Meditation and Mindfulness training.
I also have years of experience as an Analyst so I can examine data and graphs with the best of them, and help you take data and emotionally connect and synthesize where all of this fits in your life.
I don’t believe in a one size fits all view of diabetes management – I work with you, where you are right now, to determine what’s appropriate for you. I don’t care what your A1C is, I don’t play the blame and shame game. If you are looking for help, or even just to chat with someone who understands – I’m here.
Please don’t hesitate to call me! I work on a sliding scale and am willing to work with you where you are.
The Diabetes Part
I was diagnosed as Type 1 on August 1, 2000 at the age of 26 and I went on insulin immediately (A1c of 13). I had no exciting hospital stay, as I felt fine – “just a little tired”. My endocrinologist sent me for an OGTT after seeing me for 10 seconds – I was 83 pounds and I’m 5’3”. I asked him why I need one, and why isn’t he happy my new exercise routine was working so well when nothing else has ever worked (hmmmm…). One month later I started with a Minimed 508 and the crappiest meter ever, eventually upgrading to the 522/Revel with the CGMS and a slew of better meters .
Diabetes wasn’t my only gift from the universe. I also had a brain tumor at the time and developed a balance disorder which left me unable to stand up, much less walk. It lasted on and off for 2 1/2 years (I’ll be covering this in a future blog post). I have been on MDI during my pump breaks and have tried Humalog, Novalog, NPH, Levemir and Lantus. I’ve tried Metformin, Byetta, Victoza and have hadsome success with Symlin (I’ll be explaining why I’ve gone on all this on a future blog post). I’ve also tried the Omnipod.
Currently, I am in love with an Animas Ping and a Dexcom CGMS (Double Love!)with my favorite meter, a Verio IQ. I am “labile” (or old fashioned “brittle”) and recently found out it’s because of a liver that can’t read the book on the proper gluconeogenesys process. My disease really was life changing in every sense of the world. Within three years, I would be divorced and jobless and also went off in a direction I would have never taken without Diabetes. What I’ve learned fundamentally changed who I am and how I perceive the world and I feel like I’ve been given the opportunity to help others.