A Personal Letter: Notice of Changes to Diabetes Insight Services

The Journey

Since Diabetes Insights establishment in 2008 I have been very proud of what I have achieved in that short space of time. Diabetes Insight was and remains the very first and only nurse led private independent education service for people with diabetes in the Republic of Ireland. One of my most successful ventures to date has been the Cooking Well for Diabetes classes which continue to be a roaring success through word of mouth alone.

The setting up of the Cork Health & Lifestyle Centre was another great achievement and showed the possibility of what can be done when you pool like minded individuals together who are passionate about health and wellness. But achievement and success come at a price and last year I began to find myself struggling both on a personal and professional level from burnout.

Slave to Self-Employment

For anyone who ever has been self employed, you understand the endless agony that it is for very little reward. I have had plenty of people tell me what a fantastic service Diabetes Insight was since 2008, and inspired by their enthusiasm I invested heavily in the service down through the years…maybe a bit too much. People meant well when they would say ‘oh you should try this’ and ‘do that’ or ‘you must meet…’. By my very nature I am a people pleaser, I wanted Diabetes Insight to be a success and if someone wanted something and I could do it, well then, I would find a way. But by listening to these people I was moving further and further away from what Diabetes Insight is truly about. There was a price to pay which was never finanacial or even professional, it was the cost to my health and wellbeing.

Last year it all came to a head, and I knew that I was spreading myself too thin. I wanted out of the self employed game. It was all becoming too much, the burden was unbearable, there was no joy in it anymore. To be honest I was becoming as they say in Cork ‘allergic’ to it all.  I was like a rabbit caught in headlights, I went into denial and buried my head in the sand. I became anxious, I wasn’t sleeping. It was a dark time.

Opportunities

Out of the darkness a spark of light came, and I got an opportunity to go teaching in healthcare, and my life began to change for the better, a regular income and the endless cycle of putting myself out to accommodate people was over. The effect on my wellbeing has been profound. I have lost weight (which I badly needed to do), I am sleeping like a baby and I have balance in my life, for the first time in over a decade. Dare I say…I am actually happy and content.

It also created space for me to think about what I wanted in my future and whether Diabetes Insight has a part to play in that, and thankfully it has, albeit on a smaller scale. For once in my life I am doing what is right for me, rather than for others. I want people to attend Diabetes Insight because they know its good, they will see change, not just because it is convenient.

Injecting Some Realism to the Changes

Diabetes Insight and I are one of the same, and I must do what is right for me first and foremost, so that I can do right by Diabetes Insight, and in turn my clients. I have decided to stream line a number of services. Lets not kid ourselves here, Diabetes Insight is a business and like all good business people know when something is not working, its time for a change. No income was ever built on ‘hope’.

So it was with a painful and heavy heart I closed the Cork Health & Lifestyle Centre officially in February 2016. The begrudgers and bush telegraph can say or read what they like into that, the truth is I can’t be a jack of all trades and a master of none.

Head Office Now Located in West Cork

Diabetes Insights head office has moved to its new idyllic purpose built location in the rural countryside near Bandon and 10 minutes off the Cork – Macroom road. Clients who have made the journey here love it, and I can accommodate people during weekdays, evenings and Saturday appointments. Clients love the privacy of the location, the peace and space of the countryside and it gives them time and opportunity away from their busy lives to focus on their health and diabetes. All the usual services continue such as HbA1c testing and cardiac ECG screening that came with Diabetes Insight. It is a wonderful place to work from, and motivates clients as to the kind of lifestyle they would like to have.

The Cooking Well for Diabetes classes now continue from this location also, set within kitchen gardens, where participants can wander around amongst the herb and strawberry beds and pick fresh produce to make into tasty dishes on the day. To book your place online for these courses please click here https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/diabetes-insight-summer-cookery-classes-tickets-23083080114

Monthly Clinics in Cork City

Of course not everyone can make the journey to West Cork, so Diabetes Insight will still run clinics in Cork from Bru Columbanus in Wilton once a month to cater for clients from the city and beyond. A timetable of these clinics plus a booking form will coming shortly online.

Every Cloud has a silver lining

I am passionate about practical healthy living which is achievable for all and not just for the yummy mummy’s and health freaks. I want Diabetes Insight to become the ‘go to’ place for people with diabetes regardless of type, to be inspired and learn how to live a healthier lifestyle. I feel that the changes I have made both on a personal and professional level over the last 12 months will be a positive move and intuitively it feels like the right one.

I have no regrets about anything I have done down since Diabetes Insight began. I want to thank all my clients who have stuck with me through thick and thin and all the changes down through the years. They are the people who have truly inspired me and are the reason why I am still here. They see value in the service, they don’t take it for granted, they never saw me as a convenience, only something of value in their lives. Likewise I never took any of you for granted, and your appreciation of the service makes me work all the harder for you.

But I want out of the rat race. I prefer to leave the politics of diabetes and the treadmill of constantly working for very little gain behind me and get down to what truly makes me happy….making a difference, inspiring and motivating people with diabetes to live a healthier, happier life. I want to go back to the Diabetes Insight I established first day back in 2008. I feel I have come full cycle and a new journey begins. I hope you can take that journey with me.

Stay tuned!

Helena