www.theundiplomaticdiabetic.com was launched with a single-minded purpose – to provide accurate and relevant education and information to type 2 diabetics and their family members. The attempt here is to share experiences and well researched details, facts and figures.
After a few months of the launch we found the need to extend our services to a more interactive forum. This need emerged from patients and family members asking questions and wanting answers for them without waiting for too long. The other reason we realized was that type 2 diabetics were stubborn. And things had to be told to them multiple times before they would think of doing it or adhering to it. Regular persuasion was required.
Take doing an hba1c test for example. And this has come out as the biggest shock for me personally. During our informal yet perpetual research, we found that a lot of patients were unaware of what an hba1c is. Getting them to understand its significance and eventually making the diagnostic centre their destination was and is a tough challenge. These kinds of positive interventions demanded a platform like whatsapp that in a sense is real-time.
The group called ‘Friends of TUDD’ was initiated in November 2018 with 4 members and today we are around 80 and going strong. We interact on 2 scheduled days of the week – Wednesdays and Saturdays. The format is to pick up a topic related to type 2 diabetes and talk about it in detail. There are a few members who have researched type 2 well and we are the people who initiate discussions. 95% of the group is still in the recipient mode.
Our small but significant success can be attributed to a few things that I have observed or encountered:
- There are a few members who have called me and spoken to me about their specific challenges. I am surprised by their honesty.
- A few have met with me and wanted me to collapse my learning curve for them over a cup of coffee.
- Many of them ask questions in the group once a topic is initiated.
- Some of them have started contributing videos of workouts, recipes or a link that makes for a good read.
“TUDD has helped me in various ways. It has kept me motivated regarding my diet, has given me loads of information regarding foods which a diabetic can consume or should avoid. It has also given me information regarding the care a diabetic or a pre diabetic should take. I am blessed to be a part of this group.” – Nidhi Shah
What do I desire from the group:
- The interactions are still largely one-way, emanating from around 2-3 of us. I want them to get more engaging and participative in nature.
- I would like the members to be more forthcoming about their problems. This will help others identify and learn from.
- I would also like the members to share their diagnosis and results in the group. It will help them understand where they stand, get solutions and also motivate others to do their routine tests on time.
“The main objective of joining TUDD was to keep myself on track. After joining TUDD I started visiting my doctor and checking my sugar levels regularly. It is a sort of an external alarm for me. It gives me strong motivation to perform better.You share great knowledge on all aspects of diabetes which are eye openers. Keep up the great work. Wholehearted Thanks Geeta. Probably Thanks is a small word.” – Nisha Dixit
Where do I want the group to reach:
- I want it to become a partner for every member across their entire diabetes life cycle.
- I want it to legitimately bridge the gap between the doctor’s clinic and their homes.
- I want it to become completely self-driven and active.
- And of course I want it to:
a. Grow in terms of members
b. Provide members a high Lifetime Value
c. Have an optimal threshold of interaction and activity
If I had to sum it up – a “true-support’ group in entirety.
If this interests you or will be beneficial to a family member or a friend, please message me on 9930931989 and I will add you / them to the group.
Some more testimonials of our good work are below:
“This group has always given up to date information about diabetes and the problems associated with it and how it can be managed well with the right attitude and perseverance. Geeta has been very open about this topic which shows in her blogs which she puts in the group and with her own example she is trying to help the group and society in general. Keep it up.”
“This group has become like a family. We share our problems and receive appropriate advice and guidance. Their guidance helps a lot in day to day life. I thank Geetaji for starting this group and all those who are ready to answer our queries 24*7.”
“This group has given me good knowledge on what to eat and what not to. I didn’t know about the goodness of brown rice till then. It is very informative as it also gives information about good diabetologists in chembur. It keeps motivating me to follow a healthy diet and do my walking daily. I keep waiting for the messages and information you give.”
Kinjal Zaveri Dhanda
“In order to help diabetics live an informed and aware life, this whatsapp group: Friends of TUDD was created by Geeta Aiyer on 6th Nov, 2018. The idea was to support people who are either themselves battling with this illness or have a loved one with diabetes. The goal is to help members learn about diabetes, make healthy eating and physical activity part of their daily routine in addition to following their doctor’s instructions of keeping blood sugars within target levels.”
“With Geeta’s experience and knowledge the members of this group are benefitting tremendously. They are not just made aware but are ‘continuously’ reminded of the consequences one would face if not taken seriously. She even makes it a point to highlight some of the unspoken technical terms which probably even a diabetic would have ignored. Being one of the members on this group for a while now, what I’ve understood is: If we don’t make food our medicine, medicine will become our food.”
“Your advice on having brown rice has really helped as my a1c report was good. Your reminders to always keep a check on your diet brings me back on track, as sometimes I just want to give up. Your explanation on the negatives of badly managed diabetes and the problems it can cause are blunt….but truth is truth, so thanks for that. Last but not least giving your time to keep people like me updated with the dreadful disease is highly appreciated. Frankly words are not enough.”