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Partner Perspectives
(Vol 2 No 2 - Fall 2016)

Partners make living with diabetes easier, and this issue of The PLAID Journal is dedicated to the folks that lend their cares to the well-being of people with diabetes. From family, to friends, to colleagues, to our healthcare team, people with diabetes have a network of people to lean on when times get challenging. The articles in this issue highlight the Partner Perspectives, and provide helpful insights, discoveries, and tips for how we can rely on each other to live well with diabetes.

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Letter from Editor Martin Wood, MSLIS, AHIP

If there is one thing that I wish every person newly diagnosed with diabetes could understand from day one, it is that diabetes can open so many more doors than it can shut. Hidden within the curse of diabetes is a gift of hope that gives us an opportunity to bond closer with other people, to help each other, and to help ourselves.

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Original Research Articles

A Descriptive Epidemiology of Sexual Behavior and Interest in Older Adults with Diabetes

Alexandra C.H. Nowakowski, PhD, MPH; J. E. Sumerau, PhD

This study analyzes the epidemiological patterns in older Americans’ experiences with diabetes and sexuality. Results automatically contradict the notions that (1) older adults do not experience sexual desire and/or engage in sexual activity, and that (2) living with chronic conditions necessarily decreases older adults’ desire for and engagement in sex.

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Partner Perspectives on Closed Loop Systems

Esti Iturralde, PhD; Molly L. Tanenbaum, PhD; Diana Naranjo, PhD; Korey K. Hood, PhD

Closed loop technologies have the potential to transform diabetes management for individuals with type 1 diabetes and their loved ones. This study shares a few partner perspectives regarding what it is like to perform remote monitoring of a closed loop system and the potential impacts this new role may have on relationships.

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Uncertainty and the Duration of Disease in Adults with Type 1 Diabetes

Lisa M. Acuff, MS; Jennfier M. Jabson, PhD

This study investigates the relationship between type 1 diabetes (T1D) duration and uncertainty. Due to the need for intensive biological, behavioral, and medication monitoring, uncertainty may be particularly relevant in T1D management.

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The Diabetes Mixer: Fostering a Diabetes Community to Support Peer Health

Michelle L. Litchman, PhD, FNP-BC, FAANP, MJ Tran, BSN

The clinical transition from pediatric to adult diabetes care is often challenging for both young adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and the health care providers (HCPs) who care for this population. This study presents insights into the perceptions and needs of both patients with diabetes and HCPs during the clinical transition.

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Audience Perspectives

Reflections From a PLAID Newcomer

Danae Souders

Having taken on the role of Production Editor for The PLAID Journal, I am energized by the more positive tone that we take toward diabetes here. I hope that by focusing on the positives, sharing advice and insights on how things can be better, and presenting ourselves as a partner to people living with diabetes we can help change the inner-voice of diabetes to one that is more fulfilling and encouraging.

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Leading the Struggle to Thrive

Kelly Kunik

Word choice matters, and the words we use to describe people and patients living with diabetes holds great power over both patient and healthcare professional. We and our healthcare teams need words that convey meaning with more empathy and compassion, and better acknowledge what the individual patient is going through.

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Information Overload (and Fainting Goats)

Kerri Sparling; Martin Wood, MSLIS, AHIP

In a time when fake news and false information seems to have the world in its grip, it’s time that we, as people with chronic illness, stay rooted in reality. In this article we discuss tips to help manage information overload and latch on to what’s necessary in the moment.

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Imperfectly Moving Towards Acceptance

Victoria Burns, PhD

As someone living with diabetes, my hope is that my story helps to demystify some of the assumptions about diabetes—whether it’s T1D or T2D diabetes does not discriminate and can happen to anyone, regardless of lifestyle, health status, or age. People living with diabetes need to feel they have the permission to experience the array of emotions associated with the disease.

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Review Articles

Menopause and Diabetes? No Sweat!

Suzanne Bush, MD, FACOG, NCMP; Elizabeth Floyd; Robyn Rosasco MSLIS, AHIP

The symptoms and concerns of menopause can be challenging for any woman, but there are certain aspects of menopause unique to women with diabetes. Women with diabetes should be aware of these issues before beginning the menopause transition years.

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Partnering with Science: New Hope for the Effective Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes

Michael Blaber, PhD

People with type 2 diabetes can have evidence-based hope that research scientists are in the process of developing a new physiologic pathway of glucose regulation. These new therapeutics involving the FGF family of proteins have the potential to regulate glucose over an extended period of time.

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Moving Forward

Talking Points

Rebecca Harrington, MSLIS, AHIP

How do you talk about diabetes with patients, friends, family, and coworkers in a helpful way without overstepping bounds? To answer this question, we’ve compiled some tips and developed a resource on how to assist them in an emergency.

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