An attitude of gratitude

Time to fly

The doctor is in

New pants

It’s not you, it’s me

Knowledge is power

What motivates you

Paramedics and the gym

Weigh-In Day

Exercise and gym towels
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Dana Weston is a Novant Health employee who has taken our mission to help our communities get better and stay healthy to heart…and extended it to her own family. When Dana learned that her mom, Del, had been diagnosed with dangerously high glucose levels (indicating a potential diabetes diagnosis), she leapt into action, moving her mom from St. Louis  to Charlotte, N.C. so that they could tackle this condition together during a 30-day “boot camp” designed by Dana. And now she’s sharing their journey with all of us. Using the insights that she has gained as a Novant Health employee, along with the input and advice of our physicians, wellness coaches and diabetes navigators, Dana is helping her mom reclaim her health and her life.

Knowledge is power

Nov 18

Written by:
11/18/2013  RssIcon

People across the globe just recognized Nov. 14 as World Diabetes Day. Let me take this opportunity to whisper just between you and me that I didn’t care about that day last year. Last year, I was blissfully unaware of the impact of diabetes around the globe. Last year, my family was invincible. Things are a bit different this year. This year, nothing is more important.

Today, my mom and I spent time with Kim Kyle-Trejos, RD, LDN, CDE, diabetes educator of the Novant Health Diabetes Center. As we sat in the waiting area, neither of us truly knew what to expect. I mean, really, what does a diabetes educator do?

To start off our meeting, Kim began to simply talk with my mom about prediabetes and diabetes. She shared facts about our bodies that we never knew. For example, did you know that you are born with all the insulin cells you will have in your life? Or that glucose levels can be higher in the morning because of the activity of the liver when you are sleeping? Or that if you add a bit of protein whenever you eat a carbohydrate, you can slow down the absorption process? Or that the digestion of carbs begins in your mouth (literally, your gums are absorbing sugar)?

However, beyond the wealth of facts and information, what was most remarkable about our meeting with Kim was how she spoke to my mother. She didn’t lecture her, scold her, or shame her into submission. Instead, Kim celebrated, encouraged and taught us both. So what does a diabetes educator do? She gives you awesome, free, low-carb samples; she hands you tissues when you and your mom start inexplicably crying in her office; and she laughs at your mom’s emphatic response of, “Oh, I still hate it,” when asked how she now feels about exercise. In summary, a diabetes educator is holding your hand as you take your first steps into a new normal.

“The most important thing for you to realize is that you cannot turn back. This is a new normal for you. And going on medicine is not a failure. It’s just helping your body work better. Be open to that. If everybody who walked through my door would do what you have done for yourself, they would change their life. Look at it this way: your body gave you a gift. By giving you the warning signs, it pushed you in this healthy direction. And you listened. That’s a good thing. You may not be able to feel it, but your body is rejoicing on the inside.” – Kim Kyle-Trejos, Novant Health diabetes educator

Don’t let another World Diabetes Day go by where you don’t care. Take it from me: ignorance is only bliss until reality hits. Arm yourself with knowledge, because when you know better, you do better.

Today’s mantra: You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.

For information on Novant Health diabetes services at a location near you and to take a diabetes risk assessment, please visit

Location: Blogs Parent Separator Diabetes Blog

2 comment(s) so far...



Dana, I have really enjoyed every blog entry you have posted. You have shared personal stories that have allowed us to better relate to what you and your mom are experiencing together. I am sure you have helped others through your accounts. Thank you for what you are doing.

By Sharon on   11/18/2013

Re: Knowledge is power

Way to go! It's so important to gather your available resources when establishing a new normal like this. Keep it up!

By Maria on   11/19/2013

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Re: It’s not you, it’s me
Extremely powerful letter with a lot of heart put into it! Amazing progress only a few short weeks and I'm sure this is only the beginning from the words from your letter. Congrats Del!

Re: Time to fly
Congratulations!! You are armed with information and resources and also have a success story worth sharing! What an inspiration! Keep flying high!

Re: New pants
Keep up the good work! And remember, salad is the main meal. Don't let the food industry continue to fool you ie: The beef council, The dairy industry into thinking that you need to eat meat and dairy, which is the worst food you can eat, to stay healthy and get the 'protien' you need. Have you ever seen a skinny, weak hippopotamus or gorilla? They are vegatarians! The calcium in milk is mostly blocked by the fat so your body can't absorb it. Animal protien is a huge causative factor in arthritis. Anyway,good job and stay the course. Btw; Be careful about drugs as they are all toxic to some degree and doctors don't know what they should about them. Use food as a drug,preventative agent.

Re: The doctor is in
Dana and Del - Congratulations to you both! What an accomplishment this boot camp has been, and it is incredible how much you've learned! Knowledge here is power, and it must be such a great feeling to know that you can do this! Keep it up, you are both so inspiring!

Re: A healthy kidnapping
Thank you so much for sharing. My husband found out he was diabetic last year when he ended up in ICU. His blood sugar was 1322. How he survived that I do not know. But he did and the last year has been an uphill battle all the way. I have gotten discouraged with his lack of concern (after the initial shock wore off). But you have given me hope and have lit a fire under me once again to try my best to encourage him once again that he can do this. Thank you so much.

Re: What motivates you
Thanks, I didn't cry until I read this one.... lol KEEP IT UP!

Re: It’s not you, it’s me
"Yes, I have already found someone else. Me." Says Del Weston. 2 words, LOVE IT!

Re: It’s not you, it’s me
60 minutes on the bike!? How fantastic! This letter seems like such a great exercise, and I see your sincerity in every word. You're in the home stretch on this boot camp journey, but I know this will be just the beginning for you. Congratulations!

Re: New pants
Ok so I am SOOOOO late {3 weeks to be exact} coming into this, however let me first say how surpised I am NOT at you two phenomenal women! Del and Dana, you both hold such a significant place in my heart and I must say that I am behind you both 110%!!! Heck, I am even joining you!
Del: 14.8 pounds in 3 weeks?!?! YOU GO GIRL!!! That is amazing! I am so proud of you.
Dana: Did you really have to add in the bit about her curlers? lol And, YES they made a huge difference, whoop whoop! New pants are great, but a healthier you is even better! I do believe that I have found my new favorite read. Keep the updates coming!
Love it and love you both dearly!
Georgia :-)

Re: It’s not you, it’s me
Way to go! What a bold stance you're taking, and we are all so proud of you! Keep it up!