“I had a professor in college who would wear plaid shirts in which the plaid was woven into the fabric. He would never wear a plaid shirt in which the plaid was stamped onto the fabric. He called it the integrity of the fabric. I was thinking then, about the integrity of each thread that is used to weave the fabrics of our life and if/how that integrity is examined when treating people who have diabetes. Would knowing the threads of a person’s fabric help people who have diabetes?
Often in fabric, each thread is different. Some people prefer to wear only cotton, others like a polyester/cotton blend. Some people wear only natural fibers while others do not have a preference. Some people have strong feelings about the thread content, others do not.
Given the thread types, they are woven to make a fabric. Differences may be the weave pattern, the tightness of the weave, the durability of the fabric and the color combinations.
The analogy of comparing threads and fabric to people who have diabetes is similar in that each thread represents a value or a need and when woven together makes the whole person. There are too many combinations of values, needs, desires, goals and education (threads) to make group assumptions about what people with diabetes need in order to take care of themselves. How can a fabric be woven for care of a person with diabetes occur, if the type of threads are not known
In the science realm, we know what needs to happen in order to help someone who has diabetes. Tons of research has been done regarding diet, exercise and regulating blood sugars to a normal level. These are threads that all people with diabetes have in common. But what about the rest of the threads that are not common among all patients and are not scientific?
Could it ever happen that practitioners help people who live daily with diabetes, do some self-examination of their own threads? By identifying the threads that make up their fabric, patients can make goals and the integrity of the fabric can be upheld and celebrated. The threads that are not scientific, and to be truthful are rarely identified in practice, are the threads that make up the success of the patient.’
– A new look at diabetes provided by Catherine Van Hove.