TRANCE:  Teaching Responsibility about Nutrition with Christian Exhortation

TRANCE has a deep meaning for me inside God’s Church.  No matter what church you attend in this city, you have to eat to become healthy.  Many times I learned while on sabotical from Southside Tabernacle Assemblies of God that God’s people were irresponsible about how they eat.  Many times Dr. JoAnn Long at New Covenant Life would stand and preach or mentioned that people or lay people, were attacked by the devil in their body, and were at the local hospital on the sick and shut in list.  I asked the Lord in my own personal devotions, how can God’s people in the Body of Christ be under attack with the word that was preached by Dr. JoAnn Long, and Lord referred me in the wee hours of the morning to what I learned at UIC Midwest Latino Health Research, Training, and Policy Center.  This was perfect timing.

In graduate seminar in the Spring of 1999, Aida mentioned this one guy by the name of Paulo Freire’.  She got real excited about Paulo Freire’.  She said Paulo Freire’ was some activist that pushed Empowerment Education in the Latino community, but I immediately had some questions about Freire’s Empowerment Education Model, God’s Church, Black Chicago, and type 2 diabetes.  I did not necessarily understand at the time what the definition of empowerment, but the Black church found their strength in the Holy Bible.  I did not have enough during the UIC CIC SROP in the Summer 1999 to explore the impact of patient education among blacks in Chicago, but a small door opened for me at New Covenant Life Church through Dr.  JoAnn Long.  

One Sunday night, after a powerful teaching that Dr.  JoAnn Long was doing, she heavily admonished me about taking care of my health.  I quickly recited to myself the bible scripture, “I desire above all things that you prosper and be in good health even as your soul prosper.”  So, Dr. JoAnn Long took a handful of us back to the fellowship hall to scan what our Body Blood Type.  She proceeded to scan mine, she told me it was Blood Type O.  I asked her, how did she know this information about Human Blood Types.  She showed me this red and white thick paperback book called “Eat Right For 4 Your Type:  Complete Blood Type Encyclopedia”, by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo.  

D’Adamo goes on further to say, “These studies have allowed a greater understanding of the movements and groupings of early peoples as they adapted to changing climates, mutating germs, and uncertain food supplies.”   Food supplies were always uncertain with black church members at New Covenant Life, but Dr.  JoAnn Long offered in our church health ministry the Nature Sunshine project.  I had some questions about the Nature Sunshine project.  According to Aida, would Nature Sunshine products increase the F(QOL) of Black Chicagoans living with type 2 diabetes? One, the presence of the black man in Chicago was not barely prevalent, while I was in college.  Two, unemployment in Chicago is usually high for Blacks.  Three, Blacks do not go to school a lot to even earn their Associates Degree from the City Colleges of Chicago.  Also, according Aida efficacy in patient education with Blacks living with type 2 diabetes is based on a higher Socioeconomic Status(SES).  

Members and lay persons at New Covenant Life Church living with type 2 diabetes that participated in the Nature Sunshine project had to be taught self care to decrease high weight, high blood pressure, and high blood glucose levels.  Members and lay persons were irresponsible with high weight, high blood pressure, and high blood glucose levels.  According to Connelly at the University of Illinois at Chicago, New Covenant Life Church was not prepared as a community agency to teach self care to African Americans living with type 2 diabetes.  And also according to Giachello et al, “Self Management (self care) is negatively affected by low income, low education, lack of access to care, cultural barriers, and linguistic barriers.”

There are many factors that are a part of self management(self care) for Blacks in Chicago living with type 2 diabetes.  For example, members and lay people at New Covenant Life used Nature Sunshine products as a form  of self care to decrease type 2 diabetes complications.  At the time, Nature Sunshine products were homeopathics and natural herbal remedies that were not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  Since they were not approved by U.S. FDA, members and lay people came to church and kneeled down at the alter, and prayed shouting, “Lord, heal my diabetes with these Nature Sunshine Products given by Dr. JoAnn Long.”

Members and Lay People at New Covenant Life Church were irresponsible   about using Nature a Sunshine homeopathics and herbal remedies as a self care strategy to decrease type 2 diabetes complications.  Once Dr. JoAnn Long presented the Nature Sunshine products marketing schematic and incentive package to the church, members were using it like wild fire, but it had adverse affects for members and lay people with type 2 diabetes complications.  It had adverse affects for several reasons, so I discussed my discrepancies with UIC Advocate Hospital.  For example, the homeopathics and herbal remedies medical terminology was too complicated for New Covenant Life Church members and lay people living with type 2 diabetes complications.

I don’t blame members for finding alternative medical attention for type 2 diabetes, but the medical terminology was too culturally inappropriate for using Nature Sunshine products.  Giachello et al goes on further to say, “the initial community assessment found high prevalence of diabetes, overweight, obesity, diabetes complications, low health coverage, deficient health care quality, insufficient self-care practices, low health literacy, cultural barriers, and linguistic barriers particularly among its Hispanic/Latino residents.”  One, Dr.  JoAnn Long did not do an initial community assessment at New Covenant Life Church to measure the health care needs of members and lay people.  How was Dr. JoAnn Long going to collect, interpret, and infer data about the affect of Paulo Freire’s Empowerment Education Model and self care strategies of Nature Sunshine homeopathics and herbal remedies on members and lay people living with type 2 diabetes?

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