Having diabetes means you have a condition where the body cannot automatically control the level of glucose in the blood. This can lead to becoming unwell, but you can enjoy a healthy life with diabetes with support from your friends / family and medical and health professionals.
You CAN live well with diabetes
Reactions to Diabetes
Shock, fear, anger or denial, are common reactions people feel when given the news they have diabetes. Sometimes people are relieved that it is diabetes, knowing it is a condition that can be treated and controlled. “Why me?” is often asked, particularly if the person doesn’t know of any family members with diabetes.
Feeling depressed is not uncommon following the diagnosis of diabetes and if temporary, is a natural reaction. If these feelings persist after 6 to 12 months, you should speak to your doctor. Counseling may help you to see things more positively and to adjust to having diabetes. The counselor is an important member of the diabetes care team.
Where to get help – Finding the right advice
Having someone who understands to talk things over with can be a good way to adjust and come to terms with having diabetes. Family and friends are well meaning and eager to help, but their advice or anecdotes can sometimes be confusing or alarming or they may even become the food police! Remember, they are probably just as anxious as you are, and trying to help. Try to talk to them about how you feel.
The internet is a great place to find information. People’s stories are interesting but everyone is different and the same advice is not right for all.
Learn as much as you can about diabetes, and programs run in groups are an interesting and enjoyable way to learn.
The health care team
You, the person with diabetes, is the most important member of the team, with others to offer you resources, support, education and medical care. Health professionals you may need to see for the management of your diabetes include your general practitioner, diabetes specialist physician, diabetes nurse educator, dietitian, podiatrist, ophthalmologist (eye specialist), and counselor.
Where to from here?
The more you know about diabetes the easier you will find it to manage day to day and special events. People with diabetes have been olympic athletes, AFL footballers, famous entertainers and world leaders. With a bit of extra planning and monitoring, diabetes should not prevent people from enjoying a fulfilling work, family and social life.
You should be able to expect reliable information, medical care and access to education, but most diabetes management is up to you.
- Accepting you have diabetes is the first step.
- Choosing to maintain a healthy diet and to exercise regularly is a key to better control of Type 2 diabetes.
- Monitoring blood glucose levels is your compass to navigate day to day activities.
- Attending regular medical check ups and taking medication as prescribed will help keep you well.
We’re asking a lot and staying motivated can be difficult, especially when the pressures of life, work and family demand your time and energy.