A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can throw you for a loop. You may ask yourself, why me? Why of all the adverse events I could be faced with I had to get — diabetes. The illness that comes with a stigma attached to it —you don’t take care of yourself —damages your organs, and leaves you feeling tired all the time. As horrendous as this illness may be, you can overcome the challenges that come with having diabetes.
- Surround yourself with supportive people. Some people prefer to hide their illness from others. You don’t have to broadcast it, but now is not the time to hide the fact that you’ve just been diagnosed with an illness and you need help coming to grips with it. Your family may be supportive, but they won’t know you need help unless you ask. Don’t be afraid to confide in them if you’re feeling fearful and need assistance in certain areas, like sticking to your new diet, for example.
2. Follow your doctor’s advice. Take your medications as prescribed. Stay up to date with your appointments. If your doctor refers you to other healthcare professionals —endocrinologist, podiatrist, dietitian, etc.— make sure and follow through with those referrals.
3. Start investing in yourself. A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can be a wake-up call to alert you to changes you need to make. The good thing about diabetes is that it can be managed. Now is the time to join that exercise class you kept putting off, or a cooking class where you can learn to make healthy, tasty dishes or develop a new hobby.
4. Keep a journal. Writing in your journal at least once a day can help you feel better. Your journal is a private document, meant for your eyes only unless you decide to share it with someone, therefore you can pour out your emotions freely on the pages of your journal. This practice is recommended by therapists because it does have therapeutic benefits.
5. Educate yourself. The more you learn about your illness the more you will feel in control and the more equipped you will be to deal with it. Nowadays, there is so much information at your fingertips. The internet, library, blogs, and groups can provide you with all the information you need about type 2 diabetes and how to manage it.
Life is full of challenges. Some are small, others, like diabetes, are large and intimidating, but don’t let it get you down. Bear in mind that type 2 diabetes can be controlled with the right medication, and by making some healthy lifestyle changes. One thing you can do that will help you find support and interact with other diabetics is by joining my group Type 2 Diabetics Network.