Newly diagnosed with diabetes: What we wish you knew
When newly diagnosed with diabetes, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed, scared, uncertain, and confused, asking yourself, “What will my life be like now?” We asked our friends in the community what is the number one thing they wish someone who was newly diagnosed with diabetes knew. We received over 650 insightful words of wisdom, and gathered 12 of our favorites we hope you’ll find encouraging. The diabetes online community (DOC) has an inspirational attitude and outlook on life. We thank every one of you for being a part of it.
What advice do you have for the newly diagnosed?
1. It’s OK to get frustrated and mad
“It's totally okay to get frustrated and mad sometimes because of diabetes. Have a good cry. Tell diabetes to go where the sun doesn't shine. We are human. Take a breath and sleep it off. The next day always seems a little better. Don't let people make you feel bad because you get upset over diabetes at times. When that sadness and frustration is the dominant theme in your diabetes care is when those feelings become unhealthy.” - Amber Rueger
Bottom line is that your feels are valid and you should have the opportunity to process your emotions with no apologies to anyone else.
2. It’s a marathon, not a dash
“Diabetes is a marathon, not a 500 yard dash. There will be good and bad days. Learn to roll with the punches. YOU are in control of your disease, learn about it and be your own advocate.” - Joanna Wagner Moore
Once you take control of your diabetes management, you can be better prepared for the marathon. Learn all your options to manage diabetes to find which works best with your life.
3. It’s OK to feel scared, cry, and ask questions
“It’s OK, you might feel scared, but it’s OK. You might want to cry, go ahead and cry. And you might feel alone, but you’re not. You might not see it now, but it gets better. Ask your 1,000 questions - over and over again. Don't think ahead too much, and take one day at a time. My daughter was 8 when she was diagnosed. It was the hardest thing for us. No family history auto-immune, total surprise to all of us. By the time we got her to the hospital her blood sugar 994. Yes 994 and she slipped into a diabetic coma for two days. She is now 12 doing great and everything and anything she sets her mind on. She is on a pump. Please anyone out there if you need to talk/share or just someone to listen, message me...I know I needed that in the beginning.” - Angeline Deo
Just like Ruegar said, let yourself feel all the ups and downs and it may help to talk to an Ambassador while processing your experience.
4. Be patient
“Be patient. Be patient with yourself, with your friends, your family, and your doctors. It's a lot to learn and though it's all really daunting and overwhelming now, it does get easier. It does become second nature. You'll soon forget what life without diabetes was like.” -Cassie Haupt
Take each day one at time and know that you and your support network will be experts in no time.
5. You don’t have to learn everything in one day
“There is a lot of new information to absorb...you don't have to learn everything in one day, and every day is a new day, especially in pump training. Diabetes is a big community. Don't be afraid to ask. We have all asked those asked questions. Welcome!” - Kellie Hickson
Becoming diagnosed with diabetes comes with a lot of questions and luckily there are so many resources available.
6. Be your own advocate
“Be your own advocate! Learn everything you can from diabetes educators, others with type 1 or 2 diabetes, which ever type you have, and support groups. Don’t be afraid to LIVE! You can do anything a person without diabetes can do, just with a twist! Forgive yourself if you stray off path, just get back on routine!” - Angela Rodgers
7. Take it one day at a time
“You have to take it one day at a time. There will be good days and bad but never give up. You can still live a healthy normal life and do anything you want including running full marathons. I was told I couldn't but I did.” - Natalie Miller
Wagnor Moore touched on the same point, and that is that you should expect some road bumps along your diabetes journey, but don't let that stop you from living your life.
8. You are not alone
“You are not alone. When I was first Dx in June 13 I knew nothing about diabetes. From online support to local chapters I knew nothing about, but I soon learned lots of great information. Thanks for everyone's support!” - Jason Williams
The diabetes online community is very kind and supportive of each other, especially for those newly diagnosed with diabetes. Find a group that resonates with you.
9. Talk to others with diabetes
“It helps to talk to others about this disease; join a group, try and get your care givers/helpers to join a support group as well. Just to talk to others about T1 helps SO much. You are NOT ALONE, and it is OK TO ASK FOR HELP! Rock on!” - Renee Galvin
10. Perfect numbers don’t exist
“Perfect numbers don't exist. Good management through various things like multiple finger pokes and doing something about those results (insulin/food) is the key to success to this secret club.” - Roxanne Hobbs
11. You can do it
“You can do it. No one said it was going to be an easy life change. You will have your ups and downs, and even get sick of people trying to tell what you can have and not have and that you can't do what you used to do. Just remember get the right support team and you will be just fine. The pump is a great life saver too.” - Lisa Oltsch
12. Never stop living and achieving your dreams
“Always listen to what your body is telling you and NEVER stop living your life and achieving your dreams......” - Lisa Krettler
Are you feeling alone in your diabetes journey, have questions about living with diabetes, or wonder what life is like with an insulin pump? A great resource after being newly diagnosed with diabetes is to connect with one of our Medtronic Ambassadors, who would be more than happy to talk with you.