Dear Newly Diagnosed Friend
Dear Newly Diagnosed Friend,
Hi. My name is Shelley. I have type 2 diabetes. I have had it for number of years but I still remember when I was first told I had it. I remember what it was like to be where you are. My goal in writing this to you is tell you, it will be ok. You will be ok. I promise I, and others like me, will walk through this with you if you like. I won’t push. I won’t judge. I will answer what questions I can for you. Because, you see, I live with it too.
Diabetes can be overwhelming
If you are afraid, that is normal. That is what we sometimes feel at the beginning. New journeys can be frightening. I recall being afraid. I recall not knowing what it all really meant. Over time, you will figure it out. We will figure it out together.
There is a lot to learn about diabetes. You don’t have to learn it all at once. You have some time. Some people will want you to press on at highway speed. But remember, you are the driver. If you need to slow it down, then use your brakes. If I can share, I think there are a couple of things to learn first: how to check your blood sugar, how to count carbs (short for carbohydrates). This is a good place to start. Just ask if you have questions. I’d, we’d, be happy to help.
You will likely become very focused on details, on numbers. Give yourself a break. Go slow. Tell those who push, that you are overwhelmed. That you need more time to understand, to learn. You will hear how important numbers are. I won’t mislead you. Numbers are important. So are the positive strides you will make to deal with diabetes even if it takes time for the numbers to be in a better place. Give yourself the credit you deserve for even the smallest changes you can make. It will all help!
Let people help you
Doctors, nurses, dietitians—some or all will become part of your new journey. You will connect with some but not with others. That’s ok too. Search for those who bring you up, not those who bring you down. Run to the ones who you want in your journey. Run away from those you don’t. I hope you see, you have choice. There are amazing health professionals waiting to help. Let them. You weren’t meant to be an island.
You will likely feel very alone at times. Diabetes can make you feel that way. But you are not alone. I, we, are here for you whether that be in person or through social media, places like this place. You are safe here. Safe to ask what you do not understand yet. If it’s too soon to reach out, that’s ok too. When you’re ready, we, your community, will be there for you.
You may not know that you have super powers, the super powers needed to deal with diabetes. I will help you find them. Just let me know what I can do to help.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your diabetes?