Diabetes Is NOT a Death Sentence
Diabetes is a serious condition. And yes, it can be a potentially deadly condition. People may often joke a lot about eating too many sweets and ending up with diabetes… but diabetes is no joke. Diabetes can bring a lot of suffering and loss of quality of life to many.
One of the most often quoted statistics (provided by the American Diabetes Association) is that diabetes takes more lives than AIDS and breast cancer combined. This is very sobering, and yes, it should inspire us to do all we can to try to prevent a diabetes diagnosis… but while diabetes is no joke, it is NOT a death sentence either. This is NOT the entire picture when it comes to diabetes.
If you were recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, there are a few things I want you to know:
Diabetes is NOT a Death Sentence
Yes, diabetes is serious, and challenging. But diabetes is NOT a death sentence. A diabetes diagnosis does not mean that you were given an expiration date. It does not mean that you will slowly shrivel up, and die. A diabetes diagnosis is a wake-up call that you’re body is not working properly, and that some things need to change.
Diabetes management is NOT painful
The idea of having to prick one’s fingers, or inject medications, might be a scary thing for a person without diabetes. Often, they’ll say things like “I’m never going to let myself become a pin cushion!” or “I’ve watched my grandma struggle with injecting insulin for 20 years, so I will never allow myself to do that!” These are common misconceptions which are based on how diabetes management was 30 years ago. Aside from the fact that not all people with type 2 diabetes have to use insulin, today’s lancets and needles are so fine (and even short), that you hardly feel them. There are also pain reducing rotation techniques, injection techniques, alcohol wipes with numbing agent and gadgets that will inject for you! Yes, sometimes, I’ll test a friend’s blood glucose, and their reply will be “That was it?!” Yeah. That was it. Diabetes management can be pretty pain free.
Diabetes management does not mean an end to your favorite foods
Having diabetes does NOT mean you can’t have sugar, pizza, burgers, or even fried foods. However, it does mean that you should greatly cut back on those foods, and perhaps maybe even change how you make them. There are many, many techniques for enjoying these foods in different ways, and you should explore our forum’s recipes for alternatives. You might end up even preferring those alternatives!
There is NO SHAME in having diabetes
Is there shame in having cardiovascular disease? Many health conditions are affected by our daily choices, and yet few are as stigmatized as type 2 diabetes. Everyone struggles making the best choices, and we’ll all get sick at some point. No matter how well we live, it is not a 100% guarantee of health. Some people are thin, and still develop type 2 diabetes. We are all human beings deserving of dignity and respect, and none of us is immune to struggling with healthy choices.
Diabetes is a very serious condition which may have devastating consequences if it’s not properly managed. But diabetes is NOT a death sentence. With the proper knowledge and tools, we can lead very long, healthy and happy lives with diabetes. If you have just been diagnosed, it’s okay to be scared. But don’t let this fear paralyze you into denial. Ask your clinician to refer you to a certified diabetes educator who may answer many of your questions, or even have you attend diabetes education classes.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your diabetes?