My Key to Type 2 Diabetes Management: Strength, Empowerment, Support
"Oh my... you've got type 2 diabetes? How will you manage everything?" During the first year of being diagnosed with diabetes, that's what I heard. That first year was harsh for me, but people were harsher. The way people looked at me, words of pity on their lips and cringe in their eyes as if being around me would make them diabetic too.
Stop judging us
The world needs to hear and understand that not every disease is contagious and stop judging the sufferer. We already have so much on our plate, don't add to the guilt. The way people treated me led me to pity myself. I used to feel like I had been punished for a lifetime. I took time off my job, thinking I would not have the ability to manage my disease and a career side by side. It was a warped way of thinking.
Learning hard lessons
I restricted myself to my room, thinking, "What if I go out and my sugar gets low?" I made so many negative lifestyle choices during the first year of diagnosis, but yeah, I learned my lesson the hard way. I do not want my fellow type 2 diabetes community to learn the same lessons by facing the harsh reality.
The point of me sharing this article is to let you know that we don't have to pity ourselves or stop our lives because of diabetes. Buckle up and hold yourself upright because only you can.
Diabetes requires strength
You have to take care of yourself, and that requires strength. After that very harsh first year, I learned that I was chosen to go through this disease because I am strong enough to tolerate it.
I realized that I have so much strength in myself, yet I was pitying myself just because that's what other people did to me. I started empowering myself. How did I do that? Here's a summary of my 3 years of experience of this type 2 diabetic journey:
3 ways to empower yourself
1. Pause and reflect
Take time to reflect at the end of every day to keep your life and disease management sorted. Think about what is restricting your self-esteem and self-worth as a strong person, which was me. Yes, you are too!!
After identifying these things, I had to develop a strategy to fight with them because nobody or nothing has the right to control your self-worth.
2. Find healthcare providers that you connect with
I remember years ago having a very negative and strict doctor. He would always say to me, "Why aren't you listening to me? This is why your mother died because she developed type 2 diabetes." His words were alarming to me as a patient and scarred me for life. My doctor kept demanding a complete change in my lifestyle but didn't give me any directions or guidance on making changes.
If your doctor is not paying much attention to you, not telling you enough, or just not listening to you in your disease management, face it with confidence and move on. You have the right to receive the care you are paying for!
3. Lean on your support systems
My family started acting weird around me about my diabetes. I had to keep hearing over and over, "Do you think you should be eating that?" This was tough on me. This illness is a disease in which support works like medicine.
If you are not receiving enough support from your family and friends, try to communicate openly with them or find alternate sources of support. You can even join a diabetes support group. This helped me get through many hidden feelings that I didn't know were there. Our experiences were so relevant, and we all understood each other. Also, seeing other people facing diabetes with positivity made me feel more strong, positive, and empowered.
If you want to manage your type 2 diabetes more positively, you can attract and gather positivity wherever possible and ignore the negativity as much as you can. We are all in this together!
How often do you or someone else examine your feet?