The T2D Journey: One Step at a Time
When you were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you knew there would be challenges. Things to rethink. Things you could plan for – and things you couldn’t. Learn as you go? That’s often the way it feels when starting a new journey.
And those concerns you had? You may have even noticed that they’ve changed or morphed over time. Worries that once weighed on you may now be gone. And new ones may have popped up to take their place. We asked our Type2Diabetes.com community how their worries changed over time. They had plenty to share, plus tips they’ve learned along the way.
When it comes to type 2 diabetes, I'm most worried about:
Stop comparing your journey to others
Just as no two people are the same, no two diabetes experiences are the same. The wellness plan your doctor prescribed is designed for you and you only. It can be easy to get caught up in the comparison game. Why is that working for them and not me? Why do I need to do this and they don’t? Remembering that living with T2D isn’t a competition can help. Instead it’s a journey. One that requires ongoing monitoring and maintenance. Even reframing. There is no “finish line.”
Wherever you are on your journey, it’s okay. It takes time to learn everything involved in diabetes care. Self-management. Healthy eating. Taking medications. It can sometimes feel overwhelming to try to learn it all at once, so give yourself some time, space, and grace.
“I figured out what works for me and kept doing it. This is not a one-size-fits-all disease!”– Type2Diabetes.com Community Member
The constant fear of progression
Worries about progression are a shared concern among many in our community. These fears are natural. You’re not alone. Because T2D is considered a self-managed condition, there are ways you can take action to help prevent or slow progression.
Like what? Incorporating movement. Following a medication regimen. Keeping up with a nutrition routine. Self-advocating and staying on the lookout for possible complications can make a big difference. And don’t forget the importance of connecting with others. That can also be a huge source of encouragement.
There are positive steps you can take, so be proactive! Talk with your doctor and support team about your concerns. With a bit of diligence, your fears may begin to fade.
How in control do you feel of your diabetes?
“I worry about my eyesight, keeping my glucose as close to a normal range as possible, and being a burden on my son because of my health.”– Type2Diabetes.com Community Member
Getting back in the driver’s seat
At times, living with T2D can be challenging. It can take a toll on you both physically and emotionally. It can affect relationships – even what you do day-to-day. Sometimes it can be hard to feel like you’re in control.
Our community had a lot to share on ways to feel more in control. One piece of advice heard again and again? Don’t just set goals – set SMART goals. Goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. For example, instead of saying “I want to be healthier”, try: “I’ll go for a 20-minute walk 4X a week.” Or “I’ll get 8 hours of sleep a night.” Creating clearer goals makes them more actionable and easier to accomplish.
Another helpful piece of advice: make sure you have a support team in place. Doctors, specialists, dietitians, therapists, health coaches, etc. who can help support you in different ways for different facets of your life.
“Once I got my diabetes more under control – and my testing numbers were consistent – I realized I was doing a good job. And that has helped me worry less.”– Type2Diabetes.com Community Member
The truth? It’s easy to say “don’t worry” when it comes to living with T2D. The reality of that can be much harder. A little preparation, pre-planning, and having the right support team in place can go a long way in heading off those worries and helping you feel more in control.
Compared to when first diagnosed, your worries have: