You’ve Just Been Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, What’s Next?
You’ve just heard the words, “You have diabetes.” Whether you expected the diagnosis for type 2 diabetes or were surprised by it, the confirmation of such news — and the worries about how it will change your life — can be overwhelming, confusing, devastating.
What will life be like from now on? What foods will I have to give up? Will I need to get on a special diabetes diet? How will I manage daily insulin shots? Will I be able to keep up with my active lifestyle?
You may be alone in your thoughts in those first few moments after hearing the doctor’s words, but you’re not alone in having them. Many others have been in your place when receiving a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, and wondering what’s next.
What is one of the first best things you can do now that you’re part of this diabetes community at large? Find those people and connect with them — both in your local area and online.
4 Type 2 Diabetes Resources to Support Your New Normal:
- Find a diabetes support group. Surround yourself with people who understand what a life with diabetes is like. Talk to people who know how it affects your health, your family, your work. Hear stories from people who have been where you are. As you move forward, there will be days you’ll feel alone again. The relationships and connections you create with people also living with type II diabetes — whether you talk online, on the phone, or face-to-face in a cafe or a community meeting — are priceless. Start with the American Diabetes Association’s online community and social media diabetes support groups, and contact the Association office near you to plug in locally.
- Find and implement tools that support a healthy life with diabetes. Today’s diabetics have access to a host of apps (MedCoach is a great option for managing your new prescriptions), or wearables like the Lively Mobile medical alert device, which offer emergency response services and other life-saving features. And every day, new tech tools are being designed to make life easier and manage care more efficiently. The American Diabetes Association also offers a wealth of resources on their website, from podcasts to patient education materials, meal planning tools to expert Q & As.
- Work with a recommended care provider. Speaking of recommendations, you may need to find a new care provider to help you manage your disease. Talk to people in your support group or in your local community for suggestions. A provider who understands your care needs and health concerns is a critical part of your support network.
- Talk to your family and friends about your type 2 diabetes diagnosis. A good doctor, a good medical alert device, and a good diabetes support group are all valuable resources for your diabetes journey. But it’s also important to have your own circle of family and friends on your side. Don’t be afraid to share your new diagnosis. Knowledge is power, and the more people who know you’re facing a change in your health, the more help you’ll have when you need it. You may also discover a family member or friend has diabetes, or knows someone who does and can connect you accordingly. Read this article from the Family Caregiver Council for the reasons a support network is so vital.
Coping with Diabetes
Above all, remember this: You are not alone. In fact, you are now part of a community that’s 29 million people strong. A diabetes diagnosis will change your life, but reach out today, and find the advice and affirmation you need to keep living life to the fullest.