When I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, I was:
- Shocked – at the diagnosis
- In denial – refusing to believe that a healthy, athletic woman like me could be diabetic
- Angry – at what I perceived to be the injustice of it; I knew a lot of fat or obese people, whose idea of exercise was lifting pints of beer, who did not have diabetes, yet I had it
- Guilty – that I could have brought it upon myself (well, media said so)
- Scared – that I will end up a legless, sightless woman hooked up to a dialysis machine
- Depressed and hopeless – if, despite turning my lifestyle around, eating well, keeping fit, losing weight and giving up cigarettes, I still ended up with diabetes, what hope was there for me to fight it and its complications? Why should I even bother?
- Feeling alone – although my husband was there with me, as always, he was not diabetic.
I’m sure I went through other emotions as well. Based on other people’s experience, it’s natural to go through various emotional responses when you are told you have a lifetime disease.
As I came to terms with my condition and went through a roller coaster ride of emotions, the first major thing I realized was that I did not know anything about Type 2 diabetes. So, I went to Amazon and bought a few books. I learned very quickly to separate the wheat from the chaff. One of the books I wasted money on talked about reversing diabetes – with the author’s specially concocted magic pill. I went online and encountered more junk. I could not believe how many claims of a cure there were, and how many snake oil peddlers selling “diabetic” supplements populated the internet. What’s more, I could not believe how many people fall for and continue to fall for their bogus claims.
But, I persevered in gathering information and accumulating knowledge, not just from my GP and endocrinologist, books, and websites of diabetes clinics, hospitals and doctors, but also from the Diabetes Online Community. I am a member of Diabetes Forums, frequently visit other diabetes boards and communities, and follow a number of diabetic bloggers. This year I finally joined Facebook and Twitter, and have become more involved in the DOC through them. I no longer feel so alone.
As a diabetic, I still deal with various emotions related to my condition, but after six years those emotions have evolved. (Stay tuned tomorrow for more.)