Getting the news that you have been diagnosed with diabetes can bring on many emotions. Initially you may feel fear, shock, or guilt about past choices. You may be angry or find yourself in denial, choosing to ignore the diagnosis. After all, it does often mean lifestyle changes.
These feelings are normal as you begin coping with the diagnosis. The key is to be kind to yourself. Do not blame yourself for the diagnosis. Talk to your doctor, family, or friends about how you are feeling. Support from others may help you make decisions about how to move forward with lifestyle changes, manage your diabetes and reduce stress. Focus on a positive outcome and find ways to add humor to everyday life. Laughing helps reduce stress and may help lower blood sugar levels!
How do I begin? Find a Certified Diabetes Education Class
People recently diagnosed with diabetes often worry they will not be able to do things they enjoy. While you may need to change some things in your daily life choices, diabetes does not have to control your life. Learning to balance your diet, exercise, and medications (if prescribed) can keep your blood sugar within a healthy range. With proper care of your diabetes, you can live a long and healthy life, reducing your risk of related complications including heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and circulatory problems.
To help you get started in making choices, ask your healthcare provider for a referral to Nanticoke’s Diabetes Education Program. This program is a certified through the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and is designed to help patients learn about and manage their diabetes.
The program allows patients to learn from expert nurses, dietitians, and certified educators. Classes are held at the Diabetes & Endocrinology Center located at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford.
Your Healthcare Team
Taking care of your diabetes day-to-day is up to you, but accessing education and support can help you better manage your diabetes. Your diabetes care team can help you in many ways such as:
- Coordinating healthcare appointments
- Making food choices and assisting with an individualized meal plan
- Ideas for safe ways to become more physically active
- Checking blood sugars, using of glucose meters and getting supplies
- Managing medications
- Coping strategies
Your healthcare team can consists of a number of resources but often includes:
- Your primary doctor or healthcare provider
- Specialists like an endocrinologist (diabetes doctor), ophthalmologist (eye doctor), podiatrist (foot doctor), or dentist
- Social workers or case managers
- Diabetes educators certified as an expert in diabetes education
- Supporters & life coaches like family & friends