What would you tell someone who is newly diagnosed?
When I meet a parent of a child, or an adult who has been newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D), there is so much that I would like to share with them to help them through this challenging time. I am certainly not the “Yoda” of the diabetes world; however, having lived with T1D for 41 years (and also having a mother and sister that live with T1D), I feel like I can offer a unique perspective on life with T1D. I’d like to share with you, the top three things I learned through my own experience and wish someone had shared with my parents upon my diagnosis.
1. Know that you are not alone.
When first diagnosed, you can feel a combination of many emotions: guilt, anger, sadness, hopeless, overcome, frustration, confusion, and very alone. This is quite common, and it is important to know that this too shall pass. Reach out to your local JDRF chapter, and connect with others that can relate to your experience and begin to build a network of support. Your daily life may seem overwhelming at the start, but you will find your new “normal”.?
2. A number is just a point in time.
As we all know, it is important to keep our numbers within normal range. However, I feel it is important to not punish yourself or your child if their blood glucose reading is not within the textbook guideline. The result simply indicates what you need to do next – eat, take insulin, or simply smile and feel content with the result. To put it simply - life happens, and it doesn’t always play nice with T1D.
3. Trust your gut.
This is good advice for any area of your life, but it has been very useful for me when I am managing my diabetes. Whether you are unsure about something you have heard in the media, or are questioning a blood glucose result – follow that little voice that is steering you in the right direction to make the right choice.
What words of wisdom would you share with someone newly diagnosed? What do you wish you had learned earlier?
Bio: Christine Turner is the National Outreach Manager at JDRF and has lived with T1D for over 41 years. She is an avid baseball fan and enjoys reading and spending time with family and friends in her spare time.