If you’re reading this, then I can only assume that you’re dealing with a type 1 diabetes diagnosis in your family. I’m writing this to offer you and your family some hope as you face a new life with type 1 diabetes thrown into the mix.
This is your baby. The decisions you make around managing your diabetes are yours and yours alone. Don’t ever feel guilty for them. How much you decide to involve others in your diabetes and management decisions is up to you. That being said, don’t be afraid to lean on those around you. They will more than likely surprise you. You will feel so much less isolated, and more confident and loved.
This is about you, and you alone. People you speak with will want to jump in and give you their two cents worth. Ignore it. What your great aunt’s-brother’s-second cousin did to manage their diabetes certainly won’t hold any relevance to you. You’ll likely look at other people with diabetes and try to draw comparisons to what they’re doing or how they’re managing. It’s not worth it. Everyone with diabetes is different. You’re on your own unique journey, and the way in which you manage your diabetes is completely up to you.
Don’t be afraid of the internet. The internet is full of information and inspiration that you might not necessarily receive from your doctor. The internet is a great place for peer support. There are plenty of other people from all over the world online who are in, or have been in your shoes.
Speak up. Your diabetes team are likely busy people, and they will likely be pressed for time. Make it clear what you want from them. Use them to get what you need.
Everything and anything affects diabetes. Food. Activity levels. Stress. Hormones. Routine. Even sleep! It’s impossible to achieve perfection. You can have days where you feel you’ve done everything by the book, where you’ve done exactly the same thing you did yesterday, and still receive a completely wild result. Don’t beat yourself up over it. You can only do the best you can, while trying to live your life. Because diabetes is 100% something that you fit into your life, and not the other way around.
You will have bad days. You will slip up. You will get burned out. You will go through a rollercoaster of emotions. I’d be surprised if you didn’t! It’s part and parcel of living with the condition, day in and day out. But you will get over it. You will come out the other end stronger, and more resilient.
My biggest asset after six years of life with diabetes is time, and experience. With time and experience, you learn. You are always learning! With time and experience, the wiser and better equipped you are to deal with this condition.
I can honestly say there’s nothing that diabetes has stopped me from doing. With every passing day, I feel more confident in living with, and managing this condition. So will you.
Have a letter of hope you’d like to offer a newly diagnosed type 1 family? Get in touch with Maureen at Mum of Type 1.