Being diagnosed with diabetes, or knowing someone who is diagnosed with the condition, may throw up many questions about how it fits into your daily life, from how it makes you feel to managing diabetes at work, or whilst you are driving.
Being diagnosed with diabetes and living with diabetes can sometimes feel overwhelming – this is quite normal. One of the most difficult things to come to terms with is that diabetes is for life. In the weeks and months after being diagnosed with diabetes, emotions are often pushed to one side as you try to get to grips with new treatments and changing your lifestyle. Everyone reacts differently when they hear the news. You may be overwhelmed, shocked, afraid, angry and anxious. Some people go through a stage very similar to mourning – as though they are grieving for lost health. Some people hide these feelings, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are coping without difficulty. Over time it is likely that you will become more confident in your ability to cope with everyday activities, and the initial turmoil you may have felt should start to fade.
Your healthcare team is there to give you emotional support, reassurance and help you to build your confidence in coping with diabetes. If you, your family, or friends are concerned about any aspect of diabetes, your healthcare team would rather know about it. If the worry is groundless, then you can be reassured. If it has some cause then action can be taken
You can also get a lot of support and encouragement from other people with diabetes – La Cala Diabetics Support Group give you the chance to hear how others cope in similar situations. People respond in different ways to being diagnosed with diabetes – some to the extent that they feel like hiding it from everyone. You may feel embarrassed and uncertain about how they will react, but letting people know can mean that you receive more support and understanding. Family and friends may be among the first people you tell, and like most people they probably know little about diabetes – but are keen to know more.
If you live alone, telling your neighbours about your diabetes may make you feel safer, especially if you are older or at risk of having hypos. A simple explanation to your housemate may help their understanding too. If you are taking part in sport or physical activity it is sensible to tell the person who is leading the activity in case any problems arise.