Living with Diabetes

Diagnosed with type 2 diabetes - thoughts and feelings the day after

6/2/2015 by Ilka Gdanietz

Our friend and contributing author Markus describes his type 2 diabetes diagnosis experience and what it was like coming to terms with his new normal.

From Markus:

There have been exactly 3 events which created serious and lasting changes in my life...

Those were (not in chronological order):

1. The birth of my son 2. My first “real” job 3. Being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes

Fear, then anger, and then what?

Of course, the first two milestones were much more enjoyable than the third. I still remember feeling like the ground dropped out from under me and the subsequent roller coaster of emotions after being diagnosed with diabetes! It’s already been more than 3 years, and to this day I still describe my emotions of “the day after” as:

“First came the fear, followed by the anger – and finally the curiosity.”

The diagnosis of type 2 diabetes has been a positive change in my life

Today I know that fear was neither appropriate nor necessary and was possibly a really bad motivator. Actually, I’ve found the diabetes diagnosis to be a blessing because without this warning shot across the bow, I probably would have never made so many positive changes in my life. Listen well, because this is coming from a former smoker, workaholic, gifted excuse maker, and overweight guy. Today I am a passionate athlete, I have learned (and implemented) a lot about nutrition, I feel years younger, I am energetic and fitter than ever. And most importantly, my diabetes is almost gone! Bye bye, Monster! I can say with full personal conviction that a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes can be a real opportunity to make a change for the better! The long-term consequences of unmanaged diabetes are not to be trifled with, so take advantage of this opportunity!

It’s a fact! Knowledge is power.

One reaction still serves me well – the curiosity. At the time, I wanted to know everything. Who is this monster called diabetes, where did it come from, why did it happen to me, and most importantly, how do I get rid of it? I searched for information on the internet. I read books. I spoke to experts. I got my hands on any information I could because one thing was crystal clear to me: knowledge is power! Knowledge to know what is best for my blood sugars, the power to decide what is best for me, and the power to know how I can conquer the monster! On my journey through all of this, I found an absolute jungle of information. There are totally controversial views, people who drown in self-pity, conspiracy theorists and self-proclaimed faith healers. I can only say once again that knowledge is power! The more you learn and educate yourself, you’ll quickly be able to discern between the facts and the fluff, or the helpful information versus something that is wasting your time.

Take your Diabetes Monster by the hand

You play a huge part in how your diabetes develops and you can significantly influence it by what you do. Educate your monster and it will behave like a model student! It is crucial: 1. To learn more about nutrition and how to feed your diabetes monster! 2. To learn more about staying active! 3. To find ways to stay “mentally stable” or “emotionally healthy” because your mental health plays a big role, too! Find yourself a good doctor who specializes in diabetes care. You wouldn’t go to a vet to have your teeth cleaned, right? Last but not least, information is everything. Don’t let a diagnosis or a bump in the road scare you. Remain curious and use it to empower you into action! A type 2 diabetes diagnosis is usually not an emergency situation – but it cannot be ignored either. Seize the opportunity to get on the ball, Monster Tamer!

Ilka Gdanietz

She's a diabetes veteran, Nutella lover and pump user all rolled into one. Ilka is mySugr's communications person for the German side of things and in her spare time writes a blog www.mein-diabetes-blog.com