Getting informed. How did you get started? And keep going?

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2012-01-22 21:20:04 -0600
Started 2011-03-27 21:58:55 -0500

Staying informed about your condition is an important aspect of managing your health. I am probably preaching to the choir on that one, right?

While my clients generally agree with me on this one, at least in principle, getting started on the information-gathering process when they are initially diagnosed, and staying informed as they move forward on their treatment journey, is not always so simple.

First, the fear factor. Getting informed can be scary. You may be concerned about running to information that you don’t want to know, and discouraging yourself at a time when you are feeling pretty discouraged anyway.

And then, all that information. You may be running into information that may or may not be relevant to your specific situation or diagnosis, or that describes a very limited number of patients and not is applicable to the majority, like certain side effects. You may read information that is based on the experiences and opinions of one patient, or professional, or not-so-professional, and that is unreliable. You may read information that is just plain not true. Or that is so full of medical jargon that you don’t know what to do with it (starting with the package insert that comes with your medications).

Healthcare professionals may not always take the time to explain things in detail or in words you understand. Books and brochures may be biased, or hard to understand. And the Web is a “Wild West” of information from all kinds of resources, reliable and unreliable, yet one Website may, at first glance, look as credible as another.

As I said, getting started isn’t easy.

I have had clients who just didn’t want to know anything about their condition, at least not at first, and so they avoided information altogether. They let their doctor tell them the basics, and didn’t do any exploring on their own. They didn’t want to know any more than they needed to.

Some of these clients gradually started adding to their knowledge, others have continued to struggle with their fears, and continue to avoid knowing in the hope that they will also avoid being more scared. These clients continue to rely on their healthcare team and feel that if there is something they should know, their healthcare team will let them know.

Others jumped in and quickly find themselves overwhelmed. They run into information that is focused on symptoms, side effects, and potential outcomes, that is confusing, or scary. They decide to pull back for awhile, or to stop completely.

There are those who started slow, or not so slow, focused on what they most needed to know, bookmarked various sites, read books and brochures, and gradually became experts on themselves. Maybe with a friend or family member along for the ride.

And let’s face it, some healthcare professionals are more likely to encourage information-gathering – and the questions it raises with their patients – than others.

Sure, it’s better to know than not to know. And there is a lot of great, useful, trustworthy information out there. But how do you get started?

Any of your own experiences to share – positive or not so positive – about how you kicked off the process of getting informed about your condition?

Any advice for overcoming barriers, like the fear factor, that may prevent someone from learning more about their diagnosis and its treatment?

Any words of encouragement that you were given, or that you would give to someone else?

Looking back to when you were first diagnosed, any information-gathering advice you wish you someone had passed on to you?

Any techniques you use to stay up-to-date now?


75 replies

CaliKo
CaliKo 2012-01-22 21:20:04 -0600 Report

I was so lucky. When I was first diagnosed, my doctor told me he encouraged new diabetic patients to take a course his hospital offered, and asked if I was interested. I was still sitting there a little shell-shocked, but this gave me a straw to grasp. I said yes, and then had to wait three weeks, through Christmas at the in-laws (I was scared to eat the cookies), and then begun a very good 6-week course. By the end of the 6 weeks, I had lost my first 11 pounds, had a meal plan, started an exercise program, and was testing my blood glucose a couple of times a day. I was keeping a notebook of everything I ate, along with daily calorie and carb, protein and fat counts. I was ordering books from the ADA and reading their Forecast magazine. I cook some diabetic cookbooks and was trying new recipes as much as I could. I lost 35 pounds that first year and met my weight goal. I was able to quit taking the statin that my doctor had me on the first months. My A1C dropped to the upper 5s and I continue to be controlled with diet and exercise, now on my 4th year. I think the things working in my favor included that I was lucky enough to be diagnosed when my numbers were not yet real bad, fasting blood glucose was 127 and my first A1C was 7, so it was easier than some to get under control. Secondly, I responded quickly and easily to diet and exercise, again probably because I wasn't too far over the line. I know I was fortunate in these things, but the take-away would be rapid education and a treatment plan appropriate to the situation, and good follow through. I didn't find this site for a year, but the generous helping nature and genuine caring of so many of the members here make on-going day-to-day dealing with "D" easier. Good luck everyone.

DeanaG
DeanaG 2012-01-22 18:51:33 -0600 Report

When I was diagnosed in July 2011 the Dr. gave me a diabetic cookbook and a diet sheet for a 1600 calorie diet. He also referred me to a endo for my thyroid. That was the best thing he could have done for me, she immediately enrolled me in D education classes, gave me my target ranges and tons of booklets to read. The classes were wonderful, taught by a CDE that is also a diabetic, she gave everyone a business card with her direct line and email address.

I wasn't a stranger to diabetes, I am 4th generation and watched it destroy my father. I wish the information we have now would have be available to him. On my own I read everything I can get my hands on trying to learn as much as I can to prevent the horrible complications.
It is tough, scary and overwhelming at times, but I would rather be well armed for this long battle I am involved in than be surprised by the unknown.

dietcherry
dietcherry 2012-01-22 19:03:15 -0600 Report

Good for you Deana! Forearmed is well armed! Im sorry you lost your Dad to this terrible disease :(

DeanaG
DeanaG 2012-01-22 19:08:31 -0600 Report

Thank you. He lost his battle 16 years ago. It took most of his eyesight, his kidney function, one leg and then his heart gave out. I refuse to go on that journey. ;-)

dietcherry
dietcherry 2012-01-22 19:15:33 -0600 Report

I am very saddened to hear that sweetheart. This disease rips our loved ones right out of our arms and our lives! You take good care of you my friend and always know that you are in my prayers!!!!

RubyRidgeWoman
RubyRidgeWoman 2011-07-29 19:19:44 -0500 Report

2 days after my diagnosis, my doc. had referred me to a diabetic educator. She had me hooked up with with 6 weeks of diabetic education, which I started 4 days later. I learned so much from this class. This really gave me the foundation to build on and really motivated me to take control of my diabetes. I know a lot of people with type 2, that have had it for long while, and they are amazed at the knowledge, as well as implementing it, and my attitude regarding this issue. I highly recommend diabetic education to anyone that is diabetic. It is a great place to begin and build on.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-07-30 16:46:55 -0500 Report

Hey RubyRidge,

Thanks for checking in. Knowledge is power! It seems to me that one of the key factors in successfully adjusting to a condition like diabetes is to find out as much as possible, learn what to do to take the best possiblecare of yourself. I suspect that you are an inspiration to other people that you know with Type II.

Thanks again. Stay in touch!

Gary

edvel54
edvel54 2011-05-19 20:19:58 -0500 Report

I had gestational diabetes with both my children, first one was diet controlled. second one I was on pills and insulin, and bed rest for 4 months. Doctor told me not to be surprised when I got diabetes, it was in my future.
Before going to the doctor I used my Mom's meter and my BS was 450.
When I went to the doctor, he was very nice and supportive. Explained what I had answered questions, sent me to a diabetes educator for more answers, she showed me how to use my meter and how to take insulin.

I have found that the FREE interactive education webinars that the diabetes help team puts on is most beneficial for newbies and those that have had diabetes for a while. the question & answer segment at the end is really helpful. I have learned alot from it,

I also have learned a lot from the discussions and post here. You are doing a great job!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-07-30 16:50:53 -0500 Report

Hey edvel!

So sorry I didn't see this earlier. Always great to hear from you.

I am glad that you caught how your numbers had gone and that you connected with a supportive physician. Getting to a diabetes educator is certainly key. As I always say, knowledge is power.

There are so many great resources online, all you have to do is reach out. Thanks for sharing this.

And thanks for your kind words. Diabetes Connect is one of the bright spots in my life!!!

Hope you are having a great weekend,

Gary

thatjamies
thatjamies 2011-04-08 09:17:38 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed with pre diabetes about 4 months ago and I haven't a clue what to do. He started me on metformin to try and keep me from becoming diabetic. But I was told by someone else that if I was taking medicine then I was diabetic. I am so confused! I know I'm suppose to give up carbs but that it. I have a passion with Dr. Pepper and have not been ab;e to give them up. I guess I need to do some research, but I am really not sure where to go.
Jamie

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-04-09 12:00:38 -0500 Report

Hi!

Thanks a lot for jumping in on this.

Have you talked to your doctor about your concerns? Sometimes doctors assume that you know more than you do, or that you just want to be told what to do and that you don't want to know any more than you have to. So it might be helpful to come up with a list of questions and then, at your next appointment, ask him to answer them. A good talkk with him might help to clear this up.

You might also want to do some online research, but I would encourage you to focus on the Websites of reputable organizations, like the American Diabetes Association.

I am not a physician but, to be honest, I have a feeling that sugary sodas are not going to be in your future. But... have you tried the diet versions? I'm just saying...

Great to hear from you. I will be very interested to know how you do on this, so stay in touch, okay?

Gary

donna62M
donna62M 2011-04-08 07:54:58 -0500 Report

I was an assistant nurse in aged care before I got diabeties…so I knew alot about the disease and the complecations and what could go wrong…I mainly nursed people in the end stages and who had lost limbs or had their kidneys all but gone…so that was why I'm determined not to end up there…The things I didn't know my GP helped alot and I went to a diabetic educator(one of the best things out)…You never stop learning and I hope we will never stop sharing things…My biggest hurdles were when The Asthma kicks in…the first time was a big learning curve…I think my sugars hit about 20.0 every time I took them…freaked me out the first time I tell you…buut I am better at dealing with the juggeling of meds now…Just like a circus performer some days…HA HA HA.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-04-09 12:07:04 -0500 Report

Hi,

Wow, it sounds like you had a pretty extreme introduction to diabetes, seeing the worst that can happen. So itmust have been scary to receive your own diagnosis.

I'm glad to hear that you have a doctor who was helpful, and that you met with a CDE, always a good thing.

A new diagnosis always hits us with some kind of learning curve (good term, by the way). Multiple diagnoses make that learning curve even steeper. Finding an approach that works for you is a process, it takes hard work and patience, as you demonstrated in your excellent post.

Juggling is a great image. Sounds like you would quailify as the starring act!

Gary

melcoujes
melcoujes 2011-03-29 21:30:26 -0500 Report

I also was told "you are a diabetic" Here is a monitor and some pills." No explaination, no guidlines, nothing. talk about a freak out session!
I got home and went on the comupter and did a lot a research on my own. I was still confused about carb counting. Luckly Kaiser Permenete had a workshop for me to attend free. It helped alot, and I learned for myself carb counting is the best stratagy I have. I do have good days and bad days, but the the bad days are becoming less and less. Yea me!

tabby9146
tabby9146 2011-03-31 17:57:52 -0500 Report

that was pretty much the same with me, and I personally knew my doctor, I went to church with her growing up and to the same school, she knows all of my family and I knew hers, etc..our parents were friends, so I was surprised she acted the way she did. She told me to take the classes they offered.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-31 21:44:59 -0500 Report

Hi! Some doctors are just better communicators than others, even when they have a personal connection with the patient. Interesting, right? But at least she pointed you toward the classes so that you could get informed that way. Anotehr reason for patients to be empowered. Thanks for replying!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-30 09:13:27 -0500 Report

Hey!

Great to hear from you. I'm glad you were able to transition from your freak out session -- a normal reaction to a new diagnosis -- to getting yourself informed. Between getting on the Internet, and attending a class, you found a strategy that works for you. Fantastic.

Yes, pat yourself on the back!

Thank you!

Gary

nanaellen
nanaellen 2011-03-29 19:05:06 -0500 Report

I went to work one day and couldn't see who was coming in the front door!! Called my Dr. who sent me for blood work. 10 minutes after I got home the hospital called and said my levels were off the charts call my Dr. IMMEDIATELY! I still had no clue! I didn't know what "levels" they were talking about!! Called my Dr. the next morn. and he said you have full blown type 2 diabetes!! I was terrified!! I HATE needles always have always will!!! Anyway my Dr. sent me to the ER and said they would admitt me overnight and the nurse's would show me what to do. I made the necessary arrangements and went to the ER. Well, the ER Dr. said oh your diabetic all you need is a shot of insulin and you can go home. We'll send the Visiting Nurse's to see you in the morning and THEY will show you what to do. Well, at this point ALL I knew for sure was that I had to have insulin BEFORE I could eat anything. Needless to say the "Visiting Nurse's" never showed up!! By 4:30 I was starved and didn't know what to do!!! SSSOOOOO, I went BACK to the ER and found a very compassionate nurse and handed HER the bag of EVERYTHING (test kit insulin syringes etc.) and said to her "I don't know what to do with all this I just know I need a shot so I can eat something!" She called and reamed them out @ Visiting Nurse's!! To make a long story short they admitted me that afternoon and the Hosp. Nurse's showed me how to use my meter and give myself an insulin shot. I swear I have an anxiety attack EVERY time I give myself a shot!! Everyone said oh you'll get used to it!! Wrong!!! I ended up with a belly full of big black and blue bruises about 3 weeks later. So I called the nurse's hotline and asked them was I doing something wrong??! The very FIRST thing she said was "Well, they DID tell you to put the needle in @ a 45 degree angle right?" NO they didn't!! And you don't rub the injection site do you?? Yes cause it stings!! No DON'T rub it cause your breaking small blood vessels and creating the bruise!! After all THIS I went to a class but it was SO overwhelming I hardly remember anything they taught!! Got my numbers under control I THOUGHT and no more daytime shots just the lantus @ night! Mostly TRIED to watch what I ate and such but here I am 5 years later and got a bad case of pancreatitus and had to have my gall bladder out and now something wrong with my pancreas that their STILL trying to figure out. So my BS#'s are once again out of control! Started a support group but we only meet once a month so it's not really helpful. In hindsight I am thinking that IF I had paid MORE attention to my D maybe I wouldn't be going through this now. But Best teacher I have found to learn about D is RIGHT HERE ON DC!!! Thanks for listening hope it's helpful to someone else!! Ellen ( and I'm still smiling) :)

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-30 09:11:13 -0500 Report

HI Ellen,

Thanks a lot for telling your story here, an incredible story at that. It sounds like the healthcare system really let you down from the beginning. Not only did you not know what you needed to know, you also weren't told how important it was for you to get more informed. In other words, you didn't know what you didn't know.

It is always frustrating and sad to hear about patients who keep hearing, "whoops, we should have told you" from the people who are supposed to be helping them to get started in the right direction.

I'm sorry to hear that you have been through this. I hope you are working closely with a good healthcare team who is going to see you through this and get you back on track.

I am glad you are here with us on DC. And I am glad you are still smiline!

Thanks again and stay in touch!

Gary

Pynetree
Pynetree 2011-03-29 11:13:13 -0500 Report

I left the Dr.'s office that morning with a single sheet of "Diabetic diet" the nurse apologised that "the back side and page three were missing, but it's just eat only things that are good for you" you'll be fine. OMG! I went to work, one of the other teachers said her husband, brother-in law and sister were Diabetics and I should never eat bread again. My friend, diabetic for over 10 yrs, told me the only thing you have to watch is drinking..eat anything, just watch how much alcohol you have.! And I figured out I needed to read up on this, hit the library that 1st weekend. Then took a class offered in local hospital, cost covered by my insurance. Now 20 yrs. down the road…I'm still learning about MY diabetes. And only one time in past 15 years did my A1c hit 7.0 , every other one, four times a year has been between 5. 0 to 6.7

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-29 16:54:48 -0500 Report

Hi Pynetree!

What an experience. Sounds like you had incomplete or wrong information coming at you from all sides. Glad you decided to get informed on your own and make sure that you had the right information. Maybe that is partly your teacher side protecting you. And look at the results you are getting!

Thanks for the inspiration!

Gary

speak up
speak up 2011-03-29 13:34:49 -0500 Report

Pynetree we must go to the same doctor, after he ran the test he told my level was 414, he gave me a sheet of what I could eat and said go get something to eat, I got off the table and was dizzy and almost did not make it back to my office, when my associate saw me he hit the roof I could hardly walk or see so he went to get me something to eat after he got me to my office chair. To this day he has never told me much about a diabetic diet but I went and bought diabetes for dummies book and read it to find out what I was suppose to do.

bobec4
bobec4 2011-03-29 06:09:52 -0500 Report

When I was diagnosed the first thing I did was call me father who has been a diabetic for years. Then after finding out that his average BS was over 300 I quickly forgot all the information he gave me and went to the library and online and started studying lol. This site has given me much more information than my doctor seems to want to tell me or than any other resource I have found. Each day I learn new things and TRY to introduce them into my self care.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-29 16:51:39 -0500 Report

Hi,

That's great news. You have taken responsibility for keeping yourself informed and found an approach that works for you. That's empowerment!

Thanks!

Gary

jayabee52
jayabee52 2011-03-29 12:16:14 -0500 Report

It's good to be among folks who "walk the walk". I have learned tremendously from folks here since I've been on DC.

Bridgetsmom
Bridgetsmom 2011-03-28 22:46:50 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed in September and this is not my first time around with the big D.I was pregnant at 37 and I had gestational D and I had to give myself 3 insulin shots per day and check my sugars 5 times a day.I was completely unglued that time with all that I had to do and the limited info medical types were givingme.Seemed they just wanted me to know all the bad things that I had to look out for.So after giving birth my sugars went back to normal and I gave a huge sigh of relief…However given that it runs in family on mothers side and she as well as her mother were and are diabetic I had the gestational which made me more at risk for developing T2..So for 10 years all was good until now.A lot of the fear factor was'nt there this time because I already had a lot of info from the first time around.I am thankful for support groups online as I find sometimes as many others do getting very irritated with it all.I have good days and bad days.I am mindful of all the things that this D could cause but I keep moving ahead wih the belief that I am doing all I can to avoid the bad things.have to keep a positive attitude.
If my Mom can beat breast cancer and be a 6 year survivor this month Im sure I can give this my absolute best and avoid the more serious complications this D can cause.Im sure I will have some days where I get down and aggrivated but thats what support groups are for…

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-29 16:49:56 -0500 Report

Hi,

Thanks a lot for telling about your experiences. Sounds like you got initiated into the world of diabetes, got a reprieve, and then another diagnosis. You have been through a lot. It sounds like you were able to build on what you had learned, but also to deal with this with confidence, and a positive attitude, the second time around. I would guess that becoming informed the first time around really helped you when you had to face it again. That's great news. And geting support reallly helps you to maintain your positive attitude.

Thanks again!

Gary

Bridgetsmom
Bridgetsmom 2011-03-29 20:32:33 -0500 Report

Yes the first time around is what I call the preview.I was kinda hoping to aviod the main attraction,but it did not happen that way.I think too what helps is that when you really think of all the diseases out there like cancer this one although I could certainly live without seems the lesser of all the other evils..I have tough times sometimes and get frustrated mostly when I want something I love and I can't have it because of what it will do to my sugar.Im sure a lot of people face the same issue..I do mess up.My daughter who is 10 loves to tell people how I had some of her birthday cake and immediately got on my treadmill and walked to avoid a spike… lol Whatever works =)

dietcherry
dietcherry 2011-03-28 17:36:39 -0500 Report

Wow it must have been something in the air yesterday, but their seemed to be alot of discussions about fear! I told a new member who is young and scared of D complications that knowledge is power and to use all the resources available to him to arm himself against the fear in not being fully informed! :)

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-28 21:58:48 -0500 Report

Hi! Oh yes, the fear factor is a big one, especially among newly diagnosed patients. Fear can stop you in your tracks unless you stare it down.

Hopieland
Hopieland 2011-03-28 13:35:20 -0500 Report

Denial was my first reaction…for 3 years. Not much on research I tend to rely on internet information. One day a few months ago I Googled D info and found DC. Their recipes helped a lot, then recently I thot I'd try the web site, and viola! I found this community which has been more helpful than I ever imagined! Even my dearest friends really don't think about D issues when they make dished for pot lucks or such. This community however, is caring and very, very supportive of each other. Makes my day! All the comments here for instance, are helpful AND interesting. D is no fun, but getting to know people like each of you has been a real delight! In fact, I'm taking a much more serious look at my eating habits and the lack of real exercise in my life. Sometimes I wake-up feeling kinda at loose ends, wondering how and what to do to get a grip on this, then I visit here, find new ideas and new friends, and it just makes my day.

arizdove
arizdove 2011-04-01 15:23:06 -0500 Report

dont know if i'm in denial or not but i dont understand what the fuss is all about. i read your stories and hear on TV about everyone having trouble controlling their diabetes but i seem to have no trouble that i know of. i dont understand why i should check my glucose twice a day. started doing that and it stayed between 105 before meals and 118 after meals. not really sure if i am diabetic except before taking metformin my blood test showed i was 130 and i did spike to 233 after a shake. am i so wrong in not checking my glucose?

jayabee52
jayabee52 2011-04-01 15:31:51 -0500 Report

That's really best decided between you and your Dr. The testing is a pain in the —— fingers but that should be discussed with your Dr.

Hopieland
Hopieland 2011-04-01 20:32:51 -0500 Report

Yup. Self diagnosis can create problems later. Spikes in the 200's are not so good. It can all be a little confusing at first, but keep testing 2x a day and track your numbers and noting what you ate helps you get a clear picture of foods that work for you and those that don't. Spikes can very dangerous over the long haul. You'll learn a lot here. You might want to dialog with Amy, our facilitator. Click on her picture or her name and ask her about spikes in BG. I remember reading about that just the other day somewhere in her profile, I think.
You are blessed to run in normal range most of the time, but don't let that fool ya. D is known for having no real outward symptoms but damage to internal organs, etc. can be very real if D is neglected. Talk with your Doc. Ask questions. There are great articles on this site you won't find elsewhere that are actually informative and well worth reading. If all else fails…get a 2nd opinion from another Doc. What ever you do…don't let low #'s fool you.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-29 16:39:08 -0500 Report

Hi,

Denial is certainly a common reaction, and each person moves beyond the denial in their own way and on thier own timeframe. Your post really illustrates the value of support. Being around people who are dealing with their condition, who have adivce and inspiration to share, is a great way to get past denial. There is always something to jump into on DC.

Thanks a lot for posting!

Gary

Dizzy65101 or Robin
Dizzy65101 or Robin 2011-03-28 12:14:56 -0500 Report

I went from diving right in to running the other way when I found out all the complications that were invovled with D I didnt want to know any more for a long time then I got to thinking about the complications and thought given that these could be very serious and even more life changing than D it self I finally talked myself back into gaining as much knowlege as I could and scary as it is and still find myself over whelmed I try to stay focused on the end goal which is for me to controll this as much as possible.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-28 22:02:13 -0500 Report

That is a fantastic attitude. Eyes on the prize! It's about focusing on what you can gain by getting informed and taking care of yourself, instead of what you are losing by making changes in your life. But I know you know all about that. Thank you!

pkwillhoite
pkwillhoite 2011-03-28 12:22:52 -0500 Report

I so totally agree with you… I didnt take things serious and after reading a lot of posts I did an almost 100% turn around to.. I got scared cuz my vision was getting worse. Its really sad..

Hopieland
Hopieland 2011-03-28 13:37:17 -0500 Report

I with you! Talk some more about your vision. Maybe there's more here who can relate and help.

pkwillhoite
pkwillhoite 2011-03-28 13:49:17 -0500 Report

I used to have 20/20 vision and now every thing is blurry and getting worse. Its scarey and so with every one here I have been inspired to take better care of my self. I love this site and I wish I would have known about it in 2005 so maybe I would have been doing all this before now..

nanaellen
nanaellen 2011-03-29 18:27:45 -0500 Report

Blurry vision is what got me Diagnosed with D!! I couldn't see who was coming in the front door @ work!! Called my Dr. who sent me for a blood test and they called me from the hospital and said my levels were off the charts!! I went and spent $475.00 on perscription glasses and 3 months later when I got my numbers under control I didn't need them anymore!!

Hopieland
Hopieland 2011-03-28 14:08:33 -0500 Report

Not to be nosy, but age can affect vision and so can cataracts caused by D. My vision went to being so bad I couldn't read even with my glasses. It go so bad I finally went to my eye Doc. He found the cataracts. Had the simple, painless surgery done and now I don't have to wear glasses except for reading! Went from 180/20 to 30/20 in one eye and 25/20 in the other. Surgery won't correct astigmatism, but that's fine with me! I can see! You may want to look into an eye exam. It's amazing. They showed me on a computer screen what the inside of an eye looks like with diabetes. Fear is one of greatest enemies. I feared know ANYTHING about being diabetic at first. Then it dawned on me…no one else could help my stay healthy. I was very much younger than most people who had cataracts when mine were discovered. I had no insurance, so Medi-Cal paid for the who works. Even the worst case scenario can be treated, but not if you don't have an eye exam. NEVER GIVE UP!

dietcherry
dietcherry 2011-03-28 17:19:54 -0500 Report

Yay Hope! I love it when one of us wrestles D to the mat and shows D who's boss!!!! :) haha I just wrote that on my profile!

jayabee52
jayabee52 2011-03-28 15:31:40 -0500 Report

A cataract were the first complication I had from Diabetes ("DM"). I had surgery for cataract on my left eye about 9 mos after first Dx with DM. I do have a cataract in my right eye, but according to the Opthamologist it hasn't progressed very far in the 15 yrs or so I've been Dx'd

Hopieland
Hopieland 2011-03-28 16:08:08 -0500 Report

My eyes have remained the same since surgery. That's almost 8 yrs ago. My eye Dr said I'd need specs for astigmatism, but I often go without them. I use OTC sun glasses when I'm outside or driving. Most cataract surgeries seem to provide good vision for many years without any complications. I asked the surgeon if I'd ever need surgery again. He told me "No." I do have to watch my BG to stay healthy, including for my eyes. I need new specs, but it's bee 8 years! I used to have to have new one every 2-3 years.

realsis77
realsis77 2011-03-28 10:54:02 -0500 Report

Hi! Boy that's the truth! I was told I had diabetes and that was that! I got put on pills that didn't work and now I'm on insulin! Iwas told NOTHING about how to manage my disease! So I bought books and read and read and studied and searched and it helped sooooo much! The books were a God send for me! The books I bought were specially for the newly diagonsed diabetic so they explained EV ERYTHING in detail including the emotional ascepts of diabetes. They books went over medications and foods! They are wonderful! I bought about five in all! Read them all! Now I have a. Great idea on what's happening to my body. It also helped keep a positive attitude toward everything! I highly recomend buying several books on diabetes if you are newly diagnosed it helped me greatly! I'm a bit different I know. I wanted to learn as much as possiable because it gives power! Fear happens with the unknown and it really empowered me to learn as much as possiable! So know I'm very comfortable with things. Books are a great way to educate yourself on this disease! So that's what I did. I even got cookbooks after I read the first books! I think books are great! I made sure they were written for the newly diagnosed diabetic and I'm glad I did. This is how I educated myself on diabetes.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-28 22:04:00 -0500 Report

I would call that biblio-therapy! You get informed, so that you know exactly what you are dealing with. Fight the fear with facts!

Thanks!

jayabee52
jayabee52 2011-03-28 03:32:58 -0500 Report

I was Dx'd years before DC was online or even when I was on the internet.

My information gathering was through Diabetic Education classes and what little my Dr told me, or what I heard on radio or saw on TV.

But when I was first introduced to DC, it seemed that the diabetic world opened to me. I learned a heck of a lot here and have continued to learn by viewing videos, reading News articles, and mostly the discussions.

I learned that DC was a safe place to learn, and friends like those found here made it easy.

I did also attend a support group for diabetics here locally in Las Vegas (ADEMS) but that was only once a month.

My words of encouragement to newly Dx'd folks: Diabetes ("DM") is like a marathon race. You don't want to try to run it like a sprint or you'll burn out long before the finish line. To burn out means that you'll give up trying to control your DM and you'll get complications quicker. That's not good.

Pace yourself. You'll get to where you may not like your DM, but you are more comfortable controlling it.

Bless you and yours!

James

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-28 19:02:12 -0500 Report

Hi James,

Some very wise words here! Classes can be a good way to get started, at least as a means of gaining some initial information. But ongoing support definitely makes a big difference, and you can't get any better support than on Diabetic Connnect.

I like what you said about pacing yourself. That is great advice. Get informed at your own speed, without overwhelming yourself.

Thank you!

And I hope you are doing well!

Gary

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-03-28 10:15:18 -0500 Report

Couldn't agree with you more, James, on all your points.
The internet sure has made it easier to get information and support. When I was trying to help my Mother-in-Law in the 1980's throuth 1990's info seemed hard to come by. We lived in a small town with no Dibetes support group and no internet - heck no computer for most of that time. I have learned so much more in a much shorter time. Plus the online support from DC and other places has made a world of difference.

Harlen
Harlen 2011-03-27 22:21:01 -0500 Report

Hello
for me it was sites like this one that helped me the most
Talking with others that were going thrue the same thing and having every one serching for info and shairing what we were able to gather aswell as live thru
Life is hard . Frends make life a lot more understandable .
Every one was and is still very free with what we are going thru I was so lost when I came here ,thats how I felt .I was not alone
To all that have helped me THANK YOU
For them that I may have helped a little I am so glad that I was able too .
Best wishes
Harlen

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-28 18:53:01 -0500 Report

Hey Harlan,

Thanks so much for replying! Yes, we all get by with a little help from our friends! And we certainly have a lot of them here! Always great to hear from you. You were one of my first friends on Diabetic Connect!

Hopieland
Hopieland 2011-03-28 13:39:04 -0500 Report

Me, too! Friends make a big difference. It gets discouraging when sooo many people don't know about actually being diabetic. Finding people that do relate is so wonderful!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-03-28 18:53:39 -0500 Report

There is nothing better than support!

Hopieland
Hopieland 2011-03-28 21:40:07 -0500 Report

Your support is very helpful. Your manner is very reassuring. Your discussion are always informative and help me understand a bit more about D and how to work toward a healthy approach. Thank YOU.

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-03-28 10:21:03 -0500 Report

You said it, Harlen. Finding DC I went from feeling completely lost and alone to less lost and not alone.

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