Some people are relieved to finally be able to explain why they’ve been feeling tired or unwell. Some people will find the diagnosis upsetting and it can lead to self-blame and other negative thoughts. Others may not feel any different at first.
Whatever your experience, adjusting to life with diabetes can be a challenge.
Let’s be clear from the start: it’s not your fault you have diabetes. No-one ‘chooses’ diabetes. It is a complicated condition. However, there is a lot you can do to manage your diabetes and live a healthy life.
You do not have to do it all on your own. We have health professionals you can talk to, peer groups, and programs you can link into. Get in touch.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to how you manage diabetes. And yes, it is okay to get it wrong occasionally. It is possible to fit diabetes into your life, rather than trying to fit your life into diabetes.
Let’s begin with what you can do.
- Register with the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS). Your doctor, practice nurse or diabetes educator will fill in the form with you.
- Diabetes care plan: with your doctor, set some goals for your diabetes management. Through Medicare you are eligible for a Chronic Disease Management care plan.
- Annual cycle of care: Find out about the kinds of diabetes and general health checks you can expect as part of your care plan.
- Programs and peer support: there are a number of group and topic-specific educational programs you can choose from. Also, connecting with other people who are affected by diabetes can be helpful, for example, our camps (for children with diabetes) or peer support groups
- Diabetes educator: ask your GP, practice nurse or nurse practitioner to refer you to a diabetes educator. Or, you can refer yourself to an educator at Diabetes Tasmania (the appointment is free).
- Dietitian: some of your first questions or concerns might be around food and drinks. A dietitian is the best person to help you navigate and understand all the information around eating well.
- You and your health care team: get to know which other health professionals can support you.
You can become a member of Diabetes Tasmania.
One thing to keep in mind is that what works for others, may not work for you. Also, your diabetes care will change over time – see your doctor routinely (see annual cycle of care), or get in touch with us if you have any concerns.
There is no cure for diabetes, but you can live a healthy life with the right support and care.