Being diagnosed with diabetes can be overwhelming, but you can reach out for help. People living with diabetes share their stories about their diagnoses and support networks.
To learn more about diabetes, visit https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes
JIM: My feeling at the time was I hope I’m going to live, because I really didn’t know anything about diabetes.
JENNIFER: I didn’t believe it. I was scared. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to think.
MICHAEL: I felt a bit unnerved, but I wasn’t surprised.
ANDRE: I expected it. My father passed from complications with diabetes, and my sister and two older brothers had diabetes, and I felt like I was next in line.
VICKY: When I was diagnosed with diabetes, of course I was upset. But then I had to move on, it’s not the end of the world.
MICHAEL: Sometimes you feel like it is you against the world when you’re a diabetic. It’s a very lonely feeling.
VICKY: Sometimes I feel alone dealing with my diabetes because I was in denial for quite a long while.
JENNIFER: I know my father has it. My boyfriend’s father has it as well. So I kind of remember and think about I’m not alone.
ANDRE: All of my siblings have diabetes, and every surrounding I pretty much know the people who have diabetes and we tend to look out for each other.
JIM: I talk to my younger brother, Bill, about diabetes, because he has it. He’s made tremendous gains, his blood sugar levels are normal, like 112, and he serves as an inspiration for me.
VICKY: I asked my brother for advice regarding diabetes because he’s been dealing with it a lot longer than I have. We talk about what and what not to eat in our diet and that I should get my blood testing kit.
JIM: My friends and my family don’t always understand what diabetes is, and how can it affect your
life. But they are supportive in their own ways.
KIM: My husband helps me in that he doesn’t bring the bad foods into the house. I really need him to keep the things that I have no control with, out of the house, so he’s pretty good about that.
VICKY: My friends and family help me with my diabetes by helping me go to exercise classes
ANDRE: The most support comes from other people who are handling diabetes properly.
JIM: The most helpful support, I find, is with the doctors or with the nurses who know about this disease, and also about the pharmacists. The pharmacists always seem to look out for me.
KIM: It’s helpful when people don’t try to monitor my mouth. In the older days when I was diagnosed, everything I put in my mouth my parents would watch and calculate and admonish me about eating certain things, and it’s not like that anymore.
MICHAEL: I find the support from the medical community most helpful for my diabetes. Also, I find I can answer a lot of questions myself by going online.
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The New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation offers helpful diabetes guidance and support. We care for more than 58,000 patients with diabetes, just like you, and welcome you and your family to join our diabetes education classes or support groups.
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