Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What Do YOU Tell A Diabetes "Newbie?"

Listen Newbie - This is your life - this is your life with diabetes.
And this is me punching you in the crouch~

It seems like almost everyday I meet, or receive an email from, someone who (or who's love one has
) been recently been diagnosed with diabetes.

I do my best to be supportive and talk honestly, and use humor when ever I can.
I wax poetic about the Diabetes On-line Community, the importance of finding a great Endo & encourage them to work closely with a Certified Diabetes Educator. I tell them of my love of pump therapy and reinforce that testing blood sugars are a must.
I explain to them about "The Diabetes Dark Ages", and how times have changed for the better.

I tell Diabetes Newbies that it's much better to own their diabetes instead of their diabetes owning them, and I find away to make positives out of their diabetes negatives.

But it's not all about what I tell them, because here's a SHOCKER -It's not all about me!

It's about what WE tell them - every single person out there living the diabetes life.

So my friends, what do you tell a Diabetes Newbie?


When you were a newbie PWD, what advice did you receive that REALLY allowed you to start owning your diabetes?

And keep it clean folks! No advice/stories involving crouch punching!


Anonymous said...

I didn't had anyone saying something..

I would tell a newbie just what it is, just basic information that's handy (like what to do when your low?) etc.

Lol at the srubs image <3

Elizabeth said...

I was diagnosed this past March and have received lots of advice...some of the things that stick out are:
-it is okay not to "get over it" right away, be sad and take time to grieve your diagnosis if you need to
-don't believe everything you read on the internet

and then I got all sorts of partical stuff from my team at the advice that told me to go to Joslin was great!


Holly said...

First, give them a hug!

Second, tell them that sugar-free/carb-free aren't necessarily what you should think. A good balanced diet combined with whole grains, fruits/veggies, and protein is better. Think about the bigger picture when it comes to nutrition, not just blood sugar. A good visit with a nutritionist or a CDE would help with that.

Bennet said...

Well it depends on the audience different newbie have different issues. Fear seems to be a part of all the issue and I try to address that fear and stress with humor. OK OK K2 you know me better than that - I address everything with humor.

I have a series of post form Newbies at

Katie from SF said...

I was 3 when I was diagnosed so I don't remember all the "you will be fine" talks... When I meet newly diagnosed people I tell them that diabetes has its ups and downs. There will be times in their life when everything is fine, and times when nothing is fine... but to always learn from each experience - and to always put in all the effort they can muster. Basically, use everything as a learning experience, be proactive as often as you can, find good docs, and find a supportive D community to be part of. Just like you said. :)

Pam said...

When my daughter was diagnosed and I was in the hospital with her, I was a complete wreck. Petrified, anxious, sad, my head filled with lots of new info I couldn't quite process. Then my sis called and said, "let it be possible that in a year's time everything will be okay." In that one statement she gave me time to grieve, time to learn and time to heal. She reminded me that through everything there's a light at the end of the tunnel. And she was right - on the one year anniversary of dx, everything was okay. (Granted, a new ok... but ok none the less.)

Penny said...

Great stuff to think about Kel.
I wish that when we were in the hospital during those five days, that I would have met someone who was living with Type 1. Someone to assure me that it would be, eventually, ok.
That being said, if I told anything at all to T1 families who are new to this game, it would be that it can be done, life goes on and there are families out here on which to lean.

Stacy said...

I always tell that them they CAN do this. That in a few months, it will be as basic to them as tying a shoe. I remember panicking and thinking we'd never understand carb factoring and that DD was going to absolutely freak about shots - having someone tell me that we would be fine and that the new normal wasn't that bad would have been so it's what I tell everyone.

And then I tell them to go buy "Think Like a Pancreas" because it's the greatest book ever written.

Then I give them my cell phone number and email address, just in case they have a panic moment :)


Scott Strange said...

I read this earlier today and it has taken me a bit to organize a reply.

To me, it depends on where they are at in accepting the fact that they have a life long condition.

I guess, in general, I would just let them that they are not alone. That there are people who can help them with it on a daily basis

Ginger Vieira said...

I would tell them to take it day by day. There is so much to learn, they can't learn it all at once but if they keep themselves open to the fact that the more you learn about this disease and the more you accept it's place in your life, the better life will be.

Unknown said...

I take the initiative to contact them personally - usually via e-mail, because that's typically the information I can get first.

Mind you, I'm generally dealing with another mother who is shocked by the news....but....

I tell her that her child will still be able to lick beaters of a birthday cake, enjoy holiday celebrations and family traditions, and grow into a wonderful adult.

Then I tell her to reply when she's ready ... and I don't take it personally if that's in a really, really, really long time.

It took me 2 years to feel ready to connect. I'm so thankful I found the DOC.

BTW, I changed my URL...check out my new pad!

Becca / SingleWhiteDiabetic said...

I think I would tell them they are going to learn more about their body than they probably ever wanted to know, but the knowledge is power. And maybe remind them to be kind to themselves.

Unknown said...

I just chat with whoever it is. Ask them how they're feeling, what they are finding out to be the hardest - and give them "experience" advice. Yet, I try really hard to make sure people people understand it's just that - advice - not law. Nothing about diabetes is set in stone. :)

Anonymous said...

I just tell people new to the diagnosis that it WILL get easier. It won't be simpler, and it won't require less vigilance, but it does get easier. Does that make sense?