Diabetes Awareness Month: A diabetes diagnosis changes everything
Diabetes is a complex disease that has implications for mental health, eye health, cardiovascular wellness, activity & lifestyle, blood glucose & metabolic stability, and foot health. These 6 interconnected pillars of health need to be managed to increase diabetes healthspan. A person who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes will meet a growing team of specialists that will work alongside them to help manage the disease. What gets lost too often for the person living with the disease is that they are the captain of the team. There are numerous teammates that can and will help along way, but the captain is ultimately responsible for ensuring clear communication, setting expectations, and taking ownership of the process.
We asked a friend of Orpyx that was recently diagnosed with diabetes what the diagnosis has meant to them.
“A diabetes diagnosis changes everything. It’s a before and after moment.
Before, exercise was for fun, something to do. A walk with friends.
After, it has become a 30 minute per day necessity that can’t be missed.
Before, eating was just eating. It was about taste and enjoyment, it was a social activity that I could enjoy whenever I wanted it. Now, it’s part of my diabetes management. While it is simpler food it feels more complicated and more restricted. Meals must be scheduled, and I know that less is more, even when I often want more. I still want cake, or ice cream, or a bowl of jellybeans, and sometimes I have some, but I’m doing my best to limit or restrict these items as best I can.
A diabetes diagnosis has meant more doctors’ visits, blood tests, and learning. More challenges, frustrations, new terms, and small failures. Small failures that are increasingly hard to care about, while growing fatigued by choices and compromises.
I can’t speak for anyone else, but this has been one of the more frustrating changes I’ve ever had to make. But the diabetes diagnosis also meant answers. Answers as to why I had been feeling such low energy.
I’ve had huge improvements. I closed the rings on my watch every day for more that 6 months, then I had a month where I had a bladder infection and missed a bunch, but I’m back at it. I’ve made simple changes to eating habits that mean more nutrient dense food for my husband and I. I’ve had months where I know I’m on the right track, and weeks where I know I’m missing the mark, but I know that without the diagnosis I’d feel worse, I wouldn’t know what the problem was, and I wouldn’t be able to prevent things from getting worse.
Was I incredibly frustrated by the diagnosis? Yes. Will it change the way I live. Yes. Will it change who I am? No. I’m still me, just living with diabetes, and doing my best to stay on the right track”
At Orpyx, we’re focused on foot health for people living with diabetes. Foot health is the foundation of exercise, and we are building solutions that help prevent diabetic foot ulcers and allow people to keep moving on their own terms. Staying active is an excellent way to regulate blood sugar levels, and we want to be there every step of the way.