Three days before my 60th birthday, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and I felt there was nothing much I could do about it. I got a little depressed as I thought my body had let me down. My experience is a bit different to most diabetics as I do not fit the “normal” type 2 Diabetes profile – I have never smoked, I drink little alcohol, I have been actively working 6-7 days a week on a rural property, I have never been overweight and I eat well with healthy portions.
My parents did not have diabetes and my sister does not have it, which made my diagnosis a great surprise to me. I asked the specialist why this has happened and his reply was “just bad luck I guess”.
Unfortunately I couldn’t take the oral medication because I was allergic to all the tablets. At first I was worried about taking injections, but after a couple of days it was no problem at all. I’ve found that injecting is no more difficult than taking your sugar levels and I now look at diabetes this way: diabetes has come to visit so let’s live the journey together the best we can.
Over time it has become apparent to me that some people may think that diabetes won’t happen to them and when it does, they may initially have difficulty adjusting to the challenges. I believe that during the early stages of diagnosis, access to support and sharing with other people who are living with diabetes – in addition to the medical advice, intervention and support – would be of great value.