Type 2 Diabetes: Coping With the News
Learn how to control it, then find a support group.
Ignore at Your Own Risk
Treatments for type 2 diabetes are light-years better than 40 years ago, even 10 years ago. "The medications are better, blood testing meters are better, it's not like it used to be," says Schafer. "I tell people, 'Bad things happen, but they don't have to happen to you.'"
Ignore medical advice -- but at your own peril. "If you don't take care of yourself, you'll be seeing your doctors again in a few years," she says. "You're going to be back with eye problems, kidney problems, burning and tingling of the feet and hands, in pain, suffering, and scared. You need to take care of it now."
If you feel anxious about all this, talk with your social worker, Schafer says. Some patients benefit from seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist. Some take medication for their anxiety and depression. Sometimes hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) masquerades as anxiety, so it's important to have the problem addressed.
Also, find a diabetes support group, she suggests. "That's where people find the motivation they need. A support group gives a feeling of hope. People know each other like family. It's a wonderful thing. They get strength, support from each other. They help each other deal with this thing in their lives."