The Value of Support
Sharing with people that you have diabetes can be very scary. The Bahamas Islands are small and everyone seems to know everybody’s business. Plus, there are many personal opinions surrounding the condition, many of which may not be positive. You might be a very private person and the thought of sharing your diagnosis with others is very daunting.
“If at all possible, don’t do diabetes alone. Managing diabetes day after day is so much easier when you have people in your life who are rooting for you. So think about what you need and who you could ask. Reach out to a good friend, a family member, a neighbor, a coworker, or even someone you meet through social media. It can be anybody!” Dr. William H. Polonsky
Studies indicate that how well someone manages their diabetes is predicted by the amount of support they get from family and friends. If you want great diabetes self-care management then you are going to need a great team to support you.
5 Steps to getting the support you need
1) Identify team members.
2) What support do you need?
3) When do you need that support?
4) How do you want support?
5) Then you need to tell your team members what you need.
Niska is 35 years old, she has 2 young children and works as an administrator for a Bahamian Utility Company. Last week, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. She is shocked, embarrassed and scared. Her mother passed away from diabetes, following a lower leg amputation. She know she needs support, with two young children to care for, she is determined not to have complications from Diabetes like her mother.
Niska uses the 5 steps: Her team members include her sister and a co-worker. Niska knows that she needs to exercise, and needs an accountability partner to be successful in maintaining an exercise plan. She asks her sister to provide positive encouragement through sending her positive texts and pushing her to go on, when she wants to quit.
Niska and her co-worker go on lunch together. Normally they choose fast foods that are very tasty, but not the best option for Niska’s diabetes management. She asks her coworker to support her in her healthy lunch options, by; eating from healthier places and occasionally bringing in food from home.
Do not be afraid of sharing your diagnosis with a loved one or friend. Choosing the right persons to share your heart with is vital for your support and for great outcomes with your diabetes self-management.
Here is a worksheet you can download, on the value of support; fill it in and bring it to your visit.
At the Diabetes Education Network we are committed to being on this journey with you. We are here to listen and support. Just reach out.