As a blogger who’s very public about living with diabetes, I get lots of questions about diabetes from readers. I’ve had emails that range from “I have diabetes, now what?” to “Have you heard of this amazing tree root from Ghana that cures diabetes?” (the latter of which I tend to hit the delete button or send a smart-ass reply). And to me, that’s the coolest part of the diabetes online community – the fact that folks with diabetes and the people who love them can ask tough questions and have real conversations about this disease.
Last week, a reader reached out with a unique request. She’s asked that her name not be used, so we’ll call her T1Sister – her brother is 26 years old and was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes just a few weeks ago. The brother, and his entire family, are shell-shocked by this surprise diagnosis, and like a lot of families, are now struggling with how to deal with it. T1Sister wrote:
“…my brother, at the age of 26, was just diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. It has been a huge transition for him, and a struggle for my whole family. My dad has been festering a lot of anxiety about it…I noticed that your blog has quite a few followers — I really enjoy how other people comment about your posts and it seems that you have established a very warm, safe community. I was hoping you could share my family’s question(s) on your blog and generate some discussion about it from others! (Do you ever do this kind of thing?). ”
I’ve recieved a lot of questions aimed directly at me, but this is new. T1Sister, in just a few short weeks, has realized the power of the online collective – she already knows that other people with diabetes are the best resources for better understanding this disease, so I thought we’d see if we could help her out. Below, you’ll find some the questions that she and her family have. If any of you readers out there are comfortable, please help try and answer her questions in the comments section. You don’t need to provide a long answer, or answer all of the questions – any insight would be appreciated. There’s nothing more powerful, comforting, or inspiring than the collecitve minds of the people who live this every day. T1Sister has shown her brother incredible support by reaching out to the D.O.C. – let’s support her right back.
1.)We are wanting to know the average timeline (if there is such a thing) for the newly diagnosed. (I hope I am using the right terminology, but again, still learning)! My brother was golfing over the weekend and could hardly make it 6 holes before feeling queasy, a big distinction from the usual 18 that he plays. He only walked a mile in an hour, but had to stop. How long does it typically take to feel adjusted and to learn how to understand, manage and control insulin levels and diet?
2.) How can he incorporate exercise back into his day-to-day?
3.) Since learning that he has diabetes at the beginning of October, he has been isolating a lot, and has hardly told any of his friends.What would be your advice for the amount of information people disclose to family, friends, coworkers, etc.?
4.) I am not sure what the emotion is that he is feeling. Sadness? Embarrassment? Maybe others have felt similar. Or perhaps people could shed light on this. My brother is an active, social, young male, and it seems that his whole life has been turned around.
5.) Do you know of any success in maintaining “some” insulin production by the pancreas by taking an “alpha protein” shot in early stages of Type 1 diagnosis?