Diabetes Forecast

The Wake-Up Call

By Sara Sklaroff, Editorial Director ,

What's your diagnosis story?

We all have them: Mine is complicated by the fact that I learned I had diabetes on Sept. 10, 2001. I did get a chance to run to the pharmacy to fill that first prescription, but the events of the next day overwhelm my memory of the ones after that.

nce I was able to focus again, I found myself craving information (even more than I was craving dessert). A lot of that urgency was about the future. If you're diagnosed relatively young, as I was, you've got a lot of years of disease management ahead of you, and a lot of years to worry about screwing it up.

I also just wanted some basic details about living with diabetes. How was I supposed to eat? What would these new medications do to my body? Did I have to (ugh) join a gym? And wear one of those medical ID bracelets?

I was petrified the first time I had to use my new blood glucose meter. I loaded up the test strip, cocked the lancing device, and held out a very shaky finger. But try as I might, I could not bring myself to draw blood. The machine was set to time out after five minutes, which happened twice before I finally pulled the trigger. And then I had to do it again, since I couldn't raise a big enough sample the first time.

Even more painfully, I found it hard to tell others about my disease. (Funny that I now write about diabetes for a living!) When I realized that there were people in my life I didn't want to share the news with, I reconsidered those friendships. If my free time was going to be reduced by the important work of managing my health, I sure didn't want to waste what remained with people I couldn't even count on in a moment of crisis.

A diagnosis can be a wake-up call, as we often say in Diabetes Forecast. That's what we had in mind when we put together this special "Back to Basics" issue: a chance to clean that slate and start afresh with your health. And what if your diagnosis happened years ago? Let this issue be your second wake-up call, reminding you to review the fundamentals and take stock of how you're doing. Because just as everyone has a story, everyone's story deserves a happy ending.



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