I’m Stuck. Where Can I Find Help?
I’m a 61-year-old man, 5-foot-5 and 183 pounds. I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2003. My last A1C was 9.6. I take metformin, inject NovoLog three times a day, and use a Lantus SoloStar pen before bed. I walk about 3 miles a day at work and have tried several diets with varying success. I’m starting to experience some of the problems diabetes causes. The attitude of my wife and her family is that’s life. Where can I go for help? Name Withheld
Belinda Childs, APRN, MN, BC-ADM, CDE, responds:
You are not alone: The struggles and feelings that you describe are very common for people living with diabetes.
What to Know
Resources are available to help you improve your diabetes control and to help your family better understand the challenges of diabetes. It is not too late to make changes that will delay the progression of diabetes-related complications.
My first recommendation would be for you and your family to attend a comprehensive diabetes education program or a refresher course, and to see a dietitian. Diabetes education will help family members learn about the complexity of diabetes as well as develop a healthier lifestyle, including meal planning and regular exercise, which could alter their own risk of developing type 2. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recognizes almost 1,900 diabetes education programs at more than 3,600 sites around the country. You can find one online at diabetes.org/findaprogram. The American Association of Diabetes Educators also certifies diabetes education programs.
With a 9.6 percent A1C, you should see your health care provider at least every three months to make sure that you are optimizing your diabetes regimen. Your diabetes medications may need to be adjusted or new medications added. Be honest with your provider; share your feelings of frustration and desire to improve your glucose control. If your provider doesn’t share your goal of lowering your A1C, you may need to seek other medical advice.
Finally, seek out a support group through the ADA (find a local office at diabetes.org/zip) or perhaps a local hospital. Participating in online forums (such as at diabetes.org/messageboards) can help, too.
Education and support are key to living successfully with diabetes. Finding resources in your community can help you and your family cope and enjoy healthier lives with diabetes.