Psychosocial support and diabetes is a topic that's always interested me, as I very much believe that it is overlooked. So when I saw that Zoe Scott, founder of Hedgie Pricks Diabetes, was lined up to host an Our Diabetes chat on this very topic, I was excited...and then bummed out when I realised it was on a night I wouldn't be able to participate in the chat. However, thinking about it now, I know I wouldn't have been able to keep my responses to the Twitter-limit of 140 characters!
1. Are there times when diabetes gets you down or anxious? Are there particular triggers?
I'd be lying if I said there weren't times when diabetes gets me down and anxious. I panic when my blood sugar drops and I can't get it back up within range. I also panic when my blood sugar is high and won't come down, especially after that one time I ended up in hospital, not remembering anything. I have pity parties, where I feel sorry for myself, and "grieve" the life I had before diabetes.
2. Do you feel you get the emotional/psychological support you need from your HCPs?
Yes, I do. I feel like I've been incredibly lucky with my health care team, and I worry about potentially leaving them if/when I move in the future. I'm scared that I won't have the same level of help and support.
3. If you were given a questionnaire by your HCP would feel able to answer it honestly or would you lie with some questions?
I would like to think I'd answer it honestly, but thinking about times when I've been down in the past, I actually don't think I would. When I've been down before, it's not been something I've wanted other people to know about. I'd pretend to be fine and happy, and then when "behind closed doors" I'd let everything go. Knowing that, I think I'd lie if given a questionnaire, not wanting to admit to others that I'm struggling. It's a character flaw, one that I'm working on.
4. Does your team take your concerns seriously?
Yes, always have, and I believe they always will. And I hope wherever my care moves to in the future, I'm shown the same level of support.
5. Do you know where you can get help for how you feel?
I know that I can turn to the DOC - there's something about talking to other people who 100% get it. But, of course, if I really felt there was cause for concern, or my family or friends did, I'd definitely talk to my health care professionals, no matter how difficult it would be for me to do so. The DOC is great for emotional support, but there's a difference between needing emotional support after a bad day or a bout of diabetes burnout, and needing further (professional) help for some more deeply-rooted emotional problems.