I her own words, Kira tells us what it was like to receive a diagnosis of diabetes:
I was diagnosed at the age of 20. I had started treatment for Hypothyroidism a few months before and it was working fairly well but I still felt exhausted all the time. I asked my doctor to check all the simple things like vitamins and iron levels. The tests came back with Type 2 Diabetes.
At this point I received a lot of really hurtful comments about how I wasn’t taking care of myself properly and that I ate too much sugar. People told me I was too young to have Type 2 Diabetes and that my doctor must have been wrong. All these stereotypes and hurtful comments really took a toll on my mental health. I was assured by my doctor that it was genetic but I still struggled with a lot of guilt and angry. How could I do this to myself, how could I let this happen?
It wasn’t until I met with a specialized team at my local Primary Care Network that I started to see the light again. They taught me about the disease and what it really meant for me. They helped me get over my fears and guilt, and ultimately brought my mental health back up.
Yes, I’m not perfect. Sometimes I eat a few too many carbs or forget to take my medication but at least now I have the skills I need to manage this. Most importantly, I have the knowledge to correct all those stereotypes that are floating around. After all, being a diabetic doesn’t define me as a person.