Today, I want to take the time to encourage you to not give up. This is not an easy disease to jump right into. There is a good bit to learn, but if you take the time to really learn and understand how it all works, it really is manageable. Canine Diabetes is actually one of the easier diseases to have. I know that sounds crazy to those of you that are just starting out, but it really does get easier as you continue to connect with those that are “in the trenches” with you every day.
When my Max was first diagnosed, I was in a panic. I was totally overwhelmed, nervous, scared that I was going to make a mistake. It was awful. I felt so alone as I was my boy’s only caregiver. I didn’t know anyone that had ever dealt with Canine Diabetes. Honestly, I didn’t even know that dogs got Diabetes!! To say that I was on overload was the understatement of the century! Then I realized that I needed to get a grip and start learning all that I could to get a handle on this disease.
I am not an overly patient person, so not seeing immediate results was really hard for me. I just couldn’t understand why I couldn’t get BG (Blood Glucose) in range quickly. If this disease taught me one thing, it taught me patience. I thought that I was doing everything right yet I wasn’t getting the desired results. Then a magical thing happened…
I wasn’t a big Facebook user, so I didn’t belong to any groups nor did I post often. I happened upon a Westie Health group and posted about my Westie having been diagnosed about 3 months before. A wonderful woman named Linda told me about a group on Facebook (Canine Diabetes Support and Information) that was only for parents of dogs with Canine Diabetes. I joined and felt like I had hit the jackpot! This group had amazing files; there was so much information right there, all in one place, just waiting to be read. At that time there were maybe 3,500 members which seemed like a HUGE number of people that were all in the same situation that I was in. Today that same group has over 11,700 members of caring, determined, passionate people, all there to help and support each other.
I tell you that story to say that like everything else in life, managing this disease is so much easier if you aren’t trying to do it alone. In my last post, I talked about having a good vet to help you on this journey. That is the first step; the next step is to find support from other people that are living with this disease 24/7. There are nuances to this disease that you can’t possibly know about unless you are talking to others that are navigating this path too. There is always someone there to answer questions because there are members from all over the world so someone is always online to help.
Finding a good group is important so that you know that the information and advice that you’re getting is good and safe. It’s like everything; it can be trial and error until you find a place that feels like “home”. I will say that joining one of the larger groups out there would be a good place to start. To me if a group has a lot of members, it means that people come and stay. I joined a bunch of groups when I found out that there was such a thing as a Facebook Group. As I read and read, I began to leave the groups that didn’t feel right to me. I didn’t want to socialize, I wanted to LEARN and learn correctly about what had become my “new normal”. I found my “home” and like the others, I stayed, learned, shared, encouraged, reassured and got comfortable. I often tell people that they don’t have to make all the mistakes themselves, those of us that have gone before them have already made them all and can help them not repeat them. There’s comfort in knowing that if you take advantage of those valuable resources that you used to call members, then friends, and now family, you can get the help that you need and realize that you can help others too!
The bottom line here is… You can do this, it’s a lot in the beginning, but it DOES get better! You are not alone, there are tens of thousands of us that have lived with or are living with this diagnosis and thriving. Canine Diabetes is NOT a death sentence, it is manageable!
If Facebook isn’t for you, we have a resource right here where you can ask questions and learn what you need to know. Just ask a question in the comment section below or email me and I’ll help you however I can. I am thankful to Advocate/PetTest for supporting those of us that need the products that they make and for caring enough to give us this platform to share and learn. It’s a wonderful thing to be among people that truly, truly care about our dogs and the people that love them.
You’ll notice that for most of the products or groups that I mention, the text is linked to a website that you can purchase that item or a link to join the group mentioned. Just click on the colored text (red or blue, depending what device you are on) and it should take you right to the item or group. If you have any thoughts or ideas for topics that you’d like to see covered here, please feel free to comment below or send me an email at NancyForPetTest@pharmasupply.com. As always, please “like” this blog post or any of the others that have helped you or just refreshed your memory.Look for new posts every Monday, Wednesday and Friday!
Until next time…