When were you diagnosed with diabetes and what were the signs?Type 2 diabetes was diagnosed in May 2001. In addition to fatigue, weight loss, a strong feeling of thirst and the urge to urinate, the main symptom was inflammation of the urethra. In the first minutes or hours, you naturally ask yourself a few questions: How will my life change from now on? What am I no longer allowed to do from now on? Will the illness affect my job and the associated travel? And what can I do to prevent the effects from getting worse? I also seriously thought about and struggled with who I should tell about my illness - apart from family and friends, of course. It was important for me to gather more information about diabetes in the coming weeks. But here, too, I asked myself where and how I could get quality-assured information. What were your initial thoughts after being diagnosed with diabetes? How do you gather information about the disease?I consider continuous information about news in treatment and therapy to be very important in order to achieve relief in everyday life. My diabetologist and pharmacist are the first points of contact here. But also the numerous lectures in the self-help group for years and the events at the German Diabetes Center (DDZ), constantly expand my knowledge about the disease. I would like to emphasize here but also the numerous information from the self-help association DDH-M, which provides in various formats a large, but also easy to understand expertise. Last but not least, I have subscribed to professional journals, such as the Diabetes Journal, for years. What changed for you after the diagnosis?First of all, the classic triad of measuring - eating - injecting became a fixed part of my life. In the beginning, diabetes was on my mind in every situation. I tried to pay the best possible attention to the body‘s signals about hyper- and hypoglycemia. For this purpose, I tried as much as possible to implement the guidelines for diet and exercise. What gave you the strength to cope with this situation in the first days and weeks, or what almost caused you to fail?The confidence was initially fed by the discussions with the treating diabetologist. Since intensified insulin therapy (ICT) was used right from the start, I felt much better again relatively quickly. I simply felt more energetic (*laughs*) and in principle experienced only minor restrictions in quality of life. Since I have an optimistic attitude in general, there was no question of failing in the situation. What has helped you the most in dealing with the disease?The DMP training at the doctor‘s office and the reading of various reports about the disease and everything that revolves around it have supported me in the first weeks to deal with the diagnosis. Family and friends have also been with me continuously since the first second. They inquire about the status of things, give hints, but also advice on how to deal with diabetes. How do you deal with worries and fears?If possible, I try not to let the disease become a burden. Probably not everyone can do that, so I can probably talk about a lucky predisposition here. How did diabetes develop in the coming years?The experiences of the 20 years can be easily derived from a short list of relevant data from the various diabetes health passports. From July 2001, insulin therapy began on the basis of a doctor‘s order, both with short-acting and long-acting insulins. The data makes clear that the disease can be influenced very strongly in the developments. By taking an interest in the medical context of the disease, uncertainties can be taken away and secondary diseases can be avoided.From mid-March to mid-April 2014, I was then on a cure in Bad Kissingen and was switched to a combination therapy consisting of insulin and metformin. A few months later, I had fortunately also reached my well-deserved retirement. This was accompanied by a change of life, from which a further improvement of the health situation became possible. In the meantime, for example, I was able to reduce my weight to almost 90 kg through physical work as well as sports activities. Are secondary diseases an issue for you?Fortunately, secondary diseases are not very acute in my case, with the exception of periodontitis. The periodontium seems to react to the diabetes in particular. It is difficult to say whether the problems would not have occurred even without the diabetes, but it is obvious that the disease plays a certain role here. Fortunately, there are no other secondary diseases, which is also supported by the results of the regular quarterly examinations according to DMP. The quality of life can therefore be described as good, with minor restrictions. The blood glucose (Bloodsugar, BS) values are once again too high - the motivation sinks. How do you deal with setbacks?If the BS values are too high, the only thing that helps is regular measurement and the appropriate injection of insulin. Fortunately, I notice hyperglycemia quickly, so that I can then react quickly and get the BS back to normal. It is good to remember the reason for a high BS, which may prevent a recurrence. Hypoglycemias are in principle much more unpleasant. So far, I have been spared from slipping into areas of unconsciousness here. I can sense hypoglycemia quite quickly, even at night, so that I can intervene in time. As unpleasant as hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia are, they do not become a burden as long as the reasons for them are recognizable. Why do you participate in a diabetes self-help group or have you been leading a group for years?Right at the beginning of the disease, I was asked by the diabetologist whether I would participate in the founding of a self-help group in Grevenbroich. I immediately saw this offer as an opportunity to work on my insecurities. I was then happy to take over the leadership, since in principle I like to take on leadership tasks and responsibility and love dealing with people. Why did you decide to become active in the DDH-M self-help association?Membership in the DDH-M came about practically automatically, through the founding of the self-help group, since the association was co-initiator of the diabetes self-help group. Now, after 20 years, it can be seen that this was not only the right way to go, but also that many contacts could be made. At the same time, we were able to share a wide range of expertise with many participants in the self-help group.