Stawell Regional Health patient Susan Power wasn't diagnosed with type one diabetes until 47, later than the majority of the population who have the gene base.
Being diagnosed at the age where long-term habits around lifestyle were already formed, Mrs Power said it was difficult to transition.
"I was also misdiagnosed for two years so that made it all the more difficult," she said.
"I was first told I was a non-compliant type two diabetic. Your pancreas works for all those years and suddenly it slows down and stops.
"Getting things right and balancing everything is an ever-changing thing. It was quite a shock to the system."
The theme of this year's National Diabetes Week, from July July 12-18, is 'Heads up on Diabetes', focusing on supporting the emotional and mental health of people living with diabetes.
10 years since her diagnosis, Mrs Power said there were always ongoing challenges faced.
"People with diabetes can become quite anxious and depressed trying to navigate through their everyday lives and managing their lifestyles," she said.
"When you have really good support it's just amazing.
"I seek the services at Stawell Regional Health because I work in Stawell."
Mrs Power links up with Stawell Regional Health's senior diabetes educator and clinical nurse consultant Sue Fontana who provides support when needed.
"I started seeing her about four to five years ago and that is what has made a huge difference for me," she said.
"It has made everything much easier to have someone's support there."
Mrs Power said since her diagnosis said there were many challenges around to changing someone's lifestyle and the education that is needed not only for the individual but for other family members as well.
"My grandson can recognise my signs and take my blood glucose level and tell me what treatment I need to have," she said.
"He's seven and has a pretty good understanding. He is with me a lot and it worried him as he got older. I could see the worry on his face sometimes so I taught him.
"I think it's hard to change people's mindset and misconceptions about diabetes but hopefully with more education and research the public can have a better understanding of the auto-immune disease."
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