In this study, the experience of adaptation to diabetic renal disease was examined from a phenomenological perspective. Twenty patients attending a diabetic renal clinic were interviewed in depth. Through the use of a template analysis approach, a set of strong themes relating to changes in lifestyle was identified: changes in the nature of involvement with the medical system, coping strategies, and hopes, fears, and expectations. Almost all participants attempted to construct a "good adaptation" in the face of the uncertainties surrounding their condition by adopting a stoic and fatalistic stance. This is discussed in the context of the claim that contemporary society holds emotional self-expression rather than stoical endurance to be the appropriate response to suffering.