7/31/2006

diabetes scares me

With my normally calm, cool, collected and slightly humorous disposition it came as a bit of a shock when I realized that diabetes scares the shit out of me. For the most part I am able to roll with the punches, take what comes my way. I am not a worry wart. I am trusting and laid back. Diabetes and what my future may hold scare me.

When will the first complications show up? It’s been 23 years, so they must be lurking there right below the surface. I have by no means been the poster child for good, tight diabetes control so after this long the complications must be near. That diabetes is something that often kicks my ass scares me too. At times it leaves my body feeling used and broken not to mention my spirit. I am trying to turn the fear into strength rather than let it eat me up inside.

The first big step was realizing that diabetes scares me. I had the image of myself at age 11, when diabetes was new and cool, uncomplicated, something that made me different, whose problems I could handle since I was, invincible, stuck in my head for so long. I hung onto the idea that diabetes was no big deal long after I realized it was a huge deal. If it wasn’t a big deal then it couldn’t hurt me.

The problem being, that if you let diabetes control you rather than controlling it, it does hurt you. My first challenge is to do at least 6 blood sugars a day. I keep telling myself, that the actual number is not as important as simple doing the blood sugars and acting on the results right now. I can’t let myself be afraid of those numbers-they are simply tools. I know that soon I will need to work on getting them in range but I have to be consistently doing the actual tests before I can fine tune things.

The next or rather concurrent challenge is to log. In a word – YUCK! I hate to log. Even when I was young and really didn’t mind having diabetes that much I did not log willingly. My mom had to bribe me to get in the habit of logging before going off to college with a pair of Birkenstocks if I wrote down all my sugars for 3 months. I got the Birks, but not so much the lasting lesson. Although for 3 months I did write down my sugars because I really wanted those sandals. Maybe I should try a less costly reward plan.

If I can face my fear and turn it into positive action there just might be some hope for a decent hbA1C and in turn less fear.

9 comments:

Scott K. Johnson said...

Melissa,

Way to go for taking a good honest look at it, and simply admitting how you feel about it. That is a big first step.

You have a good plan in place, and taking those small, achievable steps in the right direction will be a big key for your success.

I'm at 26+ years in, and at times I too worry about those complications. But, then I also remember there are a lot of people who have been living with diabetes for a long time - even back when they didn't have all the tools we have - and they are doing pretty damn good.

Keep us posted. I have found blogging to be very therapuetic for me. A place to get things off my chest. A place for me to communicate with myself (putting words to feelings can be a big help). And of course, all the wonderful support from the OC - it can't be beat.

We all know exactly what you are going through. You can do it.

Anonymous said...

Boy, those intangible rewards that come with adulthood are a lot less appealing than new Birks, aren't they? Simply admitting that you're terrified allows you to plan for facing the fear. You know how much I admire you and how I am amazed by what you do every hour of every day to keep yourself going. Keep setting those small goals and perhaps you and I can figure out some slightly less intangible rewards for ourselves... S

art-sweet said...

I hate logging. Hate it. And I have such a hard time getting myself to test when I know the number will be "bad."

The scary thing about complications is that while we know what we can do to increase/decrease risk, there will always be anomalies. The eighty year old with crappy control and no complications. The eighteen year old with an AIC of 6 and the beginnings of retinopathy.

I'm not sure what to say except that you know that other people are struggling with this alongside you. And thinking of you.

Also, I love your new template. I usually read on bloglines, so it may not be that new anymore, but I love it!

melissa said...

Thank you all very much. I need those encouraging words.

Scott - When I do actual blog it is very theraputic but it's been hard to nial down how I am feeling and my mind has been elsewhere. I am going to make an effort to blog more though.

S-nothing amazing about it - I am just surviving.

Art Sweet - the template is sort of new. Thank you I did it myself :)

Minnesota Nice said...

The big F.............Fear is so disabling - I was immobilized by it for so many years and it seemed like denial was the only remedy to keep me from literally going off the deep end.
It's one thing to read about the complications but quite another to see them strike your relatives, one by one, unraveling life a thread at a time (I come from an extended famiy of 36 type l's).
Sorry for the drama, but that's how I used to feel..........
But I don't (so much) anymore. I feel stronger and even empowered some days.
A few years ago, when my control was still really poor, a doctor told me I had "enormous quantities" of protein in my urine.
After working to bring my A1C down and taking 3 daily meds to control my blood pressure, the protein has disappeared. I had the lab report laminated and use it to remind me that some things do make a difference.

Hope is real.
Living well is the best revenge.

Kerri. said...

I am horrendous at keeping blood sugar logs. Terrible. I always have been. My mother was crap at it, too, and we would spend the morning at Joslin working backwards from the that morning's sugars to the ones from two weeks prior. We even switched pens, at times, in efforts to make it look like we had been logging all along.

Turning your fear into positive action ... now that's a mission statement. I know you can do it!

In Search Of Balance said...

Thanks for posting this... fear around diabetes is something that I really struggle with, and it's wonderful to hear that I'm not alone. I wish you lots of luck and support as you begin the dismantling process.

Oh, and logging? NEVER do it, thanks to my one touch ultra-smart. That's something I definately don't miss.

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