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When Diabetes Gets Me Down

By Amanda Sheldon

Managing Editor

Posted:  5/15/2012 5:33 PM

Tags:

Today we’re very fortunate to feature a guest post from the warm and wonderful Jessica Collins from Me and D. She talks to us about those days when diabetes really gets her down and how she pulls herself back up. Since we’re sure she’s not the only one to feel this way, tell us – what do you do when you’re feeling frustrated and overwhelmed by life with diabetes?

The morning started out well enough. I put in a new infusion set before heading to work. Spent all morning in the 180s, despite multiple corrections. Sometimes that happens, so I didn’t think too much of it.

Then I had lunch. And bolused for all my carbs. Only my body didn’t get the memo. I looked down to see double up arrows on my CGM. And discovered I had small ketones. So frustrating!

Thankfully, I was able to run home, change, my set, and grab a vial of insulin and some syringes just in case. I was so happy when I started seeing down arrows!

If you have Type 1 diabetes, then you have days like this. Days where you are SO SICK of diabetes. I was done. Just done. Sometimes, diabetes makes me want to give up. I throw my hands up in the air and shout, “Ok, diabetes, you win! I give up!”

Only I can’t give up. Living with this disease is hard. Sometimes, diabetes gets me down. And it takes a while to work my way back out of it.

There are days like this one when I was upset because of a specific incident. Stupid non-absorbing infusion site. But other times, I just feel so overwhelmed by trying to take care of this disease 24/7/365.

What do I do when this happens? I have a choice. I can stuff it all inside, hide my emotions, and try to act like everything is fine. But I know this is not a healthy thing to do.

Instead, I try to reach out. I call my husband. I text my mom. I send a tweet. I read a blog post. I watch a You Can Do This video.

And I feel better. Encouraging words from my husband. An “I’m so sorry. I love you,” response from mom. A tweet from a friend. Reading about the adventures of someone else dealing with diabetes. Watching someone tell me on camera, “You can do this!”

Reaching out reminds me that I am not alone. And that I won’t feel this way for ever. Sometimes, diabetes gets me down. But I know there are people ready and willing to help me back up again.

Comments

Staci

Posted on Tue May 15 18:21:00 GMT 2012

This is so refreshing to hear so I know I am not alone. It is a frustrating disease however it could be worse. At lease we are able to treat it. But sometime you do wish you could just have ONE day of not worrying about your blood sugars and your insulin pump. Thank you so much for your encouraging words.

Leslie

Posted on Tue May 15 18:28:46 GMT 2012

Jess, I feel your pain. Everyone thinks that we bolus before each meal and everything is peachey. I don't know how long you have been a diabetic, and you will still have your ups and downs with the disease no matter how long you have had it. Fortunately I have taken care of myself and maintained my diabetes and have no secondary complications. You are luck too that you have a mom who is there to give you support. My husband and my son are the only family that I have that truly understands my diabetes. Keep it up girl. you will survive :-)!!!

Eileen L Bolls

Posted on Tue May 15 18:32:33 GMT 2012

I totally understand what you are going through I have had type 1 diabeties my whole life. But I was not diagnosed with it until I was 4 years old. I am 42 now and still fighting and dealing with this disease every day as well. I have been on the insulin pump now for 9 years now and it has changed my life big time for the better. Back when I was first diagnosed they did not have all the tech that they have now days. So hang in there people with type 1 I really think we will have a cure for this disease in our life time.

Cris Bauer

Posted on Tue May 15 18:41:17 GMT 2012

Thanks for this post! I have had several consecutive days in the "YOU WIN DIABETES!" category. I also struggle with depression and anxiety, and so days like this seem twice as hard to deal with...mostly because I can't shake them off as easily. However, I fight back anyway! Somedays I win, somedays I lose. But as long as I keep fighting, life goes on, right?

Kate

Posted on Tue May 15 19:28:20 GMT 2012

Thanks for posting this. I've had days just like this, and I get it. Its hard. No one talks about that when you get diagnosed.
Diabetes winning isn't really an option. I watched my father's mother let diabetes win. It was a long, slow, painful and embarrassing way to die.
No one should go through that."
I remain surprised that more endocrinology practices that specialize in diabetes don't partner w/ a counselor.

Dawn

Posted on Tue May 15 19:33:31 GMT 2012

I couldn't agree more. It is a very frustrating disease with its ups and downs... but it could always be worse. At least it is a treatable disease. I just hate that 24/7/365 it is always on my mind...and has to be thought of with everything I do, eat or drink. I have been diabetic for almost 31 yrs and I won't give up now...I have 4 kids to watch grow up and will do my best to stay healthy.

Debbie

Posted on Tue May 15 19:51:18 GMT 2012

I sooo can relate. I just have a little pity-party...and then re-focus. It will NOT beat us :) Stooopid disease.

annie keys

Posted on Tue May 15 20:08:58 GMT 2012

I was diagnosed when I was 10 years old and now I'm 59----making me an insulin dependant Diabetic for almost a half century. I literally can't remember ever NOT being an insulin dependent diabetic.

Every now and then some days are like your bad day, but not very many. *) Hang in there--you CAN live a healthy, active, 'normal' life with type I---- I KNOW you can--promise. Big hug flying through cyber space at you!

Brian Good

Posted on Tue May 15 21:15:37 GMT 2012

I was diagnosed with type 1 last April at the young age of 43 ;)

I understand your frustration. I have days I wake up in the low 300's but when I checked my bs the night before before going to bed and my bs is in the low 100's. On days like this it seems like I can eat right and take more insulin than I should be taking and still my bs can still be in the 300's. It seems like the only way to get my sugar down is to workout even though were not supposed to workout over 250, but what else am I supposed to do?

Those bad days frustrate me so much but normally my sugars are between 90 and 120 all day. I ride my bike 20 to 100 miles a day, eat right and do all the other stuff my doctor tells me to do. However there are days when I just want to sit on the couch, eat popcorn and watch tv with the kids, but I always feel guilty when I do unless I just got done with a 50 to 100 mile bike ride then and only then I can finally relax.

Samantha

Posted on Tue May 15 22:40:43 GMT 2012

Well, not saying that this is not well and good but what about when your family doesn't really reach out. When you are not feeling well and bring you a bag of grapes to make you feel better that don't really understand and say they do and leave it at that. A support group is fine but it very very difficult on a day to day when my sugar is 42 seeing spots before my eyes and they say it will be alright and give me a snickers instead of my sugar pills or some juice. I've been patient with them so long that I just don't do it any more. Just saying... that's all. Thanks for all your words of wisdom.

Marvin Waid

Posted on Tue May 15 22:44:55 GMT 2012

Jess..true, true. I've had type 1 diabetes since 1960, and so that is 52 years this year for me. I do get frustrated when my blood sugars don't seem to come down, and it does really make you feel out of control. At times like this, I just try and reach a lower number, working my hardest to get there.
Having diabetes so long, I have seen many changes. Better insulins (I use to use only NPH and regular)...glass syringes, which had to be boiled after ever use, and the needles also, and they got dull after 30 days use, which is about how long they were used.
Can you images not being able to check your blood sugar? Back in the 60's, they didn't have blood monitors yet..only thing you could do was pee on a test strip, to see if you were spilling sugar in your urine.
And now there are companies like Medtronic, who come up with the greatest inventions - insulin pumps, cgms...yea Medtronic.
No more convulsing reactions for me...I certainly had them when I was young.
Learn about all the foods you eat if you don't know...different foods change your bloods sugars differently.

Dudley Prewitt

Posted on Tue May 15 23:35:04 GMT 2012

I get it. I really do. After 37 years of being Type 1, one would think that it's "old hat" by now...but it really never is. No one day or week or month is ever the same. We will all, one way or another, get through it though. Thanks and good luck to all.

Teri V

Posted on Wed May 16 04:05:07 GMT 2012

I soooo understand. One week out of each month I am unable to control my BS. It seems no matter what I do my body does not agree with me. I bolas more insulin and it goes higher I adjust my basal and my bs goes higher. Than all of a sudden the sugars drop. It is sooo frustrating. I’m sorry you all have to also go thru this but it is a relief to hear that it isn’t just me.

Jess

Posted on Wed May 16 04:54:11 GMT 2012

Thanks for all the kind words, everyone! I've lived with Type 1 Diabetes for almost 19 years. I think it's important to acknowledge all the emotions that come with living with diabetes, the good and the bad.

If you don't have family you can lean on, there is a strong community of people living with diabetes online. The You Can Do This project that I mentioned in the post is a great place to start.

One of the greatest lies diabetes tells us is that we are alone. That is a lie. I know how you feel. A lot of other people do too. You are not alone.

Mike Hoskins

Posted on Thu May 17 02:47:31 GMT 2012

Thanks for this guest-post, Jess! Spot on, with your message about not being alone. The support and friendship in this community, people who get it and have our backs, is unmatched in its awesomeness. That keeps me going in those down-in-the-dumps moments, too. A tweet or blog post can be all it takes to make the day better, despite whatever diabetes is doling out at the time.

Sue

Posted on Sat Aug 04 02:44:26 GMT 2012

Cris,
Thank you for your post. I have had major issues with my sites this week....two boxes worth. And I also suffer from anxiety and depression. It's nice and relieving to know again I am not alone. I have friends from diabetes camp from back in the day but don't really get how bad it can get because of the mental health. So thank you.

sherry

Posted on Mon Jun 03 16:59:36 GMT 2013

It is so nice to hear from other type 1 diabetics. I have been type 1 for 30 years and it has been hard. Raising 3 children, and working full time as a nurse and having lows and highs. Thank you Medtronic for all your help. I wear an insulin pump and life is easier. Although it is a 24/7 job life is better.

Joan

Posted on Fri Jul 12 00:41:02 GMT 2013

It is good to read your blog. I have had diabetes almost 53 years and it does get so discouraging -sometimes you know why your sugar is high and other times you feel like you are doing everything just right and you have a very high or very low. It is good to read or hear others experiences good and bad. It keeps us going knowing their is support for us whether it be family, friends, Medtronic, doctors, doctors assistants, dietitians nurses etc.we need all the encouragement we can get Thank you

jim dipasquale

Posted on Fri Jul 12 04:32:29 GMT 2013

Boy can I find so many similarities here. I was diagnosed at age 37 and now I am 70. I've been on a pump for about 33 years. Things are pretty good but ----oh those days when it seems like everything goes crazy. We recheck my pump settings and make adjustments but things go well for some time and then there are those days when it happens. I'm really thankful that now my medical team understands the unexpected and no longer believes that we are all supposed to be the best patient described on a specific page in their textbook. There are so many variables that cause elation and disappointment. Choosing to wear a pump so many years ago has allowed me a good life with a few minor issues that occur periodically---often thru my own error. I have never said "why me" but I do ask "why now", as I can't always understand these interruptions in my life. Congratulations to all of you that understand and accept these times, knowing how to deal with them and correct the problems to live comfortably.

Donna

Posted on Fri Jul 12 12:20:15 GMT 2013

so glad to read your post. i have type 2, but still same stuff. the pump and the CGM made huge differences to me. But, even with those in place, unexplainable stuff happens. so frustrating.
thanks for sharing your blog.

John A. Cardelle

Posted on Fri Oct 25 00:09:52 GMT 2013

I have had type 1 IDDM for 43 years and I still have days like this, especially now. When I was younger I would not accept any limitations just because I was a diabetic. As a result I have a life of great experience's to talk about and reflect on. In to days day and age with all the advances there are in diabetes management there is nothing you can't do. In some places you can even get a piolets license and fly. What a time it is for those of you who are still young. Remember that you control the diabetes not the diabetes controls you.

Naomi

Posted on Fri Oct 25 20:09:05 GMT 2013

It sounds like many of you understand what Jessica goes through. Thank you for sharing your own experiences and offering support and encouragement!

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