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Badly Injured, Much Stress, But Diabetes Is Still Good

I don't usually discuss my physical problems, but I want to know your replies to the question posed below.

In Oct, 2012 I had a bad fall, and hurt my head. On Nov 1, I was hospitalized with subdural hematoma (bleeding on the surface of the brain). Surgery removed the old blood and I recovered fast, but that was potentially a dangerous surgery with holes being drilled into my skull. A local anesthetic was used, but I was awake during the procedure. I thought everything was going to be ok, then in early Dec my knees were hurting so much. X-rays showed my knees were in awful shape, and both of them needed to be replaced. The meniscus tissue and cartilage are gone, and both knees are badly calcified. The pain has bothered me for 7 weeks now. They will not do a knee replacement until the head wound is 100% healed. The knee surgery can interfere with the head wound because a blood thinner is used and that could cause the head wound to bleed again. The last cat scan showed the head wound is 90% healed. The next scan will be in April. Maybe one knee will be done in May? I take pain meds, and I can walk due to a lubricating fluid being injected into my knees. I am getting physical therapy. My knees need to be stronger before the replacements are done.

All of these things have happened since mid Oct, but my diabetes remains under good control. I see so many people post that this kind of thing causes them to be stressed, and then their blood sugar is all over the place, with many highs. That does not happen to me. I have had much stress for about 10 weeks, but my blood sugar has been as stable as it was months ago. My A1c is 6.0.

Why am I able to have good diabetes control despite all that has happened, and all the stress? Is this unusual, do any of you maintain good control under stressful conditions?

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First off, I'm sorry you've been going through all that, Richard and hope you are able to function until you are able to get the surgeries. What a lot to deal with in a short period of time!

To answer your question, yes, I haven't seen any impact of stress on my blood sugar. To be honest I haven't had any severe stress since I started insulin, nothing like what you are dealing with. But I have had some medium stressful things. I have noticed one interesting thing: When I was younger I dealt very poorly with stress, but over the years I've learned to handle it with much more equanimity. But since I started on insulin I notice I have more trouble with it again. My theory is that managing D 24/7 takes up a lot of room in my brain; it's like I'm super busy even when I'm not! So that leaves less room to cope with stress. But having said that, even though I do at times feel stressed, it has no impact at all on my blood sugar.

Richard, I am sorry to hear about your knees and I do hope you can return to your normal , less painful, active self once you have had them replaced. I know a lot of people here find their blood sugars go up if they are in pain or are stressed out. I think as Dr. King said, you may actually have a "different" type 1 than has ever been characterized. Maybe you are "lucky" or have a certain genetic make up that makes your D control easier or you less inclined to react physiologically to stress or maybe you are just lucky in general? But I do wish you continued success managing well under stressful conditions.

Clare, there is no way of telling whether I do have that special protection since I have had some retinopathy and neuropathy in the past. Since those complications never bothered me much I may have the protection. Thanks for your reply!

Richard, you are a miracle. I had a very stressful career, and mostly did OK--some days not so good, but it mostly was not a stress related problem. A1C 5.1-5.6 over those years WHEN an A1C was available.

Be safe, please.

Spock, your A1c's are super! I hope they stay that way.

Marypat, I am sorry to hear that stress is causing you to change jobs. I am glad you liked the webinar.

Melitta, I am doing very well with greatly reduced pain in my knees. Physical therapy is helping, and the surgeries should take place soon, I hope.

Richard- I hope you will recover soon. It is amazing to me that you can have such a good A1c when you have bad knees and stress. My BG increases with stress. I recently considered changing jobs with the same organization. Just trying to figure out which job would be least stressful raised my BG.
BTW- I enjoyed the recent webinar / interview.

Richard, you have such good diabetes control because you are awesome! I am so sorry for all that you have been through. Keep us posted on your recovery.

I just went through a year of the worst stress I had ever encountered, Dx with liver cancer, chemo therapy, a liver transplant, and placed on prednisone for 6 months. My BG has been all over the place and I went from a low carb diet to eating 3000 to 4000 calories a day while on the prednisone and my A1c went up from a 5.5 average over the last 6 years to 5.8. My tests indicate that my hemoglobin is low so my A1c may not be a good indicator for whats happening with my BS. I think the Bete's is still damaging my body in spite of my excellent  A1c's....only time will tell, I just praise the Lord for another good day with my family.

Richard, God bless you...

JohnG, That is indeed a lot of stress. I don't think I have known someone with a liver transplant. Was it recent? I sure hope it works for you indefinitely!
Thanks Zoe, I have seen several replies on other websites and Facebook that say stress has less impact on diabetes control for "mature" folks like you and me. The younger diabetics and the children seem to be bothered a lot more by stress. I suppose there is something good about aging after all. lol

Oh, most definitely, Richard! I am much happier "in my own skin" than when I was younger!

The Psychologist in me would love to do a study to see if it is the stress itself that has less impact or the stress has equal (or more!) impact but it impacts BG less....but then doing the study would be so stressful!!




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