Ok. I hate to bring up something scary, but since I've dealt with some - I wanted to know who else has had to deal with complications and mentally - how do you deal?

I've been diabetic about 21 years (I'm 27) and so far, I've had to have laser surgery on one eye due to renegade blood vessels that caused "floaters" in my vision. I also take pills to keep my blood pressure low. I also had a rare complication called a diabetic mastopathy - it's a hard, but painless mass that docs sometimes find in insulin-dependent women's breasts - I had to have surgery to remove it.

Other than that, I am ok (lol) and am working hard to get as healthy as possible. But, I won't lie - it's scary thinking about where my health will be in 10 years and people who are not diabetic who tell me it's easy to manage - well they frustrate me. So, I'm venting to those who can maybe understand where I'm coming from. :)

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hey katrina--i get really scared and nervous about complications too. ive had type one for about 6 years now and all of a sudden within the last couple of months every time i get any kind of strange sensation in my feet im immediately like, "omigod! the neuropathy is coming!" so far, no neuropathy, but sometimes i feel like worrying about complications is going to make me crazy before the complications can even have time to take hold. congratulations on 21 years of healthy living--now that's hard work!
Thanks - your words mean a lot.

All the people who are not diabetic are always like, "do you know what will happen if you don't do A,B,C or D?" And I'm like, um, yeah! lol But I tell them, if I spend every minute of every day worrying about complications - I'd drive myself insane.

But, I'm glad I found this site - now I can get some diabetic encouragement. And last year this time, my A1C was 14 (yikes!) so I have improved drastically.
Hey girl. You have not had diabetes long enuff to have problems. I have had it for 34 years. I am 34 years old.
My A1C level was 31.......
Ppl tell me you shouldnt drink alcohol / your a die-a-betic. Well they dont know how the alcohol relieves my pain (from diabetes)
Thank you for telling me about the breast lumps. I thought I had cancer.
GOD bless you.
Hey QDFUH - that's your new name now - lol,

You sound just like me - everytime I cough, sneeze, feel a tingle, get a headache, etc...I go through my mind thinking of complications that would cause this and then I calm down and try to think of a "regular" non-diabetic related symptom it could be. :) I think what you said about worrying about the complications driving you insance before/if you even get them, is something non-diabetics (who tell me how "blessed" I am just to be diabetic if you can believe THAT one) don't really understand.
Hi Katrina,

I've been diabetic for 20 years and so far, so good. For the first 10-11 years I didn't have insurance (diagnosed at age 19) and I never tested my BG and took the same doses of NPH/R that I was prescribed in the hospital. When I finally saw a doctor my A1c was over 15. I know that I've been extremely lucky. I remember the endo in the hospital pretty much telling me that I would get complications in X years. Her thinking was that if I followed my strict schedule I could possibly delay it for awhile, but they would get me. I forget how many years she said but it was less than 20.

My big worry is kidney failure. I don't know why, but sometimes I think about it way too much and have nightmares about it. I have no kidney issues, all my lab work comes back normal every time. It's still something I tend to obsess about periodically, though.
Elizabeth - I am so sorry you didn't have insurance, yet I'm grateful that you haven't experience any major complications - you were living on the edge, girl!

My A1C last year was 14 I think and it scared me to death. I think I had been living w/ diabetes so long and since none of my limbs had fallen off, I got to comfortable thinking "I'm ok." Having surgery on my breast and having laser surgery really woke me up and I've gotten my A1C down to an 8.9 and am aiming for a 7.0 next time.

I understand your obessing about - just please don't let it hinder your life. I don't know anyone's background on here as far as religion goes, but my being a Christian helps me out when I start to overly panic about things.


PS - I wasn't trying to offend ANYONE by stating my religious beliefs - just noting what gets me throught at times. There, that is my official disclaimer!

God is my Helper, everyday.

Hi Katrina,

Yes I worry myself too, but after being a diabetic for 34 years I just consider myself lucky to be alive. On both sides of my family I have lost ppl that, before insulin was discovered, died a really bad death. I have figured out that thank God they have finally gotten better control over it. When I 1ST took it it was the shots and my Dr at that time told me I would never live to see 30. Guess what I'm 44 and still here I even got to have 2 perfectly good kids which was another thing he told me for 8 years I would NEVER be able to have children! My oldest daughter who is a Type 1 had my granddaughter 8 1/2 months ago. Now he's gone and I'm STILL here! YEAH for me if I am ringing my own bell! Complactions will always scare me but as I get them I will figure out how to handle them after I freak out for a few days. The way I see it is there is always someone out there worse than me. Mom taught me that years ago and now my daughters have that attitude and I guess the next one on my list to teach it to is my granddaughter and as they come the other grandkids! I have been flustrated many times but after a few weeks of crying for myself always found a way to handle it. That's what I wish for all newbies to this really flustrating you know what but really always look at it like theres someone out there worse off than me and you can handel it. OK ranting over now.
Doris, your story reminds me of my dad's story. The doctor who diagnosed him told him that he wouldn't live to see 20 (he was diagnosed at 12). For the longest time my dad wouldn't buy nice shoes because he felt it was a waste of money if he was just going to die. Finally just before he turned 30 he figured his doctor was wrong and he bought his first pair of expensive shoes. He hasn't stopped since then, I swear, the man has more shoes than I do! Anyway he is 63, will be 64 in December, and has had Diabetes for over 50 years. He is doing great! When he found out that the mean old doctor who diagnosed him had died, he chuckled over the irony.

Leah - my dad has also had issues with frozen shoulder (although it has been a lot better lately) and he has had trigger finger a lot (which I guess is similar to frozen shoulder, but is in the hand instead).

My dad has also had laser surgery on both eyes to stop non-proliferative retinopathy and has had one heart attack. These complications arose back when he was taking less than stellar care of himself, but he has completely turned things around and is in tight control. He has great circulation, no kidney impairment, and his eyes look fantastic again!
I know just what your dad was thinking. I was dx'd in '74 and come from an extended family of 36 type l's, most of who had it during the "dark ages" of self care. I had seen first hand how db can unravel a life, thread by thread. So, when I got it, I was absolutely certain I wouldn't hit my 20 year anniversary and hence took very poor care of myself ("what difference will it make anyway"). I also made some less than wise "life navigation" decisions because I thought I was doomed.
Well, a few regrets later, here I am, still kicking, and in reasonable health after 33 years! I have had laser treatments and got good results. I went through a scary period of spilling protein in my urine, but my kidney function returned to normal after I established good control.
Because noneof us know what lies ahead, I try to practice living fully in the present moment, being thankful, and grabbing those little bits of joy as the float through my days.
"
Last summer, I endured laser treatment for my left eye, not because of ruptures that is traditionally associated with retinopathy, but because of neovascularization (new blood vessel growth) because the new blood vessels are far more likely to rupture. I've been told that I should expect that after 31 years with T1DM, but frankly, I find that justification lame, especially since I work very hard to maintain good A1c's. But truthfully, the complications that scare me most are not complications from diabetes, but from treatment ... namely hypoglycemia, something that is routinely blamed on the patient rather than acknowledging the imperfection of treatment which really pi$$es me off. Anyway, complications happen regardless of control (and sometimes they don't happen to people who have absolutely no control) so I don't buy the notion that we can necessarily prevent them by following the rules of good care -- perhaps we can reduce the likelihood of them happening, but there are no guarantees.
Scott, that is exactly what my eye treatments were for. Not for retinopathy, but because of new blood vessels. I was also told "after so many years, something like this would happen." I found that very discouraging, because it sounded like, no matter what I did or how tight my control was, I was going to suffer from complications regardless. I was honestly depressed for about 2 weeks after that.

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