I had never really talked to anyone about my depression associated with Type 1 Diabetes. 18 years, and I wasn't good for a good 5 of them when I was a teenager. I now am paying the price, I'm 22 years old and have retinopathy, and am blind in my left eye as a result. I often think that my husband has a crap job of being with me because my control even when I test 10 times a day is far from perfect even though I'm really trying. Everytime there is an unexplained high, or low I feel like I'm failing myself. I think about how I'm going to die early, all the damage I've done to myself, I wonder most days if at the rate I've been going if I'll make it to 60. I worry if I'll ever be able to have children, about buying a house, about living my life the way I'd like to because diabetes always seems to be the elephant in the room that keeps me from doing what everyone else does. Has anyone else ever had depression like this regarding their own diabetes and their complications?
How do you cope?
I was seeing her every three months here, but then she said I was doing very well and that she didn't think she would need to see me for a year. Then when I went to go confirm the appointment a year later they said I didn't have one. So I just waiting and now sure enough when I need to see her I can't. It was easy enough to get one, but certainly was a pain to wait an hour at the walk in to get it. I trust her and connect with her. She helped me a lot, when I first switched to the pump, I went through neuropathy of my stomach, and of my feet. By the way not a good healthy way to lose weight! But she was there with all the answers, I was really surprised when she said to come back in a year. I don't drive and I actually live out in Langley, so getting to her is a 3 hour transit ride, so it makes it hard to see her constantly but a year is a little much thinking back now.
well im glad you have a good doctor you connect with...can i ask what neuopathy is? im not good with technical terms haha..you said you live in Langley...is that Langley, Ohio? I live in Columbus, Ohio... and yes 3 hours is certainly a long drive!....I have has years of trouble with my endo, i started seeing her when my pediatic endo reccomended her and have been kind of lazy finding another one. The only thing i liked about her was the therapist she recommended for me! :)
3 hour transit ride is no fun and then back home another 3 hours ?? ...is your Endo in New Westminster or ??? We are better off transportation wise , living in the Shuswap it seems ??
I have used HandyDart when living in Burnaby and had to go for radiation treatments at Vancouver General in 1985 ...would this system help you the times you have to see your Endo ??
I don´t know how much this can help now, but I can honestly say that diabetes has been my cure from blindness. I was just diagnosed 10 months ago, but since the beginning I realized I need professional help because my mental state was terrible, I was not paying attention to my body, I was not loving myself the way I must do, so know, by looking after my blood sugar, my diet and exercise I´m finally doing so. There are sometimes I get scared, but by loving myself I can left it behind quickly.
Hi Ladybell. I remember when I was in your shoes (I'll be 60 this year and 44 of those years with D) Being diabetic felt like riding the worst freaking horse ever born. Bucked me off anytime, EVERY time. Veered left when I reined right, ran away with me when I tried to stop. And when I got smoking mad and just kicked the crap out of her, she'd gallop all over hell with me till we wound up belly deep in a quicksand quagmire sobbing. But you can't sell the stupid horse (who would want it?) and worse yet, you have to ride it!
I was bulimic and like you, knew no other diabetics. It was an endless guilt spiral. When I tried to tell the doctor how difficult a time I was having he just said "Be glad you don't have cancer. At least we have medicine to keep you alive." I don't know if there's anything less helpful he could have said. I went home and binge-ate till I was so full all I could do was roll up in a ball and sleep.
It's very hard, even with today's tools, to control diabetes well. Especially for women, who have to deal with varying basal rates at different times of the month.
Everyone is different, but for me, when I finally noticed my monthly pattern and worked out the necessary variety of basal programs to track it, it helped a lot. Plus i realized how 100% impossible it would have been on MDI to even begin to have close control, and was able to forgive myself for all those years of well, whatever all those years were about. Misery?
If it would help, you could share numbers and people here might be able to decipher something useful, or maybe you just need to know that you are not alone with your problem?
Please stop blaming yourself. No one asks for this burden. Yes complications are vicious and horrid, and yes, with help, you can find your way. If you can, dump the emotional reaction to the numbers (they are just data) - learn what you can from them and leave them in your wake. Hug yourself and keep trying.
I am so sorry you are struggling with misery. I hope the sun will shine through the rain.
P.S. I love your owl.
wow, that made me cry. a pump has helped me heaps too, but i still feel like i'm never going to get there some days, your story gives me some hope :)
Hi Sarah. -Good! I would love to cause hope in another. And it's true, life is full of amazing possibilities, even for people dealt the crap card, Diabetes with the wild card, Orneriness. I've had so much fun this time around! But that's another story. Main thing is to forgive yourself immediately, yet not go into denial, just keep trying. Really. Say it out loud even - something like this?: "Arrgh! Oh well. Messed up." Then, to self, rocking, with hug, "Sweetheart (or whatever you'd call your own precious daughter). Not to worry, this will pass." And as soon as possible, "- Ok, let's see.. So maybe try X next time, or Y."
That probably sounds lame. Anyway, I am wishing you a rich journey. Believe in your own goodness and path over whatEVER the freakin' doctor might say.
This is a really frustrating disease. I don't think I've been depressed about it, more like "resigned". My big thing is never having a handle on blood glucose. I just felt like "I'll never know what's actually happening, even when I make some progress or have some victories, it won't last".
I realized just how resigned (hopeless?) I had become by how hopeFUL I am now with a CGM. It gives me a feeling that I can actually SEE what's happening, rather than playing the guessing game each day of what food does and how activity effects it and feeling zero control over it. I don't know if that is something you'd be interested in and of course YMMV, but adding this technology has galvanized me and it might for you.
I also know no one with T1, and that's tough because no one understands what I go through. These boards are great because we all know what we go through and we are not alone. Hang in there.
i keep hearing about these cgm's is that like the dexcom savage?
I am sorry to hear you are having such a tough time with things. You definitely are NOT the only one who struggles with depression and diabetes. It is an unfortunate, but not uncommon, combination! People with T1 and T2 are more likely to be depressed, and researchers aren't sure yet whether there is a biological link or just the result of stress, hypo/hyperglycemic fluctuations, and the anxiety of self-care and worry about the future. Diabetes and depression can both be managed, however, and the problems with nerve damage and diabetes can be slowed or prevented in the future.
I am sorry to hear of the retinopathy you have already experienced - this is likely aggravating your feelings of sadness, fear, and isolation. I suggest you discuss your feelings with your diabetes doctor. Let him or her know about your anxieties and your worries, and see if they think a referral for some therapy might help. Your feelings are totally natural. Working through these emotions will take more than just a pill, so starting at this forum was a good thing to do. It will really help you, I think, to be able to talk through your emotions and see that you are not alone - many women with diabetes wonder whether children and a "normal" family life will be possible. With good self-care and with the support of your doctor, husband, and TuDiabetes community, though, the sky is the limit!
I read a blog post a few months ago about how diabetes can make us healthier. Her reasoning was that we can use this illness as our motivation and our total excuse for forcing ourselves to live a better, healthier lifestyle. Diabetes CAN make us choose healthier foods, take regular exercise, share our lives with a community of people who have been through the same challenges, and speak with a health professional regularly. After all, taking these steps will be the key to leading the kind of full, rich life you want. I wish you the best of luck and I hope you can find the help you need.