Hey Iyaz! I and most people on this site have been right where you are today, so you're most definitely not alone! I'm a college freshman and I was diagnosed about 10 months ago, and I'll tell you what everybody else told me, which is simply that it gets easier. You really can't project how you've been feeling for the past few days onto your future because the first few weeks (first days especially) are by far the hardest. It's different for everybody, but I'd say it started to get easier for me about a month in, and I know it seems overwhelming now, but you'll be surprised to see how quickly it becomes second nature. You get really adept at checking your bg (I can do it while I'm walking now :p)and the injections become less of a big deal as well. I switched to an insulin pump after 3 months (the omnipod) and that's made it much easier to eat or exercise whenever I want to.
And as far as lifestyle alteration (eating and exercising) One of the first things my endocrinologist told me was that diabetics really should just lead the healthy life that's recommended for everybody. Everyone should exercise regularly and watch what they eat. For diabetics though, it's extra beneficial. You can technically still eat whatever you want as long as you compensate with the right amount of insulin, but after awhile you start to notice which foods send you sky high and should probably avoid, which foods you should probably occasionally limit, and which foods you can eat freely. It's not about restricting your diet so much as it is knowing how certain foods affect you. Everything in moderation. I don't eat 6 meals a day; I eat when I'm hungry and when I need to (if my bg's too low) (admittedly the pump makes that easier)
As for exercise, like I said before, it's recommended that everyone, diabetic and non, get 60 mins a day. If you can fit that kind of thing in, great, but I doubt I'd be the only one to tell you that I don't go to the gym every day. Walking around campus will definitely help you maintain lower bg's. One thing to be aware of though is that a lot of walking, and physical activity for that matter, has the potential to drop you too low, so you should carry some carbs with you just in case, I bring a little bottle of grape juice wherever I go.
In the end, you will learn how to handle all of this. I know it's easier for someone else to say that than it is to actually go through it, but in reality it's a totally manageable condition that you'll get used to. You will have some bad days here and there, but it's all about learning and getting more in touch with your body. A positive attitude goes a long way, and I found it best to look at the situation not as "the old you is dead" but rather that a new aspect of yourself has been acquired. I know it's scary, unfair, and overwhelming now, but soon it will become the new normal. The main difference is that you just can't be careless about the things that other people take for granted. As long as you're vigilant and take care of yourself, you will be fine. My life has changed and there are still things that I need to learn, but for the most part, T1D has blended in with the rest of me. Don't sweat the small stuff, and I wish you the best of luck in these first few weeks!
No worries, kid. You'll do fine with this. I've been doing it 10 years this July. I promise, you'll be ok.
You've lost your old self, true, but that doesn't mean you can't gain a new you. And losing your health? Nope. If you take care of yourself properly, you've still got that!! And don't you ever forget it ;)
Six meals a day? I don't even eat that much!! I eat only 3 -breakfast, lunch, and dinner- and occasionally snack when I get hungry. Or when my sugar's low.
Injecting the right amount of insulin takes time to figure out. You may have lots of highs and lows to start with, but keep talking to your dr so you can keep adjusting until you find the right balance. And don't be surprised if that balance suddenly changes on you! It's normal. We all go through it. And checking blood sugar throughout the day isn't as big as people think. It takes me 30 seconds, tops. Unless I happen to be holding a baby/small child on my hip and have to do it one handed, which isn't hard (my parents became foster parents so we sometimes have little tikes running around). I once bet my mom on that one. I had a baby on my hip and had to check. Mom said I couldn't do it one handed so I asked if she'd care to place a bet. Loser rented a movie to watch. Needless to say, I won! Then I let her in on the secret that I've done it before. And checked in the dark with nothing but the meter light. And checked without looking. You'll get the hang of it and be able to do it in a few seconds so its not so much of an inconvenience. :)
Exercise is good if you have time. Honestly, my only form of exercise is running when I can, and since its winter and cold out I'm not getting much exercise. My blood sugar isn't really suffering all that much, I'm just taking a lot more insulin that I do in the summer when I run all the time. You have to know how to compensate with these things. Figure out if exercise makes you go low like most people, if it actually makes you go high, or a little of both. For the most part I go low, but sometimes I'll end up going high. Weird, I know. But I've learned to deal. Just have to check while I'm running to see where I'm headed and adjust accordingly (more or less insulin, snack break or no snack break).
Another compensation note: food! You can eat what you want, as long as you compensate with insulin. Like Carly said, figure out what really messes up your blood sugar and try to avoid it. For me, that would be pancakes and waffles. No idea why. That doesn't mean I gave them up completely. Not by any stretch of the imagination! That means I save it for special occasions and only eat it rarely so I won't have to deal with the consequences on a regular basis. For example, my best friend was visiting, staying a week with us, and to celebrate my dad made us a pancake breakfast. This was literally 2 days ago that I had pancakes for breakfast. Yup, messed up my sugar the rest of the day, but it was special because I almost never get to see my best friend. As far as food is concerned, my family has always tried to eat healthy. We do eat junk food from time to time, but in moderation. Not something we keep stocked. So with any food, I count carbs, take insulin, and move on. Not a big deal :)
Overall, I'm just your typical 19 year old kid. I can do anything my older brother can do, just sometimes I have to do it a different way because of diabetes. But believe me, I can still match him on anything!!
One last thing. I have it a bit harder because I have a complication called "hypoglycemic unawareness." Basically, I don't feel my blood sugar going high or low. So to help me deal with that without pricking the heck out of my fingers, I have a service dog that detects high and low blood sugar based on scent. Not feeling my blood sugar AND having a dog 24/7 makes it harder to cope. But like I said before, I learned to deal. And I can still do just as much as any other 19 year old.
Feel free to PM me if you ever want to talk or have any questions.
x <3 x
Yeah, it is a lot to learn. It can be overwhelming at times, too. Just be patient with yourself. When I was diagnosed, I was 9 years old. I wasn't old enough to understand it all, but boy did I try! Haha I wouldn't even let my mom give me my insulin shots when I got home from the hospital. Just that independent I suppose ;)
It may take a few months, but you'll definitely get there!!
Hey lyaz! Like the others wrote, it will get easier. Diabetes will never be "fun", but you will find your new normal, you can still live your dreams and be the person you want to be. You will just need to do it with diabetes.
I was diagnosed at 21 and it is true that life is never exactly the same as it was before I was diagnosed: diabetes did change me. But not only in negative ways. I was so determined to NOT let diabetes slow me down and I don't think it did. It just requires extra planning and preparation.
I still remember giving my first shot of insulin when I got home. My hand was TREMBLING and I was thinking that what happens if I mess up and give the wrong amount; am I just going to die? I was so scared. Then within a year, giving injections became SO routine that I could even do it while walking.
You will find your new normal. You are still you. Be patient with yourself: you have a lot to deal with now. But next year, make sure that you blast your favorite tunes and sing and dance.
We all hope for a cure, but until then it is possible to live and live well with diabetes! You will too!!
I worried about that too, but I have made mistakes, but always managed to correct them. Everyone has danger in their lives (even crossing the street and driving a car are dangerous). I always check my doses twice and give. I am thankful that I do still feel if I go low. For most of us, it was take a lot to slip into a coma. Good luck!!
My name is Ashley and I was diagnosed with T1D when I was 7. I am 18 now and a freshman in college! Since starting college, I have created a blog for teens/college students with T1D as a part of a scholarship program I am in! It is entirely intended to tell how Diabetes can play a role in your life without defining who you are! Although I have had T1D for 11 years, it has really just become a part of me! I honestly feel that it has helped me in many ways (I know that sounds crazy), but never interferes in me doing anything I set out to do! I invite you to check out my blog (http://www.whoneedsbetacells.blogspot.com) if you would like to! I know that this is all new to you and I am sure, still so much to take in! Just rest assured that it only gets better and you have so many people who felt like you did at some point and are here to help in any way we can! :)