Reading through a few blogs and discussion threads today for essentially the first time, I have come to realize how late I am in entering the diabetes community. I have had T1 for 19 years, but have essentially been living 'alone' with diabetes for all these years. I have just wanted to fit-in and be as 'normal' as everyone around me. I have only had the goal of surviving the high & low blood sugars of each day. I am so ashamed right now that my A1C's all these years have been pretty much 8-9's. Here, this whole time I was thinking that 'all diabetics must have A1C's this high because being a diabetic is so time-consuming, it leaves little room for a 'normal' life. Everyone must be going through what I go through, it's near impossible to have great blood sugars without changing your lifestyle and eating habits significantly.'

I have had the wrong goal all these years. I have been in denial. My problem is I have never taken myself seriously enough to change these habits. Other people prioritize themselves and their health and I sit and watch them do that, not realizing I am doing the complete opposite. I was diagnosed at 9 years old out of the blue and have had emotional ups and downs since. For some time I would be rebellious and not care, some times I would want to buck up and get things on track. Lord only knows how much I have damaged my body all these years. I do see an Endocrinologist often, but clearly that self-motivation has been lacking.

I am stunned to see so many people say their A1C's are in the 5's and have been there for some time. This is a complete 180 to my thoughts that most diabetics are struggling with their A1C's. I really need to make my health & myself a priority regardless of whether I have to follow a schedule everyday and whether or not people around me understand that or not (mostly not). I think that has been my biggest hurdle. I am 'alone' and don't want to be more of an outcast. If I had a diabetic friend, that would help me feel a little more 'normal' and I'd have a buddy who can help me stay on track. I am married, and my husband is great, but no one knows what diabetes feels like like another diabetic.

Goodness, here's to hoping this epiphany brings good change to my life sooner than later.

Views: 277

Comment by brokenpole on August 28, 2012 at 2:27am
Roop, don't get so down on yourself. There have been many a diabetic that have been down the road you are on. Some even get on the right track only to fall back into old habits.

I liken diabetes to smoking. Most of know that it is a tough thing to quit smoking. The amount of effort is mind boggling. Often people quit only to relaspe and start smoking again. I have had that problem with smokeless tobacco. But we get back up and try again.

Bottom line is even if you say you are going to take care of yourself by getting you BG readings in check you are going to backslide. It is going to happen. When it does don't feel discouraged. Just get back on track.

We all have that occassional treat. You need treats in life. Personally I am good for 6 days out of every week. Day 7 is my day to let it slide a little.

Start slow. Pick one thing like testing more often. Right now I test 6 times a day and there are others that do much more than that. Pick a number to times to test and concentrate on that for a week or two. Then, once you have the first item licked pick another one.

If you try to take it on all at once you will have problems and get discouraged too easily.

Hang in there and always remeber...YOU CAN DO IT!
Comment by Sugar Rocket on August 28, 2012 at 3:43am

Hey Roop! Looking at your profile I see that I was diagnosed just a few weeks before you were in 1993! I don't know any other "real life" diabetics and have just coasted along doing my own thing for the past 19 years with A1Cs around 8-9. I couldn't believe it when I signed up here and saw that there are people (even recently diagnosed) who manage to get and maintain theirs under 6. My lowest ever was 7.1!

I've now read a lot and although the number of conflicting approaches can be confusing at first, I think I'm going to borrow aspects of each which make sense to me. I read the first chapter of Bernstein nodding along but by the time I got to the part where he suggests dipping a urine stick in restaurant broth to see if it has carbs in it i was PMSL!!! ;-D Still worth a read though. I'd also really recommend "Pumping Insulin" by John Walsh, "Think like a pancreas" by Gary Scheiner and "Born again diabetic" by William-Lee Dubois. Don't let the bad "dad" jokes put you off (I think this is something you'll find in all american non-fiction - I've also noticed it in photography books!).

I've started using the dexcom and omnipod, moved to a less stressful job and bought an ipad to(ahem) make it easier to keep detailed records so now I have all the tools I really have no excuse not to get my sugars sorted out - it's just a matter of self-motivation. My husband and I want to start trying for a baby as soon as possible so my plan is to start off by eating the same thing most days and looking at the records every night. At the moment I eat and drink pretty much whatever/whenever I feel like it (this morning breakfast was a cinnamon and raisin bagel with nutella!) so it'll be tough but I think that once I get used to it I won't miss the junk. I'm thinking greek yoghurt, banana, blueberries and walnuts for breakfast, salad with tinned tuna, boiled egg, spinach, peppers, tomatoes and pumpkin seeds followed by fruit for lunch, and lean steak/chicken/fish with vegetables, maybe a few new potatoes and a glass of wine for dinner, with brazil nuts for snacking. The other thing which I've found makes a massive difference is to bolus a good 20-30 mins before eating ("Think like a pancreas" has a useful section on this) - when I started on novorapid the diabetic nurse told me that it was an amazingly fast new insulin which could be injected just before or even after eating. And "after eating" can so easily mean 30 mins after starting - now that i've seen my post-meal sugars on dexcom i can only imagine what i've done to my body over the years!

Good luck - and feel free to contact me if you ever want to rant/a second opinion from someone in the same boat!

Comment by jeffojeda on August 28, 2012 at 7:32am

I Completely have been in the same situation, and while I did a good deal to turn that around, it is a constant battle. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I hope you know that as a community this is pretty great. Feel free to write me or just say hi. If nothing else, we've got T1D in common, so that in and of itself is plenty to talk about. he he. keep the faith. You can do this. We can do this. :)

Comment by Mike on August 28, 2012 at 9:22am

I'm glad you're here, and I'm glad you found a community to help you get to the totally realistic and attainable goals that you've set for yourself. This epiphany is totally the first step in a really healthy direction!! Congrats!

Comment by Betty J on August 28, 2012 at 10:18am

Don't feel ashamed I was at one time 40 years into living with Diabetes before I was able to interact with others. I am now into my 53rd year and have learned so much, since those many years ago. Like you I had a1cs in the eight and nine percent but didn't know any better because I had not been given the education to help me manage my Diabetes. I told you my story in hopes of letting you there is hope for us all.

Comment by Emily Coles on August 29, 2012 at 12:55pm

Hi Roop.  I'm so glad you've joined us!  There are thousands of us, right here on TuDiabetes, who know just what you're talking about.  Good place to make those friends you've been missing  :)

Comment by Clare on August 29, 2012 at 7:07pm

Hey Roop, Welcome I have been doing this for 37 years and was in exactly the same place you were for the vast majority of those years, alone without knowing another diabetic and basically keeping it to myself. In 1990 I was lucky enough to have a healthy son and he is now in college. I happened upon this site when I was looking for information about the Omnipod pump. What I found was so much more than information. I found a community of people who share and care and I am so glad I did find it. And no I wouldn't be dipping any urine stick in my dinner to check for carbs, you can guarantee it. But I did like Think Like a Pancreas, it certainly spoke to my life experience.

Comment by shoshana27 on August 30, 2012 at 6:27am

HI,ROOP,I'VE HAD T1 FOR 75 + YEARS & AS A CHILD THOUGHT THAT I WAS THE ONLY DIABETIC IN THE WORLD.SO I KNOW WHAT YOU FEEL.MY BGS GO UP & DOWN BUT SINCE I'M ON THE PUMP THINGS ARE MUCH BETTER & EASIER.WELCOME TO THE FAMILY.YOU'LL GET A LOT OF HELP HERE.:)

Comment by Roop on August 30, 2012 at 8:25am

Thank you all for your kind words and support! It really means a lot. :)
I guess I have to just pace myself and try not to get discouraged so easily.

Comment by andshewill on August 30, 2012 at 8:29am

Hello Roop, You're story sounds so familiar... my A1cs in the 8 & 9s...even 11's...and I've been T1 since 1979 but after a struggle to get a pump after a major bad year in 2009 I have recently started to get better adjusted and finding this site has given me added strength and encouragement to continue to live my life more in control of what I need to do rather than trying to put my diabetes out of view to please and fit in with others. This is a brilliant step for you to take...best widhes

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