My Letter of Advice and Encouragement to someone just like you.

I receive emails and messages from so many wonderful people. I want to say thank you so much for taking the time to do so, and express yourself. Of the messages I get, some really hit me hard. The ones that revolve around the struggle of being a teenager with diabetes the most.

I recently received a message from someone living that struggle. They are alone, depressed, and not taking good control of their diabetes. Doing random amounts of insulin, not testing their blood sugars, and feeling down and out.
They asked me for advice, for help, and how can I be happy when they feel so bad?

Here is my response. I hope this helps others out there that haven't reached out. Please remember I am not a medical professional, and this is not advice that takes place of your doctors. This advice is from the heart, from someone that has been where you have, and has felt just like you. You are not alone!
I have removed parts of the letter and changed the name to "Friend"

Dear Friend,

Thanks so much for reaching out to me. I really feel for you. I was where you are years ago. Instead of being a _______ I was the QB of the Football team, played baseball, and basketball. All at the same time juggling to be a good student and finding friends that I could relate with.

After only having diabetes for 2 years, there is no way you can have a full grasp of what this disease is all about. The fact you are reaching out to me and asking questions is a great start.

The emotional portion of diabetes (which many don't talk about or discuss) is a huge part. I struggled with accepting the fact I had diabetes for years ! It's not an easy thing to get over, or solve. There is no magic bullet. I hate to say this... but you will look back at yourself years from now and say... I wish I did "This"....

Want to know what the "this" is? I can try to help with that.

You will tell yourself I wish I had tested more. I wish I was in more control of my sugars. I wish I knew that when my sugars were up and down that it was effecting my school work, performance, and overall mood. Why didn't I put myself first.

I have said to myself before, Billy I wish I had better control of my Sugars do you know how many more passes you would have completed, balls you could have hit, and points I would have scored? If I had just, kept my sugars in a normal range. How much easier would have my school work been if I had one less thing to worry about?

Don't take the easy the road! Don't allow yourself to just be average. Don't have your Blood Sugars high all the time, just because it's easy.

You know it's all about practice and knowledge when it comes to doing anything. The same thing goes with Diabetes. Don't tell yourself it's too hard. It's not! Testing your BG takes... 30 seconds? I can test my BG and do a shot with a room full of people, and no one knows.

It's not as hard as it might seem... but not testing is easier right? Don't tell yourself that.

Test. It is the only thing you can do that will tell you for sure... how you really are feeling? Did you know your mood changes when your BG is high and low? They do. Taking a few seconds to check for that, is well worth it.

Do you carb count? If not, that's ok. Instead of doing random amounts of insulin wouldn't you want to do the right amount? Sure you would. Counting carbs is a great way to do that. If you don't do it now, or need more info about it, try to schedule an appointment with a nutritionist. I highly recommend for you to do that.

If you get better control of your diabetes it gets easier. Everything will be easier ¬¬¬¬¬¬_________, school, and your mood.

I know you can do it. Don't tell yourself you can't, you can. Just think of the amount of time you have spent thinking about, geez I am not testing, geez I'll do some random amount of insulin... It takes the same amount of time to DO THE RIGHT THING! It does.

The hardest part about diabetes it that it never quits... even if you have perfect control, test ten times a day, and count your carbs perfectly... the next time you wake up... you still have diabetes. That is hard to accept. Why if I do the right things is it still there? How is that fair?

If you have thought about any of this before... I am letting you know I know how you feel. And many other people do. You can do it. Tomorrow is a new day right? And I know I say it after every video I do... but it is SO TRUE... It' all about your Attitude Friend! Think about it.

Tell yourself "I will" instead of "I won't." And remember the more you act like it's not there... the more it really is! Having control of the beast is what it feels like to be normal. To be you. Don't allow Diabetes to take control.

Many Smiles,
Bill

Views: 303

Comment by Claire on April 7, 2011 at 12:13am
so true...
Comment by Miss Miss on April 7, 2011 at 2:17am
so true and well put.
Comment by Kathyann on April 7, 2011 at 6:30am
Thank you! Although I'm older I'm still new to Diabetes (18 months) and sometimes feel like I'm all alone struggling with this disease. Maybe it's not that hard to test and treat physically, but psychologically it seems like a huge weight on my chest. Again, thank you for understanding and reaching out to help others.
Comment by samsmom on April 8, 2011 at 6:35pm
Thanks. My daughter is a newly-diagnose 14-year-old & I keep thinking her moods are related to all this. Sometimes she bites my head off for no reason, and the next hour I'm actually an ok person. But she is a teenager too.
Comment by Richard P Cosgrove on April 10, 2011 at 8:54am
Bill, hopefully this teen will take your advice to heart. I know you have been living with diabetes most of your life and are a good role model for all of us.
Comment by Linda B. on April 14, 2011 at 5:02pm
The thing I detest about having diabetes is that it takes so much spontaneity out of life....so much becomes 'have to' or 'have to plan ahead'.

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