Learn to live with diabetes
I thought diabetes was the worst possible thing that has ever happened to me. Honestly. It felt like a nightmare when I got diagnosed.
The weeks following my diagnosis were an uphill battle. The numbers (blood sugars) got to me the most and still do. I tried so hard to follow everything my diabetes team told me to do. I ate 6 small meals a day at specific times so my blood sugars would be more stable. I even ate the same foods most of the time, fruits, veggies and proteins. I became obsessed with writing everything down and checking my blood.
The schedule part of being on insulin shots was the most annoying. I HATED waking up early on weekends to begin with. Now I had to get up to take a shot and eat something. And I hid anything having to do with my diabetes care from people. That way, I could pretend that I didn't have diabetes. Eventually, I stopped going out completely. That lasted for about a year and half. I became a total hermit.
Then depression started to kick in. My mom would try to get me out of my room after dinner to talk with the family, but I would just stay in my room with my head toward the wall crying. I cried myself to sleep every night for a year and started getting symptoms of depression like loss of sleep, fatigue, weight loss and thoughts of death.
My mother came with me to the doctor one day and told him I was not going out anymore and all I did was stay in my room. He turned and said: "You should be able to deal with this by now." Then I thought something was wrong with me because I was still unable to deal with this. I tried to deal but every day it got worse.
Around Christmas time that year, I was at work and one of the companies we dealt with sent us huge packages of popcorn, candies, and chocolates. I was a huge candy eater before being diagnosed and would have a snickers and coke everyday at 4pm. Everyone was eating Godiva, but I couldn’t. It was total and complete torture. I sat for a minute, took it all in and then it hit me: I couldn't do any of the stuff I was used to. I wanted to take that box and eat the whole thing. Instead, I went to the bathroom and cried my eyes out. Someone finally came in and asked what was wrong. I was so embarrassed. I actually cried because of chocolate.
I went home that day and I told my mom I wanted to change doctors. She agreed. Dr. K was a big...you know what. The guy I was dating at the time knew a friend that was becoming an endocrinologist and he suggested someone, so I made an appointment. That was the day I saved my life. The turning point.
My doctor sent me to a diabetes center, I didn't even know they existed. That was when I started to learn how to live with diabetes and not dread it. They taught me that it’s not what you eat, it’s how much you eat. They also taught me that stress can affect your blood sugars, as well as exercise and, yes, even the dreaded monthly cycle too. They helped me with a meal plan with foods that work for me and guess what, I even got to add in one of my favorite things...Chocolate!
Diabetes is a 365/24/7 job. It sucks. But, I had to learn to live with it. So if you ever get down about living with diabetes remember you are not alone. You can always find support here or on other websites like this one. Once you learn to live with diabetes and accept it, you’ll feel much better. Don't ruin the relationships you have with family and friends by shutting everyone and everything out. If you let them know how you’re feeling they can help. I know because I have been there.