Living With Diabetes and Depression in a Tough Economy

Gina Capone Health Guide
  • In January I was laid off from my job for a second time in a year.  If you have never been laid off before, I can tell you from experience that it truly is the worst feeling in the world. It's like you aren’t good enough, and they got rid of you because, well to put it bluntly, that you suck. I was told both times “you are an excellent worker, it’s the economy”. If I had a dollar for every time that slogan was used. I wouldn’t have to worry about working.  No matter what is said to you, it still stinks to get laid off. 

    The first couple of weeks after the layoffs were ok because I felt like I was on a little well-deserved mini vacation. But the novelty wore off quickly, and reality was slowly setting in that I was really out of work, YET AGAIN! Things like blogging here on Health Central and that I am the community manager of a type 1 social site called help get me through some days but, being in this house all day long has gotten the best of me. The first thing to take a major hit is my diabetes care.

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    Because my schedule is totally off I have gotten very lazy. I have been waking up at around noon. Hardly eating breakfast or lunch. Sometimes, my first meal of the day is at 2 or 3pm. My blood sugars have become very erratic as well. I am noticing many highs and lows.


    I am going down a very bad and dangerous path. A path I have been down once before.




    I promised myself, my entire family, and diabetes care team that if I ever felt those first signs of being depressed again, that I would do something about it. Instead of letting it spin out of control like a tornado.


    The first thing I did was to make an appointment with my certified diabetes educator and explain to her what has been going on. (The first step really is admitting you have a problem) I told her that my schedule is completely off and I need help getting back on track. That I am really feeling down about losing my job a second time in a very short amount of time, and all of the other concerns I have. My CDE/ Nurse Practitioner really should be a psychologist too!


    At the appointment the first thing she did was download the information from my Minimed CGM to her computer. While her associate gave me an examination.


    Blood pressure, Check.


    Thyroid, Check.


    Eyes, Check.


    Feet, Check.


    Heart, Check. 


    Finally, my CDE came back with all of the printed information. (I always get all excited to see data, it is the geek in me)


    We then looked at the trends together. She knew right from looking at the printed data that I was hardly eating during the day. Which has been causing my lows in the morning. It really wasn't rocket science to figure that out. My basals were also too high for my newly acquired lifestyle haha.


    Anyway, she then changed my settings to my carb to insulin ratio as well because she thinks I was getting too much bolus during meals as well. She told me I need to get myself back on a eating/lifestyle schedule.


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    I know, I know


    Easier said, than done doc. I have really gotten accustomed to the cozy feeling of my down comforter. But, I know if I want to be healthy I have to get myself back on my old work schedule. It really had my blood sugars in really good range and I felt so good during the day.


    Here is sample schedule of what I am going to try and get back to doing everyday. This is what I used to do everyday while I was working.


    7am: Blood sugar check
    745am: Breakfast

    9am: Blood sugar check

    10am: Blood sugar check/ mid morning snack (yogurt or cottage cheese doublers, made by breakstones they really are delish)
    12pm:  Lunch, Blood sugar check (Sandwich, or different kinds of low fat/carb soups I like progresso)
    230pm: Blood sugar check
    4pm:  Blood sugar check, Mid afternoon snack (yogurt, cottage cheese, apple or some other form of healthy snack)
    630pm: Blood sugar check, Dinner
    830pm: Blood sugar check, gym

    9pm: Mid workout blood sugar check

    10pm: Blood sugar check, Before bed snack (polly-o string cheese or strawberry protein shake) Moderate, chat with online buddies.
    12pm: Blood sugar check, Bed

    For me this is what works, and I know it does for sure because it has actually helped me lower my a1c last year by over 2.3 points. So, I am going to try my hardest to get back to a regular schedule this week and get my life back on track.


    Have you been laid off? Has your diabetes care taken a turn for the worst because of it? I would like to hear from you to see how you are dealing with the economy and diabetes. Write your comments below.

Published On: March 05, 2009