A doctor or shrink cannot help with this problem

I’ve been diabetic since I was 10, and I am currently 34. I do not have any complications that I consider to affect my everyday life . Guess your all thinking but you must suffer from something and yes I do , my feet are overly sensitive to the point where I couldn’t withstand a foot massage even if one paid me . However, I accept this and know it is diabetes related but it really doesn’t bother me and it has even gotten better than it was 5 years ago . My feet used to be so sensitive that at one point I had to sleep with socks on cause I couldn’t stand the feeling of my feet touching the sheets or the blankets .
The real reason for me writing this right now is because I fear my future with diabetes . My friend recently said something to me that made me think , she told me that she never used to be scared of flying on an airplane but now she is and I asked her why that is , she replied with" we’ll you see I have flown so many times and nothing bad has ever happened so its just a matter of time before something goes wrong while flying". Your probably wondering how I related her new fear of flying to my type 1 diabetes . This is how , here I am 25 years later with a clear bill of health each and everyone I do blood work , but I asked this question because I’ve gone this far am I in the safety zone or am I just closer to a diabetic complication . This thought scares me because I live a very independent lifestyle . I recently decided that I need to save as much money as possible cause I’m convinced than when I reach my late 40s and above something will have wrong and I will not be able to work . I’ve even figured out how much money I would need from the age of 55 to 85 to live off of , but than I asked myself this question is it fair to tell myself that I am positive that I will not live into my late 80s and 90s cause my grandmother will be 91 next month and she has minimal health problems . I wonder is it even realistic for a type one diabetic to live into even their 80s without major complications . Please don’t think I’m a negative person but these thoughts really bother me . My dad past away 1 year ago , he died from brain cancer at only 58 years old . After he passed I went through a period where everyday I would wake up and tell myself that if I feel like I have nothing that is that great right now going in in my life then I will just be grateful that today is anothor day that I do not suffer from cancer or diabetic complications ,but now I’m going through this reality check of " yes I am sick I have a chronic illness that could kill me , I am not a smoker but yet I have the same increased risk if heart disease as a smoker does . I couldn’t picture myself on dialysis cause I can’t even deal with getting a tooth pulled out . I’m extremly sensitive and yes I am still young , so I asked this question should I just live like someone who is given 10 or less years to live cause in 10 years I will have had diabetes for 35 years , and Im convinced something is due to go wrong . Last but not least my a1c is usually between a 7.6 and 7.9 . I don’t feel right when my blood sugars one under 120 but when they do I can’t do much without constantly dropping . So that explains my 7.6/7.9 a1c cause I feel better at numbers between 120 and 190 . Thanks for reading and your input is important to me cause I am and have always managed my diabetes alone , my family has always been very stupid with understanding even the basics , for instanse my big shot cousin thinks that I’m weird for wanting to wear a pump , just recently I told her that sometimes I can’t drive cause of a bad bloodsugar . Cause if I’m high and take insulin to bring it down I don’t like to drive cause Im prone to go low , cause its easier to over bolous to bring a high down rather that take a little insulin at a time and stay at a high number for hours while feeling like there’s cotton running through your veins and you feel hungry and can’t eat ( yes highs sometimes make me feel like I haven’t eaten in days )anyway my cousins response to this was " well I know diabetics and I’ve never heard of such a thing "
Please understand what my point is I’m alone in this world with no support towards my diabetes but that is ok with me I’m used to it and I do just fine but I have a very hard time knowing that one day I will be suffering from diabetic complications and all alone

"I have a very hard time knowing that one day I will be suffering from diabetic complications and all alone">"Im convinced something is due to go wrong"

Marie,How do you KNOW that?

Sweetie, I am 59 years old, as of last week. I have had Type 1 diabetes for 46 years. I am concerned about your negative perceptions. I have minimal complications. Some tingling and pain in back, feet and legs. Improves when blood sugars are stable but minor pain still here . My neurologist of 11 years says he is not convinced I have "diabetic" neuropathy, just have a bad back with pressure on my spine from a bulge in my discs. Everything else is A OK:Eyes, kidneys, heart all fine.

Please look at Jen's past discussion last month about "Diabetes cohorts", where she hears about someone her age, also type 1, who died from a heart attack . She considered considered and spoke about possibility of sudden death and future complications. Many assuring and wonderful posts ensued. Read them.

I am diabetic, I live alone, and I do not fear.

God bless


P.s :How is you little girl? Do try to be more positive for her. she can feel your doubt and fear, even if you say nothing to her.. No matter what your family says, they do not know about diabetes, and you cannot bases your perceptions on what they or any other person who is ill-informed says. Keep seeking for and speaking out about any issue you have on Tudiabetes. There are a good number of us who are past 30 years with diabetes and in relatively good health. There are many of us here who will support you

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Your post really touched me. I’m sorry you feel alone, and are experiencing anxiety with the “unknown.” My name is Jen, I’m a T1D for 27 years. I was diagnosed at 10 years old. I’m 37 now. Im a nurse and training to be a CDE. I know no other life both personally and professionally, and have seen BOTH sides. I have my personal perspective, but the medical perspective as well.

I want to first mention that you are NOT alone. Although your family is not familiar or educated with diabetes, as we all know…that is quite common. If not in families, in society overall. It is truly our jobs to educate, as diabetes is constantly changing, but that’s another story. My parents still think I follow an “exchange diet.” Lol…so I’ve had to educate and re-educate as times change. But although it is isolating, there are people who get it. Like EVERYONE here. That’s why we’re here. To connect, vent, and share with others who “get it.” Why? Because many don’t get it.

I have seen personally so much with this disease. I have had the ups and downs, technology changes, hospitalizations, and many scares. My highest A1C was 9 or 10 many years ago. But my most recent last month…6.8. I am proud of my progress, but it took a lot to get there. I got there alone.

After 27 years no matter what I’ve gone through, I have no complications. I have seen patients diabetic for 40-50 years without complications. So it is possible. It is a huge misconception that because of the diabetes…we are meant to die of it, or develop “something.” That’s wrong. Technology has advanced to the point that diabetics ARE living longer. It is NOT a death sentence. The reality is we are all going to die of something, but because of diabetes…not necessarily. Does diabetes complicate things…sure. But so do a lot of things.

I will tell you the average a1C that diabetics come to our clinic with is 8 or above. Very few are 6 or 7. Not because they aren’t doing what they’re supposed to, but because that’s just the disease. The balance is hard. But do they all have complications…no. Are they at risk. Of course, but we all are. I think the key is staying “safe.” Keeping your sugars at a level that keep you out if danger. To be “perfect” is not realistic. To be safe…is perfectly ok.

Diabetes is already overwhelming, and after having it as long as you and I have…you hit a “burnout” point. There is a book called “Diabetes Burnout” (Can’t remember author)…but I highly recommend it.

I am here for you, and have been there. The people here understand. I also have a page on Facebook for support, called Let’s Dia Beat This…you are welcome to find me there too!

One day at a time.


When I was 20, I didn't really expect to live much longer than 40 or so however now I'm 46 and seem to be doing ok. I don't have major complications however I have weird little things that sort of make me think "what's next?" pretty regularly. Some of these are the hair on my legs falling out and also some wound healing issues. I've had surgery twice with no complications but scraped my knuckle on a guy in a race (probably his belt or something...) last October and it was seriously June before it *finally* cleared up. I never bothered going to the doctor as no pink/cellulitis but it creeped me out.

The best cure for being alone is to meet people, maybe think of something you like to do and find a group that does it. Drag your daughter (now, before she's a teenager! eek) and get her going on it, bring her friends, bring your friends, whatever. I went to a JDRF event last night, through my wife's job, because I don't extend myself that much in that particular group, although I've done some walks, etc. It was interesting to see how enormous the community was and to see people all meeting and not knowing for sure how they were all related to diabetes,etc. That's one thing but anything can help. Martial arts made a huge difference for me, it was instrumental in getting healthier and kind of getting into a cycle of doing things to be healthier including but not limited to diabetes, eating, exercising and stuff. It wsa a group and, while it was ***very*** hard and very intimidating for a long time, the orientation of the school I attended was very positive and "you can do it, you just need to practice more". Maybe, maybe not but I'm still friendly with a lot of those folks online, even though I had to move.

I wonder if this is an age thing. I posted something very similar to your post a few weeks ago, feeling scared about my future and diabetes complications ... I just turned 32 and have had Type 1 for over 22 years and have no known complications.

What prompted my post was that someone I know who is in their early 50s and had Type 1 since they were a teenager passed away. I don't know anyone in person who has had Type 1 since childhood who has gotten past the age of 45 without severe complications, some of which resulted in death. I know there are people on this site who do it, but there are also people on this site who have had an A1c of < 6.5 their entire diabetic life, which is not me. My A1c has always been between 6.5 and 9.5. Nothing too ridiculously high, but nothing amazingly low, either. But it made me think of where I might be in another 20 years when I'm in my early 50s.

My parents have both experienced serious health problems over the past two or three years. They are both EXTREMELY health, still young (mid to late 50s), and yet both of them faced life-threatening health problems, which thankfully they are now past except for monitoring. After this it did change my outlook. I realized that if they had faced the problems they did while NOT in the kind of health they are in (they eat very healthily, do yoga daily, hike daily, etc.) the outcome may not have been as good as it was.

I don't have much advice for you. For me, posting on here and just giving it a few days helped me feel a lot better. But, as I said, I don't think it's that abnormal to start thinking about the future and even death and such once you hit your 30s. I have friends without diabetes who have expressed similar thoughts. In general, I don't think it's a bad thing to make the most of every day and be grateful to be alive. I try to do that. But I also try to do it in a positive way rather than a, "Gee, I might be dead tomorrow!" way. I mean, even if it weren't for diabetes, I could get hit by a bus while crossing the street, as could anyone.

I hope that posting here and connecting with some others who have had similar feelings helps. I also manage my diabetes (and live) alone, and I think it can be very isolating sometimes compared to people who have families who help support them. That's why sites like this are so valuable.

Hi, marie. I agree with the suggestions posted so far and will add a few.

I am 61 and have had Type 1 for 50 years. Only complication is retinopathy, totally under control for 20 years. Check around on this site and you will find many long term, as well as many who live alone quite well.

I would disagree with your title for this post. I actually think a psychologist could be of significant assistance. I started seeing one again after my return from the Joslin DO IT program and she has been tremendously helpful. She has helped me see what I really want and what I really need to change. I cannot communicate how much it has helped. Please, do think about this. It can really help.

Hi Marie; I too am glad you're here and have posted and you are not alone, you have us! But I also very much agree with Spock that a Psychologist couldhelp. Don't take this as your problems are severe or you are "crazy", though; Psychologists are trained at dealing with fears. If you could find one who is a Type 1 or who has experience treating Type 1 Diabetics, or even experience working with chronic illness of any sort that would be excellent. But a good compassionate Psychologist can work with your issues and be of enormous help in lowering your level of constant fear which, I know, is not a fun way to live.

You say you are a very independent person and I hear that is important to you. I am as well, but I also understand the value of support and being around others who truly understand. I started a Type 1 Women's Group to have such a support system and the result was beyond my expectations. Unfortunately I moved away from that area but I plan to go visit and have a potluck with some of them next month. (All dishes have carb counts provided at our potlucks!). Consider locating something similar in your area. JDRF supported my group and they would also perhaps be a source of Psychologists experienced with D in your area.

Finally, I know you said you are happy with your blood sugar levels, but somewhere down underneath you know that the higher your A1C the more likely complications. So while I agree with the others that complications with long term Type 1 are not inevitable and there are many such examples of living a long healthy life on here, we do have to do what we can to keep our blood sugar down. If I were you I would consider working with an endo to see if you can drop those numbers by a bit at a time so you feel comfortable with the changes.

I would stand up and say clearly and say "I am not crazy." (You made me giggle at that, Zoe. I used to feel that way about seeing a psychologist.)

After I went to Joslin, I worked really hard to do what I was told to do, but could not handle it. I won't bore you with the gory details, but it was like taking everything I had done with my T1 for 50 years and throwing it away I tried, but found I was pretty miserable and D was taking over everything.

She helped me understand that it was alright to be uncomfortable with their instructions, because my way of doing things has worked for longer than they have been alive. So I am more comfortable using some of things they taught me, and interweaving them with my old standards.

Another unbiased opinion really helped me understand a few new things about myself and what I want.

Many people feel that way about seeing a mental health, professional, Spock.

Good for you at looking at what you learned at Joslin and seeing what would be useful to you and what would not. There's a saying in the recovery community: "Take what you need and leave the rest." But that is often hard to do especially when you are talking about such an authoritative source like Joslin. I'm the opposite, I've had to learn to "take what I need" after a lifetime of "I do it my way" (even when that way isn't working..lol).

Twenty five years of type 1, and no complications. You are off to a good start! I was diagnosed in 1945, when I was 6, and have lived with type 1 for 68 years. Some mild nerve damage is the only complication I have now. There are thousands of type 1 diabetics who have lived with their diabetes fo 50 years, or more. Many of them have applied for the 50 year medal offered by the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. We medalists have no serious complications. You can achieve that status too by taking good care of yourself. There is also a group of medalists who have been type 1 for 75 years, and a few for more than 80 years.

Complications, however, are more likely to occur with an A1c like the one you have now. My endo wants my A1c to be in the range 6.0-6.5, and I have been in the 5.4-6.4 range for more than 10 years. It is not advisable to be below 6.0 though since it can cause too many lows and hypos.

Have you read the book "Using Insulin" by John Walsh? John also wrote the book "Pumping Insulin" for pumpers. Those books can help a lot. Another book called "Think Like A Pancreas" by Gary Scheiner is also very good. I understand your living alone makes you worry a lot about lows and hypos. I used to live alone, so I understand that. It would be great if you could share your home/apartment with someone who understands diabetes.

If you have good diabetes management you have an excellent chance of living a long, healthy life with diabetes. The life expectancy of type 1 diabetics in the US is currently almost as good as it is for non diabetics, so you should not be so concerned about living a long life.

Hi thanks for responding !
I have gone to a therapist 3 times in my life and it always goes the same way , first when you mention your a diabetic there eyebrows raise and they say nothing and I would get a sense that they are now sitting thete thinking " oh it’s probably all the meds that a diabetic takes that is making her have a hard time , what a young girl to be so sick"
So that’s when I stop right there and just wish I hadn’t disclosed my diabetes . Next they get you talking and smack in the mist of your sentence they look at the clock and say " times up can u meet next week " who wants to finish their conversation a week later

It seems to be impossable for me to achieve a lower a1c and this is why

  1. whenever I register between a 80 and 120 I feel like I’m dropping and most times I am right . If I’m lets say 125 and I’m just sitting at home I will leave it alone and just let the low happen if its gonna happen and most of the time when I’m home I’m not exerting to much energy so if I’m 125 I won’t drop but if I’m out all I do is drop . So I like to run around 150 if I’m out cause it gives me room to drop . I have lowered my basil but than I just go to high . Therefore the only way I could achieve a 6 a1c would be if I didn’t go above 125 and I would go low a couple times a day . These are my basils 12 am to 4am (1.40) 4am to 1pm (1.40) 1pm to 8pm (1.45) and 8pm to 12am (1.40).
    Endo told me my basils should be no higher than 1.0 so I listened and lowered them that day , well all I can say is I was in the 300s that entire day

Hi Marie,

I agree with everyone that you have no way of knowing if you will get complications and many people here have lived a long time, their whole lives, with type 1 and no or minimal complications, many who didn't initially have as good treatment as we are lucky to have now. I think talking to your endo/doc about things you can do to prevent complications is a good idea too. I'm not sure about your a1c being that high but if it is working for you that is great. I hope you won't mind if I say to just ignore your cousin or maybe to tell her that she has no idea what she is talking about, she doesn't have D and she needs to educate herself and be more supportive of you. You don't need people like that around you! You aren't alone because you have all of use here to talk to and to help you. I think maybe a different counselor who treats people with chronic illnesses might be a good thing to try if you want to try again.

Therapists, like people in general, vary in their attitudes and personalities which is often more important than their degrees or even experience. A good therapist would be thinking after the disclosure "ok, so I need to learn more about the issues faced by a diabetic to help this person" and they would ask you, without judgement to share what it is you experience related to your D. I always encourage people to shop around for a therapist. Always go into the office with a list of requirements and questions such as experience with chronic illness, warmth and empathy, directive or non-directive ( basically how much they listen and how much input they give) and how they see approaching your issues. Then "interview" them to see if they are a good match. Most therapists expect this and many give a free first session. See several and see who "feels" best.

As for the "time's up", well that just comes with the territory and happens with doctors too. Again, it's good to tell the therapist at the beginning what you hope to cover in the session and make sure your needs get met.

Thanks for the advise ,
I know that a a1c above 7 isn’t the best , and I hear alot of people say that after they got a cgm it lowered their a1c , but what I hear about the ccgm is either really positive or negative . Negative things I hear are it is inaccurate , you still must test the same amount each day with a finger stick and ugh the thought of having 2 things hooked up to me Just makes me feel Like im very different from the other attractive single ladies out there Taking into consideration that I am single and would love to fall in love again I just see that as anothor barrier in the dating world . I don’t know if its a weight thing but I still haven’t been able to shed the 50 lbs that I gained while pregnant . When I was 50 less pounds , I really looked quite skinny and I just felt better inside and out , I can remember going on dates and telling the guy right away that I’m diabetic and even showing them my pump , and I just didnt have a care in the world if that turned them off . However fast forward 8 years older and 50 lbs bigger i just don’t feel that confident feeling I used to feel . Nowadays when I go on dates I don’t mention the diabetes cause I don’t see a point in sharing something that personal with someone when I’m not even sure I’m gonna get a call for date number 2 or if I even would want to see the person again . So to sum things up what I’m trying to say is that when one is 34 and single and does not want to end up continuing down this road of loneliness than one must keep up on their looks and try to at least look somewhat sexy when trapped in the single life where 1 outa like 50 men are husband material . So how do you feel attractive when your all hooked up to the pump on one side of stomach and cgm on the other . I can understand getting one when your already in a loving marriage or relationship but when your still lost in the pond I can’t imagine having to be hooked up to something new . I think it will make me feel like all I am in this world is a diabetic

I understand your feelings, Marie, and agree someone has to get to know you as a person first and if they are the right person than they will accept everything about you including your D. CGM's are one option to improve D management, but not the only one. Talk with your endo about how to lower your A1C and a therapist can help with emotional issues related to it.

Marie, I'm a T2 and have only been diabetic for 7 years. I have great A1Cs (never over 5.6) yet I've had every complication with my legs and feet that you can think of, and some most people have never heard of (amyotrophic neuropathy). I was in a wheelchair for a while because I could not walk, then I was on a walker for a couple of years. I never missed a day of work. All I could do was sit on my butt at a computer, but that's what my job entailed. I'm not tough, this wasn't a hard thing to do. My son drove me to work for 3 months, then I found out about having hand controls installed in my car. You just do the best you can and take one day at a time. Don't get too tied up in making plans for bad times. Saving money is good, but the chances are just as good that you'll be able to use it for something fun. I am a diabetic in much worse shape than you are. I live alone, and I do not fear, either. Not because there is nothing fearful in my life, just because I choose not to live that way. You're half my age, you have a LOT of great years ahead of you, I hope you enjoy them to the max.

Hi Marie,
it may seem impossible, and will be if you give up trying new things.

My endo told me the 2 key areas to focus on to reduce A1C is the post-meal spike, and overnight.

It does not make sense what your endo said regarding basal not higher than 1.0, given your settings. You may want to read books like Pumping Insulin or Think Like a Pancreas for detailed information on setting and tweaking basals and carb ratios. Or find a new Endo/CDE that will work with you, based on detailed logs and patterns of highs/lows.

It is not impossible, but will take time and hard work on your part.
There are many good books, and discussions here on TuD on what has worked for others regarding lowering A1C/BGs. There are also programs such as Joslin DOIT, that Spock posted about. Please don't give up with the conclusion it's impossible.

Marie, I have very good control with my pump In order to have success I am using some basal settings that run as high as 2.0. There is nothing wrong with that if it is necessary to avoid highs.

I have had those days where my bl ran between 100 and 120 all day and on those days I feel like Even my mind seems more focused and I’m just more happy for nothing at all accept for the fact that I’m not feeling that high bl rising feeling or low bl dropping feeling . However than for the majority of the other times that I run in that perfect range I’m also driving with pure sugar sodas in my car cup holder and even carrying candy in my pockets just to walk from my front door to the neighbors house , and this is cause on those days I’m constantly dropping . I can feel the low before the bl machine shows me I’m low . When I was admitted into the hostpital at the time that I was due to give birth to my daughter something so scary happened . As I was be evaluated for admitting the nurse tested my bl and I was 95 I told her 5 minutes later that I felt really low and they said that i don’t need anything my bl is normal and I told her I’m dropping and they made the biggest deal . I started to cry and my mother was with me and she said maybe your just nervous cause your due to have the baby and maybe you could use a tranquilizer and I said I’m just really low . Finally they tested my bl and I was 35 . What a joke right? I notice a trend with alot of nurses , they really don’t understand the details that are involved with a type 1 diabetic