A matter of diabetes, depression, and morality

If this needs to be posted somewhere else please delete and I’ll repost.

I have big hangup on the issue of people equating not taking care of your diabetes= just the same as suicide. By this, they are usually referring to the fact that my a1c is not low enough, I still eat chocolate, do not exercise as much as I should, etc. etc. Of course, I feel guilty that I’m not “perfect” but no one is. If my a1c were that low, I’d be in the ER every week with lows. But with diabetes- we should be doing all this stuff and if we don’t, we’re bad, killing ourselves, etc. I do my best to eat healthy, check my bg, attempt exercise, try to keep my bgs in line, don’t do anything hardcore(smoking,drinking, drugs). A lifetime of even slightly higher bgs eventually can catch up with you…causing complications.
Is not perfect diabetes control the same as a slow suicide? That’s what everyone preaches at me(those without a CLUE as to how difficult it is.) And perfect, is not possible, so theoretically everything will be my fault…
(your thoughts, please)

We’re all gonna die some day. heck. My dr says it is all my fault that I’m diabetic. her let me quote his email “you have insulin resistance, your sugars will never be normal unless you can lose some extra weight with diet/exercise. sorry that the answer is not sugar coated. your body cannot handle ANY excess carbs/sugar. insulin is only a bandaid, and has great potential to cause weight gain, meaning that eventually you’ll need greater doses of insulin. you could kick/control this without medications if you can find a way to fit some aerobic activity in and shed 10-15 lbs. I know, easier said than done, but it’s the truth. If you could do this, and maintain the diet and activity that it takes to get you there, you would probably never have to see a physician for a diabetic visit again…there’s some incentive.” There. the way I perceive what this note says is that; I’m lazy. It doesnt matter to me. My thoughts are : I’m diabetic. I’m not perfect. I eat bread once or twice a week. My numbers go balistic. oh well. I guess I’m “killing myself” I guess that makes me suicidal? hmmm…
Don’t let the idiots be your “diabetic police.” It’s hard enough to deal with the ups and downs with out dealing with them. My understanding is that no matter who well we keep our numbers in control. We are gonna die. We will die with diabetic diagnoses on our medical record no matter if diabetes is our actual “cause of death” on that little certificate that says we made it to the other side. :ppp May the Force be with you:) Not the guilt for a piece of chocolate or bread or whatever. LOL! just enjoy life the best you can.

The last thing that any of us needs is for somoeone to tell us that “not taking care” of your diabetes is suicide. I think that is usually said by people who don’t know the first thing about it. And that can include doctors.
None of us is perfect. We all feel the call of the piece of cheesecake or pizza or candy bar, screaming to us to please devour it. Sometimes we can resist. Sometimes we can’t. So what.
Why don’t we tell people who are couch potatoes that they are committing suicide?
Why don’t we tell people who don’t exercise that they are committing suicide?
I have never liked the idea of being “bad”. We make choices about our behaviors. And, we make those choices knowingly.
We do the best that we are able to do, given our circumstances, and we should be applauded, admired and saluted for dealing with a disease that we did not choose, that was imposed on us, that is more complicated than advanced boolean calculus (I don’t even know if there is such a thing).
I would like to see the diabetes police try to deal with life as we do. It is so easy to sit there, smug in the fact they do not have diabetes, and criticize those who have it because, say, after a string of sub 7 a1c’s, we had an 8.3, because we decided to take a day off from exercise (or two days off), because we decided to enjoy a desert.
One of the things that is so refreshing about the OC is that it seems that all we get from each other is encouragement, a pat on the back and kudos for every little victory we have.
Yes, every single one of us is going to die someday. Might be because of diabetes. Might be getting hit by a drunk driver. Might be some random act. Might be something completely unrelated to diabetes. But, it is going to happen to everyone else, too.
This isn’t about people being suicidal for not having a1c’s of 6.5 all the time. It is about us all working hard to do the best we can to care for ourselves, and making the decisions about our lives that work best for us.
You are exactly right MeadowLark – just enjoy life. There is no fault here. Just working hard to do the best we can with something that is incredibly difficult to manage, along with all of the rest of the curves that life throws us.

very true…I suppose there’s no help for all the idiocy out there. Diabetes is on the record, and likely to be the “cause of death” unless I get hit by a Mack Truck, and even then they’ll probably say something like "she was probably low."
Just gonna do the best I can, fact is non D’s aren’t perfect either but they don’t get half the crap from docs that we do. And that makes me want to hit, something. Or somebody.(prefer a medical professional but any uneducated dolt will do)

“Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content.” – Helen Keller

“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – Helen Keller

Heidi -
Our youngest daughter, 13 yr old has type 1… dx’d 3 years ago. We do our best. Of course, things can definitely get overwhelming and some days you feel like giving up !!! BUT… we have to remain positive.
Do our best today and hope tomorrow is another good day.
We are human, after all…
Forget the failures and always stay positive! I agree with what Jonathan says below… we’re all gonna die some day but that’s not where our focus should be. Our 18 yr old nephew drowned in the ocean ONE MONTH TO THE DAY, after our daughter landed up in ICU w/ a type 1 diagnosis.
It was an honor for me, to decide after that, every day… I would make the most of it… insulin and all !!! because I still had my child with me, yes she needs insulin and other special needs but she is with me!!! Our dear nephew was gone! My sister in law, was trying to accept that her healthy, handsome, adorable son was gone…gone !!
So whenever you feel fed up, tired, depressed, sad, overwhelmed… TRY as hard as you can, to concentrate on all the positive … all the blessings in your life, and just say “thank you” that you are alive and well and live for today! xxxxx Brends

Here you are accepted and UNDERSTOOD. All your efforts, all your successes, all your failures all your bad days and your good days are absolutely acceptable. Today I just scraped by. I wanted cookies so badly. I agree with Meadowlark, Jonathan and Brenda. There are a lot of idiotic people in the world who don’t undertstand anything about being a diabetic. And Brenda is right. Just get through today. it is the only time we each have. You have all of us Heidi who do understand. And as bad as any one day can be, you are still here. and i am deeply grateful that you are. I send you my hugs, my love and my caring that today was a really bad day for you. I am sorry, but i hope you come back tomorrow and tell us how it is. I wish you peace and a restful night with good sleep. May tomorrow be a much better day for you. (And if you need cookies I understand)

Oh Heidi, I’m so sorry you’re struggling with this right now! I agree with all of the wise and insightful comments here before me.
Most of us pwd’s know all of the statistics re high bg and complications, etc. Yet, each of us deals with different circumstances in our daily living - the stressors of work, home, school; interpersonal dynamics with family and friends; our access to quality medical care, and the ever-shifting physiological differences that are unique to our individual bodies. Nobody’s perfect. Sometimes we are able to put forth more effort than others. Sometimes the body is just “cooperating” better and things smooth out. Heck, I don’t have any answers.
Sounds like your medical team might not have very good communication skills.
Take care. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Enjoy spring.

I do not like the idea of talking about “failure”. It goes hand in hand with being a “bad diabetic”. People are only “bad” if they have malice in their hearts or are cruel to others. There should be no such thing as a “bad diabetic”, and any doctor who says a patient is a “bad diabetic” should get the privilege of having to live with diabetes, personally. I don’t wish that on any one, but, people who throw stones should know what their target is all about and what we have to deal with. The role of the medical professional should be to encourage us with what works, give us good advice and be supportive of our successes. If the a1c dropped from 9.0 to 8.8, that is a huge victory. If it went the other way, work with us to figure out what changed, not what we did wrong.
I often ask myself what I did to deserve diabetes and the effects that it has had on my life. I suppose I should be grateful that my pancreas causes trouble with diabetes, rather than the cancer that has claimed the lives of a couple of people I have known over the last several years.
Heidi, and everyone else, remember that this is really hard, and, if it were easy, a cure or perfect treatment would already have been discovered. It is not easy. But think how much you accomplished today – you did not get hit by a Mack truck, you got through the day. Did you indulge yourself in some sweet thing or have some white carbs or something like that? So what. If it brought you peace, it was worth it.
Diabetes is a cruel disease, but we can manage it and live our lives to the fullest given our circumstances. And, to the heartless medical professionals – I have two words, and they are neither “merry christmas” nor “happy easter”. Don’t criticize. Contribute something positive. It is a shame that the OC is the primary source of positive contributions.

People don’t understand how HARD diabetes is. I feel like I think about it all the time and it keeps me from being as productive as I used to be. I fight depression about it sometimes still (one year after dx) but coming here where people understand helps so much. Diabetes is difficult to manage and if we are trying, it is NOT slow suicide. It is fighting, working, taking charge. We should pat ourselves and each other on the back more. It means so much to me when people who have diabetes or diabetic relatives praise me. Lying down and not doing anything about it purposely would be suicide I suppose but not what you’re doing!!! Way to go for starting this forum.

Maria: Have you found that people without diabetes just think you should get over the depression and move on and deal with it because it is not that big a deal (in their humble and uninformed opinions)? I’m more than 25 years out, and I still get depressed and frustrated by it. I don’t know that I get depressed that much any more over how bad it is that I have T1, but my most recent a1c definitely has an impact on how I feel about myself. I saw your last a1c was 5.4%. Incredible! Well done. Wish I could get there, but my goal is sub 7 again. We just keep fighting and working.
More pats on the back all around.

We need to give ourselves a break. Nobody is perfect, and everybody “cheats”. The trick is to treat intelligently. By that I mean cheating in such a way that you are still able to achieve your control objectives. You shouldn’t feel guilty about this, and it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Think of medical professionals as consultants. They are there to help you find solutions to problems, and that is all. Don’t let them affect the way you feel about yourself.

I guess what they people whether they be doctors,other professionals, or friends, family or strangers do not understand. Like my sister said it is a disease just as an alcoholic or a smoker, i am one and a recent type 1 diagnosed diabetic, has to think everyday about not having that drink or that cig even when we want one, a diabetic has to consider everyday what they are going to do to treat their illness. I will be the first to admit that I told my sister when she was diagnosed type 2, “I bet if you knew you would end up having this you would have lost the weight.” I never really thought how hard it is to do it. Never had a food problem I could always just skip a meal to loose the wieght, now cigs are a whole different story and I know all the reasons why I should quit. It took me being diagnosed to do it though, and I am still not there yet. I still smoke althought I am using the chantix to quit. Also I have learned that i can’t skip meals anymore. I have to take my insulin regularly and yes I still have highs and lows that can scare the bejesus out of me. I still forget to inject my insulin cus I have only been diagnosed for 4 months. January 12th, i went into the hospital with dka and mine was caused by ati inflammatory drugs I was taking for a comp injury. I have problems making my comp doctor listen to me or believe that is what caused it. so my regular doctor. same as my sister, debb’s, is trying to find someone else for me to see esp after he gave me back a script for the same meds that caused the diabetes, the last time I saw him. And yes even my well meaning sister tells me at times I can’t eat something because it isn’t on her list of foods, but I keep telling her that ours are two differeent types of diabetes. neither any worse or better than the other, just different. i am far from perfect I just strive each day to deal with pain and the diabetes, and yes sometimes I need that bite sized 3 musketeers to cheer me up!!! and I don’t beat myself up about it or about my lapses in smoking. I am trying and that is what counts the most…to give it and life your all!
Take care and hugs of support for me to you! I love this group cus I can ask a stupid questions and no one treats me stupid…lol!
Do what feels right to you and if it harms no one else yee haw!!!

Let’s not even use “cheats” in quotes. Let’s stop the sentence at “Nobody is perfect.” We are not “cheating”. We make rational choices. Sometimes they are not the best choices for us long term health-wise, but they are right for us at the moment. As I write this, am really thinking about that second Skinny Cow fudge pop of the evening. Anything wrong with that? No. As long as I bolus it right and deal with the extra calories.
Medical professionals as consultants is a great way to think about it. Do you sometimes feel that you are smarter than your doctor? I usually do. And that is not an endorsement of the medical profession.

i liked how you stated no one was “cheating”. we have to think in that mentality and not in a diabetic police mentality. noone here is the diabetes police, i hope.

After reading all of the posts on here following your entry I hope you have come to the conclusion that you have an entire family here that is FOR you and WITH you. We are all just like you in your struggles. None of us is perfect. We all just do the best we can and if it is good then fine and if it isn’t so good then that is okay.too. Please don’t let someone else make you feel badly about you. At last count I believe we are over 2,300 members strong. That is a lot of people on your side, loving and caring about you. Please come back and let us know how you are doing. Here on this site, the most amazing thing happens when someone is hurting. There is such a tremendous out pouring of support and comforting from family members from all over the world. And as you can see from all of these responses, everyone accepts and understands and cares about you. So when you get a chance, let us know how things are going.

Hi Heidi98!

I just thought I’d say, I’m not perfect. And believe me - sometimes I read about the A1C that others have or their averages and I think - how’s that possible?. So, hey… I’m in the ‘not perfect’ category. That’s ok. If you didn’t have diabetes, your bgs would be perfect. Diabetes is the cause of an imperfect A1C. Do the best you can, take care & enjoy your life. And don’t beat yourself up about it so much. I think there is too much pressure on type 1 diabetics for a good A1C. Your A1C doesn’t show the whole picture. Your daily bgs tell you much more about your control than your A1C does. If a person has a lot of lows as well as a lot of highs, the A1C will average out to pretty good. It’s not a good picture of a diabetic’s control. So, don’t worry so much about your A1C. Worry more about your daily bgs. It sounds like you need to take it easier on yourself. You’re doing a good job!

Heidi, I am living proof that bad control over a long period of time is NOT necessarily going to lead to an early death or even serious complications. I was diagnosed type 1 in 1945 and so I have been diabetic for 62 years and I have obly a few very minor complications. I did not eat anything containing sugar when I was growing up. I did not know about carb counting until after 40 years of diabetes so I ate way too many carbs, but not sugar carbs. That plus being very active and getting lots of exercise kept me going strong even though my urine sugar (no glucometers back then) ran high most of the time. I develope minor complications in my late 40’s but carb counting and pumping caused most of those complications to stop advancing. Some of them have disappeared. I have had an A1c below 6.0 for years now and I do not go to the ER. If pumping is done properly you should never have to go to the ER. Have you bought the book “Pumping Insulin” by John Walsh? Read it and improve your pumping technique. It takes time but if you have the enthusiasm and are willing to work hard you can have very good control and live to be old and healthy like me. LOL! Good luck!


Insulin is a hormone, just like any other hormone you never know how your body is going to respond. I have days where I can eat all the wrong things and be in perfect control and days when I do everything right and am sky high