Acceptance, who knows?

It makes me think of the 5 stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. I figure if you are at depression, you are almost to acceptance. Just kidding. If you believe this Kubler-Ross model, then you also believe it is totally normal to move between different stages when you are dealing with a chronic illness, until you reach the ultimate level of acceptance. Whatever that is.

I was diagnosed at 12, over 26 years ago. I don’t remember not being diabetic. I remember how horrible it was for me to be different at 12. I have memories of being very shy and pretty traumatized every time I had to test in front of strangers or people I knew. Everyone always wanted to know what my bg was, and I had no idea how to control it. I was the only Type 1 I knew in my town of 25,000. It was very lonely. The lonliness was all encompassing, at times, until my boyfriend bought me “Think Like a Pancreas” and found 1happydiabetic, which lead me to here. It’s lonely. You know, 1HappyDiabetic says “You can be one happy diabetic, too. It’s all about your attitude.” Somedays hearing him say that motivates me more than anyone knows.

The only positive thing I can say about diabetes is that much of what I learn has been repeated to at least one other person who is suffering with or related to someone suffering with this disease. They are all Type 2, though. People ask questions, and my education allows me to help them. Helping others always feels good.

I am as pessimistic as you are about a cure in our lifetimes, but I still give my monthly donation to JDRF, just in case.

The last time I got “gung ho” I committed to never consume more than 45 carbs at any meal, excluding Thanksgiving dinner, and it made an incredible difference. I had been told that it didn’t matter how many carbs I ate, as long as my carb ratios were correct. That was stupid. That lets you have regular soda or lemonade, if you like.
I am trying to commit to Dr Bernstein’s plan, but am not sure if I am willing to give up my breakfast oatmeal and restrict myself to only 30 carbs a day. I do believe, in Bernstein’s philosophy, that the lower the carbs, the lower the insulin, and, barring illness or injury, the lower the bg swings. It’s worth try.

All I can say is keep at it… keep at it… keep at it! You are your one and only, and BEST Health Advocate!

On a side note - My son was diagnosed at age 10, he particpated in an intense research study for the first two years of diagnosis and came out of that as a now 17 year old teen who manages most of his D care himself. When you sit a day each month in a pedriatric hospital’s medical day unit surrounded by little kids undergoing kidney dialisys or chemotherapy treatments you realize that you do have the ability and you can manage the disease that has been forced upon you. Other than a 3 a.m. check each and every night and the odd reservoir refill when time is tight to get out the door, my son manages his D and I chart his info and review with him to see when and if adjustments are needed. His last A1c of 6.0 was received and commented on by his endo as being too low for her liking.

Funny when that T1 kid, comments on how you know how a particular low felt, or a particular symptom of diabetes felt and then shakes his head realizing that as involved as you are as his Mom, no you don’t know and no you never experienced the feeling that is being shared. That alone tells me that he has accepted life with diabetes.

PS Acceptance can be uplifting!


Funny story, Mike! I was diagnosed at age 28, and sent home from the hospital on a set dose of NPH and a 3500 calorie diet. I was so relieved when 5 days later, I was taking my education classes, and getting switched to Humalog, I am not usually one to complain about eating, but I did. Then, my Dr looked at my food diary said “No wonder you don’t want to eat!” (At the time, I was 5’4!)

Most days I am fine with my Diabetes. But not always, how could you be? It is like having a child, one that doesn’t grow up and leave the house.

You don’t have to do tai chi with bent knees if it is hard for you. More details on Dr. Paul Lam’s website if you are still interested (easy to find via google). I am glad you are seeking help for your pain.

I’ve always accepted my diabetes. I guess part of the reason was because my mother has it. Most of my frustrations comes from other people concerning my diabetes.

I’ve been Type 1 on insulin since age 4. Never bothered me then and doesn’t really bother me now. Do the lows get me yes, but mostly frustrated because it is because I messed up and didn’t coordinate properly.

And it has done a couple of good things for me. Like keeping from getting killed in Viet Nam, keeps me eating better than many of my friends, getting to test out and use really neat gadgets like pumps and glucometers. I say those last two with a bit of a grin but hey, enjoying life should be what we concentrate on, not the bummers everyone gets along the way.

We need to look around sometimes and see that there are many people in much worse shape than I am and then I appreciate the difficulties I have. I always tell people that I’m “Type 1 Positive” in more than one way.

I hope all of you have a great day tomorrow and an even better Thanksgiving later in the week!

I defiently rotate through the stages of grief. Most of the time I accept the fact that I have diabetes but honestly sometimes I revert back to denial then I revert back to sadness then acceptance again. When I was first diagonsed I truely kept thinking my doctor made a mistake and will call and tell me its all a mistake…reality truely set in after I had to go on my insulins that really woke me up.now I mostly accept my diabetes, insulins, carb. Counting ect. Although I do still get sad about it.sometimes it. Can be overwhelming. I am not sure why I was in such denial in the beginning. I’m glad I have my routines down now and I’ve accepted the fact that yes I’m a diabetic, now I have to care for myself and follow my treatment plan!

When I was diagnosed in 1983 , I decided to do the best I could managing . I still get hooked by the numbers( high and low) I get and tell myself " to get off it " …talking to ME pays off most of the time :slight_smile:
I have seen in writing recently " diagnosis has lead to a wonderful journey , that she would not have imagined possible at the time " … I can only agree. I have made diabetes and sharing my passion and have been uplifted when in a down mode , because of the support I receive . I don’t think often about living with diabetes 20 years from now ( I would be 90 !!) ; I prefer to take one day at the time…this is just me and my mode of operation …

I’m only at the four month mark since diagnosed. I’m at the pissed off stage due to it seems to me I’ve joined Disease of the Month Club and they keep giving me a new one. I’m not going to list here what the other health conditions I have; the diabetes is the one that is eating up the most time (is that a pun?) I occasionally lapse back to denial and try living without my meds. I will try again after Thanksgiving (my first one being PWD) and see if 20g carbs per meal/exercise at least 15 minutes after each meal will allow me to stay off meds. 45g carbs a meal, didn’t make it, 35g carbs didn’t make it… hmmmm. And I hope I don’t have a spike on Thanksgiving Day. I’m hoping that I can eat the big meal in three portions, two hours apart and wait three hours to have a teeny slice of pie. If not, I’m willing to stretch it out five hours.

It’s tiring… I don’t think I have much room to talk about acceptance when I’ve only had this for about a year, officially. (I’ve probably more likely had this for 2 or 3 years without even knowing.) I think for me… this is even scarier because I’ve had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Hypothyroidism for basically all of my life, and the fight with trying to be balanced enough so that my body could lose any kind of weight… has been really difficult… But before, “maybe” I could’ve taken a break from that fight… but now it just feels like I have a gun to my head saying “either you keep it up, or else.” I break down, like anyone else, and rebel, from time to time… At first it seems so great, cus it’s this excuse to really try to be healthy… but all the work involved… my inability to stray from an eating schedule… all the time spent planning and making meals… and taking 2 steps forward, and 3 steps back, and the strain on relationships with people who simply don’t understand that I can’t have their food anymore… is… Well, exhausting. Maybe I’m not physically exhausted from lows or highs… but I am MENTALLY exhausted from having to think and ponder every thing I put in my mouth, or buy at the store, or think how it will react with whatever else I make… or having to juggle a good menu for two people with Diabetes, on nothing but food stamps and the local food bank… and not having medical insurance. I have an eating disorder, too… so it is VERY very tiring to fight the mental war every day. I really lose hope some days that my life will improve, and I’ll find a job. :frowning: I especially feel like I will never find a job, now that I have Diabetes, and everyone can go googling anyone everywhere… and see the things we participate in. It’s hard not to get depressed.

I think this is the biggest difference from diabetes compared to other chronic illnesses. Maybe I am wrong, since I have never had any other chronic illness, but from what I read most people complain about physical symptoms (the spoon theory and so on), and I can’t really relate to any of that with diabetes … Even the highs and lows are just temporary. I forgot to bolus today at breakfast (because I had to do a cartridge change this morning and was rushed for work) and spiked to 29.3 mmol/L (527 mg/dl) two hours later, and of course felt high, but within a few hours I had corrected and was back down into a reasonable range. It happened at work and no one even knew, and I wasn’t affected by it … But you are right, the mental part is what’s the hardest, and what people don’t understand. No one understands I have to literally count every gram of food I eat, and figure out how much insulin I need to take, and before exercise or another activity have to try and predict the future and compensate. I mean, people see me bolusing and testing, but they don’t get that I’m doing math in my head at every single meal and in between meals. In fact I don’t go more than an hour or two between doing something diabetes-related, making some sort of decision, it even interrupts my sleep at night having to check basal rates or wake up with a high or low. I think this is what really burns me out more than anything.

Jennifer , you are correct , it is 24/7/365 for many, many moons !!!..not less, or else stuff happens .This is what is not understood by the general public, unless it happens to them ; and they still may choose to not
" follow the golden rules" ( which take up a book ) .Life maybe cut short in that case or…
I know , you are willing to do the best you can …be well TuD friend from BC !!!

Jennifer, on Monday I wrote a blog here on TuD, A Walk in the Park, which could be seen as part of your conversation about Acceptance. Whether or not you read it, let me say that I admire the way you live your life and know that Diabetes will surely become easier to deal with in the future. My best to you.

Hugs to you too Judith …

When I was diagnosed, I cried during the whole 2-hour session with the CDE on how to meter and constructing a meal plan (old style, with exchanges).

My grandmother had diabetes and I remember being 3 or 4 years old and watching her pull up her dress and stick herself in the thigh with a needle. I remember the black bakelite box she kept it in, and I remember watching her boil the syringe. So I was raised with the words “Natalie, don’t eat that; you’ll get diabetes!”

Well, my mother never got it, and she lived to be 80, and I thought that I was home free, because I believed that you had to get diabetes from your mother or father. So when I was formally diagnosed at the age of 44, I was distraught, and I heard all the voices in my head saying “I told you so!”

It’s been 19 years now, and during most of those years, I have struggled with denial and rebellion and disbelief. I would go off my insulin, hoping that the numbers would stay down, but of course, they didn’t, and I always had to go back and pick up the pieces.

The proof of the pudding was the coma I had in September – I’ve been REAL good since then, but I still struggle with not wanting to believe I have diabetes, and hoping that it would go away while I wasn’t looking.

Part of what really bothers me is that, ostensibly a Type 2, I was told that it would go away if I lost 5% to 10% of my body weight. Well, I DID lose weight – 15% – and it didn’t go away – in fact the numbers just got higher and higher and I went on insulin 18 months after diagnosis. So I call myself Type Weird, because I’m somewhere between Types 1 and 2, but not formally diagnosed as LADA.

I have struggled with feeling guilty, when intellectually I KNOW it’s not my fault but the crap in the media really gets to me. I would like to accept diabetes, and some days are better than others, but if I’m honest with myself, I’m still very angry about it. I’m working on being more open about it – in the past, if I were out with friends, I wouldn’t test or take insulin, but now I know I need to just do it. I’ve had friends be horrified when I whipped out my meter, and that doesn’t help, either.

But I guess I’ll just keep on truckin’ and try to do my best!

Hi Natalie, Great Story.

I am a Thin Type 2 also. Not on insulin (yet). I was 130 lbs. 5’4" at DX and now I weight 100 (because the switching to a low carb diet). So I wasn’t fat at DX, I never have been. It is all genetics and age for me I believe (dx when I was 40 - honestly around 40 seems to be like the D-doomsday year for some - everyone in my family who has D got it around 40 years age).

Oh, how hard it was not to cry after I got my DX because had to take the bus home from the doctors office (wouldn’t you know the car battery died the day before and it was freezing out). I just literally broke down when I got home - I could hardly even tell my bf the dx I was crying so hard. I cried on and off for a month after DX and I still cry now once and a while. I will never forget that day for as long as I live as the worst day of my life (so far).(getting tears just thinking about it now!)

I also went to a CDE class for the meals etc a few weeks after DX, my mom helped me find a free one. That was actually nice for me becase I finally understand how to do this and there were other diabetes there so I felt less alone. Of course, I was the only Thin Type 2 - “You are so tiny. I can’t believe you have diabetes.” Weird thing was there was only one person there who was actually overweight - the rest were normal. One tall type 1 guy who was thinner. But it was still alot to take in and I cried more when I got home. (I guess I was thinking - “geez, I don’t even fit in with the diabetics! Now what do I do?”) But it was still nice to have a plan to figure the diet out - or at least a direction to head it - even though I knew I would be on my own. That was 9 months ago. It will be 9 months tomorrow. The food thing is so much easier now - its not perfect all the time but when I look back on the DX month - how much better it is now.

I call myself “Type 2 Non-Fat” (sort of like ordering a nonfat drink at Starbucks LOL). :slight_smile: And yes, it is NOT our fault and don’t ever let yourself think that it is.

Well… I’m at just past two years with diabetes… I listen to your story & others like it… they really give me hope.

I’m already going through the stages you mentioned… I’ll go through a period where I’m on top of everything. I’ll take my bg 8x a day, take all my meds, and the insulin at night. Then I’ll get pissed or burned out and won’t feel like swallowing one pill, or taking my bg for a day or two. My bare minimum is my insulin at night.

I’m no where near feeling like diabetes has a positive impact on my life. The only positive thing I can think of, is that I’m forced to be responsible. While I’m at work I see people all day long with their missing limbs, passing out, etc. I am so determined that won’t be me. I’m so determined not to let this kill me. But make no mistake about it, I hate having this, just as you do. I can’t even begin to imagine what 20 years of dealing with this could be like.

So when I hear what others go through, I feel like I’m not so crazy, I’m not the only person going through this. It doesn’t really make my future brighter, but it does make it bearable.

If I really look inside myself I can clearly say Acceptance is still far off the horizon.
Being born to a diabetic family I’ve done all I could do to avoid it but then it happened & seems to happen fast…so no Acceptance is on the to do list.
What I can say is that diabetes is helping me to understand more of myself. Emotions seem to be very closely related to my morning bgs for example. So I have a physical evidence so to speak if I am “digesting” my emotions or not.

I jnow exactly what you feel. I think I passed for all those etages you speak of. But I never told anyone. If I did, I would only make my mum sad, and my doctors would get mad. A younger friend of mine is passing throw the same stage. But she is worse. I found out that she stayed 10 days in a row, not testing at all. She lives far away, so everyday I am talk to her throw a telephone, but… what else could I do? I don’t know, because I fell the same. I sometimes hate having this thing… Better said, I really hate everytime, I just pretend to myself not to mind about it.

(sorry for my english: I am Portuguese)