Am I screwed?

I’m just afraid of complications. I don’t have good enough control and it freaks me out. Been stuck with this for 16 years now. I’m 23. Am I just going to die from this or complications from this? I’m just afraid. I don’t really have it in me to battle this every day. I’m trying as hard as I can but it isn’t quite good enough. I just don’t need one more thing to deal with. Especially a complication from this stupid disease. My bloodsugars range from about 10-12(in Canada we do the blood sugar numbers differently) and then highs and lows in between. I hardly ever just have a “good” reading. Or if it’s good it doesn’t stay and just goes low. Feeling really down.

1 Like

The fact that you’re bothered by it means you CAN take some positive steps. Start by doing one thing. Find out what your blood glucose patterns are by testing regularly for a few days or if you have a CGM, go back and look at your current patterns.

I did that today and the interesting thing that I discovered is that my perception of how I was doing was based more on my emotions than on where my BG was going. I thought that I’d had a horrible month, but I have only had a bad two weeks (and an especially bad last seven days). What is required is some tweaking.

You can’t fix a problem if you don’t know what it precisely is.

The other thing that I would say is that there is absolutely nothing you can do to change what you have done in the past for treating your diabetes. Unless I can learn something from what I HAVE done, going over the past doesn’t help me RIGHT NOW. If you think about it, in a certain way, this can be a freeing idea. Blaming and criticizing yourself over the past is pointless. You have power over now, and nothing else. So do something different, something just a little bit more constructive NOW. Reconnect with a friend. Do something fun you haven’t done in a while. Pick up your guitar, go see a silent movie–whatever. And test regularly. Get a real idea of how your BG moves during the day.

Then come back here and tell me what you found out or what you did that was fun. And to answer your question, no, you are not screwed. Screwed sort of implies there is nothing that can be done. That is not true. Don’t think you have to do your treatment RIGHT. Just try to do it a little BETTER.


I decided some time ago that I just wasn’t going to be afraid of complications. Perhaps some of it is that I am in my late fifties and stuff is already starting to break that isn’t caused by diabetes. And while I have some really minor complications like CTS I don’t have anything major. But if I did get something major I decided that I could deal with it. You have to have some faith in yourself. I mean, jeez, look at yourself. You have had diabetes 16 years. You went through the absolutely toughest time to have diabetes (your teenage years). What doesn’t kill you makes you strong.

And if you do get a complication, well that would really bite. But you should not blame yourself because you gave yourself a complication. Your diabetes gives you complications. I decided that should I get a major complication at some point, as long as I could look back and feel like I did a good job taking care of myself that I shouldn’t feel any blame.

But I sense you feel that you are somehow giving yourself complications. You say you never have a “good” reading. Readings are not good, nor are they bad. They are just numbers. They are not a measure of you or how well you take care of yourself. If you do everything perfectly (which none of us ever do) then perhaps you can say you have been “good.” But even if you do something perfectly you are not guaranteed a number of 5.0 mmol/L, you may end up with a 12 mmol/L. Concentrate on defining “good” as doing the right thing to care for yourself. That is good. The number, that sometime “just happens.” And complications, somethings that also “just happens.” And if complications do happen you need to have faith that you are strong enough to deal with it.


My short answer: Dr. Richard K Bernstein has said that he originally poorly managed his diabetes for many years and did have multiple complications as a result. He changed things up, started managing his diabetes extremely well. He’s now 82 and reports that he has reversed his complication.


Fear can be a useful emotion. It helps us obey traffic laws, for instance. Fear of complications is reasonable in your situation. You live with an underlying metabolic disfunction and know that you have a greater chance of encountering a secondary complication.

I believe you that “you’re trying as hard as you can but it isn’t quite good enough.” Maybe your effort doesn’t need to increase but you might experiment with a change in your tactics. This community is filled with people who have tried hundreds of ideas that work well for them. Now I don’t mean to swamp you with hundreds of ideas but how about just trying one to begin?

One of the most powerful tactics is a simple concept known as “eat to your meter.” Eat what you normally eat but measure your blood glucose at mealtime, two hours later, and then five hours later. Keep a record in a notebook with dates, times, insulin dose size and time, and the blood glucose numbers.

This technique, if you stick with it for a while, will tell you what kind of food produces very high numbers and what kind of food produces better numbers. It will naturally suggest which food to eat, which food to limit, and which food to avoid. Eating to your meter will also help you decide how long to wait after injecting insulin to eat. You don’t have to log things forever, only while you find it useful.

Diabetes is hard. It’s a cold truth. No getting around it. But if you can intentionally start to move some of your diabetes numbers in a better direction, imagine the satisfaction you could feel. No one takes much pleasure in doing easy things well. Doing a hard thing well, however, can fuel great things for yourself!

If you do a hard thing well, your self-esteem will rise. When you feel better about yourself and you have concrete numbers that provide evidence of this improvement, you will likely be motivated to do more of that successful behavior. That will power a virtuous cycle.

You need to take the first step. It’s the most important one of any journey. Be brave. There is hope when living with diabetes. It is a daunting foe but you can do better, not perfect, but better.


Terry4 is spot on. We each must find our own way. It does take some work. It takes focus, commitment and a willingness to experiment in order to discover what works best for you and your body.

Being fearful of complications is actually a good thing. Just don’t let it paralyze you. Use it as a tool. I have a number of complications and have worked very hard for six years now to minimize and reverse them. There is one thing that I can tell you with absolute certainty and that is you do not want these complications. The good news is you have the power to keep them at bay.

We are all here to help you. We have all been supported and helped here at TU diabetes ourselves. You are never alone and your concerns for your health and well-being are always respected. Reach down inside and makes a decision to find your best way forward.


Thank you so much for this. I think it’s a good idea to just try to do one thing better and stick with that. Instead of overwhelming myself with everything.


Thank you.:purple_heart: It’s so hard not to blame yourself but it’s something I guess we have to remember.

Thank you, and good for you that you took care of your complications so well.

Very well said. I like what you said about self esteem. Id love to get to that point.

AMEN! I strongly agree, and it applies to so many things in life. What’s that saying, that 90% of what we worry about is stuff that never ends up happening. You can get so lost in the various ramifications of just about any problem, but figuring out the one next concrete step and taking it can clarify and simplify things enormously, even if it doesn’t seem that way beforehand. I call it the “One Next Necessary Step” doctrine and it’s gotten me through some pretty appalling situations I never thought I’d have the strength to deal with.

You can do this!


Absolutely, positively yes. Those who have had good success at management know that this is an important, even critical rule. Only change one thing at a time. Otherwise you have no way of knowing for sure WHICH change produced a given result. Good or bad result, it doesn’t matter; you need to know which changes help, and which ones don’t. The only way to be certain is to do them individually and keep track of the results.


Brings back memories. “When I was your age”, ok now I’m sounding old.
But the truth is when I was your age (I think the profile said your 22) I was much more tech saved then most back then. What did I do when I got home, I googled it. The thing about the internet is you only see the worst, you only see when someone is not happen with what they bought, not the other 200,000 people that bought the same thing and like it. If they like it then they never bother to post about it.

So first I would suggest not google every little thing, it will stress you out. I realized a few days after I did this that if I control it then I will be OK. Well 22 year later and not even any neuropathy and eye sight is 20/10. Ok, well maybe a little neuropathy but the doctors can’t make us their mind if that one toe is from neuropathy or nerve damage from a nerve disorder.
Remember stress will cause complications with diabetes, anxiety cause complications with diabetes. So stay calm and take it one day at a time. A little fear can be good, but don’t be to hard in yourself. When you see something going off get in with the doctor, ask others for suggestions and figure it out. Then get it back under control. I bought the Dexcom G4 when I first moved to a pump three year ago to help manage and calibrate the pump. i decided I could afford the co-pay for the sensors and then only used it that year when I couldn’t bring something back under control. So some use CGM as a tools, others use it daily. Neither way is wrong as long as you still check yourself with the finger sticks.

The irony is that at 42 now I have other health issues that took me out of work with other comolications like POTS that are not even related to diabetes. But I also assumed it would be diabetes that stopped me from working. I’m not saying don’t take it seriously, it is and can be serous. I just lost my father to this a few months ago. This is after he survived a leg amputation and heart surgery, and he turned diabetic 10 years before. Yet I’m in year 22 and doing ok with it. What’s the difference, controlling it and not letting it control you. To bad my father was to stubborn to listen to his son who has dealt with it longer and could have helped.
I guess the point is control it, don’t stress, my numbers are not perfect all the time, but they don’t have to be perfect all the time. They used to want my A1C at 6 when I was younger, now they changed it to 7. They also wanted me to use alcohol wipes before finger sticks, now they say not to. Things will change, you will become your best doctor but that doesn’t mean stop going to your doctor. See the patterns, see the doctor and correct it, but if a doctor is not listening to you then get another one. Only your know how you feel, not them.

Good luck, take a breath, you will be ok of you follow simple steps, advice, some minor changes in life habits and diet and you will be fine. It’s not rocket science, don’t get overwhelmed. And please tell anyone you know not to google it if they are recently diagnosed with anything. I’m living proof, google was wrong about me 22 years ago, and will continue to be wrong about me.


I fully understand where you are coming from, this is a very difficult disease, ‘been there done that’ type of thing. My suggestion to you would be to keep a daily food journal of what you are eating, exercise that you do, etc. From that you could see a pattern of what happens when you eat certain things and how it effects your blood glucose. Please remember that everyday is not the same, you will have good days and bad days, enjoy the good ones and endure the bad ones because it will pass. You “can do this”, it is manageable, but please don’t give up. Get involved in a support group!


@Joan10, I hope you are feeling a little better. Just being able to talk to others on this forum makes a difference to many of us, including people like me who are parents of a diabetic kid.

But also remember that depression is hardest around the holidays. Hang tough! And your control does not have to be perfect. Just aiming to get it a little better at a time will make you accomplish great progress.

I know what I found hardest at your age was to keep regular habits. And regular habits are one of the things that make diabetes easier: roughly the same meals at roughly the same times, roughly the same routine every day, all of that makes it easier to manage because there are less moving parts to worry about. The good thing about this is that it becomes easier with age: each year that you grow older makes it easier for you to establish some daily processes or routines - not that you need to be unchanging or inflexible of course:-)

Wishing you the very best. You will make it!

1 Like

I believe the best tool you can have to “control” your diabetes is a CGM. If you want to do 1 thing to “improve,” I would recommend getting on the Dexcom CGM. It will give you a good picture of where you are at at any given point, which will let you correct here and there as needed.

You may have complications, and you may not. We do not have a lot of control over that. After 53 years of diabetes, and much of it “not well controlled,” I have had more issues that are not related to diabetes. My father is a diabetic, and turns 97 this year. My sister and brother have both had diabetes complications. All we can do is work to do the best we can.


Thanks for the reply. So true about Google! I think it’s part of the reason of my fears. Sorry about your Father, but glad to hear you’re doing well.

@Joan10, thinking of you!

My endo tells me that anything that happens before you emerge from adolescence is of little importance compared to what happens afterwards. Your past years don’t matter much in terms of complications. So you might as well look at the future!

Would you like to discuss possible ways to improve your control? Do you have a CGM?

I have a spare copy of Sugar Surfing by Stephen Ponder that I can send you if you want it.

I was diagnosed 30 years ago at age of 30. While being ‘educated’ in the hospital of all I cannot enjoy, I would have thrown in the towel except for the 9 month old child and wife I needed to support. For the first 25 years I took my 2ce a day injections and only tested 2ce a day somehow maintaining A1C a bit under 8 and lightly took the advise of GPs.
Over a 4 year period, I totally 2 perfectly good trucks driving with low blood sugar, threatened to have Dr License pulled which would have removed my ability to support myself. I woke up, invested in CGM and now thrive for A1Cs slightly under 7, with the objective of seeing Grandchildren born and growing up.
Are you screwed? Not if you latch onto reasons to survive, recognize the hazards and take steps to minimize the ‘complications’ with a healthy (yet still enjoyable) lifestyle.


Hey @Joan10 ,

I can definitely empathise with what you’re going through. A few years ago I went through a similar period; I felt angry at myself for having made stupid decisions with my diabetes management and felt like I had condemned myself to an early grave.

I don’t feel that way anymore. The key, like others have said, is to try your best not to focus on what you did do. The ONLY reason I ever reflect on this now is to help with understanding what I shouldn’t do now. You certainly can improve your diabetes control, and coming to a place like TU is a great start.

I would also make this point. Advances in Medicines are constantly changing. A large number of diabetic complications will not necessarily kill you, and can be managed. Of course they are undesirable, but that’s not to say you can’t still live a fulfilled life if you do happen to get one. If that ever does happen, it may be that we have better ways to treat such complications by that point as well.