Being diagnosed compared to now

When you were first diagnosed, what were your emotions and thoughts at that time and how has that changed?

One thing I know for sure is that I wasn’t hysterical. In fact, I was as calm as I’ve ever been. I self diagnosed myself. I have amazing coping skills but I think at the time I was in denial to start. I knew it wasn’t the end of the world and liked the fact that I could control this condition.

How have things changed now? They are the same but I have more knowledge now than I did before and I know I can live with this condition and lead a happy life…

I remember the day i was diagnosed and will never forget. I was 20 at the time. When they told me, I couldnt take it all in and was thinking, `do i really need to inject 6 times a day`, and thought that was the worst part of it. Now I know it was least of my worries, of course knowing what i know now , how difficult it is to be good and even if i am being good my numbers are up and down like a yoyo sometimes. At the time I felt I was just having a bad dream and its not really happening. I even wanted to commit suicide but learnt to cope with it. Never accepted it, but just learnt to get on with it. I used to hate telling people about my condition, I always thought they`d think its my fault or i had done something wrong to get it, so i always used to pretend I was just `normal`. Also because normally people dont know much about the condition and I still hate it when they ask, how well are you managing it...what are you supposed to say with a type 1? Yes, there are bad days and there are good days etc. So I usually say OK and try to change the subject... I am probably not alone with this am I???

Emotionally, I was in total and complete denial. When they gave me my numbers (A1C - 15+ and BG @853), I had no idea what that meant. My thinking was pretty simple: Its could not be true, it was a mistake or some thing. No one else in my family has ever been Diabetic, in fact the opposite. They are all hypoglycemic.

From there, I moved into my desperate phase. The D thing would not just go away all by itself. I spent more money on hair brained "solutions" than I would care to admit. Each promised that my D would go away magically after 30 days, so I could go back to doing whatever I waited. I wanted to believe it so badly, I was willing to try anything and unfortunately did.

Next, I moved into my acceptance phase. I finally figured out that there wasn't a magic pill or anything else that would "solve my D problem". I started taking my meds on a regular basis and got serious about learning more about D and what my body liked and did not like. Keeping a dietary journal was a big part of that process.

Now, I'm way more on a even keel emotionally concerning my Diabetes. It is what it is. I do not let the numbers stress me out - they are meant to help me adjust, not some thing that controls my life and make me a bad person if I am not perfect.

I would like to think I did some growing up through this journey. I may have Diabetes, but Diabetes does not have me.

Hmm. It was a long time ago, but this is what I remember.

Long before I was dx, I had excellent examples in my life to use as benchmarks -- one good, one bad. My wife's brother in law was a T1 who was defiant about it, didn't put much effort into managing, and went the familiar tragic route -- steadily worsening complications and an early demise. The contrasting example was a friend I worked with, much older than me, also T1 and managed it very aggressively. The last time we spoke, he was about 70, still all there, and doing quite well. So I had concrete examples of what happens when you don't choose to control it, and what happens when you do.

When I was diagnosed as T2, my first thought was, well, I'm not T1 so I should have a relatively easier time of it as long as I'm careful. So there was no panic factor. But I realized right away that it meant significant -- and permanent -- lifestyle changes, and I had a LOT of anger about that. My wife will tell you that I wasn't fit to be near for some weeks. Eventually I settled down into a fairly stable routine with oral meds, (sporadic) exercise, and a somewhat haphazard diet -- sometimes good, sometimes not. For a long time, my A1c's hovered in the mid to high sixes, and for most of that time my doctors were telling me those were good numbers. Nowadays, of course, I know better.

It was only within the last year or so that I got my real wakeup call. How it happened is neither dramatic nor interesting, but the result was that I finally decided that if I wanted to keep on living without significant complications, then 6.9 was NOT an acceptable number and the slipshod, casual way I had been managing just didn't cut it. So I made some major lifestyle and medication changes, lost a substantial amount of weight (which is still gone), and got my A1c down into the high 5s.

There is still plenty of room for further improvement and I intend to make it happen. But right now my control is the best it has ever been and the numbers reflect it. So it actually feels pretty good.

Oh, and John -- love your last two sentences. Right on!

When I was diagnosed, I knew that I was, I just didn't know how bad it was. I broke down. Luckily, I had my wife there with me when the verdict of the 11.2 A1C was read off. The doctor ripped into me. He wasn't very nice about it. I was very scared and shaking and just wanted to run out of the office, but I sat there and took it. The only thing that kept me from yelling back at him, was that I really couldn't take him seriously. He looked and talked like Mr. McFeely from Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood, so I had a hard time getting mad back. I'm a pretty positive person for about 80% of the time. I don't get down very often. I listen to positive books on Audible while I'm driving, to relieve any stress the 36 mile drive to work causes. I write my own music, I read, I write a lot and just meditate and listen to soothing music. My wife and I take a lot of walks and talk a lot. They always say, marry your best friend, and I definitely have done that. :)

I launched into full blown education mode after diagnosis and went through diabetes education through my primary care's advice. It was a great program, but I ended up going beyond what was required for study. I read all the time now and get a lot of great tips from all over, so I am grateful for a community like this and it's existence online. And I thank you for having this group Kasi. Hopefully, I can contribute things that I find out there on staying positive. :)

I have a real bad attitude about doctors who "aren't very nice about it" and try to terrify a PWD with horror stories, without taking the time or making the effort to determine whether it's the correct (i.e., necessary) approach for that specific person. Good on you for not letting it send you into a tailspin.

Kudos for your determination to take charge and stay in control. And never stop learning and paying it forward. That's what this community is all about. Welcome to the family!

Thank you! :) When I went for my 3 month, he had it in his craw that he wanted me to go on Victoza, I kept telling him no, that I would have it under control. When the 6.8 A1C came back from the nurse, he shook his head and said, "well, I guess you don't have to go on Victoza now". I said, "damn right." with a big grin on my face. LOL