Ok. I hate to bring up something scary, but since I’ve dealt with some - I wanted to know who else has had to deal with complications and mentally - how do you deal?

I’ve been diabetic about 21 years (I’m 27) and so far, I’ve had to have laser surgery on one eye due to renegade blood vessels that caused “floaters” in my vision. I also take pills to keep my blood pressure low. I also had a rare complication called a diabetic mastopathy - it’s a hard, but painless mass that docs sometimes find in insulin-dependent women’s breasts - I had to have surgery to remove it.

Other than that, I am ok (lol) and am working hard to get as healthy as possible. But, I won’t lie - it’s scary thinking about where my health will be in 10 years and people who are not diabetic who tell me it’s easy to manage - well they frustrate me. So, I’m venting to those who can maybe understand where I’m coming from. :slight_smile:

hey katrina–i get really scared and nervous about complications too. ive had type one for about 6 years now and all of a sudden within the last couple of months every time i get any kind of strange sensation in my feet im immediately like, “omigod! the neuropathy is coming!” so far, no neuropathy, but sometimes i feel like worrying about complications is going to make me crazy before the complications can even have time to take hold. congratulations on 21 years of healthy living–now that’s hard work!

Thanks - your words mean a lot.

All the people who are not diabetic are always like, “do you know what will happen if you don’t do A,B,C or D?” And I’m like, um, yeah! lol But I tell them, if I spend every minute of every day worrying about complications - I’d drive myself insane.

But, I’m glad I found this site - now I can get some diabetic encouragement. And last year this time, my A1C was 14 (yikes!) so I have improved drastically.

Hi Katrina,

I’ve been diabetic for 20 years and so far, so good. For the first 10-11 years I didn’t have insurance (diagnosed at age 19) and I never tested my BG and took the same doses of NPH/R that I was prescribed in the hospital. When I finally saw a doctor my A1c was over 15. I know that I’ve been extremely lucky. I remember the endo in the hospital pretty much telling me that I would get complications in X years. Her thinking was that if I followed my strict schedule I could possibly delay it for awhile, but they would get me. I forget how many years she said but it was less than 20.

My big worry is kidney failure. I don’t know why, but sometimes I think about it way too much and have nightmares about it. I have no kidney issues, all my lab work comes back normal every time. It’s still something I tend to obsess about periodically, though.

Hi Katrina,

Yes I worry myself too, but after being a diabetic for 34 years I just consider myself lucky to be alive. On both sides of my family I have lost ppl that, before insulin was discovered, died a really bad death. I have figured out that thank God they have finally gotten better control over it. When I 1ST took it it was the shots and my Dr at that time told me I would never live to see 30. Guess what I’m 44 and still here I even got to have 2 perfectly good kids which was another thing he told me for 8 years I would NEVER be able to have children! My oldest daughter who is a Type 1 had my granddaughter 8 1/2 months ago. Now he’s gone and I’m STILL here! YEAH for me if I am ringing my own bell! Complactions will always scare me but as I get them I will figure out how to handle them after I freak out for a few days. The way I see it is there is always someone out there worse than me. Mom taught me that years ago and now my daughters have that attitude and I guess the next one on my list to teach it to is my granddaughter and as they come the other grandkids! I have been flustrated many times but after a few weeks of crying for myself always found a way to handle it. That’s what I wish for all newbies to this really flustrating you know what but really always look at it like theres someone out there worse off than me and you can handel it. OK ranting over now.

Doris, your story reminds me of my dad’s story. The doctor who diagnosed him told him that he wouldn’t live to see 20 (he was diagnosed at 12). For the longest time my dad wouldn’t buy nice shoes because he felt it was a waste of money if he was just going to die. Finally just before he turned 30 he figured his doctor was wrong and he bought his first pair of expensive shoes. He hasn’t stopped since then, I swear, the man has more shoes than I do! Anyway he is 63, will be 64 in December, and has had Diabetes for over 50 years. He is doing great! When he found out that the mean old doctor who diagnosed him had died, he chuckled over the irony.

Leah - my dad has also had issues with frozen shoulder (although it has been a lot better lately) and he has had trigger finger a lot (which I guess is similar to frozen shoulder, but is in the hand instead).

My dad has also had laser surgery on both eyes to stop non-proliferative retinopathy and has had one heart attack. These complications arose back when he was taking less than stellar care of himself, but he has completely turned things around and is in tight control. He has great circulation, no kidney impairment, and his eyes look fantastic again!

Last summer, I endured laser treatment for my left eye, not because of ruptures that is traditionally associated with retinopathy, but because of neovascularization (new blood vessel growth) because the new blood vessels are far more likely to rupture. I’ve been told that I should expect that after 31 years with T1DM, but frankly, I find that justification lame, especially since I work very hard to maintain good A1c’s. But truthfully, the complications that scare me most are not complications from diabetes, but from treatment … namely hypoglycemia, something that is routinely blamed on the patient rather than acknowledging the imperfection of treatment which really pi$$es me off. Anyway, complications happen regardless of control (and sometimes they don’t happen to people who have absolutely no control) so I don’t buy the notion that we can necessarily prevent them by following the rules of good care – perhaps we can reduce the likelihood of them happening, but there are no guarantees.

I was just put on medication for high blood pressure (and it really was high, not just as a preventative) and even though it’s a relatively minor thing, it really bothers me! My doctor said it is from diabetes (that’s really the only “risk factor” I have), but not kidney issues or anything so that’s good. Otherwise I have no complications (I’ve had diabetes almost 16 years and am 25), and I am hoping to keep it that way.

I feel your pain, Jennifer. I remember about 3 years ago I had high cholesterol and my doctor put me on Lipitor. It really bothered me too. Even today I can’t say the word, “Lipitor” without a hint of disdain in my voice.

Two years ago I was put on Lipitor and… I’m blanking on the name. It was for BP, and I was getting a generic so there’s no catchy brand name stuck in my brain. I was really upset over it. Both my cholesterol & BP were a little high but not too bad. I got my pump right after that and a year later had lost a lot of weight. My CDE told me I could stop taking both medications. It’s been a little over a year since I stopped and my numbers have remained good without the medications.

I keep reading conflicting things about statins and ACE inhibitors. Some say that all diabetics should be on them even if their cholesterol & BP are fine, and others say you shouldn’t take medication unless you need it.

How many people here are on these medications just for prevention, not treatment?

Hi Katrina! After about 10 years, I am finally coming to terms with complications- it seemed like it was easier to ignore than to address. Even now, when I am at the dr, I feel the urge to argue with him- “no, it’s not!” and “are you sure you have my chart?”. But since I got married last year, I have been thinking more and more about bad things happening to me.
So, the moral to the story is- get married! Actually, the real moral is: communication. With your spouse, your dr, your friends, here- it really is the best way to vent out the frustrations.
Within the last few years, my stomach has been not moving as fast. And the last time I was at the Dr, he said something about my EKG thingies being lengthened- Anything that makes your dr look twice isn’t good!

Scott, that is exactly what my eye treatments were for. Not for retinopathy, but because of new blood vessels. I was also told “after so many years, something like this would happen.” I found that very discouraging, because it sounded like, no matter what I did or how tight my control was, I was going to suffer from complications regardless. I was honestly depressed for about 2 weeks after that.

Hey Thomas,

lol - you are funny. I am married and my husband hears me vent my frustrations - and fears - about my diabetes constantly. Since I’m getting older now (I’ll be 30 in a few years - he he) I find myself getting more and more anxious about them. I am almost scared to eat at times because I don’t want my bs getting high. Since my doctor has made me keep a food diary for the last 3 weeks, I’ve been so focused on keeping my levels low, I feel food is gonna screw me up - all of my meals and snacks have been about 250 calories or so.

Keep me posted on your EKG thingies (such a technical term - lol) - I wanna make sure you’re ok! :slight_smile:

I dont have any complications yet but I will say they scare me pretty badly too. I try to be as healthy as possible but some things you cant help and sometimes things are really hard to control. Being a diabetic for 21 years and only having those very minor complications is amazing! You should be very proud of yourself! :slight_smile: I know someone who has had diabetes for over 50 years and she has no complications. That gives me a lot of hope.


I’m using Lipitor. But I’ve dramatically changed my dose and seen no problems with my new one. My cholesterol was a little over 200 when I started. First test after being on it for a while (10mg Lipitor per day) my number dropped to about 134!! Well I didn’t really want to take yet another medicine all the time, so I now break the pills in half and take 5 mg every other day. My cholesterol is hovering around 165 when last checked. Some of the improvements may also have been changes in my diet. I’m eating a lot less ice cream and cheese (both ‘weaknesses’ for me).

I’ve got minor background retinopathy. And recently a small blurry area in my right eye that we’re keeping a watch on (sorry for the pun).

The worst complication I’ve had so far is frozen shoulders. I guess this is more common in folks with diabetes. At one stage I had both shoulders giving me severe pain and I was getting physical therapy twice a week. That was few years ago. Now I think it’s coming back in my left shoulder. My favorite exercise for this is ‘bowing to the fridge’. Face your fridge, put your hand on the top with your arms out straight. Then bow towards the fridge door until your arms/shoulders are stretched. Hold for about 10 seconds. Repeat a few times a day. It’s sore initially but it does help.

Fifty years with no complications is DEFINITELY inspiring! Since I have suffered some, my goal is to not suffer anymore and to minimize the effects of the ones that I have experienced. My eyes are under control and I take Lisinopril to keep my blood pressure down and have experience no side effects from it.

Keep up the work on staying healthy!

Ok, this is the third time I’ve heard about frozen shoulders. What the heck is that?

Hey QDFUH - that’s your new name now - lol,

You sound just like me - everytime I cough, sneeze, feel a tingle, get a headache, etc…I go through my mind thinking of complications that would cause this and then I calm down and try to think of a “regular” non-diabetic related symptom it could be. :slight_smile: I think what you said about worrying about the complications driving you insance before/if you even get them, is something non-diabetics (who tell me how “blessed” I am just to be diabetic if you can believe THAT one) don’t really understand.

Elizabeth - I am so sorry you didn’t have insurance, yet I’m grateful that you haven’t experience any major complications - you were living on the edge, girl!

My A1C last year was 14 I think and it scared me to death. I think I had been living w/ diabetes so long and since none of my limbs had fallen off, I got to comfortable thinking “I’m ok.” Having surgery on my breast and having laser surgery really woke me up and I’ve gotten my A1C down to an 8.9 and am aiming for a 7.0 next time.

I understand your obessing about - just please don’t let it hinder your life. I don’t know anyone’s background on here as far as religion goes, but my being a Christian helps me out when I start to overly panic about things.

PS - I wasn’t trying to offend ANYONE by stating my religious beliefs - just noting what gets me throught at times. There, that is my official disclaimer!