Diabetes and mental sanity!?

Hi all, So my latest theory is this: the more “right” things I do to care for/control My Type I, the less calm/happy/sane I am. I feel like to be mentally in a good place with Type I, you would literally have to ignore it. This poses an issue for me b/c a) I want tighter control and b) I also want to be in a good place in my life. Can any of you relate? I feel like back in the days when I knew less, and was on MDI, you know I’d check my sugar before meals, before bedtime and upon waking and that was that. If the numbers were good, great, but I had no clue what my sugars were doing overnight when I was sleeping or between breakfast and lunch etc. I felt like Diabetes was only part of my life then. Now that I have a CGM and pump, I’m grateful for the alarms/reminders etc, and being able to see the trends, but I feel like it’s my entire life now and also driving me crazy! I know this: I am and always have been the world’s worst worry wart (which doesn’t help the situation,) that I used to be somewhat of a control freak, but this has taken me over the top, and that given my life/family circumstances and lack of support at age 14 when Dx’d, that I never really dealt with the emotional/mental aspect of dealing with this disease. I can tend to have high expectations for myself, and numbers that are even remotely high tend to have a very negative impact on me emotionally, so this just seems so unfair. If I’m doing more things right, shouldn’t I feel happier and be in a better place? Sorry for the tangent, but I’m in a conundrum with how to be okay with diabetes ruling my life as I try to gain tighter control. Thanks for any advice/input :slight_smile:

I am pretty jolly when I do things right. I worry pretty much constantly. I also go through these periods where I fiddle around w/ the pump a bit (more basal, lower ratio, more ratio, less basal) and probably end up where I started and do all this work and worrying to get it in line and then fiddle around with it again.

I’m not sure of your saga w/ the family and not being supportive. Mine are supportive but honestly, I am not sure any of them could score more than 10% on a quiz about what I do to manage stuff? It is very lonely. Even the doctor said “there’s nothing I can tell you” so I’m very much on my own. Part of me is intrigued by the idea of going back to school and learning how to be a CDE and maybe helping people but, at 43, that’s not really an option. I like my job a lot and I have time to exercise a lot and it’s spring so, except for rain, it’s a lot more pleasant than exercising a month ago so I have those things to cheer me up.

looks at Gina’s page OMG!! You work at SmartWool? Best socks ever! I love them! I was probably wearing them in my stunning diabetes model debut in the April Diabetes Forecast, although I dunno if I got the logo where you can see it!

Haha. I’m totally laughing at your last paragraph. YES, it’s true, I DO work at SmartWool. I too agree, they are the best socks ever :slight_smile:

My husband is super supportive, but as a kid I had a lot to deal with already and then along came mr. Type I, and my mother simply didn’t support me in any way, and to her defense, I’m sure she wasn’t in the mindspace to so, and that’s okay. HOWEVER as an adult I feel like the fact that I just had to do what was necessary to stay alive, and had no options or outlets to deal with the emotional aspect, I stuffed those feelings, and now they are trying to resurface, with a vengeance mind you! (damn it, I thought I was rid of them! Haha) So, I just want to be able to take care of myself AND be in a good mental state. Is that too much to ask? I want a magic solution, and that’s that :slight_smile: Thanks for the response!!

Two words: Thank you. :slight_smile:

Supportive is great but could you come up with 10 questions that could stump him? I am certain no one I know, except the pump guy @ work, could figure out 1) how to use my pump 2) tell a doctor how much insulin I take 3) how much to feed me [although at the hospital, it will be a glass of OJ, a sandwich, chips and cookies…] 4) how to find my BG on my CGM, 5) how to use a meter (they might get this?) 6) how to give injections in an emergency. Hmmm, only 6 so far, although we haven’t talked about eating anything.

Does Mr. Gina know about this stuff? Maybe it’s just that I’m a slacker and they are all dying of curiousity?

He does actually know quite a bit of this! In recent years as I’ve become more obsessed with it (though NOT by choice, my inner control freak has kidnapped me) he too has learned more. A ton more. It’s sad b/c I couldn’t ask for a more supportive guy, but there are times as I try to explain exactly what I mean and what I’m feeling, i often find myself thinking, wait, what analogy can I use to describe this to you…and well, damn it, I can’t find one!

What CGM do you use?

Oh at my hospital you can enjoy this for breakfast: full sugar yogurt, a banana, a piece of toast, some o.j., some sort of rice based cold cereal, and that’s all based on the diabetic meal plan, silly :wink: Why would you request some protein like an egg. Are you crazy?

I think there’s a fine line between doing the most you can to effectively manage D, and actually being able to successfully live your life… I don’t want to become obsessed with D management to the point where I can’t function very well in mixed company - I have seen other PWD’s and parents of CWD get to that point, and it’s kind of scary, honestly. There IS more to life than diabetes… even when diabetes plays a significant role in your life - but I won’t let diabetes take over mine. Set realistic expectations for yourself… things like “I will test before and after every meal today” not “all of my numbers will be perfect”. My goals have more to do with effective self-management habits than they do with meeting certain #'s… I am not the #'s on my meter, they are only information I can use.

There are some things I just flat out don’t worry about as much as I did 5 or even 10 years ago. That doesn’t mean that I’ve necessarily let my control slip, more that I’ve really figured out what things really require immediate attention, and what isn’t worth freaking out over. I guess you could say I’ve become more laid back about some stuff.

And I’m also totally geeking out that you work at Smartwool… what a cool job! :slight_smile:

I love that you are more laid back about things! I hear that there are those such as yourself that just look at the #'s as information to use. I want to be that person, I SWEAR I do, but I haven’t really figured out how to get there? How not to over and over and over again be angry and feel like a failure when I get a bad number. I swear if I had an immediate working insulin for when I go high, I’d be in a much better headspace. I just hate how it takes FOREVER to bring my sugars back down and invevitably when I do, I overshoot and gow low, only feeling like a failure again. Bugger! Thanks for the reply. Most appreciated :slight_smile:

Bad numbers are an opportunity to succeed in fixing them

Video games are a good analogy! I have a Prius and it’s a lot like driving it, push the gas, the mileage goes down, go down a hill, the mileage goes up…I’m sure I drive people nuts sometimes?

ah it sucks. it is hard to stay sane. I let my BG control seriously slip before (well, a few times) after endo appt’s where I was scolded for BG’s that I considered good. Sometimes I don’t think that even endos fully understand how hard it is to manage D sometimes. I don’t want a CGM yet because I think it would really make me go insane. My family does not know much about D. It’s annoying. Even my family (who are T2 and NURSES) were freaking out when I said I was pumping because they knew someone that got brain damage from seizures associated with hypoglycemia when they were on the pump. Way to freak me out about doing something good for me. My husband is pretty good. It’s a tough learning process. He needs to understand the rule of 15 a little bit better and not try to shove a PB & J down my throat everytime I’m low. He gets confused as to why I jump up so high afterwards!

When I was first diagnosed with Type 1, I read an article about a young woman who obsessed and stressed over every number, and frankly she didn’t have a good life OR good control. Since I am a driven, hard-core person, I decided that I had better NOT apply my hard-core self to diabetes management. Okay, so a tiger doesn’t change its stripes, and my endo says I do better than 95% of her patients, but I think it is better to ease up. I am also a scientist and a technogeek, and I understand full well that our present technology is not good enough to achieve optimal control. Oh, and I am seriously into yoga and meditation…I had to do SOMETHING to chill. It is not easy, but I really think that doing all that is possible and then letting go is best. And by the way, I love SmartWool socks!

Giant monkey lol! I think of it as an inner dragon.

I have Gollum (from the Hobbit) all white and skinny and slimy with enormous blue eyes riding on the back of my brain muttering about his preciousssss. Most of the time he stays there, and doesn’t bother me, but sometimes he comes out, looking for his preciousssss, (which must be carbs, I’m sure!), and wrestles with me. And that’s when I really have problems!

Ignoring it doesn’t work. I learned that the hard way. But you don’t have to look at that CGM ALL the time – only look when you think you need to know. And the pump will happily sit and do its thing, PROVIDED you have your basals, carb ratios, and insulin sensitivity factors set right. I had a coma last September, and after I got home, and found this group, I learned 2 things. 1) being disciplined about diet (I’m doing low-carb) really helps, and 2) make good control a game – set your lines on your CGM where you feel appropriate, and then try to color between the lines. It doesn’t matter if you go outside the lines (even by a lot) sometimes – but it feels really good when you can stay between them! This is another version of the fact that numbers are only information, and the fantastic thing about the pump with CGM is that you can correct any time you start to go high. And 3) (I know I said 2!) NO GUILT!!! Focus on the good stuff, and forget the bad stuff. Go have fun and don’t even think about what your BG is doing. If you stay good, no problem, and if you’re going high or low the CGM will alarm anyway, so why think about it unless you have to? I dunno if any of this makes any sense, but you are the one who has to put the fun back in life, and you can do it! :slight_smile:

I have begun to write my stresses out every morning. Half an hour later things I was stressing about when I wrote the list seem pretty low key, I can do them no hassle. Hope it helps someone.

Holy moly, this is hilarious! I promise you I’ve thought of him as well during some lows! Hahahahaha. He’s such a pest :slight_smile:

Haha. i love it! I AM after all OBSESSED with tetris! To an unhealthy degree, I’m sure :slight_smile: