How to get started on a path to actually controlling Type1?

I am at that point that I have read so much about; complications, depression, pain, fear, etc. I have to gain control of my body and repair myself. I am on the Omnipod and have the Dexcom most of the time, but I just don’t know how to start. It probably sounds lame since I’ve had diabetes since I was 12 and now I’m 34 trying to learn, but hey…this site has really helped me feel like I’m not alone and that I can do it…Thanks to anyone who takes the time to provide feedback.

I don’t think about “control” I call it management. I do what I can, somedays are better than others. If I’m running high one day, I do what I am able to do and move on to the next day. Its not worth beating myself up for some less than stellar days. After my diagnosis in 1996, I went through 2 years of therapy. It helped me move past the anger I had about my diagnosis, and I’m finally at acceptance, although I do still get pissed off about it every now and then. I’ve managed to have 3 very healthy children since my diagnosis, and they help to keep me going, even when I just want to sit down and give up.

I attend a support group once a month, although I wish it were more. I try to eat healthy, watch my portions, but I do not deprive myself. If I want something sweet, I eat it. Just not a whole box of cookies, but whatever the serving size is. I go to the doc on a schedule, get my eyes checked, my kidneys checked, I do whatever preventative maintenance I can.

I’ve finally managed to put the diabetes where it needs to be in my life, just a part of it, not who I am. I am not my diabetes. I will not let it run me.

Good luck and I hope you find some help on here. Sounds like you really need it. Ever think about some professional help?

My wife calls me a science project. I conduct little experiments all day long. For example, the breakfast experiment. I bolus and eat half a bagel. Then I monitor my bg. Did I bolus at the right time and the right amount? The answer is yes, if my bg stays within the target range. If not, I repeat the experiment on the next day with slightly changed parameters. If things get worse then I need to move the other way. If things improve then I am onto something. Through trial and error I have learned how to eat half a bagel for breakfast while staying in my target range. Yesterday I ran an experiment with a Bloomin’ Onion at Outback. For me these experiments are fun. Other guys enjoy putting a little ball into a whole in the ground. My game is keeping my bg in check. The game is free, challenging and rewarding.

Beautiful, Helmut, thanks so much for sharing.

My best coping mechanism is taking it one day at a time. Too overwhelming any other way. Like the old saying: the longest journey begins with the smallest step. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other. The days that suck, oh well. Tomorrow is another day.

Do just one thing to better manage your BG. Rejoice in doing that one thing, whether it’s testing more, eating better, doing something physically active you enjoy. If you slip, forget it & keep moving forward. The great thing about taking care of yourself is that you’ll feel better & that’s motivation to keep doing more.

We can get stuck in the bad cycle of doing nothing & feeling guilty for not doing what we should & that leads to an inert state. Don’t think about it, just do it. You’re worth treating yourself as well as you would a beloved friend.

Todd, you’re definitely not alone & you definitely can do it.

We’ll be expecting to hear of your progress & will kick your butt if you don’t:)

I can tell what’s going to keep me on the path. I have been diabetic only a year and a half. I stay on the path because I was dx’ed late in life. I already was falling apart LOL you know just getting older. I need glasses to read, things I did to myself when young hurt now and my joints can tell the weather (it hurts when it’s raining or going to). Having already seeing the half way point and ending up in ICU believe me it’s quite a wake up. Heck I spent 52 years with no real problems, then the first time overnight in a hospital I am laying in a bed in ICU, DKA being told I have type 1 diabetes. It scarred me plain and simple! Take care now it will hurt later. LOL So enough of that.
So what’s your A1c?? My last one was 6.8 and I am on shots. I do Lantus in the morning (30 units) and Novolog at ratio 2 units for every 15 gr. carbs. If your A1c is good you’re doing good or so I hope.

Small steps at a time. Some good places to start are by reading “Pumping Insulin” and “Think Like a Pancreas; A Practical Guide to Managing Diabetes with Insulin”. TLP is a great start for any D to learn about diabetes an what they can do to “manage” it and not have it control them.

Hey Todd,

I was dx at 12 and now I am 37. I just started learning. I was totally uneducated, and I didn’t know where to start because it all seemed overwhelming. This is what I started doing in April.

  1. Buy and start reading Gary Schindler’s book “Think like a Pancreas - a practical guide to managing diabets with insulin”. If you are married, invite your spouse to read it after you finish, but they can skip the first 2 chapters. It will change your ability to control your glucose. After you finish that, read Pumping Insulin by John Walsh. Do not wait to finish reading those before you start the other items on the list. Both great tools to have in your diabetes tool kit.
  2. Set reasonable goals. Update these while you are reading, or after you finish each book.
    3… First work on keeping sugars in range when you go to bed. Check at dinner time and carb count. If you pay attention, you should have a good blood sugar when you go to bed. Don’t forget IOB (insulin on board)
  3. Carefully make sure you glucose is good when you wake. Too quickly correcting will result in midnight lows.
  4. Don’t forget that workouts don’t lower blood sugars for a couple of hours after you exercize.
    Also, have you been to ? I love his videos. His last one ended “Keep your heads up, your sugars down, and remember you can be 1 happy diabetic, too…It’s all about your attitude.”

Todd, you do not sound lame at all. Please do not beat yourself up. I know all to well that it is easier said then done. As we all know here Diabetes is a very difficult disease in every aspect. Your taking a big positive step by asking for help. Take it one day at a time. I think one of the biggest challenges of this disease at least for me is that some days no matter how much I do that is right my blood sugars do not follow suit. I find that very frustrating. So I try to remind myself that “this to shall pass”. Try not to think about what you have done that may be wrong in the past that can not be changed. Set small goals so it will not be overwhelming and keep asking questions and look to others when you need support. TU is a great place for that. Keep thinking positive there are a lot of people here that have had Type 1 for many years and can share a lot. Hang in there. You are not alone in this battle!

Tanya, good points. However, you may not realize that the exercise, depending on what kind it is can start lowering BG immediately. It is dependent on several factors, active insulin, muscle cell insulin receptivity, aerobic, weight training, sprinting, running speed, starting BG, basal dosage, time of day and other items. Each person must spend the time testing how their own body reacts to the circumstances of the activity.

Good choice of books!

Thanks for this, that was exactly what I needed to hear!

Nah, my A1c was at 9.7 a few months ago :frowning: I have had 2 laser surgeries on my retinopathy, nerve damage in my feet, etc. I am 34 I need to reverse that. I am on the Omnipod so I take about 1 to 1.5 units an hour and then whatever I eat. I suspect figuring out how many carbs are in a meal have a huge part in this. Thanks for the message.

very cool…thanks for taking the time. My wife is hunting down the books now. Bedtime sugars it is…starting tonight! I think I’ll be realistic and not commit to getting back to the gym just yet, but I appreciate all the info.

Ok, butt kicking on the way (if this is what you’re referring to)!

Yep, matching insulin to carbs is the way.

aww…thanks for the encouragement. I think the most I got out of everybody is that I need to just have daily goals and take it one time period at a time. I think I keep wanting to fix it all as a global project and I just need to pick one time and work on that and then move on to the next. It seems our society pushes a “all or nothing,” and “immediate results” mentality and I’ve fallen into the trap. Thanks to you and everyone who encouraged me and passed along advise. This site truly is gift.

We’re all a work in progress.

This month marks 26 years since diabetes diagnosis for me. In an effort to refresh my diabetes knowledge I ordered the two books that you mention. I had read Pumping Insulin when the first edition was published many years ago.

Education, a good attitude, and tenacity are three weapons you can’t be without when fighting this beast.


I don’t know how much help I can be. I’m married to a T1, although I don’t have diabetes myself. My husband is also at the same point you are. He really wants to have better control, or management (I agree, that is a better phrase). He’s had T1 for almost 11 years. He was diagnosed about a year after we got married.

Here are a few things that are currently helping both of us: diabetes is a lifestyle, support is necessary, and as with anything you are what you eat.

Diabetes is a lifestyle: This was a revelation to me. I see that in the past, neither my husband or me have seen it like that and have tried to fit diabetes into our pre-existing lifestyle and it just doesn’t work. I think there is a website called D-life. Just that name alone has stuck with me and I’m constantly reminding myself that we are living the D-life. It’s a part of our lives and we cannot go any longer pretending that it fits into our previous lifestyle.

Support: Diabetes isn’t a lifestyle that most people are living, so of course we need support! This website has been a really big help in that area. I know that others have found it very helpful to find diabetic friends. We are working on finding some real life friends (diabetics) to hang out with.

You are what you eat: What I mean is to be careful what you are consuming. If you are continuing to read about complications and depressions and pain and fear, that will become a part of your life and will reinforce those negative thoughts. Try to read things that are encouraging as much as possible. I’m reading “Think Like a Pancreas” and finding it helpful. Others on this site have highly recommended “Pumping Insulin” and “Using Insulin”.

Wonderful suggestions from Cason. Partners of diabetics have it rough, too.

Second her wise advice about avoiding negatives. I don’t want to hear about someone’s aunt who went blind, or their grandfather who lost his legs, though my heart aches for people who have suffered these complications. For some reason people enjoy regaling us with tales of doom & gloom.