I don't hate this... really

I just want to say thank you to everyone who replied to my comment in the "'it changes us but in a good way" thread. I decided that I will reply here to stop myself from hijacking, because, knowing the way I ramble on about things, I'll go off topic a few times.

I know that with some of my posts I come across as a fairly negative person. Sure, I complain a lot, but I honestly enjoy my life for the most part. There are just way too many situations that, well, frustrate the hell out of me! Diabetes is only 1 of them. There's also my parents' divorce (its been going on for 4 years now, but they won't ever finalize it), That whole sucking at sports thing, being a social outcast for reasons I'm not entirely sure of, and professors that can't teach, just to name a few. I just feel so limited by everyone and everything, and diabetes often takes it that one step too far. When that happens, I'm usually on here complaining about it.

I guess my biggest problem is being constantly being reminded that I'm fragile. Not necessarily weak, I've proven to myself and other people on many occasions that I am stronger than I look. I got lots wide-eyed stares by the football team when I hang cleaned 225 lbs. I just find it annoying when I'm restricted because of an absence of 1/100 of a milliliter of a stupid hormone. I should be able to do everything that an able-bodied person can do, but on many occasions, I find myself being brought down. Its sometimes impossible to have fun when I'm constantly worried about my sugars. Prom is a great example, how the heck am I supposed to be carefree and hang out with a cool girl when my bloodsugar is over 400 for 5 hours straight? No one else there had to worry, while I was scared to death the whole time.

This is why I can't say that diabetes has changed me into a better person. Who wants a friend (or boyfriend even) who's a constant nervous wreck at parties? When I'm just casually hanging out at school, I generally don't have problems, but anything outside of the norm is scary. Why? because I'm fragile. I don't care how many times I am told "diabetics can do anything!" that may be true, but any stressful situation is magnified 10 times when you have diabetes.

But, honestly, I don't hate my life. If a truly hated it, I would have stopped caring about my bloodsugar years ago. I guess I'm just too darn competitive to let something as simple as a lack of insulin get the best of me. I mean, I have a family, a home, a network of friends, a job, and I'm currently working on an engineering degree. I can't say I hate my life, because if I did, it would mean that I hate all of those things too. However,, I also feel that I am too stressed out by everything to say that I "LOVE" my life. The constant reminder that I am more fragile than everyone else is a constant drain. I would like to be able to enjoy the things that make life fun without having to worry. Is that too much to ask?

I made sure my BG was ok at parties by drinking lots of beer and being a drunken wreck instead of a nervous wreck. Unfortunately, this can backfire and wipe out DP (hormones impaired by booze...this is my theory based on observation and practice...I haven't read nor can I cite any articles...) which lead to several crazy hypos the day after the wild parties. I have lots of friends (and had uh, several girlfriends, several of whom I've become reacquainted with through the magic of Facebook). I think that if I have a meter, some kind of sugar and a rreasonable idea where my BG is, I can do just about anything.

In 5 or 6 years of years of Tae Kwon Do classes, I had twice where I had to recuse myself from classes because I ran low. Once was in a special "after hours" session w/ the head instructor and I felt bad but we'd already done 1 1/2 hours and I was *done* BG wise. The other time, I thought I had more sugar than I had and was prudent. The rest of the time, I'd just work through stuff and take appropriate measures. It was *extremely* stressful towards the end, as I learned our office was closing and I'd be moving 2 weeks before the black belt test, what I'd been working very hard towards for a long time. I had horrible BG that day, CB didn't work,etc. probably stress or something but I did ok.

Excercise, first Tae Kwon Do, then walking and biking to do cardio stuff and then running, more ardently after we moved, helped me *tremendously* as I like it enough (although don't ask me if I want a ride home 1/2 way through a 10 mile run, as I might get your car all sweaty! LOL...) that I will beat my blood sugar into submission so I don't miss a workout. I've hit 39 on my meter two miles into a planned 8 mile run (it might've been the first time I ran 8 miles and I wasn't quite sure what the hell I was doing with the food...) but, since I usually have 1 day/ week to do a longer run, I had some sugar, sprinted to cook up some hormones and kept running and got 'er done. It doesn't have to be exercise and it probably suxx being exposed to idiot people in high school who are all rah rah about the football/ basketball crap and all that but if you start on your own, you can pick up something like walking or running cheaply and use it as a tool to get out in the fresh air.

One of my TKD buddies is a psychologist who works reasearching environment and psychology issues and has shown that exposure to greenspace, even constricted urban greenspace, can improve math scores in students. I am not sure how my math is these days but getting outside, even in ■■■■■■ Chicago winter weather, always makes me feel good and, when people stare at a 44 year old chugging down the road in my spandex pants, I feel pretty strong too. That would be my suggestion but even a different hobby can be a "lever" to help push your BG control to the next level. I'd recommend finding something more constructive than wild parties as that will waste a lot of time, along with your brain cells.

Well you know, Diabetes is a complicated disease, so it's treatments are complicated -- and our feelings about the condition with all its ramifications are complicated, too. I think you're doing great. My only advice is to do what Acidrock says, not what he did! Happy Holidays, TimmyMac, and expect to have a great 2012. (You too, AR!)

I know how ppl will remind u of how frail u are and yes it does get upsetting. Timmy I know how hard it is to just relax at parties and such. Your so young too. I had loads of trouble when I was young like u. Yes no matter what ppl say it makes u feel "different" from the crowd. Life has so much stuff going on at that time in ur life (prom, all the stuff about being a teen) when ur friends are carefree u still got to care. I have no words of wisdome here I just want to say that DON"T LET IT ALL GET TO YOU!!! Divorce is harder on the kid than it is on the parents going thrugh it, I'm so sorry about that. My parents were never divorced but................OK sometimes I think things would have been better if they had.............oh well both are gone now and that's water under the bridge now. (sorry getting off the tract here) Anyway now at 48 I can still remember those years (not too fondly) All I can really say is those teen years are tough and adding diabetes in to the mix dosen't help much.

Timmy, I think you're doing great. Have to say, I'm impressed with the engineering major. I started out as a chem eng major and changed to business....those math classes beyond calculus really did me in! Growing up isn't easy either and diabetes just makes it harder. But it gets better once you're out of school. And then it'll be your time to create the life that you dream for yourself. But never feel bad about venting here...that's what everyone is here for! Have a wonderful holiday!

I was gonna say too that it sounds like you have a good foundation to get into weight lifting? Being on the football team is nice but Dr. Bernstein is a pretty big fan of weightlifting so I would consider that a "good" plan for "us" or really anyone? I lift a bit as a break from running and always feel good after I do a good session. Maybe hitting the gym would give you a hobby that would help you feel good and, if you are already working out w/ 225 lb, you would have a good foundation to build on?

I really didnt mind not being on the football team. Being 5'8 145lbs, I would have gotten CRUSHED lol. I saw the dudes on my school's front line. I don't think there was a single one who weighed less than 250. On the entire roster, the only guy smaller than me was a freshman who was a region qualified sprinter. More power to him.

I was doing a weight lifting class last year. I did feel good when I got a new max. It was funny, in the class of 18 people, I was the 3rd lightest person, but I had the 3rd highest power clean.

I want to get back into it, but I need to figure out how to use all that new equipment at my college's gym. (They spent thousands of dollars on a new gym, but didnt get any barbells!) I probably need to stop worrying about embarrassing myself and just go.

A few years ago, I worked out @ lunch w/ some buddies of mine, just at a local "fitness center" kind of place, very nice places (we went to a couple...) but there was a very diverse crowd. In the big scheme of life, you don't really get points for "killing it" and lifting more than I do or more than this guy or that girl (e.g. Riva Greenberg, I think w/ T1 or maybe some other flavor but she is a competitive lifter....) but for working out and challenging yourself. I find it pretty easy to see "well, I did 180 lbs on chest presses in October but then stopped for the marathon and surgery but now that I'm back at it, I started at 150 and then 160 and then whatever?" and feel good, even though I lost 30 lbs (of lifting!), I am still doing it and can still improve, as long as I keep at it. Your experience may be different or you may run into a phase where you are like "hmmm, what I can I do next" and throw some cardio in as a change of pace or do P90X or whatever.

As far as figuring it out, get a couple of books, I never read any weight books but learned about my body doing Tae Kwon Do and running ( I read a bunch of books about that...) and then the gym thing I have came with a poster, sort of primitive and unscientific but I keep at it and it's better than sitting on my butt eating potato chips? By the time you are 25, it's likely that exactly zero of the people on your high school team will still be playing football competitively so you won't have missed much and, knowing your body better w/ diabetes may give you some insights into carb counting, nutrition and other stuff that will give you a better long-term outlook? Even if a couple of them "make it", you will be in good shape and, unless you are in the NFL, at 25 that is a clear "win" in pretty much anybody's book, medical, psychological, diabetological.

well... there is ONE from my team that will go pro
Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech's QB.

I really never wanted to go pro, I just wanted to have the same chance to play as the rest of the guys. It was just a constant "No, you can't because you will die." I guess it just gets too you after a while.

I guess we'll see how many of my friends are fat and out of shape by the time I'm out of college lol

Well, Sean Payton graduated from my school a year ahead of me so I guess it is possible for people to "make it" in football but there's a LOT of former players who end up more like Mike Webster or Dave Duerson. There was a story in SI about a Bengals team from the mid-80s, sort of "where are they now?" that sort of painted a portrait of a group that appeared to have had a lot more surgery than other people in their cohort, although the article just talked about the players and didn't explore the sociological context of the data, which I thought was sort of unfortunate after they bothered to track them all down to talk to them.