I wish I had (known) - I wish I did

Hi all. I'm here to see if I can get any wisdom from those of you who have had diabetes longer than me. I was diagnosed about 2 months ago and I've gathered from other posts that people here are all over the spectrum as far as how long they've had it. It may be helpful to a lot of others like myself who are just starting out to hear from some of you veterans out there. More specifically; Is there anything you wish you had or had known up front that would've helped you in the long haul either with management or with your health? Is there anything you wish you had done or started doing right away that would've helped your health and management or prevented any complications?

To be clear, this isn't the thread to say "I wish I had never gotten this" or bemoan your diabetic state. So please, keep things positive here! Hoping to find some great insight and learn from others!

I wish I had started exercising, specifically studying martial arts, when I was 20 instead of when I was 37? I think I'd be in a lot better shape!! That was 1985 and some of the fancy tools (CGM/Pump) weren't available at that time but testing a lot has been a big help. I think that's probably the most important thing. More recently, I've learned that I feel like I recover more quickly and completely after workouts if I eat a lot of vegetables so I'd toss that out there too. That applies to anyone, whether they have diabetes or not, but I think that your mom/ doctor were correct about eating veggies?

I wish my head had comperhended that it was a lifelong disease. I got d at 10 and I just thought that it would only last for a few months (back then) and I would be ok...........Now I'm 48 and it's still here with me. Being a kid the age of 10 I just didn't get it back then! Oh well exercise is another thing I wish I had gotten in my head too.

Don't feel so bad I have had type 1 since 1966 age 3. I am now 49 so grew up watching things change with diabetes. I have had the ups and down with my last A1c was 5.9. I live alone with 2 dogs and on Social Security Disability due to Multiple Sclerosis that I developed 5 years ago. Diabetes can be taken care of just follow Drs. orders and keep an eye on your diet. It's hard and you will have up and down as you grow older and the body changes.

There's nothing that I could have done differently prior to diagnosis that would have effected my disease. I wish I has started running sooner, I really enjoy it now and I wish I had tried the pump sooner. Didn't try until year 34 of 36.

But I've always kept things in control and checked BS constantly.

You will have good days and bad days, good numbers and bad numbers. A number is just that. See what it is, if it's good, great, if it's not, what do you need to do to fix it? Fix it and move on.

When you get a high BG # it doesn't mean you are a "bad person" or that you did anything wrong. It 's just a number. I wish I had thought of that in my early years. It would have eased the guilt that I felt when I didn't understand Why?

It appears that Dee and I have the same thought.

Going 37 years now and despise every minute of it. It sucks, it can ruin the quality of your life in every aspect and threaten your life being off a few grams or units. I refuse to believe that if I live another 30 years or so I will still be injecting this stuff for survival. I follow all the research closely and if and when the time comes I will hopefully be in a position to be a candidate for whatever form of improved treatment becomes reality. I am as guinea pig as it gets. As far as management I was not involved with the right group of doctors through my late teens till my early 30's so my control was haywire most of the time. Its really amazing I'm still in one piece.

Gary, I came across this the other day and found myself thinking of you ...

That’s pretty good. A bit depressing at first, but I think it makes a great point. While this is something that we must pay attention to and can’t ignore, it’s not something that has to define and completely characterize who we are. Especially in this day and age where there is good treatment (and hopefully a cure someday). It’s like the thread here on diabetes in the '20s where it used to be a death sentence, but as someone said there it’s more of a nuisance now (more to some than others).

Thanks for the replies so far. Hope there are more to come. I want to do as much as I can to make sure this is as small a part of my life as possible for as long as possible.

Pretty clever but it is what it is and it isn't good. The more I think about it its rather amazing that a little too much sugar or insulin in the blood can be so destructive to ones well being. For my sikey I'd rather watch this...

I wish I hadn't let my diabetes management go into the crapper through my middle years after being diagnosed. I got off to a great start with what seemed to be an endless honeymoon period but I developed too many bad habits that really started to hut me later. I'm not even sure when things actually got to their worse point but I know it involved diagnoses of multiple complications before I snapped out of it. I just wasn't prepared for the changes in the way that diabetes manifests itself.

Luckily, my complications were mild and they have responded well to better management. I had to learn the hard way that diabetes management is 24/7. It's an extremely manageable condition if I can remember that simple fact.

I was dx in '74 with T1.
I have also been physically active, but I wish I had thought of myself as an athlete with diabetes much sooner. That mindset has had a very positive impact on all aspects on my diabetes care.

I also wish I had known how "mental" this disease is. Sure, you have to know all the right info and what to do....but you have to learn what motivates you for the long haul. Learn to reach out and tap into help with a diabetes coach or a therapist when you hit a rough spot and have burnout. Learn early how to cope.

PS....you are pretty sharp for even asking such a question. Best of luck.

I wish that I had understood the value of a true diabetes specialist. I went through life having drastic lows (like into the teens lows) and then went into out of orbit highs (300). My wife kept suggesting an endo and I told her that the family doctor and I had this under control. Not!

Finally went to see a good endo and he chnaged my medications and my control became much better.

You GP is good for colds and sprained ankles. For the right treatment you need to see the right doctor.

I have had type 1 for 11 years now and these are my three pieces of advice I wish I would have followed from the begining. 1. Find a good doctor (does not have to be an endo) that knows the disease, lets you have a say in your treatment, and that you trust. It makes all the diffrence in the world! 2. Exercise. I just started a regular exercise routine last year and it has made a Huge diffrence in the way I feel. 3. Cut grain type carbs as much as possible. I know a fruit, vegetable, and lean protien diet does not sound appealing at first but I have found that when followed my bg numbers are so much more stable and I feel so much better and have more energy. I tend to have one day a week when I splurge on something and then not feel guilty about it. Good luck to you!

The biggest thing for me: Once you get everything set right, everything changes. It's not your fault, there's not always an apparent reason, it just does. Go with the flow.

Ditto Marci ! Was thinking pretty much the same on all 3 points.
Regarding a good doctor/endo - I look for someone who is my coach/partner, and helps me reach MY goals, with their input and guidance. I have switched endo's many times to get just the right mix.
In my early days, I recall an endo (not mine) saying that any T1 could be 'well controlled' while in the hospital/controlled setting, and just didn't get how 'life' gets in the way of having 'perfect' control ! Way too many variables that impact BG.

Thanks, Jen. It really makes you think, doesn't it? We can reframe so much of what we experience, if we try.

Use technology - insulin pump, CGMS. My diagnosis was in 1966, I resisted changing from MDI's. Pumping and CGMS use has made management of my diabetes so much easier.
Manage your weight - makes a huge difference!
Find out what foods just wreck havoc with you and just don't eat them on a regular basis (I no longer eat any type of cereal. Some granola bars are usually ok for me, cereal no. Grapes also a no no for me.) You will figure it out, it's just easier.
That being said, do allow yourself to have a "controlled blow it day" - in other words, when the pizza buffet craving hits and it's been 2 or more months, just do it!
Watch the carbs - I still love my pasta, just love super small amounts! (except about 4 times a year when I allow a trip to the all you can eat pizza buffet!)
And just don't let D stop you from doing what you want to do. You might have to plan a little more now, but just do it!

Hello! I am in my 53rd year with diabetes. Diagnosed at age two in 1959, two siblings out of five were also diabnosed. I truly feel that my young diagnoses has prolonged my life to this point due to stringent, disciplined and repetitve teachings and learnings. You can see more at mydiabeticsoul.com. It's all good!
A. K. Buckroth