June blog topic #2: It’s Complicated

Do you have any complications from diabetes? What are your experiences with complications? If you don’t have any complications, what are your fears? Let’s address that elephant in the room.

Post your thoughts on this topic in the discussion below, or write a blog entry about it and post the link to you entry below.

After 25 years, so far only slight retinopathy that I had lasered about 20 years ago with no active signs since.

I try not to focus on the fear because if I do, it will overwhelm me.... fear of losing my eyesight and the ability to drive and work at a computer; fear of amputations; fear of kidney damage and dialysis but most importantly fear of not being here to hold any grandchildren that my daughter may have in the future.

I also fear heart attack or stroke and this fear grabs hold of me most often because with menopausal symptoms came heart palpitations.

So instead of letting the fear dominate me, I remind myself that all I can do is to take the best care of myself that I can, one day at a time. I also remind myself that any person, regardless of their health, isn't guaranteed tomorrow so make the best of every day! :)

Diagnosed in 1988, so that would be......damn......damn...24 years??

I now am in end stage renal disease and go to dialysis. I guess that qualifies as a complication. Then again...the nurses.

Great topic.

Mine is gastroparesis & how I hate it. I'm eternally grateful that it's not as severe with the pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea many have. Doing everything I can to hopefully prevent it from worsening. Every day is a new adventure in BG control when digestion is seriously compromised. Never know when food will digest. I often bolus 2 hours after meals.

Complicated indeed! Two of my autoimmune diseases, Diabetes and Pernicious Anemia, have worked in concert to give me complications. For instance, I got PA early in life, which (along with red blood cell anemia) started my 1)digestion problems, 2)a lack of coordination and 3)numbness/loss of feeling in my feet. Then 19 years ago I developed Diabetes, which made those three complications even worse. One aspect of PA's destroying my stomach HCl and enzymes is slow digestion, mild Gastroparesis, which gives blood glucose problems. Still, if I don't get any more complications, I'll count myself lucky.

Additionally, I deal with arthritis (started by Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis) and hypothyroidism. Unfortunately, the symptoms of Celiac and some food allergies surfaced at exactly the same time that I got the D. In fact, I totally blame the autoimmune gene(s) for all those conditions and the resulting complications rather than Diabetes!

T1 25 years. No major complications. I've had a couple problems with infected root canals, shingles once and, chronic insomnia. Maybe a little memory loss / brain damage from many times in insulin shock. Also had some strange stomach problems or food allergies on and off. None of these things have been officially diagnosed. Once I got my BG under control, my eyesight improved, and I some back pain disappeared very quickly, leading me to believe they were D related. Pretty lucky, so far, I guess.

Dx T2 in 2001 (fat, fair, 40+), on metformin 10yrs. Hospitalized a year ago with a cervical epidural abscess. Emergency surgery, problems with blood pressure in surgery as I’d not been off various daily meds beforehand. Renal failure, with creatinine >9, so several rounds of dialysis. Almost a month in hospital, bigtime sepsis. On insulin in hospital and chose to stay on at home, so also decided to see an endo. He listened to my history, said he thought I must be T1 (not sure why), but tested positive for GAD antibodies. My fears? Just read about a connection between D and dementia. My mom had Alzheimer’s with hypoglycemia. The other stuff is scary, but that scares me most.

Extreme fatigue. always has been so but now way worst. Using Victoza and insulin.

Diagnosed in 85. No major complications so far, though my control could honestly be a lot better.

My largest fear would be loss of eyesight. I really cannot imagine how I'd get by.

Hey there, Im only 19 and havent had any complications although im type 1 . The only thing that bothers me all the time is my feelings and emotions. Cant get rid of being upset, and down all the time .. :/

I just found out I have positive antibodies for developing thyroid disorder. Great. I just found out I have diabetes (LADA) only recently. However, my Endo. reassured me that it doesn't mean that I WILL develop thyroid issues. Still, nothing like a test reading "positive" to make me worry.

What about the nurses?

Hey Nat. I suffer/ed from depression that manifested very intensely around that age.
I can't really pinpoint it to being diabetes based exactly, but I'm sure it can't have helped.
I feel I wasted a considerable amount of my life this way and so dearly wish I'd come to these conclusions earlier in life.

While not wanting to sound patronizing, I'm 37 now. I've got two kids of my own and I'm so much happier. The trivial matters in life gradually evaporated and the important condensed to leave me where I am now.
My children created perspective for me, leaving me astounded in the knowledge of how much wasted emotion I'd thrown at trivial matters.
Most things we worry about do not matter at all.

Diabetes for me has always about finding a balance between health and not letting it rule over me so much that I can use it as an excuse. My control isn't as tight as some, but perhaps I've swapped over some normal lifestyle for that, as opposed to being absolutely obsessed with the perfect numbers and to hell with all other aspects of my life.

In short, life gets easier and considerably simpler and enjoyable. I would not have ever said this at age 19. I was too busy considering if I should be alive at all.

HI friends ... I am sorry to hear you are living with a complication or more than one...
I have been 10 years with diabetes now and I am worried already and of course afraid and I feel fear ... I am a positive person and very energetic but that doesn't mean I don't have fears...
I have 3 small children and I would like to live the longer I can!!! ... I have tried my best to stay in control of my diabetes and I am ok but I know i could do better ...
do you have any piece of advise, based on your experience, that can help avoid or delay complicationa? anything you wish you could have done different or better or anything you learn that can help me do my best??
Thanks a lot and count on me if you need someone to listen

Gastroparesis from both ends.
Kidney failure
Autonomic neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy
Macular edema
Coronary artery disease + heart attack @ 42.

Even with that laundry list, every time I go to see my doctor at the local VA hospital, I am reminded that I don't have it all that bad.


First. I really appreciate that your doing this. Thank you!.
Accelerated Neuropathy in left ankle, Due to Necrosis in that area of ankle joint.

Poor Circulation.

Complications: Poor walking has caused spin off issues with left hip which has spread to pain in outer pelvic region when sitting! Becoming chronic cause of sleeplessness!

Kidney functions well, but Prostate issues have become more difficult to treat as the number of prescribed drugs I take increases!

Bowl emptying issues occur, but are not chronic!

Impossible to diet now since moving to a town last week! I barely have strength for more than 2 hours and have to sleep laying down regularly. See my blog

Diagnosed 5 years ago with T2, immediately brought my A1C down to the low 5's, where it has been ever since. Nevertheless I have several complications that the docs say usually only occur after prolonged high blood sugar (which is NOT true in my case). I lost a toe and 1/3 because of bone infection. I have severe neuropathy up to my knees on both legs, but the circulation is very good. In fact it was excessive circulation that caused a bout with Charcot last year. I don't have the common diabetic problem of wounds that do not heal. Mine heal very fast. I had diabetic amyotrophic neuropathy, a delightful condition wherein you lose 40 pounds very quickly, unfortunately most of it is leg and butt muscle. I was in a wheelchair for a while, on a walker for quite a while. The muscle eventually came back with a lot of work, but the nerves are shot, so I "lurch" instead of walk. I have autonomic neuropathy, which means my pulse and respiration don't self regulate very well. That might be a problem if I could actually run, but my exercise has been limited to water aerobics. The main effect is I don't sweat and my pulse doesn't go past 102 when I push it on something like a stationery bike. I can't ride a real bike because I lack the coordination. I do have digestive problems and have to watch not only what I eat, but when I eat it. I'm not aware of needing to use the bathroom until moments before I need to. Eeek! Not a good thing when your legs can't help you run. My kidneys are great. My eyesight has improved over the past 5 years to the point where my prescription is only half as strong as it once was. I have leg cramps but they don't hurt because of the neuropathy. I don't get hot. I don't get cold. Again, because of the neuropathy. The only fear I have is that I feel my diabetes was a result of an autoimmune attack, NOT the CAUSE of all my complications. The docs haven't even looked into that possibility and I get the same broad, but inapplicable, treatments everyone else who is diabetic gets. I am afraid that because I don't know what caused this, I don't know how to avoid it in the future. I'm not afraid of diabetes, maybe that's being naive, but so far my blood sugar has stayed great with just a low carb diet. I added a small dose of metformin a few months ago when the BS was consistently in the high 90s in the a.m. instead of the mid 80s it had always been.

Well said.

I second this!

No obvious complications yet. Definitely no retinopathy (just checked). A few very very minor symptoms that could conceivably be diabetic, but could just as easily be something else -- like just plain age, for instance. So nothing obvious.

Biggest fear -- which I try hard not to obsess about -- is that some "silent" problem will suddenly come front and center without warning. Since my control has been only mediocre for most of the time since diagnosis (17 years), I do worry that something deadly might be creeping up and getting ready to pounce. But as I say, I don't think about it night and day.

I am also taking steps to finally get this under real control once and for all, but that's WAY too big a topic for here. I will be documenting it thoroughly in my blog as I go along.