I'll bet I'm not the first diabetic to wake up today and say, "Today is the day I take back control of my life. No longer will I be a victim of this cronic illness I have. No, Today is the day that I take the drivers seat in my life, and not simply let diabetes determine the directions I go in." Well I may not be the only one, but I can honestly say, that I am serious about it. I am determined to take back control of my life, and I am hoping that you all may be able to help me be successful with my claims. So how can you help? Share with me a time that you struggled to control your diabetes, and what you did to overcome your fight with control. I am hoping by reading some success stories, I will see that "real people" CAN overcome the struggles. Thanks in advance, and I look forward to hearing your stories! I know we all have a few....
Before 2006, I "knew everything" and didn't know squat. I just sort of winged it with R/NPH, sort of using insulin like something you'd buy in the parking lot at a Grateful Dead concert. I did ok, the first time I went to my GP after eluding the doc for about 5-10 years, my A1C was 5.8 but I'd gained a lot of weight. I decided to fix the weight since I knew everything about diabetes. I didn't bother reading or poking around on the internet or it might not have taken so long but I ate less and started working out more. Eventually, I was doing Tae Kwon Do like 5-6 nights/ week and going for a 20-30 mile bike ride w/ some buddies on my day off. But my A1C had drifted up. A friend told me about her pump and I said "what the hell..." and got one and it was like flipping a switch! I also found the DOC around that time and everything fell into place. I got my BG back under control. I was sad I had to move and stopped martial arts but have kept running and, since 2010, have run 7 1/2 marathons and the Chicago Marathon twice. A1C currently 5.3 but I am dropping off blood for a new one tomorrow so we'll see what happens. Exercise has helped a lot as I like it enough that I'll work to make sure my BG will be in line to work out, which means it's in line, for hours before I actually blast off.
I've winged it for years on old crappy 70/30 insulin and probably not doing such a great job of it either. I really got my act together over a year ago because I wanted to ditch the 70/30 and go on Lantus. The new endo I got was like you are going to have to be accountable, come to your appointments, bring your meter for downloads and test your blood glucose. You skip out on your appointments, I wont refill the Lantus. LOL that was motivation enough for me. About 6 months after being on Lantus, I went on my pump, and that has made such a big huge difference. My best advice, you have to want it for YOU. Good Luck and let us know how it goes. Were always here for support and talk.
What kind of motivation do you want?
Today I had lunch with a friend whose husband had has leg amputated 2 years ago due to poorly controlled diabetes.
Or on a more positive note. Diabetes doesn’t cause complications. Poorly controlled diabetes does. Let yourself be inspired by the many people on this board who have had Type 1 for years and years and are still really quite healthy. Our hero is Richard who has had it for 67 years. I have been Type 1 for 36 years and have none of the typical diabetic complications, so it is possible. And remember that all of us long timers had many years with no home glucose testing.
Also, remember that perfection is unattainable. I wake up every day determined to do my best. Some days I do great. Other days, chocolate covered donuts or a bad pump site get in the way. But I always get up again the next day and try again to do my best.
I truly believe that exercise and an active lifestyle have kept me healthy all of these years.
Thank you all for taking the time to share your stories and advice with me. I very much appreciate it. I will be sure to keep everyone posted with my progress.
I used to eat what I wanted and then either chased it with insulin or tried to walk it off. Neither strategy worked very well. The thing that finally changed things for me was that i learned how to eat. I signed up for weekly private sessions with a nutrition counsellor. I went to her weekly for almost two years. I paid for it myself because insurance stopped covering after a few visits. It was worth every cent. It was life changing. I have been a stesdy 6.2 a1c for the last five years. Pretty good compared to the 8s, 9s, 10s and higher that i used to have. I got more help from that nutritionist than i did from all of the doctors that i have seen over the yesrs, combined. Its my belief that you can head off a lot of trouble later on by esting wisely now. Thats my story.
One thing that has stuck with me was a time when I frequently
told someone "I don't have time for ...... " (diabetes care or other 'stuff' ).
(note: I was an expert at procrastination at the time !)
A friend suggested that instead of thinking 'I don't have time' (or I'll start tomorrow), I could change my thinking to "I'm choosing to make or not make it a priority TODAY ". Try to align your actions with your goals and priorities, and consciously remind yourself as you take or decide to not take actions. Don't expect to be perfect, just increase the times you are aligned. Avoid blaming, and be accountable to yourself for the choices YOU make. From your post, you clearly want to make controlling your diabetes a priority !
This helped me to set goals, and stay focused, by changing the way I thought about it.
Also led me to realize I needed to LEARN more about diabetes, diet, carbs, etc, that led to me getting an insulin pump 15 years ago.
At the end of the day, remind yourself of the good choices you made, and what you learned from mistakes you made, and what might help you avoid them next time. With diabetes, sometimes you do everything 'right', and don't get the result you expected, and that's still ok - don't let that discourage you !
my motivation was when i watched my uncle that had type 1 not care about himself enough to take care of his diabetes, sorry if this sound gross, but its true. My uncle found out he was diabetic when a sore on his foot would not heal, leading to a leg amputation, several years later he was in the hospital not doing well. I went to see him and was shocked at what I seen, his fingers and toes, on his leg he had, were black. His limbs and insides were dying from this disease. I went home and gathered all my information and started reading all the information I had collected over and over. I was not only motivated but determined to never let that happen to me. I have been diabetic since i was 15 yrs. old, The picture in my mind of my uncle stays with me every day and I dont try to forget it. I want it to remind me of why i work hard to take care of my health with diabetes and live as long as I can without complications. To this day I try to keep up on all the new information and products that will assist me in taking care of myself.
Again sorry if my story sounds gross, but this is my way of moving forward to be stubborn about caring for myself and staying motivated.
I think shock, overwhelmed with information and denial are normal when diagnosed for most people, then we learn things that keep us motivated to move forward and care for ourselves. This site is an awesome source of information on all the pumps out there and for asking questions. Everyone needs a place to vent frustrations from time to time and the people on this sight are great listeners also. Lot of support to help, it has helped me a great deal too. Good Luck.
Stories of amputations are anti motivation if you ask me. When I was diagnosed at age 15 all of my healthcare providers scared the sh*t out of me with stories of complications and i thought, i am going to die anyway so why even try? It wasn't until I was a grown adult that I was able to see that I don't have to die or suffer from these terrible complications, and it was all up to me. I had to decide and make a conscious, in your face decision, that I deserved the best for myself, no matter how much effort it took. Start with small steps and when you start to see positive results and start to feel better, it will motivate you to continue with the positive choices you've made. Information helps to keep me motivated, whether it's research or peoples personal stories, like phil sutherland and the like. It's not easy, but you can do it.
Hello Diabetic Mic
There are no magic words, no magic wand or ruby slippers that make this stuff easy.
Your DESIRE, your awareness is more than enough to do the trick. Id love to promise you its easy to do, never causes trouble... it would be a complete lie, a snow job.
You do not need perfect control, all you want is a little more, a little better, With time those little bits guarantee add up.
As a peer, I wont lie to you and tell you anything but the honest truth.
thats a really good way to think about the choices we make-thanks!
Great question DiabeticMic! It is always inspiring to read other stories of success. Here is what I always keep in mind: other Type I's numbers (A1C's of 5.5 or 6.3) do not negate my hard work of achieving a 7.3. I've been a Type 1 for 12 years and on a pump for 11. No matter how diligent I am with testing, measuring food, carb calculations, diet modification, etc. the best I can do is the best I can do. So, I do what I can-follow a low carb approach, exercise daily, and test 10-12 times a day.
Some days are great-others not so much. That is my life with diabetes (and life in general) and it is ok. Is it frustrating-sure! Diabetes sucks. But you know what sucks more-every other disease I can think of. When I start bemoaning all we have to do as diabetics I remind myself how easy we have it-our medicines, technology, supplies-all of it is proven effective at treatment and control. There is a huge support community, knowledgable doctors, fantastic books. Out of all life altering diseases I think we have the best one! So when I get frustrated, lazy, or feel like throwing myself a huge pity party I try and change my perspective and remind myself that diabetes is not a sprint. Living my life with diabetes is all about choosing everyday to make small changes that will make my life easier, smoother, and longer!
An almost life ending low completely changed my attitude towards D and how I approach it. For the last 37 years I had just winged it, A1C's in the mid 7's to 8's. But I figured if my endo didn't care about the numbers why should I be ? But then my husband found me passed out from a low and had to give me a glucagon shot and I decided something had to change. That was the defining moment, when I said, if I don't take control I will surely die from this. So I did. I learned how to count carbs, I got my ratios right, I started exercising, I finally took back control of my life and my D. It is not easy, there are no magic pills or tricks. But it is self motivation that works, no one else can take care of you, you have to take care of yourself. Good luck, I have found as I feel better, taking care of myself is so much easier.
Hi Mic! Dont worry, you are not alone. There have most definatly been days that I have struggled to get through; and I get through them by thinking of all the wonderful things I have and how blessed I am. There are people out there who cant even afford insulin. They cant take charge of their lives even if they want to. They have always been my inspiration. Dont think of diabetes as an illness, think of it as apart of you, a part that needs special care and nurture! Look at the glass half filled, and not half empty! Good luck. Im sure you'l do great! :)
As a fairly newly diagnosed diabetic I sometimes find it very challenging (to say the least) to stay positive or motivated. I have days where I can simply not shake this overwhelming feeling of sadness and self pity that I am now and for the rest of my life tied to this illness. Often in the last few months my answer to those feelings has been to be almost obsessed with learning, reading and thinking about diabetes. Gathering information and testing BG constantly was my way of "regaining control".
But although I m sure all these actions are helpful in diabetes management, after a while they might start (at least in my case) to take over your life, I noticed parts of my old self were being squeezed out by this new, diabetic me. So now I am trying to make an effort to have phases throughout my days where my diabetes gets no attention (as long as its not acutely necessary of course)
That can be challenging at first - but for me it is the things that truly matter to me and things that allow me to be fully "in the moment" that make it possible to "forget" I m a diabetic for a while. Everybody is different, for me it is playing music, hanging out with people I love, my work as a photographer...When I m down and demotivated I sometimes have to force myself to do those things I love but every time I do so it is worth it. And it gives me the energy to then go back to dealing with my illness. I am now plannig to actually "allocate" an hour or whatever every day to actively pay attention to all diabetes related issues (of course I still measure and manage meals throughout the entire day), but I make sure there are also diabetes-free hours. To me that is crucial.
I believe that as you become more at ease with your D, you will be able to relax more and do other things. I had to say to myself the last night, right that's enough, enough reading done, my head had enough of diabetes stuff. I suppose its like a new skill, the more you practise the more comfortable you become with it. In saying that it doesn't always go to plan or make sense but a lot of the time it does.
My motivation to change was to do with feeling ill all the time. I always felt tired and weak. Better control has changed my life dramatically. I did get a fright there, thought I had early kidney damage. Luckily I'm in the clear, but it gave me the kick I needed.