My Diaversary - What is your D identity?

Congratulations on your diaversary! My 21st diaversary is exactly three months after yours, on October 8th.

I was going to post and say I hadn't fully "bought in" to diabetes, because I don't eat a low-carb diet and don't always exercise every day without fail (though I try to) and because I don't have the fantastic control many on this site have ... But then I stopped myself, because I do think I've "bought in" to diabetes. I look at the decisions I made yesterday and the decisions I make in comparison to my peer group (especially around food and exercise) and the fact that I'm very open about my diabetes (even if I don't flaunt it) and I definitely have "bought in" even though it doesn't necessarily reflect in my control.

I think for me being diagnosed as a kid it was a bit different. When I was diagnosed I wasn't the one who had to control my blood sugars, it was my parents. In fact, I don't remember being educated at all in the hospital regarding dosing insulin or anything like that. As a teenager I took over, but I did it sort of mindlessly. I used to eat things I shouldn't and then "not know" why I was high, and I went through a period of only testing about twice a day, but I never skipped shots or hid diabetes from anyone. Compared to a lot of teenagers, my "rebellion" was mild.

When I was around 23 I went through some sort of emotional shift with diabetes where I suddenly cared about it (maybe this is when I "bought in" fully) but also got really angry/sad/frustrated about having this when none of my friends had anything even remotely similar in terms of health to worry about. This was in 2005 and when I finally discovered the DOC, read every autobiography about people with diabetes I could get my hands on, and read books like Think Like a Pancreas to learn stuff I had never learned as a kid (I felt like I was re-learning everything from scratch, partly because in the almost 15 years I'd had diabetes things had gone from two shots per day to MDI). I asked my doctor to be switched to Lantus and MDI when it came to Canada in 2005, and then due to connecting with a friend in the DOC (and later in person) who used a pump, I decided to go on a pump in 2007. It helped my control a lot, but I am still working on that control bit ... Hoping someday I'll be able to stay between 70-200 every day consistently! Or else not care so much that I can't ... I think that part is an ongoing process, but I definitely think I've "bought in." I don't think I should have to contort my entire life around diabetes (like I was thinking originally) in order to say I've done that.

I have been T2 for 11 yrs last Jan. exactly 10 years after being diabetic with my last child. I "Played" at being diabetic for 8 yrs, ignoring it, but take my oral meds. But after my father dieD in April of 09, from kidney failure and heart disease cause by uncontrolled diabetes, I was brought in! My a1c went from 8 to 11.9 in just 6 months, so I got on insulin, and finally 8 weeks ago, my pump, and now for the first time in 11 yrs I am always in normal ranges, eating better, feeling better and learning to enjoy life without my daddy. Having a 16 month old grandson and another grandchild on the way, was the final decision for me to get with it and get in control.
But I must say, when people hear you are a t2, they say " oh everyone has that now, no big deal" that makes me so mad!!! After watching my dad die from complications of T2, IT IS A BIG DEAL!!

I'm so glad you changed your mind in this post, Jen, and said that you have bought in. I think one of the negatives of this DOC (mild in comparison to the positives) is when we see people whose numbers are consistent and so much better than our own, or people who've made different choices re carbs and exercise and feel we are "less than". I always talk about something I call "the luck of the draw" where some people for unknown reasons have a harder time managing their blood sugars, some people seem to do it almost effortlessly and most of us are somewhere in the middle. To me, someone who works as hard as you obviously do is definitely "bought in".

I definitely didn't want people to think of being "bought in" as equivalent to "being A+ diabetics" in all things. I think of it more as an attitude of ownership, of responsibility, and therefore of a certain amount of pride.

But I'm glad you did buy in (and also got the deals on the guys belt!)

Type 2 most certainly is a big deal! And congratulations on buying in to caring for yours so you will be there for a long time for your children and grandchildren! Congrats on your pump as well! Aren't they amazing?

I guess the way I have "bought" into my diabetes, besides what I consider to be pretty diligent management of it, is the fact that I realized quite recently I was not as scared and afraid of it as I was in the beginning. I am like you, adult diagnosed almost four years ago. For the first few years I was terrified of the multitude of possible complications that could occur. I think some of my tight management was in response to that. But now I realize that I do approach it as a day to day thing and I practice tight control on any particular day so I can feel as good as I can (or what I deem in my control) on that day. I just don't freak out and get as hysterical as I did when I am high or low. I guess it's just part of me now.

That's a great description of being bought in, drsoosie. Coming from a place of fear is almost like being forced to do something. Acceptance is a very different feeling.

Coincidentally, July 8 is my 4 year anniversary. I was 49, had lost 20 pounds over a period of 2-3 months despite eating about 3 times as much in a day as my usual, and was tired all the time (which I attributed to being the parent of teens and approaching 50). Although my primary care MD was a little skeptical because of my age, two of her more experienced partners looked at my bloodwork, symptoms and family history of Type 1 and immediately diagnosed me as Type 1, not LADA. At the time, I didn't know how lucky I was to not be misdiagnosed. I started insulin the next day, and it was like a wonder drug. I had more energy and felt better than I had in months. Reading these boards has been a huge help, but has also made me sad that so many are misdiagnosed based on their age and have to spend time receiving inappropriate treatment. I was "uber-bought-in" at first, and still would say I am bought in, although I have recently had my struggles with recording everything I eat and bolus, making me very thankful for my pump which stores much of the info I need.

Hey, congratulations on "our" diaversery, Kim! And congratulations on getting the correct diagnosis from the start - yes, you were very lucky! When I did get the endo to confirm what I already knew, she also said, of course, just Type 1. LADA is not a term most of the medical profession acknowledges, but that's ok because Type 1 is what we are, some of us just took a slower route to get there.

At first I similarly attributed my fatigue to being near to retirement and working two jobs. But then the combination of fatigue, peeing, thirst and weight loss (who loses weight without even trying at age 58!) made it "all too concise and too clear"

Yeah, it's nice to have our tech toys to do some of the work for us. I'm still old school though and write everything down; I like seeing the patterns all laid out in front of me. I had a type 2 friend say, "I refuse to do all that work to give some numbers to my doctor" and I had to explain that I don't do it for a doctor (and have never had a doctor look at it). I do it for me.

Hi Zoe: Congrats on your Diaversary! I can say that I "bought in" from the start when I was lying in the hospital bed the day I was diagnosed. I did cry the entire night, however. From the start I took control and was the one leading the process, reading literature, telling my endo I wanted to be on Humalog the day it came on the market, saying I wanted to go on a pump, etc. But even though I bought in from the start in terms of facing reality, taking the best care of myself possible, it did take me awhile to come to a place of "this is my life and I don't know anything else." Now at 17+ years into this journey, I don't actually know when that moment happened. When I was first diagnosed, my GP said to me that I would rebel some day, and that was okay. I am still waiting for the rebellion!

Hi Zoe. I'll have my 20th Diaversary on November 22, 1993. When did I buy in? Immediately after diagnosis, despite the fact that it was the wrong one -- I'm Type 1, not Type 2. But I was relieved to find out the problem, that there was a diagnosable problem. I'd been passing out every day around 3:00 in the afternoon, with no obvious reason. I quit driving, just started living in isolation. Sometimes I passed out after breakfast, too -- usually doughnut breakfasts; everybody eats doughnuts, don't they? So when I was given a diagnosis and a way to control the problem, I bought in! Of course, the orals didn't do a thing, but once I was on insulin, I quit passing out. Just went low because of the darn NPH! When more modern insulins showed up, I was really pleased -- still am, you know. The pump was great, but I'm still doing OK without it. Yep, I bought in immediately, however you want to define it.

I might have bought in more permanently when I got this:

Somehow I think it makes it so much easier when you buy in right away like you two did! It doesn't mean you aren't angry, sad, scared, overwhelmed, but you just take the steps in front of you. I think for me, my personality is to buy in to things pretty quickly - once I decide, I'm in! But in this case the Type 2 diagnosis just wasn't something I took too seriously for whatever reason.

I think the GP who said that, just didn't know you very well Melitta!

Maybe that's why I never got a tattoo - it's serious buying in! I still thought about it when I moved to Guatemala and see how cheap they are there, I just couldn't find an image I felt strongly enough about!

I did the minimum amount necessary to get buy when my kids where at home and really did not agree to start intensive therapy until I started pumping and using a CGM in 2008. Yes I think about the Bete's all the time but it's not my Legacyneither is my A1c or BG average...I have no idea what the date was when I became sick my wife, children, and I do not celebrate that miserable day. I do remember what happened my first day home from the hospital, I dropped my insulin bottle and it shattered into pieces. My wife and I sat on the floor and cried then we spent 3 hours driving across town to a 24hr pharmacy the kids where asleep in the back seat...that was the first and last time I cried about the Bete's.

That was along time ago I have grandchildren now life has been good to me in spite of a few bumps in the road...

It may also have helped me that when I went off to college w/ a year and a half of diabetes under my belt, I also started partying a lot and, after a bit, figured insulin was like Budwiser or Johnny Walker or anything else one might pparty with. Then, after listening to “Sister Ray” at 5:00 AM several times, it occurred to me that there were ways to shoot insulin so It’d work faster and I was off to the races. The downside was gaining weight over the years but, eventually I stopped that and, by the, I was seeing progress at something else (Tae Kwon Do…) and took the plunge w/ the pump and haven’t seen an A1C above 5.8 since then

That is most definitely what counts isn't it?!

Ya know I don't even know when my Diaversary is. Not the year and surely not the date. That's how not bought in I was. I believe it was somewhere around 1990 give or take a year or so. I didn't really buy in until March or April of last year. Through the years I had made several feeble down payments but was never bought in and was soon bankrupt each time until last year when I really accepted my circumstances.

To me my D life did not begin until I became insulin dependent and could no longer ignore it. When I was on pills no matter how many I took I could still act as if nothing was wrong and go about my merry way and not even know my blood sugar reads for weeks or months at a time. I felt powerless on oral meds and just put the whole matter out of my mind.

When I started MDI I felt I had the tool to do something. From there I bought into the diet, the exercise, the frequent testing and everything else that is required.

I also don't know the exact date of my second Diaversary. I know it was March or April of 2011 but don't know the exact day. But then I'm pretty sure my wife's birthday is in January, I think.

Gary S

Doesn't matter the date, but glad you got it!

I'm sorry I haven't been around for a while; I'm dealing with some issues, and don't want to go into them in depth, but they do pertain to this discussion.

All I can say is I'm WORKING on buying into diabetes. My formal diagnosis was in Aug. 1993 at the age of 45, although I knew something was going on before that. So it's been a long time. Like Zoe, I initially received a diagnosis of T2, and was put on Glucotrol, a sulfonylurea. Since I was also hypothyroid, I was sent to an endo, who turned out to be very passive and not really up-to-date (such as it was in 1993), and he was perfectly happy with fastings in the 160-180 range and PPs in the 250 range. But *I* knew it wasn't right, because those were the readings I was having before ever starting Glucotrol, and if I were a classic T2, it should have made a difference.

So I ended up begging for insulin, which he did give me. And it worked like a charm, but I was still stuck on the conflict of T1/T2 (In myself only -- not related to anyone else), and feeling very guilty for getting diabetes. In the beginning, it was pretty easy to control, and for a while, I was occupied with finding out everything I could about diabetes, either type, all the while trying to classify myself.

So fast forward past a long story, and those of you who know me will remember that I binged myself into a coma in Sept. 2010. I wasn't omitting insulin completely, and I always had a basal going, but I definitely wasn't taking enough to prevent my numbers from rising and rising. And I was watching them very dispassionately, kind of betting on how high I could get them to go. This was definitely NOT acceptance and NOT buying in.

Then, after I was forced to limit my carbs drastically while in a nursing home for 3 weeks after the coma because the hospitalist put me on a fixed dose for every meal, I started limiting food -- first carbs, then vegetables, and finally nearly all food except for milk, yogurt and ground beef. And very little at that.

And I started losing weight, with all my friends complimenting me, and my inner mind imagining that if I lost enough weight, the diabetes would go away. I got to BMI 24.1, and guess what -- the diabetes didn't go away, nor did it improve one bit. Of course, my dose was lower, but that was because I wasn't eating, not because I really needed less insulin. So that was the other side of the pendulum of NOT accepting diabetes. I REALLY wanted it to go away!

So the day I woke up and realized that I couldn't bear to eat anything at all, I knew it was time to call for help. Melitta and I had gone to a conference called Diabetes Sisters last year, and there was a booth run by the Center for Hope of the Sierras. Interesting.... I live near the Sierras. Then, I saw, in smaller letters, Reno, Nevada. Oh! So I casually picked up a card, and there it was in front of me that morning. So I called them, and now am in treatment for what really amounts to an eating disorder (no, it's NOT just young people!), but which is really a sign of NOT accepting diabetes. Even after this long time.

I do have to mention Melitta and Zoe, both of whom have been very encouraging of me to accept the fact that I do have diabetes, and it's not going away, and to accept that it's T1, and no, nothing I do is going to make it go away, and nothing I did caused it to happen to me. The endocrinologist who works with diabetics at the center also thinks it's LADA, but I'm still fighting with guilt about it. It's difficult for me to say this, because everyone else seems to have accepted it so easily, but for me, it's been a continuous, ongoing struggle. Bad body image doesn't help, nor do childhood guilt trips, but at least I'm trying to do something positive. Which has to be good enough.