Hey all, I was diagnosed with type one diabetes almost exactly four years ago. I thought I’d have it under control by now, but I’m far from it. My a1c is well over 14 and I’m always forgetting to check my blood and take insulin. I haven’t been as responsible with my actions as I should. And I just don’t know what to do, I’ve given up and I feel the disease has won. I am in desperate need of advice and any would help. This is me actually admitting I need my TuD family’s help…
I am sort of the opposite as I’m inclined to test more than I need to, rather than less. Part of it is curiosity but I also think that if you want to make changes, or even stay relatively even, you have to do a lot of testing. The one thing that has helped me focus on doing even OK has been having hobbies, besides diabetes. I was dx’ed @ 16, went to college and partied and was in rock bands, a total blast but I’d haul out the meter and test because I didn’t want to miss the wild party. Or, during the wild party, if I wanted to party more, I new I had to bolus and then drink to cover the bolus, “carb counting” even though I wasn’t totally aware of carb counting until like 10 or 15 years later?
Eventually (mid-30s?) I was taking insulin like something I’d buy in the parking lot of a Grateful Dead concert (really!) and was doing ok @ BG but had gained weight. I hadn’t been to a doc for like 5 years, as Walgreen’s did a great job getting rx’s refilled even after she said “if you don’t come in, you’re FIRED” but, eventually, I got fired and went in and got a 5.8 A1C right out of the gate. I was pleased but also realized I looked at the doctors’ glamour shots to find the heaviest one to go to. A bit after that, I peaked about 275 lbs and started working out, Tae Kwon Do a couple of days/ week and walking on my days off. All along diabetes was there and, eventually, I got a pump and started testing a lot as I’d work during the day and had escalated the TKD to 5-6 nights/ week. It wasn’t always easy and there have been a lot of bumps along the way but the hobbies really kept my head sort of in the diabetes game. I’d suggest finding an interest and trying to do better at it, study it, learn more about it or whatever.
Hey Maddy - I have been to the same dark place and can tell you that it’s hard, but you can find peace with living with diabetes. Do you have a good team (parents, dr, endo, CDE, nurse, etc.) that you can talk to about this? It helped me out to talk to my endo and tell her what my fears were and to make a plan that she could help me reach my goals (not hers). It looks like you use a pump - how is that going? Sometime I find it helpful to go through a refresher course with the pump trainer to remind myself of the “right way” to do it, not just the shortcuts I have taught myself to take.
I hope that you find the strength to get the help you need to reach your goals. Diabetes may have “won” the last A1C battle, but it hasn’t won the war! You can do this!
I went thru a bad foot mess & almost lost my leg. I tried not to look at the big picture because it would have driven me nuts. Instead of looking at every thing, I looked at what I needed to do that particular day and not worry about all the things that were going to happen in the future.
Try to take one step at a time so you don’t overwhelm yourself. Set small goals that you know you can achieve. If you aren’t testing at all, then say tomorrow I will test 1 or 2 times - that one or two is better than not at all. Set an alarm to remind you to do what you have planned so you don’t forget.
I had a boss once that was big on handwriting task lists - he said writing it out helped make you actually think about it. At the end of our day, he wanted everyone to write a list of what they planned on working on the next day. When you came in the next morning, you would have a list of what your goals were for the day. You crossed them off as you did them and anything left at the end of the day would go to the next days list. Maybe writing out some goals will help you too.
I think most of us have been where you are now. The good news is that you can do this!
Go have a victory chocolate milkshake and ENJOY every last drop. Then center yourself and get back on the wagon! I know the chocolate shake sounds backwards, but it’s really a congratulatory prize for realizing you need and asked for help! Don’t forget to bolus for it though =). I’d recommend slowly easing your a1c back down, don’t feel guilty about anything, just start moving forward. Start lowering carb intake, refresh your technology training perhaps? Perhaps plan a 24hr fast and reset/test your basal rates. Obviously you should consult with doc first probably, but admittedly we are our own best doctors sometimes. I hate to simply echo everything I’ve read here, but technology really does make it much easier to manage. I was on MDI for long time, up to 5-6 shots a day or more, almost up to 10/day before I finally made the switch to pump. Before then, i was constantly forgetting shots, chasing highs, then feeling bad about it, then i’d get depressed, and once or twice dipped into full blown despair. It wasn’t until I found TuD that I got the knowledge to actually see what was going on, to wake myself up. You can do it, don’t give up!
Also, maybe you should try a new meter? Something to break routine, the mini one-touch has a painless stabby thing! I hope you are having better day today!
Maddy, don’t get down on yourself. You are not the first and don’t be surprised if what is/has been said to you here doesn’t end up helping someone else down the road. We all have these times of just feeling like giving up. For me it was my weight. But just know that we all suffer from those bad times.
You have more inner strength than you know or realize. We all know that it is tough and that this is never going to go away. But you are strong.
Above everything else remember…YOU CAN DO IT.
Hmm, I’m not sure I’d agree with a milkshake? I’ve looked up nutrition info and some of the higher octane Steak and Shake shakes run> 200G of carbs and will mess you up. Or would mess me up. And I probably have 40-50 lbs on OP? It’s not totally impossible to do milkshakes but I don’t enjoy them unless I have a reasonably high degree of confidence that it’s not going to totally mess up my BG.
One of my TKD instructors was a big fan of “celebration pushups”, at the end of classes, “good job, everyone down for 40 pushups!” would make people groan but, after a workout to hit it again was a pretty excellent buzz with a lot less carbs, although perhaps some risk of an adrenaline spike.
It may seem a bit cheezy but that sort of thing has been really effective for me fighting off seasonal issues and depression in general. Come to think of it, I think I went to my first class (ouch!!) in January, thinking to get a head start on spring. If you can’t do 40 pushups say “I’m going to do x+5” where x is the most you’ve ever done. If you do X-2 the first time, hop up and do another set 45-60 seconds later. You may not even get them all but I think that getting started feeling stronger and feeling success from it would be a better solution than saying “celebration milkshake whee” and screwing up your BG to start off. Maybe make the milkshake the goal/ reward after you’ve figured out your ratios and rates to the point where they’ll cover 300G of carbs in a sitting. Since I am not generally going to have a shake without the burger and fries too? heh heh heh…
Well, most shakes I get are in the range of 60-80g carbs, not 300! And it’s also more figurative not a literal thing. Maddy might not even like chocolate shakes! It’s more a call to not beat yourself up. If you feel guilty about something already, one way (not the only way, of course) to help fight that is to just kill it with chocolate! Figuratively speaking. If I’m depressed, the last thing i want to hear is somebody telling me i just need do this, do that, etc. However, telling me to go have a chocolate shake is going to make me pause and think about things more carefully. Perhaps what I forgot to mention is that it’d be your last chocolate shake until you get your a1c down to a certain goal. A driving factor that would work for me! If i get a small chocolate shake with real ice cream, i can cover it with about 6u bolus, not really that bad. I also skip fries, and pull the bun off my burger though. It’s a rare treat these days though.
I agree chocolate has wierd properties. I was rummaging around looking for a pre-run snack one day and found some old Lindt squares that had been in the freezer before we moved, got moved and tossed back in the freezer and said 'hmm, 2= 14G, that’s about right…" and really had a nice run. I totally agree with the spirit of your suggestion but am always leery of shakes, particularly since they have all these awesome ones w/ extra carbs (cookie dough, oreos, chocolate chips…all of the above…) these days?
The other wierd philosophical truism that I have applied to diabetes is that while it suxx, it does offer lots of opportunity for success? If your BG is good, success! If your BG’s not where you want it to be, try to successfully fix it! If it doesn’t work, you can still mark it down as a successful experiment to find something that doesn’t work and to try something else?
I was in that place just a few years ago. The harsh reality was that an A1c of 14 led to my retinopathy and almost losing my sight. That was the ‘kick in the pants’ I needed to get things under control. I’m now able to keep my A1c below 6.
Really, you have to find the intrinsic reward in good control. You have to want to avoid complications, you have to want to have healthy babies (if you someday want babies), etc. Anytime I feel like ‘oh I don’t need to test right now’ I remember how I almost went blind. That always gets me going.
A suggestion for you is that if it’s really just a matter of forgetting (and not a matter of blatantly ignoring what you should be doing), set an alarm on your phone to remind you to test and take your insulin. It has to become a habit, and one way to turn something into a habit is to train yourself to do it.
Please don’t give up. The disease will win only if you let it. If I can take my A1c from a 14.2 to a 5.6, so can you. It just takes work and determination. Soon enough it will all seem normal and routine.
Now is a wonderful time to start getting back on track. Start with the basics. Make it a point to test just before each meal, enter the number into your bolus wizard and hit the button. Once you’re actually taking a bolus with each meal, you can start on the next step which is to test about 2 hours after you start eating but now the most important thing is to get into the habit of taking insulin with meals. You’ll start feeling better pretty quickly once you start getting your blood sugar under control. To be as high as you’re running now is exhausting and actually makes it much harder to think.
You just have to do it. It’s that simple and that complicated. I have been where you are and there are no easy answers, but you’ve gotta take it one test, one bolus, and one basal rate at a time. I don’t have any wonderful, insightful advice to offer you. This disease sucks and the complications are beyond frightening. But we have so many tools at our disposal and many of us type 1s are living longer and healthier than ever. You just have to commit to using the tools. Keep in mind that all of us type 1s go through bad times, especially those of us who were diagnosed as children and teens. Most of us overcome those challenges. You can do.
4x a year, when I leave my endo’s office, I go to the super luxurious market across the street and get a chocolate croissant (60-ish carbs?). It’s the highest carb thing I ever eat - my average is around 30 per day. It doesn’t matter if my A1C went up or down, it’s a treat to celebrate having done the work I’d done the past 3 months. Plus I look forward to endo visits LOL
That is what I do also - set a special treat every 3 months after my doctors appointment.
Thank you all so much… I will be trying what you all say. One day at a time and even possibly that chocolate milk shake?! And I have a new meter. In fact I have like five, but my endo has me using the one that beams straight to my pump. I play water polo, so im not good at push ups lol they aren’t my favorite. (: again guys, thank you… I’m so glad I have my TuD family. People who actually understand.