OSM (Overwhelmed Single Mom) Seeks Same (or Not-Same)

Hello all. I just joined up yesterday and thought I'd take a moment to introduce myself and my story here before branching out.

I was diagnosed w/ T1 at 17, and for the first ten years was basically the perfect diabetic. Numbers always or almost always in range. Ate what I was supposed to. Tested. Good A1cs. No complications. Etc.

Then I had a baby, at 28, and this baby came with a few challenges of her own. She was born early and for a number of years suffered from undiagnosable but potentially serious health issues: dwarfism, pain when walking, very poor vision, etc. We spent years going from doctor to doctor and getting misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis, and unsurprisingly, I stopped taking care of myself.

Then I got divorced. Less time, less money, more stress. At this point my blood sugars took a rocket ride up, and stayed there. No matter how often I tested or how much insulin I gave myself or how much I exercised, they would stay up in the 10-12 range all the time (I'm Canadian). And frankly, with everything else on my plate, I couldn't spend the time testing that I used to. Forget getting up for an overnight test; the single mom gig had me so wiped out that I couldn't bear the thought of cutting into my sleep for even a few minutes.

Then I got a new job. A very stressful new job with a lot of responsibility and a lot of hours in a new community where I didn't know anyone. You can see where this is going. My A1cs went up and up; my last one was over 8, for the first time ever. I know this isn't a catastrophic number for many people, and I hope this doesn't come across as a criticism for anyone who'd be thrilled if they ever got that low.

Last year, I lost my job, was assaulted and stalked by an ex-boyfriend, and finally received some diagnoses for my daughter (pituitary cyst leading to low growth hormone and an unkown and unrelated type of skeletal dysplasia). That last is good news, of course, but it involved dozens of doctor's appointments and tests new medications for her and PT regimes and, you guessed it, no time left over for watching the diabetes. All of the stress appears to have triggered a new hyperthyroidism condition, which in addition to further elevating my blood sugars, also causes hand tremors, poor sleep, exhaustion, muscle weakness, heart palpitations, etc. This was flagged in December blood test results and I'm hoping that when I see him next week, he'll actually propose doing something about it.

In January I started a new job and my daughter's health stuff seemed to stabilize, and my blood sugars were magically gloriously normal for about three weeks. Then her health stuff went awry, and my sugars went up again, and I can't bring them back down. Again. So for example, in January, my mid-morning muffin snack took 1.5u of humalog and I might go a little low. Now the same mid-morning muffin snack is taking 4.5u of insulin and I still go high.

I've been seeing a counselor and taking anti-depressants to deal with the stress, and have started trying to learn meditation and progressive relaxation for the same reason. I've cut out caffeine in case that was making things worse. I make sure to get 8 hrs of sleep a night (in part because if I get even a little less, I'm so tired I start falling asleep behind the wheel). Health insurance from the new job kicks in at the beginning of April, at which point I can consider testing more frequently to see where that gets me.

It's been ten years since things first fell off the rails (I turn 39 next week), and I'm trying to take advantage of a new less stressful job and maybe some kind of stability for my daughter to start figuring diabetes out again. But the unpredictability is making it very hard to stay motivated, and there's so much else going on. I mean, yes, I can test more frequently, but when do I find the time to get the results uploaded and analyze them? Between taking care of the house, and helping my daughter with homework, getting her her shots, taking her to appointments, helping her through her PT exercises, making us dinner, yard work, the dog, commuting, the job, my asthma (also mostly ignored), I just don't know how to add one more thing to my plate.

I'm hoping to find other folks who, even if they aren't in the same boat, at least know what this boat feels like. I love my endo but medical professionals tend not to really understand the fact that diabetics have more going on in their lives than diabetes, if you know what I mean.

Sorry for the big negativity dump. There's lots of good in my life too, of course, it's just not diabetes-related right now.

I can truly empathise with you. Try to make time for yourself, who else will look after your daughter if you are unable to do so through ill health.

thanks, Maureen. :)

Welcome, Maureen! You've found a home.

I'm T2, but can relate directly to your troubles and frustrations. I treat with insulin, and my pancreas is so exhausted at this point that my treatment is no different than a T1 diabetic, w.r.t. insulin.

After the insurance kicks in, I'd strongly urge you to consider (in this order of priority) a CGM, and an insulin pump. These two technologies, while present their own unique challenges, it has made my ability to manage diabetes and control BG much much easier in a life situation, stress-wise, as tough as yours.

I simply couldn't do it without my G4 and Omnipod. With these, I'm achieving non-diabetic BG almost all the time.

I'm a 9 months pregnant lady with steroid induced (on them for a separate autoimmune disorder) diabetes who's also feeling really, really overwhelmed. My boyfriend is an overwhelmed new father with T1 diabetes. My experiences aren't the same as yours by any means, but I'm thinking about you, your post really resonates with me, and hope that the storm clears soon!


First and foremost, Welcome! Second, you have found a place where we all get it. We may all have diabetes in common, but it is only a part of who we are. (Even though it likes to assert itself more often than we'd like...)

When I was first diagnosed, I went from not knowing to pumping in less than 8 months. I had a patch where I fell off the wagon, hard. When I wanted to climb back on, I found this website, this community, and the fabulous people you will meet. The one thing that worked the best for me is the Main Chat Room. No matter the time of day, night, week, etc., there is always someone in the room who gets it.

My suggestion for you is to take it one day at a time. Visit when you need a pick me up. Hope to see you around!

You can do it!

Anne H.

Thanks, Dave. :)

I do have a pump, and it does help a lot, but my sugars bounce around all over the place regardless. I've been thinking about a cgm--I'll have to look into whether the insurance will cover it. I see my endo on Thursday, so I'll ask him--right after I grill him on the thyroid stuff and what we can do about that.

Thanks, Megan. I hope it does too, though one of the things I'm trying to wrap my head around right now is that my daughter's health is always going to be stressful, so I'm just going to have to get better at dealing with it. So the relaxation exercises and the meditation.

I hope you and your boyfriend are feeling less overwhelmed soon. Parenthood certainly has a way of making life more complicated!

Thank you so much for the warm welcome, Anne. :)

I am type 2 and can tell you that everything affects my BG. These changes could be more drastic for a type 1 since we have a form of "safety net" as long as we are making some insulin. As you noticed stress can have a huge affect on our BG. You mentioned asthma, treating it may also help your BG. I have noticed that mild pain from sore mussels can have a negative affect. Sometimes we cannot pin down the root cause of BG spikes. At the present time, my BG averages are rising and I have not figured it out yet. My TDD has gone up over 40% in the last year.


Andrea, we are going through some major crises in our family right now. My 15 yo daughter attempted suicide about 6 weeks ago (pills). Shortly after that, got herself expelled from the exceptional private school we were sending her to.

All this has created some issues and resentment with my 17yo son.

That's the super condensed version of what I'm dealing with, on top of a very stressful job situation right now. So, I can relate.

Here's an epiphany my wife and I have had on the past months, something I wish I had realized a long time ago: We have limits.

We've devoted our lives to our children, given all. Sacrificed ourselves constantly. I regret none of this, and love them dearly.

However, when you run up against the wall and just don't have any more, you've got to pay attention, get a little selfish for a little bit, and take care of yourself. I mean, the kind of "let go" take care of yourself -- so long as your daughter isn't in any danger, forget her needs for an hour, or two, a morning, an afternoon -- and just spend time completely on your own needs, wants, rest, peace, fun, enjoyment, etc. She can wait.

Unless I've misread your situation, your daughter is not a complete invalid that must be directly cared for every minute, right? If she can be left to herself with the TV, some toys, a book, whatever -- maybe with a good friend, relative, etc., which would be even better -- force yourself to structure that time in.

It was a struggle to get my self to buy in completely that my needs are just as important, and it's okay to let the kid's needs go ignored and unaddressed for a while.

Best wishes!

Andrea, I am sorry for all of your heartache. I hope the positive changes this January have brought will continue. I`m T1, 53 and a mother of 4. My children are 29, 26, 21 and 5. So often I don't know if I'm coming or going. Life is unpredictable just like T1. My secret to sanity is stolen minutes. It's amazing what you can do for yourself in a few minutes. First and foremost we take care of our children, but they will never miss our stolen minutes. It sounds like you are taking some great steps, it takes time, things will get better.
Wishing you and your daughter health and happiness.

Hi Dave,

I'm so sorry to hear that. If it helps, I tried to commit suicide when I was about your daughter's age, and present circumstances notwithstanding, I think I turned out ok. I wish you and your family all the best right now.

You're right, of course. It sounds like this is the kind of thing you'll understand--most of the past several years have been spent finding ways to exceed my limits (because I had to; somehow the work had to get done and the bills had to get paid and the lawn had to get mowed and the dinner had to be made and we had to get up in the morning etc. etc. etc.). I am paying for it now, though.

No, she's not a complete invalid. She does need help with some things other kinds her age can do for themselves. I do leave her be quite a bit, but generally to take care of something else, like dinner or housework. She is such a treasure and I love our time together so much, which is the real reason I don't do it more.

Hi Sally,

Yes, I agree, I need to push on the thyroid thing. I don't get why it was ignored before.

Your life sounds very similar! I'm in management too, and my last job was in a very chaotic company where we never knew if we'd employed in six months, and in the meantime were chronically understaffed. They kept hiring other managers to take part of my workload, and with just PART of my workload they'd all quit within a year. Them laying me off was stressful, but I was so glad to get out of there, and am much happier to be somewhere better structured.

Thanks so much for the welcome. :) Good luck with the helperless week. I hire cleaners to come in every two weeks to clean the main parts of the house--otherwise it would never get done--and I've become totally dependent on them.

Oh, I treat the asthma, I just don't manage it or follow it or whatever else people with asthma do besides taking their medication every day. It's fairly mild so ignoring it (except for the singulaire) usually works out ok.

I wish you much luck in figuring out your BG spikes. It's so frustrating.

Thank you, Dawn. :)

Thanks, Kristi. :)

So I wanted to update this after last week's endo appointment.

My A1c is down a bit (to 8--not great, but an improvement) and my thyroid is rebounding on its own. Apparently there's some infection that can cause your thyroid to go into overdrive for a while, drain itself, go really low, and then recover, and it's basically on the tail end right now (still a bit low now but almost normal). So weird. But I'm excited about maybe feeling normal again soon without another prescription.

He also agreed that it would be worth trying to get coverage for a CGM, so I'll be trying for that after my health insurance kicks in. Wish me luck!

And thanks all for the supportive comments last week. They meant a lot to me.

Thanks for your kind words and thoughts, Andrea. I'm very confident my daughter will be fine, but the hopeful future somehow just can't compensate for the stress of the present -- a phenom you too know well.

About the "X has to be done" -- yup! The epiphany for me was actually triggered by the crisis with my daughter... It caused me to stop and assess things -- everything. What I found is there are some things that demand to get done, feel like they're on the "must get done" list -- but the world doesn't fall apart if you just say "stop!", let it go for a little bit, take some "me" time, and deal with it later.

I'm amazed at how much I was treating as vital and critical 24/7, sacrificing sacrificing sacrificing all the time to meet these needs, that turn out to be more than accomodating to a little delay.

Anyway good luck with it all. Just coming here and talking with the community helps.

Stress hormones cause blood sugars to skyrocket. You have to get a handle on reducing stress... meditation, chanting, easiest would be some sort of self hypnosis before bedtime when you are going off to sleep give yourself positive suggestions. Yoga would be great if you can find the time. Maybe WII yoga you can do at home. Even medication for anxiety, on a temporary basis, might be necessary. You have to take care of yourself so you can take care of your daughter and be here for her. So take your health off the back burner and work on it. I don't think it's what you are bolusing for food (you mentioned the different results with the muffin), I really think it is stress related. But you can improve your diet even on the run. Even picking up fast food, there are healthy options available. Pack nuts and healthy snacks in your purse so you don't have to settle for unhealthy food. Even if you don't eat healthy all the time, choose healthy food some of the time, then half the time, then three-quarters of the time. I am glad your new job is less stressful and that you have found the cause of your daughter's health problems. I hope your endo can help you with the hyperthyroidism, which in itself is a huge problem, and causes stress for your body that even you can't control, you may need medication, maybe even surgery. You are a very strong lady and few could handle what you have been through so no apologies. You have made looking after your daughter your number one priority and are a great mom. No small accomplishment. But it is time to take care of you now as well.