Reaching Out for Some Support


Probably not a good idea to start my first significant post as a vent session, but I’m really struggling with life right now. The diabetes: I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in 2008, a month before my Dad died. I did a bunch of research and read Bernstein’s material, cut out carbs, exercised and brought down my A1C by 3 points in 3 months. This was the only successful time frame of controlling my diabetes. Life exploded…survived a hellish separation for 2 years, with a divorce in January 2011. During this time I went back to work after being a stay-at-home Mom for ten years, became a single Mom of 4 kids (currently 13, 10, 8 & 6) and started my Master’s in Professional Counseling. Looking back 3 years ago, I would have thought I would be in a much better place than I am.

The economy and job market is so bad (no surprises), but now find myself having been unemployed for 3 months, having applied for essentially any job. I have completed my courses for my Master’s but am having difficulty finding a practicum/internship in the Mental Health field, which has to happen to get the degree, state licensure, etc…

And if that isn’t enough, 2 months ago I lost my dear 33-year-old niece, after her nearly 2 year journey with breast cancer. She left behind her husband and 2 daughters (5 & 3). The grief has been overwhelming. Then last week, my brother was diagnosed with liver cancer…sigh.

Of course the diabetes front is not good. The diabetes/depression connection has always been strong for me, and is worse when my glucose numbers are high….which is all the time. The realities of not having time, not caring about what I eat, and the pull of emotional eating has totally zapped my energy from a physical standpoint. The current life situations that have piled up have challenged me emotionally where I just don’t have anything extra to give anymore.

The result physically…which I don’t even what to mention here…is an A1C of 15.9. Which is insane. It’s no wonder that I feel like crap. For the first three months after diagnosis, I poured all my energy into my health. I’ve not been able to do that since that time. And I’ve not figured out how to see this as a life reality, and not just another crappy life situation.

So I’m trying to reach out a bit to those who know the challenges of diabetes and life. I’d appreciate advice on moving forward. As an almost clinician, I know some of the factors, but it gets a little skewed when it’s mixed up with your own life.

If you’ve read this far…thanks!

Hey Johala,

It takes great strength to even get out of the bed in the morning let alone complete a Masters with everything that's happened. Take a moment to feel proud of yourself. I have two suggestions - pretend you were just diagnosed and start again. Cut your carbs, plan your meals and shopping so there is less temptation to go off prgram and take pleasure in each step forward. The second suggestion is to talk to your doctor about going on insulin for a while to help bring those very very high numbers down. There is no medicine as good as insulin for controlling blood sugar and taking insulin will take some pressure off your beta cells which have probably been working triple time.

Good luck and God bless,


I agree and also have a question, whether you are absolutely sure you are Type 2. You don't say much about your management, except that you haven't been able to deal with it very well emotionally. Other than poor eating habits, are you prescribed oral meds? Have you been taking them? If so, then that A1C seems quite high even with over-eating. You don't include enough details to give indication, things like weight, other autoimmune conditions, etc. But if there is any doubt, you should get tested (full antibody panel and C-peptide). If you are in fact LADA/Type 1, then even if you get things together you won't be able to get your numbers down without insulin. Just a thought.

Right now you are caught in a vicious circle. You have been through so much and you are not a bad person because of your A1C. We call that "a normal reaction to an abnormal situation" (your life circumstances the last few years). But now your high A1C is compounding your problems, both physically from all the highs and emotionally from feeling bad about it. You've taken the first step by posting on here and now you can start little by little taking back control. Also, don't hesitate if the emotional issues feel overwhelming to get some counseling. (I too have a Masters in Psyc and haven't always gotten therapy when it was warranted - ironic, no?). Glad you're here.

I agree w/ Zoe about questioning the diagnosis, or at least maybe the approach? *peeks at profile* which notes insulin is in the mix, which I would think I'd want if my BG was such that my A1C was 15.9? Get your BG stable with insulin (which can be quite a chore in itself, but I don't think oral meds are quite that powerful?) and then figure out how to deal with whatever type it is. If you've been a doctor for a while who's not recommending a new approach, I'd suggest getting a second opinion? All of the other stresses you are facing sound brutally hard but I have to think they'd be harder with hyperglycemia all the time.

First thing-
Low carb diet is not the only way to control diabetes. There is nothing wrong with taking more insulin to eat more carbs.
Second thing-
You can feel normal with blood sugar that runs somewhat high- but not with the kind of blood sugars that go into an A1c of 16%. Whatever methods of diabetes management take a huge amount of effort are going to be much harder right now. Right now I'd be surprised if you did not feel awful.

I don't know, with your current monetary situation, how you are paying for the medical stuff, but you should be aware that there are patient assistant programs to get you free insulin if you are living at less than 300% of poverty level and do not have prescription insurance.