Seriously struggling!

I am not even sure what I can get out of this, but I just felt like I needed to get it off my chest. Last time I was honest on here my ex wife used it in court to say I shouldn't be able to see my kids......but I digress. I feel like crap everyday now and I'm losing my desire to keep up with it all. I need to get better control but I feel like even after 22 years with this damned disease I'm all of the place and I don't even know where to start. Feels like I've said I'll start something "tomorrow" for the last 10 years! I should probably get the vitrectomy because I can barely look at my computer all day without a splitting headache. I'm sore as hell every week when I fly to and from work, I have NO energy, I probably take way too many med.s but don't know how to isolate the issues.....what does one do when they feel they have reached their limit in life?

Can anyone give me or point me to a sample daily itinerary for a "good" diabetic? I travel every Monday thru Friday and I'm home from Friday night thru 5am on Monday mornings. I live out a hotel and I can have a fridge or a gym in the hotel and money isn't the issue. I JUST DON'T KNOW HOW TO IMPROVE THINGS AND LIVE BETTER. I understand the mechanics of diabetes very well, I understand the impact of basal rates and bolus ratios and correction boluses but I don't get the practical application in my life! Anyone who can help or just give me some words to keep me from self pity and depression right now would really be my hero......Thanks

My suggestion would be to take small, incremental steps. You don't need to make a complete turnaround. If you're not eating healthy, incorporate healthy meals and snacks into your daily routine. If you're not checking your blood sugars regularly, check more often. Anything you do will be an improvement. You might get frustrated over a specific setback, but over time the small improvements should help.

No one would expect to wake up and run a marathon tomorrow, so don't expect immediate success with your diabetes regimen either. Even if you're not 50% better today than what you were a month ago, even if you're 10% better or 2% better, it's a step in the right direction.

I'm talking in abstracts and generalities, but you mentioned that you already know the ins and out of diabetes control. Just start applying some of them now.

If my advice so far is not helpful, I recommend a book called Diabetes Burnout. It outlines some of the common obstacles that diabetics face and what to do about them.

It must be really hard to manage your diabetes living in a hotel most of the time. If my job required that, I'd probably have to make sure I stayed in a hotel with a microwave and refrigerator and put salad veggies, cheese, and lowish carb frozen foods with carb counts on them. I'd basically try to eat like I would eat at home because I have the worst luck with most restaurant food, even if I just try to stick to meat and veggies or salad.

I would set some short term goals for yourself, one at a time. As you achieve short term goals like maybe testing more frequently or developing an exercise routine and you start seeing success, you will begin to feel better.

Don't give up. Many of us have been where you are, struggling to find the motivation to do what we need to do. You can do this, one step at a time. Whenever I feel overwhelmed with anything in my life or a project at work, I try to break it into smaller pieces and work on one piece at a time.

Keep posting here and you will find encouragment and support.

Hey Todd --

Sorry to hear you are going through this rough patch. As Diabeditor says, do it incrementally (baby steps, as they say). After 22 years, you already know the basics. Start applying them (maybe talk to a doc about your meds and how they interact and influence each other).

EXERCISE HELPS: Since you are hotel-based a lot of the time, make the effort to go down to the gym each night or early morning. Yeah, it's a pain in the ■■■, but all you need is a pair of sweat pants, a t-shirt, a good set of shoes and you are all set.

Start slow -- maybe walk a mile each morning/night for a week, and then start adding stuff from there. Maybe you will even experience something similar to an endorphin rush as you move along (those ALWAYS make me feel like a hundred bucks!). Exercise can really help settle things in. If you are worried, then take along some fast-acting carbs with you (a bottle, a bar... whatever). Give it a go.

Good luck, man.


Small steps. Don't try to do it all at once. Pick one thing you want to improve on, like testing every morning as soon as you wake up, and start there. Just focus on making that one change and nothing else.

Once you've made that first change, add in a second one. Maybe the next one is counting the carbs in your breakfast. Or eliminating some food you know is causing you trouble.

EVERYONE with T1D struggles at times. It's a freaking hard condition to manage and it requires a level of attention that isn't natural for most.

But is it possible? Absolutely. I am sure it's possible for you.

What is one thing you could start with changing?

Hi Todd,

I'm extremely new to all of this and wouldn't presume to tell you anything about the mechanics of your diabetes.

I do, however, know something about dealing with a disease that doesn't leave you and that you have to face for the rest of your life. Ultimately, I find that the more I stay in contact with those who have similar experiences, the more hope and strength I find. As I said, I am very new to D, but these boards have already been a huge part of my daily routine and I find strength in those who live with this disease and are able to manage it well.

As hopeless as you feel, it's encouraging that you're posting and asking for help - it sounds like you really haven't "reached your limit in life." You definitely need to make changes, and the first steps in that process are always the hardest.

I agree that exercise could be a huge benefit - simply knowing how good and positive it made me feel before my DX, I can't wait to start again - I'm probably going to take small, incremental steps as Diabeditor suggests. (I did some yardwork the other day and even that felt awesome.)

I know the emotions of a new DX vs. someone who has been living with diabetes for years are probably quite different, but I can't underscore how good it feels to get on these boards and read, post, and find/give support!

Also - I noticed you live in the Springs - there's a Rocky Diabetes group I just joined and there's a thread about setting up a support group of some type along the Front Range - check it out - I'd love to meet some people face to face and maybe even set up a regular day/time to meet each month.


Sorry to hear you are having such a hard time. I am sure the stress in your life is not helping your control either. I can tell you from experience that traveling and diabetes is a hard mix. I also travel for my work and deal with different environments all the time. I am hardly in the same place twice in all my travels and it makes it tricky to bring all this diabetes crap around with me. Especially the fragile insulin I carry (and I assume you also use insulin). Anyone that travels with insulin knows that you have all kinds of little issues to watch for.

First thing is to make sure you are not losing your insulin to hot or cold conditions. If you insulin has gone bad during the trip then using it to control your sugars will be useless. From what you say in your post you travel A LOT so just watch for that little issue. Also watch those stupid fridges in the hotel room. If they come with a little freezer in them they are probably too cold. Get a little thermometer and put it in there if you have insulin stored in the hotel fridge. That way you can adjust it to the insulin manufacturers specific temperatures as needed. I have also placed the insulin in a hotel towel and put it in the fridge for some insulation away from the direct cold. And of course don't ever leave insulin in the car because even on a cold day the inside of a car can get hot enough to make your insulin useless.

As far as food goes it is very tricky to eat out all the time while on the road and have any kind of good control with blood sugars. Unless you research the restaurant online and get their menu and nutrition information ahead of time you are just guessing at the carbs that are in their food. I was shocked to see what was in some of the stuff I was eating when i finally looked it up on the companies web sites for a few of the larger restaurants I was eating at. So if you are in hotels that have regular size fridges or even better the Suite style rooms with kitchen and fridge then you can do much better for dinner after work. For lunch I would suggest making something from "scratch" and bringing a cooler with you to work. At first I did not like looking funny bringing my own lunch cooler but it really helps to know exactly what I am eating and to have it be made from better ingredients that I have control over.

Then there is the "all mighty workout". You can help settle a lot of things down in your body if you are able to work out even for a 30 minute brisk walk on a treadmill or stationary bike or something like that. Since you are hotel bound all week you have that option most places. Get down there in the hotel "gym" and have at it. I found I miss my hour walk at night if I am not able to get it done. But I just pick it up and do it the next day. Even if you don't do a good job at first of making things a regular habit just do what you can. A great way I started out was by setting an alarm on my watch to remind me of workout times and night time insulin/medication times. For the morning I just do everything right after getting up so I don't set an alarm for those but you could set one for that also if it helps.

For the "Good Diabetic" itinerary you could be told what to do but I think you need to work that out for what YOU are willing to do and set patterns that work for your schedule mostly. But a simple schedule could be:

1 - Morning blood test adjust insulin for levels and the breakfast carbs
2 - Good Breakfast to get your day started
3 - Test again mid morning and adjust as needed
4 - Easy to digest and not heavy carb lunch
5 - Test mid afternoon to see what lunch is doing to your sugars and adjust as needed
6 - Eat a good dinner. This is a good time to fit in veggies and fruit if you can handle the fruit just do the normal carb count.
7 - Work out (you can eat and workout of workout then eat it depends on how well you do working out after eating)
8 - Test in the evening before the night time basal and see how the day is still going.

I guess the only other suggestion would be testing a little more often and correcting as needed. And researching the specific medicines you take for how they affect diabetics if you have not done this already. You didn't mention those medicines specifically and I understand not wanting your entire life put out here online but just see if something you take has a direct affect on blood sugars. I know some of the stuff I had to take for being sick lately was making me go all over the place with my sugar levels. But now I have stopped those and back to "normal" sugar levels.

Oh and one last thing is .... SMILE ..... Find a way to laugh or at least smile each day. You would not believe some of studies I have read about how a simple SMILE each day can bring your life into harmony. So find a way to have a good laugh or at least a few minutes to relax and realize that "YOU MATTER".

Good luck and keep posting how it is going so all the awesome people here can help you through this tough time. There have been some good books suggested and one other I would suggest that I just finished reading is Ginger Vieira's book "Your Diabetes Science Experiment" it has a lot of good tips on how to figure out why your sugar levels are the way they are and how to experiment with different techniques to get those levels under control.

Wow just read back through what I posted. Sorry it was sooo long but hope it helps.

Great post Mikeonline. Hang in there Todd.

I use a completely different approach when I feel like I am out of control with my diabetes… I take it literally ONE day at a time, or one meal at a time sometimes… I.e. I will plan what I am going to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, write it down the night before along with insulin doses… Then I make sure I have everything I need to be successful, I e, all the food I need available insulin, glucometer etc. Then I work on just that one day and getting things right. I find that if I work on just one day a week at a time things get better. So, I might try just Mondays for a while, but very qckly I realize how much better I feel and then I add Tuesday. Just as I spiraled out of control, I spiral right back in cause I feel better and want to be successful.

As for foods, planning is key, and I don’t mean packing your food ahead of time. I am a paramedic and I work 24 hour shifts, that means I plan ahead for that 24 hours, hit the local grocery store where you are after you check into your hotel, get some precut fruits and veggies, maybe some cheese and meat with crackers whatever you want… Just make sure it’s simple, premise works best for me even though it costs more. And then I try to make healthy choices when I eat out, subway instead of McDonald’s, chicken instead of beef all that jazz. But there will be neat little local restaurants with sandwiches and healthy things you can try, just ask at the front desk.

Looks like I have some good reading for tonight. Thanks everyone for giving a crud enough to comment for me!!!!

If your life is structured enough and/or you are good at planning, I'd suggest detailing each week in advance. For example, know what you're going to eat for breakfast for the next 5 or 7 days. Write it down. Do the same for snacks, lunch, supper, etc. If you get into an exercise routine, write down when you will schedule in some exercise time. Nothing catches you by surprise then.

Let me give you a suggestion. How about a coach? If money is really not that much of a concern, how about seeing if you can get someone who can help you figure out your goals, restructure your priorities, figure out a plan and then give you the continued oversight so that you stay on track.

That sounds like a worthwhile read. Thanks. I appreciate what you’re saying, and I have tried to make those little changes but I don’t see or notice 2% and like you said, setbacks are really tough. Thanks for taking the time to comment though!

Good thoughts on the food. I need to think more about that. I think that part of my problem with doing that is the fact that I don’t know how to cook or make food at home even. I don’t grocery shop, I always eat out, etc. the baby steps is what I have to focus on, I think. I personally struggle with sticking to something when I’m not noticing a change and that’s a big part. Thanks so much for the food for thought (pun fully intended)

I’m actually pretty good about testing and I have a CGM. I feel like my first step should be trying to get my basal rates and other pump settings better. I’m not sure and I’ve been procrastinating probably because I’m not terribly confident that I’ll ever be able to get them right like some others, but…What would you suggest?

You’re totally right on man. When I don’t go on here for awhile it starts to feel like no one gets how crazy difficult and all consuming this disease can be. I have a lot of personal hell and side effects but it doesn’t make any difference to the thoughts you brought up. I’ll check that stuff out, it’s true that the best I’ve felt in years was after riding the 12 mile Tour de Cure last year. Great exercise, other inspirational diabetics, words of compassion and recognition from family and friends of other riders, all of it really does help make things easier. Thanks for the encouragement and good luck to you too.

Hi Todd,

Your frustration and angst really do speak loudly. I think all the other posters gave great ideas as to managing the mechanics of this disease. I was wondering this. Do you have something else you have done in your life that you really wanted and would let nothing stop you from getting? I would try to touch in to the feelings and motivations from that experience and remember the feeling you had once you finally accomplished what you set out to do. You sound quite educated about diabetes and what's what in regard to that.It seems you have more of a lack of the emotional motivation that's needed to stay "on track" so to speak. I believe the only place you will find that is within yourself. I do think posting here shows you are digging deep trying to find that. I believe in the phrase "where there is a will there is a way." Don't base your future on the past. Tomorrow really is another day and can be a new beginning. I wish you the best of luck.

This was awesome dude! Soooo not preachy or unsympathetic and genuinely encouraging and helpful. Good on ya. One specific part I struggle with is the meals, I don’t think I really know what is good to eat, I don’t give a d@€> what people think of a cooler but I don’t really know what to put in it each day (feel like an idiot saying that but it’s true). Exercise…nothing I can say there other than I know that, I know your right and I just need to get my stuff in gear and make that a priority and do it.
Med.s…again exposing my personal stuff doesn’t phase me, I believe that by being open about myself I can both get help and encourage others to get help or make people aware and more understanding about diabetes. Point being if anyone knows or cares, I’ll take the tips and advice gladly. I have switched doctors and not given enough of my attention to the medications over the years and I think maybe I’ll write up a little thing about that soon separately.

Thanks again for taking the time to help me out!

You totally nailed it. It is depression and other mental junk that is really keeping me from doing this. I have very little motivation and drive right now. I have to find a way to grow some strength and motivation because right now I feel depleted of both. I feel like I know I have to do it, intellectually I know there are tons of ways to do it, but I can’t get past that to actually make myself do it. I’m not sure how to get past that, but I am glad you brought that to the surface and I need to try and focus on that specifically too. I think focusing on trying to figure out little minute details is probably just a way of avoiding and procrastinating…hence neuropathy, retinopathy, etc. thanks!

Funny part about this really good idea you have…On a good day in a good mood, I have been told I would be a great coach and mentor. It’s the bad days and applying my own knowledge that lacks, but I’ll definitely look into that more. Thanks!