The big D

Well, here I am- the latest addition to the growing crowd of diabetics in the world. Right now it’s like a big door has been slammed in my face, I can eat almost nothing in my house now and I wonder if I can have any of my daughter’s 1st birthday cake next month.

Right now it’s hard to just get over the fear of food, I’ve been hungry for days. Even worse, I had nothing but vegetables and a little hummus for dinner and I can’t stop drinking water. It’s worse now than when I ate what I wanted, which I just can’t reconcile.

So tomorrow begins the lifelong regimen, with the needles and the drugs and the log books as my new companions. Hopefully it becomes automatic soon, right now it’s a bit overwhelming. Not looking forward to it, but this is the roll of the genetic dice that I’ve landed and griping won’t help me do what needs to get done.

Hi Alex! I can definitely relate to the feeling of just being overwhelmed. You will find your lifestyle that is compatible with diabetes and it will begin to feel normal. I also remember being very afraid of food. In this case, you meter is your best friend. Try eating something and measure your blood sugar 2 hours later. If it’s high, then you know that next time you need to eat less of that food. It’s good to find things that you like that are low carb (for me it’s olives and almonds)-- I treat these as snacks when my blood sugar is high.

About the cake, different people have different philosophies. I eat the cake for special occasions. I try to eat an otherwise low carb meal (so skip the pasta or potatoes) and eat the cake instead.

I think the most important thing right now is to be patient with yourself. There is a lot of things that you can do to improve your health, but take it one step at a time. And rely on the support around you. We all need support and it helps when you are dealing with so much to let the people around you help you. That includes us! Turn to us anytime when you have a question or just need a listening ear…

Hi Alex,

Welcome! I remember that devastating day when I was diagnosed with type 1 at the age of 43 six years ago. I was really afraid and with good reason. I did very poorly and ended up getting a transplant four months ago. So I’m no longer diabetic and not on insulin or any other diabetes meds. My blood sugars are great too. But you will learn to adapt to the disease. The most important thing to do is get your blood sugars under control. Otherwise the complications down the road could literally kill you. It gets alot easier with time. I would also suggest getting a continuous blood glucose monitoring system. You can get your blood sugar with the touch of a button. And you can set alarms to let you know when your blood sugar is too high or low. I set my low at 100 and any time it alarmed I’d get juice. Because I went severely hypoglycemic with no warning I’m sure this device saved my life on more than one occasion. After diagnosis, and once my blood sugars were better controlled, I figured out on special occasions, like a birthday, that I could get away with having a few bites of cake. And after awhile you don’t even miss the sweets. Since I’m no longer diabetic( I had a transplant) I could eat anything I want but I see sweets as empty calories and I eat them infrequently. If there’s anything I can do to help you please let me know.


I am of the school you must live…and on my daughters wedding day I did have cake, albeit a small peice…but I had cake samples before the wedding when I was with her to try apick a baker…I would not have given that experience up for anything…even though for this needle phobe (her wedding was pre-pump) it meant a few extra shots.

And with the help of your mediacla team, family and your friends -especially the ones here; even on “those” days (we all have em) it will be much easier.

Thanks everyone, I’m sure I can work something out to enjoy a piece of cake on my daughter’s birthday, it just didn’t feel like it when I first got diagnosed. Now that I’ve got my glucometer I’m starting to get a handle on the situation. A couple of days on the meds and some good workouts got me down from a 487 last week to a bg of 104 yesterday! I couldn’t believe it. I’m hoping I can skip the injection pens and take those expen$ive items back to the pharmacy for a refund. Those olives and almonds sound like great ideas for snacks Kristin, I love both of them- any other favorites you have that are diabetic-friendly?

Hi Alex, olives and almonds are good suggestions for being diabetic-friendly, but (there is always a but :wink: ), in moderation since they are “oily” foods. Besides vegetables (without the starchy vegetables) being friendly, there are also the following (which contains fat also) cheese, all kinds of nuts, peanut butter (on a celery, for those who like that :wink: ), cold cuts, meat (not fried), soy (tofu) - we have soy crisps here which are like chips but made from soy… I heard a Dr say that 30 minutes before eating a meal, take a handful of nuts and you will feel less hungry at mealtime. I tried and worked for me. Protein is very helpful. When my son took some cake (on MDI), he would eat less carbs for the overall meal so he could have it (and if he felt hungry, he had some D-friendly foods, but usually, he did not feel hungry after).

Alex, welcome. I’ve been diabetic (type 1) for 36 years. It becomes 2nd nature and a lifestyle. Luckily by significant other is a vegetarian triathlete so we live “the healthy lifestyle” together. You will get to learn what shoots your sugars up, and what has no effect. The biggest thing is to test test test, keep accurate logs to learn from, and exercise consistently.
Some other good snacks: hardboiled eggs, low-fat cheeses, protein shakes (read the label) rolled up turkey slices, and if you must eat carbs, aim for higher fiber ones.