The Pathetic Diabetic

I went to the doctor yesterday, and I’m still confused. He said, based on the letter from my other doctor, that I am definitely Type 2. On the other hand, the other doctor didn’t say that to me, based on the same information. I’m struggling to accept this. A lot of my struggle with this has to do with the perception that people get diabetes because they are lazy and overweight. I can accept at an academic level that this is not the case, but I still don’t want to have to tell people I’m Type 2 and have them think that I got it by being overweight. But even worse than that, I don’t want it to be my fault. I don’t want to have to deal with the guilt that comes with the knowledge that I was overweight when I was diagnosed. I’m not even vaguely ready to deal with the emotional baggage that comes with that.

I googled Type 2, of course, after I heard the doctors opinion. Of all the risk factors listed, I had 2 of them. My paternal grandfather had Type 2 (but was on insulin - so I’m not sure that’s correct, I’m working on my mother’s memories here), and I was overweight at the time of diagnosis. On the other hand, I don’t have a history of being chronically overweight - I’ve been a healthy weight except for the last 3 years, during which I was sick a lot (largely due to my out of control allergies) and picked up a lot of weight. I’ve been active. I’ve done aerobics and Tae bo classes, and worked on weight machines, and even capoeira last year (2 hours, twice a week!). Last year I put myself on a diet, did aerobics classes 3 times a week, and lost 7 kilograms (15.4 pounds) - but then I kept on getting sick and was unable to exercise. In terms of fat distribution, I’m decidedly pear-shaped and not at all apple-shaped - so I don’t have the dangerous hormone-inducing insulin resistant abdominal fat that they talk about.

Part of me says that this isn’t about the weight, it is about the cortisone I was on. My reactions to the same food before and after being on the cortisone are vastly different. A meal that I would have no problems eating before the cortisone results in great discomfort now. And then, before the cortisone I struggled to lose weight. After, it slid off me as if it didn’t belong on my body. Part of me also says that if I’m supposed to be insulin resistant, why could I lose weight so easily? I thought it was extra difficult to lose weight if you’re insulin resistant.

Forgive my whining. I’m feeling down about this whole “diagnosis” business. I’m confused. I think I just need to live with this as a grey area for a bit longer, and then things will clear up. I’m trying to make peace with not having every box checked, and being able to predict and plan the future with certainty. When I am uncertain or anxious about something, I tend to become very controlling, rigid and perfectionistic, and I’m trying to prevent that happening with this. In the meantime, I’m logging and noting my insulin doses and BG levels so I will be able to present my doctor with some useful information the next time I see (in a few months time).

ditto…(cause I couldn’tput it any better)

A couple items here: (1) cortisone DOES raise blood glucose levels. So it’s possible that you have iatrogenic diabetes (iatrogenic = caused as an undesirable side-effect of other medications). If it is possible to live without the cortisone as a test, you may find your blood glucose levels dropping back to normal. (2) My great-grandmother was diabetic also… diagnosed well into her dotage. At that time, insulin was the only known therapy for diabetes. (She died in 1975.) Even today, a number of Type 2s – especially those who have had diabetes for a long time – have lost so much of their native insulin production that they need to take insulin shots. So it is very possible your grandfather was Type 2, and on insulin. (3) Cortisone weight is related to water retention. A lower-sodium diet will assist in weight loss. (4) Allergies are out-of-control immune responses, so it is possible that you have a genetic predisposition to autoimmune diabetes. Unintentional weight loss is one of the symptoms of diabetes. Diagnostic tests such as a c-peptide test and a GAD antibody test will help pinpoint whether or not you are dealing with autoimmune diabetes (Type 1 and Type 1.5).

Here’s the deal. Whether or not you have “every box checked”, high blood glucose levels will have negative effects upon the rest of your metabolism. The best “gray area” to be in is one in which you are following a healthy, diabetes-friendly diet, monitoring your blood glucose, and taking whatever medication the doctor has prescribed to target the hyperglycemia, while you are figuring out whether or not you “really have diabetes”. Meanwhile, get the tests to confirm whether or not you are showing an autoimmune response. This will help you and your doctors figure out the best way to handle your hyperglycemia and keep you healthy, both now and over the long term.

“Diabetes” is a shocking word to hear, whether you are 3, 33, or 83. For many of us T2s, it comes out of the blue, more of a “you’ve got to be kidding!” than the relief of a definitive answer to a suite of plaguing symptoms. Taking time to come to terms with the diagnosis is part of the adjustment we all make. Right now, you are here – you are concerned – and you are taking action. In the long run, that’s what matters.

Megan,If I have to choose which type of diabetes I have to have it is type2 of course,type1 means I may have other autoimmune diseases.The most important is to normalise blood glucose.Many members in my family have type 2,controlled only on healthy diet,shedding the extra kilos and moving more.YOU will be fine my friend.

Hi Megan,

Welcome to the group. I am a new member of this website and I am so greatfull that I found it. You will get feel very supported here.

First I want to say I understand what you are going through. I would like to share my story with you in the hopes that it will help you to know that you are not alone in this.

I was diagnosed a year ago and was in denial for about 6 months after.

Diabetes runs in my family my father was a diabetic and 3 aunts and 2 uncles are diabetics as well. And with that being said I was still shocked when I was told I was diabetic. I am overweight and a part of me blamed myself for getting this disease even with my strong family history. I did not know what it meant to be diabetic but as a child I had memories of my dad taking insulin everyday and when I was diagnosed I could not help but think that this would be my future as well. Thank fully it has not been.

For about 8 months after being diagonosed each time I went to the doctors I would break down in tears, I just could not handle the thought that I was now a member in a club I did not want to be associated with. I was nolonger fat and happy I was fat and diabetic. Some days it felt like I had a huge sign on my chest
( I AM DIABETIC), until one day after breaking down in tears yet again at the doctors office the nurse came over and gave me a big hug and told me that there was hope for me yet. She talked to me about diet and exercise and how important it was for diabetics and how walking after dinner would help to reduce my blood sugar. She spoke with me about managing the disease and she said I could still live a long life. I made a promise to myself that I was going to fight for ME.

I begged my doctor not to put me on Metformin and to let me try to lose some weight and take it from there. My doctor was very hesitant but said if it was not improved in 3 months I would have to take something.

I joined weight watchers and went from 265lbs to 242 and counting, I try to exercise at least 3 to 5 days per week, I created a blog and I write about my experience. I got a lot of support and I was surprised to know that I was not alone in this.

When I was first diagnosed my A1C was 8.3 my last reading which was yesterday it was 6.0.
My advise to you is to not let fear paralyze you, do the research and educate yourself about diabetes, there is so much information available to us today. See a nutritionist and find out more about what you can and cannot eat ( every insurance company will pay for that when you are newly diagnosed)

So I will say to you what the nurse said to me.

Megan there is hope your you yet!!

P.S If you are on Metformin or on insulin please do not take offence to my post, I am simply stating my personal experience with Diabetes.

Light and Hope