"you automatically lose 12 years of your life as a diabetic"

The first month of my diagnoses was stressful but in a way, so much easier then where I am at now. Emotionally speaking, I am full to the brim with sadness and anger, and it is spilling over more and more as the days wear on. I feel like I have no control over my life anymore. There are so many people around me who speak and write about this disease being something they control and that they have learned to live with, but I still can’t imagine being there.

About 2 weeks after diagnoses, I remember reading about people withholding their insulin. I said to my mom “I will never, ever do that”. And I believed it. Now, 1 month later, I find myself seriously struggling to maintain order and routine. It is a control thing. If there is one thing I can control, I tell myself, it is choosing whether or not to take that damn insulin. The stupidest part? I am fully aware of the repercussions of my choices. I know fully well what happens to those who do not take their insulin. Yet, at the end of the day, there is a block, something is intervening and I am not doing it.

It is double hard, because I am fighting the urge to continue doing something and at the same time, fully aware that it is irresponsible to not be doing it. So now, I get angry at myself twice. I spoke to a woman with type 1 diabetes last night, who just became pregnant. It was really sobering for me to hear her story, and to recognize this inner struggle within myself, that inf act so many other diabetics have experienced/are experiencing. She has cataracts in her eyes at age 31, from years of poor insulin therapy. I also want to have children someday.

But, when I hear things like “you automatically lose 12 years of your life as a diabetic”, my heart breaks and plummets down low to the depths of my seemingly unavoidable despair.

I REALLY REALLY REALLY want to control this. I want to make the choice to see the glass as half full, to not allow myself to be a victim. I have even enrolled in Therapy, so as to try and work through my grievance with the support of a professional. But damn, I am finding it so hard. Does anyone have any ideas on tools that I can incorporate into my tool belt of life, in order to come out on top? Right now I am just alienating myself from my friends and family.

I am also struggling in trying to figure out how to incorporate my diabetes into my life as a working person. I was diagnosed while unemployed, and am still unemployed. I have had a few job interviews, and will continue to have them until finding the right job, but I am petrified and ignorant about the protocol of informing my employers. I work as a nanny, and I feel like it is important, but I also don’t want to be judged from the get go, solely based on the fact that I have diabetes. At the same time, I don’t know how to tactfully inform who I will be working for, of the circumstances.

I already feel like giving up on this disease and I am not even 2 months into it, and I can’t give up on it anyway so what’s the point.

I know

what you are going through. I too was a Type 1 adult onset and I went through what you are going through. The mere fact that you are reaching out and becoming in touch with what you are feeling is very important. As far as statistics are concerned I say EFF them. I may be crazy but I personally refuse to accept that I am going to die young or suffer and I think you should too! There have been many advancements over the years in diabetes care.

I did not start reaching out and sharing my story till just recently. I am happy that you are starting earlier than that, because I think you are going to be fine. Don't give up and keep pushing forward! It will get easier and some days will be better than others, but always remember that you have this disease and it does not have you. Check out my blog:http://sugarfree4me.com

I hope I can help you see that life with diabetes is not always bad and that everyone's experiences are different and yet we are intertwined. Have a great night and feel better because tomorrow is a new day.

Diabetes makes you “automatically” lose 12 years? Who fed you that line of crap? I’m sorry, but these statistical “truths” are nothing but garbage. Everyone’s situation is different, and the law of averages doesn’t apply because it doesn’t take into account individual decisions. Yes, if you don’t take care of yourself, you may die younger, but if you DO take care of yourself you probably won’t. And since you don’t know how long you would have lived without having D, what difference can it possibly make?

They came up with that concept by throwing every person with D into a hopper, grinding them up, and spitting out the likely lifespan with and without D. But it’s meaningless! Person A might have had a lifespan of 72 years without D, given all her health factors — or she may have stepped into a street at age 27 and been hit by a bus. Averages are only meaningful in the context of limited, predictable behavior. The timing of someone’s death is NOT predictable.

I had a cat once, that I got from a shelter, and six months after I got her she was found to have feline leukemia. The vet said she’d live maybe 1 to 3 years, at most, and that she’d have repeated infections and illnesses because of her impaired immune system. Well, she got sick once… recovered… and went on to live to age 12, at which point she developed a large tumor on her jaw and I had her put down. She beat the average by almost a decade, simply because I took reasonably good care of her. I didn’t go crazy — no all-organic cat food and pine shaving kitty litter! — but I didn’t let her outside and I kept her away from other cats. If I’d listened to the vet, I’d have put her down at less than a year old, and instead I got 12 wonderful years with my sweet loving kitty.

So my advice to you is, don’t listen to the vet.

Can’t you advertise yourself as a nanny for T1 kids? I would think a parent would love to have a care provider with that kind of experience . . .

first off the 12 years thing is BS. second you have to take it one test at a time. live in the moment - you have a good test - Great! now keep it going. have a bad test - that sucks but it’s time to move onand try and fix it. you have your whole life ahead of you. enjoy it and the people around you. trust them w/ your hopes (and fears) they are there to support you and want you to thrive. trust them. your future employers - I would only divulge what was necessary about my health condition and depending where you are may be nothing at all. Here in the US I believe they are not even allowed to ask you about your health. good luck and take it one step at a time you will get a hold of this.

I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in young adulthood too, and believed the lie that I would automatically die sooner, have all kinds of horrible complications, and all that. I clearly remember sitting on the edge of my bathtub crying and wondering how much longer I’d be able to see, not wanting my husband to walk in and see the emotional mess that I was. While I do think having diabetes has aged me faster, I mean that more in a mental and spiritual sense. How many 20 somethings are really in touch with their own mortality, or realize that they are not the master of their own universe? I sure wasn’t before D.

I’m now 18 years down the road with D, and thus far have a pretty darned good life with no complications. I have run 2 half marathons and completed a triathlon. I have an awesome husband and a job using my talents to serve God (who I came to recognize as deserving that master of the universe title a lot more than me, LOL). No way is it all roses. There are days when it gets really frustrating and difficult and scary and I so wish for it to go away. But there is also no way I’m giving up on the life that is in front of me. Neither should you!

And there are some people who do not “get it” and may judge you because of it. While that is hurtful, it is also a good way to determine which people, employers, etc. you want to be around in the first place.

My advice to you on the employment front is to wait until you either have a job offer or are very close to one to mention D. But definitely inform them at that point. You want them to get to know you and your qualifications first. Since you will be working so closely with a family, I think they are bound to find out one way of the other, and you owe it to them to be up front since they are entrusting their kids to you. It might even wind up being a selling point, especially if you can let them know that it has taught you a lot about being responsible, planning ahead, etc. You responsibility is

Guess I wrote too much…finishing the thought…

Your responsibility is to make that true by taking your insulin, testing, and seeking out additional resources. If you can’t afford a few sessions with a certified diabetes educator, check out the book “Taking Insulin” by John Walsh.

Type 1 Diabetes is a life sentence (short of a cure), not a death sentence!

After I was diagnosed, I walked around in a funk, depressed at my impending death. My father was only a few years older than I when he died, I figured diabetes was basically my death sentence. I went through a grieving process. I like to say that I went through Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s five stages of grief: D’Nial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance. Some of this will just take time and you have to give yourself that time.

But if there is anything I have learned it is that my life is what I make it. I’ve tried very hard to live a healthy life. It may well be that my diabetes diagnosis ended my spiral of not eating well and slothiness and gave me years back.

And in the end, my attititude has changed. I’ll not surrender my life to “fate.” I’ll not leave this world willingly. I’ll not live forever, but in the end I’ll be happy if I look back and felt like I made a good effort to take care of myself. And remind yourself, the choices that you make in how you take care of yourself are relaly what is important. And make no mistake, we are all actually fortunate to live in this time, we can live long, healthy and happy lives “despite” diabetes.

Take heart. If I had a young child with D and could find a nanny with that experience, I would hire in preference to one without the understanding. Dont believe the 12 year theory, I am nearly 82 and hanging in there. There are many opportunities for life to terminate in the course of living, from accident, war, sickness, and the like, Go for it and dont be reckless. You have many good years ahead of you packed with wonderful experiences. All the Best!!

I missed the part about you being a nanny — OMG, you are TOTALLY employable, I’m sure any parent would be relieved to have someone who knows the drill in charge of their child with T1. If I had any hope of supporting a nanny, I’d hire you myself! I don’t have that kind of money, sadly… But go to the Children With Diabetes web site’s job posting page http://www.childrenwithdiabetes.com/jobs/ and advertise that you’re looking for a position as a caretaker for a child with diabetes, and also, give your name to any local clinics with pediatric diabetes staff – chances are good that even if you can’t get a full time position as a nanny, you may be able to score part time positions or perhaps a job on staff with a daycare that takes children with diabetes. Consider, also, the possibility of getting trained as a diabetes educator who works with children. There’s got to be a way you can turn your health challenge into an asset. Because lord knows, EVERY parent with a T1 child wants to be able to take a break now and then!

Don’t forget also that the ADA protects you — employers cannot legally use your diabetes as a rationale for refusing to hire you. Read up on it. Know your rights.

I am, as always, grateful for everyone’s words. One thing is for sure, when I hear or read about other peoples triumphs and struggles, I feel so much stronger in my own diabetes because I know I am not alone. What I need to work on right now is empowerment. I need to believe that I can and will live a long, healthy life. I need to embrace the stages that one goes through (mentioned below by BSC), I already have been roller coasting between some of these, and I look forward to the stage of acceptance. I will definitely look into diabetes/childcare positions, I never even considered that an option! Eventually I want to go into holistic healing and nutrition and plan 100% on helping other diabetics with their struggle. Of course, I need to overcome my own demons before I can be of service to others.

Ps, does anyone know how to directly comment to specific comments below?

I know exactly how you feel now, and Im sure youve read this sufficient times, but yes… let me tell you, its not as bad as it looks, specially when you look at other people who really are worse, with Parkinson disease for example, like one of my favorite actors… Michael J Fox, etc… Im one of those who dont find relief in getting to know that others are worse but on the other hand I feel kinda of good by thinking that it could have been worse… Diabetes is easy to manage with a good attitude … Looking back I recall when I was diagnosed and didnt want to live hehe You have to see how my life has been after all… I have a band, students… a lot of people who admire me, and lots of those dont even know I have diabetes and they will never guess cause I act and do exactly whatever a guy my age would do :slight_smile: so . cheers up Frankie… you can rock this thing !!

The best thing for you is to be in service to others… it will help you as much as it helps them. The holistic thing is a wonderful idea, when you are ready let me know , as I have many contacts in that profession and I am sure they wouldnt mind answering any questions you may have, or give you an idea of what training would be best for you… how to market yourself… etc. This is not the end… it is only the beginning!!! You can do this!!!
xoxoxox

Thank you Karebear, I feel really good these last couple weeks and I think i am turning a new leaf!