out of control....

OR Leslie
By OR Leslie Latest Reply 2012-10-16 19:10:56 -0500
Started 2012-10-14 00:31:03 -0500

I'm a control freak. I admit it. Unless it has to do with me and my DM. I've been diagnosed with this for about 2years now and have done nothing but sweep it under the rug. Being a nurse I know what I need to do, but why can't I CHANGE ANYTHING? Am I scared?

Did anyone else have a hard time grasping reality after first being diagnosed? If so, what were you afraid of? Am I afraid to fail, so therefore afraid to attempt?

I'm only 32. I have 2 little boys. You'd think I would know that I have everything to live for and nothing to lose, yet I don't know why I don't step up to the plate …

18 replies

cbelyea 2012-10-16 19:10:56 -0500 Report

There are two things I would add. I often feel like a scratched record, because I really like to preach about exercise. What makes exercise so invaluable (at least to me as a type one) is that under duress (i.e. a workout) the muscles don't require insulin to get glucose out of the bloodstream. Furthermore, the same is true for the recovery period, which for me can last a day or two. Ergo, blood glucose generally will be lower (sometimes problematically) and insulin requirements are lower.

However, that's off topic. There can be a lot of external pressure placed on diabetics when blood sugar is not between 85 and 120, and often times it's undue. When I catch flak about it, I pose the question "You know my pancreas doesn't work, right?". And that's not to deflect responsibility, it's because it's true. The Type Ones that I know seem to agree that the human body is an unstable variable. You can do exactly the same things under the same conditions on two different days and get two different outcomes. Not fair if you're used to science or math.

So, I'd second that you not be afraid to fail. Honestly, you're guaranteed to. Your pancreas don't work. In my 21 years, I've had my blood sugar so high that my meter couldn't return a number. I've seen, and remember, my meter reading 22. Once it was 35, while I was driving on the interstate. Twice I've been put in the emergency room and scared the hell out of everyone involved. I fail (usually not that exceptionally), but I keep trying 'cause it's all I've got and to hell with anyone who wags a finger.

mmccance 2012-10-15 10:15:48 -0500 Report

Hi OR Leslie!

I find that I procrastinate on doing things that I am overwhelmed by. If the problem seems too large for me to fix, or if there are so many details that I don't know where to begin, I sometimes just turn my back and ignore it.

I also do this when I don't want to change my behavior. Oddly enough, we type 2 diabetics, are often actually addicts. We are addicted to the kinds of food we eat and the hardest change for us to make is to understand that changing what we eat does not harm us. In fact, continuing to eat in our old way, will harm us. It brought us to diabetes and if we continue, it only gets worse.

Ignoring things or letting fear direct my life does no good and only makes me tense, because I know the problem has not really gone away and it bothers me. Perhaps you are experiencing something similar.

The only way that I have found to get me on track is to begin with something I can do today that will make a difference. If I can break it down into progressive "steps" then I feel more able to do what I need to do to "get the job done."

With Diabetes the first thing to find out is "What can I do that will improve my blood sugars?" If you don't know where your blood sugars are, you cannot improve them. So step one is to start testing your blood glucose levels every day and keeping a record of them.

Step two is to begin to notice the foods that affect your blood sugar numbers. Some foods will raise your numbers, some foods will not raise them. Writing down what you eat and then checking your BG levels an hour later will begin give you an idea of what you need to eliminate — and also what you can keep. Since you are a nurse I assume you know the blood sugar levels you would like to have. (Between 80 and 130, approximately.)

Do steps one and two for one week. This will let you know where you stand. During this week you don't have to change what you eat, unless you want to. You can test out different foods and see what that food does to your blood sugar levels. You will end up knowing precisely what you can eat to keep your blood sugar levels stable — and precisely what not to eat.

Step three is to make a new shopping list with all the good foods you can eat, and none of the old foods that cause problems. As you test your blood sugars on a regular basis and keep track of the numbers and what you were eating to cause those numbers you will begin to know what to put on your new shopping list.

First the bad news: you will very likely have to eliminate grain of any kind (including wheat, rice, and corn), potatoes, and other starchy carbs and vegetables that cause blood sugar raises. You will also likely have to get rid of fruit and fruit juice, soda pop, and sugary drinks, along with diet drinks which are no better for a diabetic. Dairy will probably also be on the "get rid of it" list. You will find out the details as you test yourself.

Now the good news: You can very likely eat any low carb vegetable that you want and you will be able to eat any unprocessed protein (meat, fish, eggs) that you want in moderately sized meals. Eating meat and vegetables is extremely satisfying to the body and the soul and even the mind.

Here is the easiest method that I find works for me to eliminate carbs. After you complete your week of testing: Make up your mind that for the next three days you will simply drink lots of water and eat meat and vegetables — any amount you want, any time you want — and nothing else. You are cutting out the carbs for three days. Three days is a small number and a short commitment, but it will make a big difference in your own reality.

Every single time you get hungry (and it will be often) eat salad and tuna, or broccoli and a hamburger patty, any combination of green or colorful vegetables with any combination of meat or protein that is not "processed" (like lunch meat or bacon, etc.). If you are hungry, then eat. If you are not hungry, don't eat.

You can have turkey, chicken, eggs, beef, pork, veal, fish and seafood (although you may want to delay eating shellfish during the three days because they have carbs in them) in any amount you desire. Just remember that moderately sized meals are healthier for a diabetic.

You can have any kind of lettuce, or greens, cucumber, all colors of bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, okra, small amounts of tomato, avocado, and onion and any amount of any other green vegetable or sprout your grocer sells. Steam them or eat them raw, or cooked into soup or any way you like them. (Just avoid the starchy vegetables like carrots, parsnips, green peas, and dried beans for the three days. And be careful of your sauces, no flour, no milk, no sugar, etc.)

If you can get past that three day experiment, you will find that on the fourth day, you won't be craving food and you will eat less often. Just go right on eating in the new way and checking your blood sugars.

At the end of the three days, you will no longer feel overwhelmed or frozen in place. You will feel a sense of accomplishment and success because you have done something about your diabetes and you will see the evidence that it is working in your own blood sugar numbers.

Once you have done that, you can take stock and see what you are willing and able to do for yourself — and your family. You will be able to make your food plans based on your own testing and get yourself onto the road to managing or even eliminating your diagnosis of type 2 diabetes.

Any journey starts with step one, so start checking your blood sugars, now.

You are loved and you are capable. You are intelligent and have a desire to do something about your diabetes. The clue is the post you made. You want to take care of it. So start today and tomorrow will take care of itself.

God bless you!

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-10-15 11:56:40 -0500 Report

I don't agree with this statement "Oddly enough, we type 2 diabetics, are often actually addicts. We are addicted to the kinds of food we eat and the hardest change for us to make is to understand that changing what we eat does not harm us. In fact, continuing to eat in our old way, will harm us. It brought us to diabetes and if we continue, it only gets worse."

As a T2, I was not addicted to the kinds of food I ate. As I got older, I developed food allergies so some of the things I ate, I could no longer touch. I would love a peanut butter sandwich or a banana but that would make me sick. I also don't think this is true to all diabetics. If you were addicted to this, it should be stated as what happened to you. I still eat what I ate as a non diabetic minus sweets on a regular basis.

I do agree with your other comments. The problem with procrastinating problems is that they do not go away. Putting problems aside means they can become larger than they were had you faced them and in the end the only person you end up hurting is yourself.

I totally agree with you 100% that the hardest thing to do once becoming diabetic is changing what you eat and adjusting your lifestyle to being diabetic. It isn't easy at first but once you get the hang of it, life becomes much easier.

Not all foods effect all diabetics the same way and I am so glad you explained how to test yourself when you begin the process. I have learned that I can have green peas, beans, and corn with little problems after eating them. I had a small red potato with dinner the other night with no problems afterwards. You may find this really strange but I get a higher blood sugar reading with whole grain breads then I do with plain white bread or sourdough bread.

I never ever have any other food with a carb if I have corn, peas, beans or a potato with the meal. If I want toast that is the only carb in the meal. I also eat fruit pies cooked in their natural juices and have not had a problem with them. I only eat them after I have been active after dinner. I use to eat cake made with soy flour, eggs and soy milk with very little sugar. I only ate the cake then waited an hour and tested and found I had no problem with it. Each diabetic is different. I know diabetics who can't eat peas, corn, beans and have no problems with whole grains.

Diabetes isn't a death sentence. It is the beginning of being a healthier person. It only becomes a problem when you don't take care of yourself. Being in denial, procrastinating on care or getting fed up and not testing or taking medicines is only going to hurt you and no one else. Great comments take care.

Set apart
Set apart 2012-10-15 05:55:13 -0500 Report

Control and perfectionist used to be my middle names, well as a T1 I've learned that although most of the time I am in charge of my BG readings there will be times when I just can't do it! Acceptance of just letting go and going on have been a learning experience for me, I am now in a state of mind that hormones, stress related experience can all affect my BG readings!

Please take care of yourself since you said you're a nurse I guess I don't have to tell you why! You are a role model in your profession for others, you can't take care of them if you're not taking care of yourself! Be good to YOU! Life is what we make of it!

Set apart
Set apart 2012-10-15 05:55:04 -0500 Report

Control and perfectionist used to be my middle names, well as a T1 I've learned that although most of the time I am in charge of my BG readings there will be times when I just can't do it! Acceptance of just letting go and going on have been a learning experience for me, I am now in a state of mind that hormones, stress related experience can all affect my BG readings!

Please take care of yourself since you said you're a nurse I guess I don't have to tell you why! You are a role model in your profession for others, you can't take care of them if you're not taking care of yourself! Be good to YOU! Life is what we make of it!

Nick1962 2012-10-14 17:49:56 -0500 Report

Been there, done that. Major control freak myself (recovering) and it took me a year to wrap my head around it. Of course at the time I didn't know one could actually control diabetes, so I just figured why try. But, after i took that first step and started seeing results, it motivated me to move further - take it on as a job, and become damn good at it.
My guess is you're probably a bit of a perfectionist too right? I'd guess you're apprehensive of that first step because you know you're going to fail along the way. I think you answered your own question there. Well, you are and that's the only way you'll learn.

Nice thing is, control is yours for the taking. No one is going to challenge you for it or ask you to reliquish it. And, as long as you don't try to micro-manage your numbers, it's not that hard.

Wanna see your boys graduate from college and get married? Wanna take that dream vacation? Then tomorrow morning start preparing for those things to happen by taking yourself on as a challenge. I think you'll learn along the way you really don't need all that control you THINK you have (becasue trust me, you don't) and you'll be more than willing to give some of it up if it means seeing your kids turn out right.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-10-14 20:16:21 -0500 Report

Nick I totally agree with you. I don't have control issues. I never understood why people feel they have to control everything. Actually control freaks really don't control anything. People around you let you think you are in control.

Believe me I have worked with control freaks and while they were busy being in control of everything others spent time letting them be in control and when we got tired of it, we took total control just to watch the meltdown.

I was raised to face life and to take care of problems instead of letting problems run amok. Life is not to be viewed through rose colored glasses. When you are faced with a chronic disease, sure you are shocked and overwhelmed but if you don't face it or work to do something about it, over time it will take total control of you. Which means you are not in as much control as you thought you were.

I was shocked the day I was diagnosed but I had a function that night. My friends rallied and so did my sister so I did not have time to sweep it under the rug. I took control of the situation otherwise I might not be here today.

Nick1962 2012-10-15 10:50:23 -0500 Report

You are so right there Joyce and let me tell you that learning to let go really showed me I wasn’t really in control in the first place. Releasing myself from that stress alone I think was a major contributor to getting things in line. The amount of time it freed up gave me time to do many of the things I never thought I’d be able to do, and letting the people around me do the jobs I trusted them to do on their own without my oversight made them a whole lot happier as well. In fact many of them did better jobs without me.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-10-15 11:33:21 -0500 Report

Nick micromanaging people is never a good thing to do. Employees think they are not competent to do the job without constant oversight from the manager. In the end, the manager isn't always able to complete their own jobs because they are busy looking over the shoulders of employees.

Controlling people are never in control of anything. They think they are and their behavior can be annoying to others. People breathe a sigh of relief when the "controlling" person is out of range. In most cases, they are the most hated person in the workplace. Especially if they are not the boss.

My former boss claimed to be an "A" personality. She is a secretive person and a control freak. She actually isn't an "A" type personality, she is a phony. She is the way she is to make up for being dirt poor (her words) as a child and friendless. Today she is wealthy and friendless. Her "A" type personality turns people off and the people she friends get tired of her and avoid her at all cost. She thinks she is in control of everything yet she controls nothing but her business and most of the times, her employees are in better control of her business than she is. She can't keep employees.

Her secretive ways are not secret. She only has one true friend who she talks to. However, her employees are her sounding board. She wanted none of us in her personal business yet the email she set up for employees is filled with emails from her online dating services and she belongs to all of them. Even worse she wants to marry a very rich man. She met one through one of her online dating services and regaled us daily of the few dates they went on. Being the realistic person I am, I knew something didn't sound right. Another employee figured it out also. We knew the man was not who she said he was. Turns out the man had nothing.

When you think you are what you want to portray to others, the end result can be shocking or depressing. The key is to be yourself. The only person on earth anyone can control is themselves.

Nick1962 2012-10-15 12:02:36 -0500 Report

You just described my boss perfectly. Someone I was well on my way to becoming and luckily I got diabetes to stop me. He actually gets angry when I do a good job and get recognized for it. Means he's not the focus.
Yup, control can be a dangerous thing when not used properly.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-10-14 17:31:23 -0500 Report

Dr. Phil says you can't change what you don't own. You won't change unless you accept that you are diabetic and do something about it. As a nurse you should know what will happen to you if you continue to sweep it under the rug. You may need one very good friend or 6 close friends. One to carry your urn or 6 to carry the coffin.

I am not one to sweep anything under the rug. I live in the world of reality therefore, I face life head on with all it's trials and tribulations it puts in my path. As a control freak, you may be afraid that you won't get your diabetes under control and maintain that control. There is nothing that will beat a failure but a try. If you don't try to take care of your health, who is going to take care of your 2 little boys?

Until you face your diabetes, you are never going to attempt to change. No one can make that decision for you. No one can control your diabetes but you and no one is going to make you continue to take care of your health but you. It is your health and your life and only you are responsible for it. Good luck to you.

Lizardfan 2012-10-14 16:09:43 -0500 Report

Maybe you can't change because you haven't really accepted it? As for change, small changes add up to big results. Make a plan, stick to it and you will be managing your diabetes like a pro before you know it!

rosanoescudero 2012-10-14 12:15:28 -0500 Report

I agree with what they said. It was a curse in the beginning and now a blessing..you get to be more educated about DM and concious and motivated about your health. I guess having this headstart is a blessing to have a healthy life.

Mimiewal 2012-10-14 08:47:29 -0500 Report

Yes I had a very hard time adjusting at first. I rebelled sort of. I didnt want to accept that I have a disease that progesses, I didnt want to accept that I had to change the way that I was living my life. Even though I knew better. I swept it under the rug. didnt eat proper portions, the right types of food, or even watch my sugar intake…then one day I complete fell out onto the ground…In front of lots of people & the ambulance had to take me to the hospital where the wake up really began! Its just best to accept that you have it & do the proper things to take care of yourself afterall this is you…& you want only the best for you, so do the things that are life sustaining for you! God bless you in your efforts!

annesmith 2012-10-14 00:57:10 -0500 Report

I am thinking that possibly you are simply not used to being the one who has a chronic disease. You are a nurse, so you help sick people every day, all day long. It is hard to face up to diabetes everyday. I know from my own experience. For example, earlier tonight, I was scrounging for change in my purse to get something at the store. As I hurriedly looked and looked for money to purchase what I needed, I pulled out my blood sugar machine. At first, I set it aside, still hurriedly looking for money. Then, I said to myself " Hey…wait, you need to not skip taking your blood sugar. " I was SO tempted to just say " It can wait until tomorrow." I had to force myself to take it. It's just so easy to put other things first, until it dawns on you that if you don't put yourself first, you'll end up in the hospital or missing days of work. There is fear of failure in all of us I believe. Just tell yourself " Hey, this is important, it has to be first on my agenda, it can be worked in, it has to be worked in, unless I want to suffer later. " YOU WON'T FAIL…no such a thing so long as you try. If you try to face it, you will gradually get used to it. I hope this helps! Sincerely, ANNE

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2012-10-14 17:36:23 -0500 Report

I agree with you but no matter what is going on in my life, my health comes first. There are no guarantees in life and no one knows what tomorrow will bring. When you put your health aside, you may never come back to it until it is either too late to do something about it or it is going to cost you even more money to fix it.

I don't worry about failing. I will try something to see if it works. If it doesn't, I start modifications. If through all of that I still fail, at least I can said I tried. You never know what you can or cannot do unless you make an attempt.

tabby9146 2012-10-14 19:32:50 -0500 Report

that is how I am, no matter what my health comes first. I will fight with all that I have for my health, for my kids and my husband and my elderly mom that I take care of.