By maggiemac Latest Reply 2013-08-13 16:08:39 -0500
Started 2013-08-05 01:19:20 -0500

I was diagnosed with type one diabetes when I was five years old. Now, almost 15 years later, I still can not get my diabetes under control. My grandpa was diagnosed with diabetes three or four years after I was and because he didn't take care of himself, he ended up with a lot more problems than just diabetes. In the end, what killed him was due to him not taking care of his diabetes and letting it control his life. So every since then, I ignore my diabetes even more because I am ashamed of it. And I just get so mad sometimes that I have to deal with this stupid disease. A couple months ago, I went to the doctor and my A1c was 13. 13. I was so embarrassed and ashamed of myself and I know I need to take better care of myself but I just don't know how to motivate myself. In month following that appointment, I got it down to 10.9 but that is obviously still extremely dangerous. I just don't know how I can get myself to test more often and give myself the insulin I need so I can finally be healthy again. My parents always give me the "you're killing yourself" and "you need to take care of yourself" lectures, but they can't relate to what I am going through and I can't explain to them that I am embarrassed of my own disease. I know I need to get better but I just don't know what I can do. So I guess what I am really asking is if anyone has any tips or any ideas of what I can do?

24 replies

Sapphire89 2013-08-13 16:08:39 -0500 Report

I've had diabetes for 22 years…I'm 23 and am having this same problem. I ignore my diabetes and have uncontrollable lows…very dangerous. I stopped using the pump, hoping that having to give myself injections would force me to pay more attention. It worked for a few weeks but I'm going downhill again. I'm having so much trouble with finding the motivation to take care of myself and I don't know why. I'm a happy and upbeat person but am slowly committing suicide…makes no sense but I can't get myself under control. Got this app trying to find some motivation and am relieved that I'm not the only one with this problem.

CallumB 2013-08-13 07:22:46 -0500 Report

I believe every child who grows up with diabetes has a similar experience. As I myself did, my A1c was 14 for a long time. I think what the issue is. Is self confidence and being more in control of your own life. Something you don't have at school. Honestly every diabetic between the ages of 10-16 has the same problem. I've not heard of one that hasn't. What doesn't help is the way the you're treated at the doctors I always felt as if I was being single out as the only child doing this badly.
So if what you're asking is how can you get some motivation to try harder right now. My honest advice is find something you care about and it'll probably be affected by your diabetes so if you do better with your control the outcome of what you care about will be affected.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2013-08-08 22:50:31 -0500 Report

Hey maggiemac,

I am sorry to hear you have been struggling so much with your diabetes. And I appreciate your honesty about how you feel about being diabetic, the anger and the shame. As I read your post, I was thinking about the term "double whammy." It sounds like you are ashamed of being diabetic, but also ashamed that you are not taking better care of yourself.

You didn't choose to be diabetic, I know. And I know it's frustrating to have to be constantly on top of your diabetic self-care. But when you wage this constant battle against your diabetes, you waste a lot of positive energy that could be spent not only taking care of yourself, but also having more quality in other areas of your life. So I am encouraging you to live your life on life's terms, to give up the battle and decide to take the best possible care of yourself.

Get on your own team. Instead of beating up on yourself, decide to do a better job of things today. One day at a time. If you need some help putting a plan in place that works better with your preferences and lifestyle, then you might want to talk to your doctor or a diabetes educator and make some tweaks in your self-care plan. Put together a self-care strategy that works with you, not against you.

I suspect your parents are feeling kind of helpless, and scared, as they watch you not taking good care of yourself, and aren't sure what to do or say to get you to change. They are doing this out of love. Actions speak louder than words. If they see you are on top of your self-care, they will also most likely be less like to try to micromanage you.

You might also think about meeting with a counselor a few times, to talk about what's going on with you, to get some support. You might also look into a support group if they are available in your area.

Open yourself up to all the great possibilities in your life. Decide to be as healthy as possible to live the best life possible. I hope you will take good care of yourself. Stay healthy.

You are not alone! So stay in touch with us.


ditto123 2013-08-07 16:43:53 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed when I was 3 1/2. I'm now almost 60 and have no problems. Best thing I heard was that if you control your diabetes you can can do anything if you don't it will control you.

GabbyPA 2013-08-07 13:18:06 -0500 Report

I will ask a hard question here. Are you embarrassed of your disease or are you embarrassed because you know you should be taking care of it, but don't? If you can answer that one honestly, you may find that you will loose the embarrassment by doing what you know you should. Be proud to be a diabetic and show people that you are just as able as they are to live a long healthy active life.

It's hard for a parent to watch a sick child. It breaks their heart every day. I know they don't really understand your struggle, but I imagine you don't understand their fear either. Perhaps a heart to heart is in order? Ask for a partner in the battle, not a lecture. They want to help, but maybe they just don't know how.

maggiemac 2013-08-07 15:27:49 -0500 Report

That is a good question. I think it started off as being embarrassed of having diabetes at all, then from that, I started not taking care of myself and then I got embarrassed because I know I should take care of myself but I don't. So I guess it's a little bit of both. But definitely something interesting to think about!! Thank you:)

Chole123 2013-08-07 14:20:25 -0500 Report

Never been embrassed about having this! If anything I like to tell people about it and warn them to get checked if they if think they might have problems and i do meand asap! It can cause so many problems!! but with the right help Life can be good again!

maggiemac 2013-08-07 08:36:15 -0500 Report

Thank you all so much for everything you have told me! Everyone's support really has made a difference and definitely helps me with wanting to control my diabetes better! I just got back from the doctor and my A1c is down to 10.3! I know it is still way too high, but I have to start somewhere! I actually started my own blog talking about my life with diabetes and I would love it if you guys would check it out and give me feedback or suggestions on what to write about! Thank you all so much for everything <3

smarcotte 2013-08-06 22:41:06 -0500 Report

And yea I know my mom drives me nuts with check your sugar check your sugar everyday! I just let it roll off my back and let her know I know how to take care of myself and ask her how she would feel if I bothered her with something like that all day long???!!

sydneydiane 2013-08-06 14:34:23 -0500 Report

oh and to that TooMuchCookies guy, eating McDonald's is horrible, you're only hurting yourself there bub. I bet you wouldn't last a day in our lives. we are all stronger than you in so many ways. I feel really sorry for you actually.

sydneydiane 2013-08-06 14:30:22 -0500 Report

I've heard a lot of stories like this. My best advice is to go to a diabetes camp or start a weekly club for T1 diabetics. Youll get to meet people just like you and they don't make you feel different or ashamed. Its truly amazing how being around other diabetics make you realize you're not alone in this world. And you may learn some new tricks to help you get under control. Stay Strong. You are better than this disease and you have so many supporters that you don't even know about, me for one!

SadieMae08 2013-08-06 13:02:14 -0500 Report

This is the first discussion I actually relate too. I'm 21, diagnosed at 10, and same story. My grandfather was diagnosed a few years after I was with type 2 because he was overweight. After I became diagnosed I tried everything as a young 12 year old to get him to eat better and exercise more. He was losing weight and seeing results but in the end he just wasn't strong enough to fight off a heart attack. I guess that is where most of my depression comes from.. My A1C is at 13 as well, I haven't taken care of myself in so long I'm having to relearn how to carb count and adjust my ratios. I have all the knowledge about this disease but I don't ever apply it. When I read your post I actually smiled because I added this App to find people just like me with these same issues, to talk about and form support. Feel free to message me!!:) No need to be alone in this right?!?!?:/

Grace562 2013-08-06 09:05:26 -0500 Report

Maggie, I get it - I didn't take care of myself either. I found out I was diabetic several years ago. I went through the ups and downs. When I first found out, I took care of myself for maybe 3-4 months. Then I started being bad. 3 years ago I was pregnant and lost my baby at 3 months of pregnancy due to the uncontrolled levels of sugar. Again I took care of myself for about another 3 months. It was easy for me to fall back into the "normal life". You know eating whatever I wanted, drinking, going out. Until in December 2012, I was getting really sick, my feet hurt, I couldn't hold any food down, water tasted like crap and ended up in the ICU for 1 week due to the complications of diabetes, my kidneys, liver and pancreas were failing. I didn't realize how much harm I was doing not only to myself but the affect it was having on my kids, them watching their mom kill herself. So I took care of myself again for another 3months and was doing really good, then stopped. NOW I am in unbelievable pain with my kidneys and the pain in my thighs and legs is unbearable!!!! Take care of yourself - you can have a chance to have your own family and live life to the fullest!

_Sean 2013-08-05 21:25:35 -0500 Report

You can do it!!! Just take it one day at a time. It sounds like you are heading in the right direction with your A1c, thats awesome in just a month to come down that much. Sounds corny, but believe in yourself.

One tip that is working for me is to limit snacks between meals. I notice my sugar stays a lot lower if I don't snack too much between meals. If I do snack I eat something with protein/fat (like nuts or cheese) so it doesn't affect my sugar very much.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2013-08-05 20:30:35 -0500 Report

Maggie, don't be ashamed that you are diabetic. There are millions of us all around the world. The best way to being diabetic is to accept that you have it and take responsibility for it. Listen to what your parents are saying and remember they are saying it because they love you. When you do not take care of your health you are slowly killing yourself and only you can take care of yourself.

Sit down with your parents and explain to them what you are going through, that you are ashamed and embarrassed. Tell them you will need their help to help you get started to better health care. If you don't tell them how you feel, they can't help you. If you have not attended a diabetes education class, find one and attend with your parents. This will be a learning experience for all of you as you all can ask questions.

To be motivated requires your wanting to be as motivated as possible. You have your entire life in front of you. Sit down and make a list of all the things you hope to do or accomplish in life. check them off after you complete them. Keep in mind that if you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to to these things. Set weekly goals that you can attain. The first would be eating proper meals, testing your blood sugar and insulin. Follow up with something you would like to do if you stick to the goal these would be your treats such as, buying a new shade of nail polish, lipstick etc..

Sign up for they have all kinds of articles and recipes. Share the articles with your parents. Find recipes that you and your mom can make together. Surprise them with a meal you make for them. Get them involved. They can be your best support system.

You can do this. Once you get into the swing of things, it will almost become routine. Make a cute note to hang on your mirror that says, I am beautiful, I am strong, I am smart and I am diabetic. I believe that you are all of these and once you believe in yourself you will find motivation in everything you do. Good Luck to you.

smarcotte 2013-08-06 22:38:59 -0500 Report

I used to feel the same way you did and didn't take care of myself for about 9 years! I was diagnosed at 14 and am now 10 years down. I stayed angry about it for the longest and over the years realized it only holds you back if you allow it to. Most people never know you're diabetic unless they see you testing or whatever the case may be. NOTHING to be ashamed of!!! I test like 10 x a day without even thinking about it! You will be amazed at how good you feel emotionally and physically once you get it under control. Try to do everything as they tell you to do but as far as being hard on yourself if you slip up and so on its gonna happen… One day at a time. I used to get so motivated for a couple of weeks and then just let it fall by the wayside. Finally it stuck and I know my body. I saw the light one day and thought I want to live a happy life and have a family, so I got it together and now were expecting our first child in February!!:)) I know the doctors always say it only holds you back if you let it, but its soo true. YOU GOT THIS I PROMISE! I also think on the positive side, diabetics used to just die back in the day because nobody knew how to manage it! You can overcome this disease and be a very strong person because of it! Good luck to you and you can do it!!!

JessTheMess 2013-08-05 03:37:17 -0500 Report

I honestly think alot of g through this, some admit it and some do not I didn't take care of myself when I was in high schol iv had type 1 for 15 years now and I'm very luck I have no problems and my A1c are good. What helped me get through this was I thought about my future and where I hope to be when I'm in my 30s and hopes I can have a child and a family of my own, it's easy to ignore the disease and go on with your life, but we can't ignore it forever exp when later on down the road complications may be a factor and then we really can't ignore it, start to get the hang of it now it wil pay off in the long run, and you will feel better with lower A1C and boost your confidence when you go in to your drs and they are excited about your a1c it's all so worth it!!

Scarlet03 2013-08-05 02:23:54 -0500 Report

I hear ya and understand…I get the same thing from mine cause I'm overweight too. Sighs … Being 41 I thought id be left alone but NO…I have my days I just want to throw in the towel after 13 years . But being a single mom…I can't think that way. I have to refocus on the good things.
DC has many members in the same boat as you…don't give up…take one day at a time with this disease …and it doesn't hurt to ask for support

tinkerbell54 2013-08-05 10:16:10 -0500 Report

I have found from DC that we all have some advice we can all share with each other. & I have found out that we can all use a little advice now & again. I get more advice from D than I do from my doctor. Ruth Tinkerbell54

PRINCESS KIMBERLY 2013-08-05 01:41:47 -0500 Report

Sweetie, I keep my meter out on my tabel so I see it. I have to test 4 times a day. My insulins are in the butter tray in the frig so I can see them. Do something like that to help you to remember. Also my meter in one of the new blood sugar, insulin meters and it has an alarm on it to were you can set the alarm as many times as you need to take your insulin. It also has where you can in put the unit amounts of your insulin. If you would like I can give you the number later it is free.

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