I feel I went to school for nothing.

By Jennieetch Latest Reply 2014-01-19 08:12:00 -0600
Started 2014-01-02 10:15:30 -0600

I was diagnosed with T 2 when I was in nursing school. My BG was always high so I was often tired, but I did it and graduated as a licensed practical nurse. My numbers remained high and I didn't and still don't truly acknowledge I have Diabeties. I lost all the weight and then some I put on in nursing school but still remained a diabetic. I have first handedly seen what uncontrolled DM can do. I don't need a lecture on that. When I got pregnant my hba1c was 13. Luckily my son was born without major complications and at a normal birth weight. I thank God everyday that he is okay. While I was pregnant and after I had him I was working as a nurse without much difficulty. I took a very stress full job and ended up getting sick all the time and eventually ended up with heart failure with no known cause. Doc said maybe a virus. Maybe stress. The docs I worked for were not happy I had to b out for 2weeks. Anyway I ended up quitting, but continued getting sick even when my #s were good That was 1.5 yrs ago. Last Christmas I had been vomiting for 5 days and decided it was time to go to the ER. Yep. DKA. They did blood work and informed me I was now a Type I. My problem is I'm 33 and want to go back to work and back to school but I'm so scared. Being a nurse u don't always have time to eat and u certainly can't stop CPR because you're having a low, and everything and anything I do effects my BG. Even in a docs office you don't get a break. I used to always b doing something. Now I don't care about anything. I feel I went to school for nothing. I can't b what I've always wanted. I can take an easy nurse job if that exists but that's not what I want. I always thought I'd b a great mom. Nope I suck at that too. I don't have any energy. I don't want to have a pitty party. I just don't know where to start to get out of my own way. I feel like I'm just waiting and hoping to get sick enough to die so it'll b over. Then I think of my husband and son surviving without me and I get motivated but any complication I give up. I mean like one or two high blood sugars and I'm done. I don't know how to take time to care for myself. Sorry this is so long. I've been holding this in for a long time. Even when I do speak about it everyone including my therapist looks at me like I'm crazy. No one gets it. I need to change my mind set from diabetes has me to I have diabetes. I know all the clinical stuff. I've seen a lot of it. It doesn't matter to me. It's the mind set I'm having difficulty with. Idk. Any advise would help.

22 replies

Set apart
Set apart 2014-01-05 21:00:02 -0600 Report

Hi Jennie, after reading all these responses I am not sure I can add anything new. I've been a T1 now for over 2 years, it's been so hard. My diagnosis was in August and I was in the last semester of my Master's Program. It was so hard, I wanted to give p, but I knew if I did I may not ever go back. As I finished my comprehensive exam and my orals, all I wondered was if I would get low or sick and fail. I finished and then faced another challenge, suddenly I wasn't the same, my immune system was now compromised I was told. That was not good since my job involved working with children with disabilities, visiting homes, daycares, etc… I begin to panic even when a child sneezed in my face, or I walked into a daycare and was told that the flu virus was going around. How could that happen, I finally had reached a point in my career where I had the credentials and was doing what I truly loved, serving others. This disease was getting in the way, since then I have changed employment, I am now overseeing a beautiful program working with families, still! Although I miss home visiting, I know that I can continue to serve others, indirectly through my new position. I've been dealing with other medical factors, since then, this immune system and antibodies just keep attacking my body!!!! Why do I tell you all this, because I truly believe that your field of work is awesome, when I sit with nurses and they hold my hand as tears come down my face, I realize they also serve others. Jennie sending a hug and hopefully a few words of encouragement, I fight everyday for the right to live, and I hope that you will too, reach for the stars!!!!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-01-05 16:19:28 -0600 Report

Hi jennie,

Nice to see you!

After reading the other replies to your post, I see you received some great feedback from your friends on Diabetic Connect.

I am glad you are talking to a therapist about this.

What I wanted to encourage you to do here is to avoid either-or thinking. One of the things that happens when we are stressed is that we fall into kind of an "it's either this or it's nothing, I am either this or I'm nothing" frame of mind.

I am wondering if you might want to take some time and consider how you can still be a nurse, if that is what you want to continue to be, and find ways to do it a way that still keeps in interesting while accommodating your self-care regimen. It might take some time and patience. But this can be an opportunity to move in some new directions. Be open to possibilities!

And do completely suck at being a mom? Again, either-or thinking. I suspect you are great mom in many ways, your certainly life your child. So how about looking at it this way: "I have had some challenges because of my health, and I haven't had the energy level I would like to have. But I'm still a good mom."

And it sounds like you are expecting perfection in terms of how well you take care of your diabetes, kind of attitude like, "If my numbers aren't perfect, then I am a failure." Is there a middle ground? Maybe something like: "I am a work in progress, and so is my diabetic self-care. I'm getting there, day by day. I'm not giving up."

It would help a lot to be a friend to yourself, to turn off that critical voice and replace it with a voice of compassion. You deserve it.

Everybody needs to vent from time to time. No need to criticize yourself with the "pity party" accusation. It's only human to give voice to your frustration.

So lighten up on yourself. And stay in touch with us. You are not alone!


buddylove 2014-01-05 07:36:25 -0600 Report

Oh Jennietech I so know how you feel. I have been a Type 1 for nearly 40 years and have had bouts of depression that comes with this horrible disease. I am a teacher and I know how it is when you are working and you have a "low". I, too, am tired a lot and that gets me down as well. I am still young, 47, and have some complications and that does add to the depression. As some of the other responders have said, you need to get in to see a different therapist and the one you are currently seeing needs to get a life. I wish we could talk to each other in person. Yes, Diabetes has got me too. I will keep you in my prayers tonight and please keep in touch and try your best to stay strong. We here at DC can help you do that.

Nick1962 2014-01-04 17:54:34 -0600 Report

Everyone else’s excellent responses not withstanding – I come from a family of healthcare workers and understand the issues with being a nurse (dated a couple myself). It’s not an easy job, especially in a hospital setting – I swear ER nurses have to be half crazy. Being an online health coach is a good alternative, but it sounds as if you’d miss personal contact. Ever thought of going into home care/VNA?

MoeGig 2014-01-04 16:23:37 -0600 Report

Come on, you can't say that. Been Type 1 since 1965 and never considered changing my career because of diabetes. Yes, did have a number of near misses while flying around the country, but you can't take on a defeatist attitude. Just make sure you get you A1c under control, or you'll really have problems…course, you know all that. Good luck.

jayabee52 2014-01-04 15:19:33 -0600 Report

Howdy Jennieetch!
I know the feeling expressed by your title. In my case I studied and got my master's degree and then I worked in that field for about 10 yrs and then was unable to continue due to the demands of the profession. I then had (because I needed to support my young family, become a Certified Nursing Aide, for which didn't even need an associates' degree, just a few hours at the community college level.

For me, the Nurses aide work was so much more fulfilling than my previous profession. Did I waste all that money pursuing the masters degree? One may think so, but I have decided that my life has been so much more enriched by my masters' degree than without it. Would I have pursued the masters' knowing what I know now (that I didn't have what it took to continue in the profession I sought)? Probably not. But I am what I am and life has been what it has been and I am comfortable with it.

I do know that if your therapist looks at you like you're crazy when you speak with him/her perhaps you should seek a new therapist as this one seems not to be working for you. I think you are right that your mind set needs to change from diabetes has you, to you happen to have diabetes. Of course I have been depressed myself a lot (that was part of my difficulty with my profession) so I am familiar with that type of thinking. A good therapist is one who helps you open up and unpack those feelings and help you to make sense of them.

I pray God's best for you and yours

James Baker. .

eristar 2014-01-04 06:07:29 -0600 Report

Just want to add a hug and some support - I too tend to ignore my type 2 and go about my business eating what I want and letting stress take my numbers on a roller coaster. I know in my mind that I need to get a better handle on it, but it sure is hard! Hang in there - we are here for you!

denipink57 2014-01-04 04:14:21 -0600 Report

Jennie, when i was stuck and feeling poorly my Psychiatrist (i am bipolar) told me to do a simple exercise. i wrote out all my goals in life in priority so the thing i wanted to improve the most was on top of my list. you might put controlling your diabetes on top. then i listed all the other things i wanted to improve or change in a list. beside each entry i wrote out one small goal i could do right away to improve that entry and meet that goal. i did that all down thru my list. i ended up with 12 entries. some of my goals was improve my diabetes self care. attend a diabetic clinic was another one. so for each entry i had a small goal.

for some entries i did not know what to do so for them i wrote out what i would do to be able to make a goal. i would write something like i would contact mom and ask her for rides to the diabetic clinic or i would buy a book to help me with meal planning.

if i couldn't think of a small goal for an entry i made i would put down a name of someone or an org in the community that i would ask for help. it could be a family member, a friend, or help from someone in the community. for example i wanted to attend a hospital group for being bipolar but i did not have a ride. so i wrote down i would call community care durham and ask for help with rides to my doctor's appointments and hospital group.

slow but sure every entry had a plan of action — something i could do to accomplish my goals. some entries had more than one goal. some had even three because i needed to take smaller steps with some.

so just to give you an idea of how i am accomplishing my diabetic goals i now have 3 books, 1 on meal planning, 1 full of recipes and 1 on counting carbs. i spend time everyday using my new books and making plans for how i am better able to control my diabetes. now my blood sugar is good and i am in the zone after having too many highs and after eating a Paleo diet my Endocrinologist told me was all wrong for a diabetic diet.

another goal i have accomplished is i attend the hospital bipolar group several times a week. i have a volunteer driver that my disability pays for from community care.

another goal is to walk more because it is winter here in Ontario Canada and so i can't walk outdoors. so my son drives me to my mothers and i walk the halls at her 4 story apartment. i am losing weight from managing my diabetes better now and from walking several times a week.

these are just a few examples of my list of goals and how i am accomplishing them.

i find writing everything out gives me a plan of action while just keeping everything in my head i forget stuff and get all mixed up. i have my list to refer to day by day and i am working my way down my list. another goal was to reinstate in my College program that i had to put on hold because i was too sick. i start back January 14th. i am studying diet, nutrition and health sciences. i want to be a Health Coach online so i can work from home.

this is just a suggestion Jennie that might help you.

you are worth it whatever you decide! you are a beautiful person and you have a lovely family. take care of you!


Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-01-05 15:34:17 -0600 Report

I agree with jennie! Some great ideas here, Denise. I love the idea of making the list of goals and what you can do to start achieving each one. Your psychiatrist sounds like a very wise person!

Jennieetch 2014-01-04 13:07:09 -0600 Report

Wow Deni that's amazing. Way to go. Congratulations on going back to school. You will make an awesome health coach!! You're such a positive person.

I started yesterday and while I haven't put anything into action yet I'm creating a plan that consists of a few things.

Taking care of my diabetes physically and mentally is number one. I am putting together a meal plan that will start Tuesday. I will bring my son to school Monday, go grocery shopping (nothing unhealthy this time) only what's on the list then I'm going to come home and start cooking. Adding two different recipes a week for now. I will restart my exercise videos cause I can't walk here in Conneticut USA either as it's winter here also. I have family that lives in Ontario I believe. I have to ask my aunt to know for sure. But my exercise goal is to be able to run again. I love to listen to my music and just run. I'm writing all this down so I don't forget.

I am so motivated right now. I will write all the reasons I need to care for myself on paper and read them every morning. The biggest being if I'm healthy and doing healthy things then I'm being a good role model for my 4yr old. Another goal. To b a better mom and do more exercise fun activities with my son. I watch my mom play with him better than I do and I think I should b doing that. There truly are some things I just can't do. I have to accept this and stop focusing on it. It's okay to not b able to do something's I did before. It's part of life and part of me. I will replace those things with things I can do. I also have chronic neck pain from working in the health field for so long (a lot of lifting) and a car accident but if I can get those muscles stronger then I won't b in so much pain. Another goal. My point being I don't want my son to get diabetes and the only way to help him is to teach him healthy eating and exercising. No more candy for him all the time. He may b mad but he'll thank me later. I have discussed it with him already. He's not upset at all really.

Finding this app is one of the best things I have ever found. I am so inspired and hopeful about everything. I've been down to long. You truly are an inspiration. All I know is there is a lot of support and experiences on here that reminds me I'm not alone and I do have reasons for living. I just had to find them again. I'm so grateful. This may very well have saved my life.

I'm going to look into working as a health coach online. That may be something I can do to put my nursing knowledge back to use. Or maybe research will lead to something else. While it's not really the skills I'll b using it will b something until I feel it's safe to get back into a facility. Or maybe that can't happen. Idk yet but there r other options other than doing something boring or something I don't like. If I just start working again doing anything that would help my family out tremendously financially. So why not try something a little different if it helps.

I really had gotten to the point I felt because I had been through so much that I should just have everything handed to me, but because of you personally and your advise and experiences I remember it's better to work hard to get what you want. It's more satisfying that way.

The hardest thing and most important thing I will have to do and I'm already planing is to quit smoking. I've tried so many times, but this time I have another big reason. To survive. I quit when I was pregnant but that was easy. I was growing a baby. :0) I can and will do it and not go back to it ever this time. It's such a gross and expensive habit anyway.

Thank you so much for all of your advise. It's really keeping me motivated. Usually I'd b over it by now and back to feeling sorry for myself. I will not let that happen anymore. It's time to start living again and living better than before. It's time to restart. You have given me the push I needed that no one else could. Thank you I can't begin to tell u how grateful I am. Maybe it sounds corny and I know we will probably never meet but I feel you will b a huge part of this change in my life (you already have been) and a true friend and support. If I can ever help you please just ask.


denipink57 2014-01-04 16:47:39 -0600 Report

dear Jenn, you make my heart glad. you sound so positive and i can see how motivated you are. i need to quit smoking too so you are not alone.

you have such good goals and i am sure you will reach them all one at a time and a little bit at a time otherwise you can become overwhelmed and end up quitting everything.

you will make a great health coach with your background! you go after your dreams Jenn!

just a little tip there is this school online. i can't remember the name right now but just google "750 free University courses online." i think they are called Coursera or something like that, anyway, they offer free online University courses and some offer certificates and some certificates of completion. they don't offer degrees tho but all the courses are offered by the top Universities like Harvard for example. anyway, check them out you might find courses you could take from the comfort of your home that are compatible with what you want to do career or job wise. the course i am taking is with Ashworth College and it is online. i just love it because i can't go out to school - no car. for me it is perfect.

well i have to go douse myself with water now - i just ate a piece of cheesecake with chocolate on top but sshhh. don't tell nobody.

talk to you later. i am going to send you a friend request.

Jennieetch 2014-01-03 19:18:43 -0600 Report

Thank youType1Lou. My endocrinologist had talked about me getting on the pump and my son is a huge motivator. Thanks for your support.

Jennieetch 2014-01-03 19:16:04 -0600 Report

Thank you everyone. It always helps to hear others in the same situation. People trying and not giving up. Or if they do they get back up ASAP. I did a lot of thinking today and I'm sick of being sick. I will get healthy and live for me and my family. Sandyfrazzini keep going. You're right any good thing u do to manage diabetes counts. One foot at a time with small accomplishments towards the ultimate accomplishment. Healthy and happy. Denipink57 you're right I am worth it!!

GabbyPA 2014-01-03 15:18:42 -0600 Report

Putting your health first is hard. I know...I struggle with that too. For over 5 years I have tried to put my health in the front, but I allowed other things that seemed to be more important to be important. It is hard to wrap you mind around that part. Even if I didn't have diabetes, that is where it should be.

In October of last year, I started to make an effort to do that. To say that I will not fit in my diabetes needs, but I will put many of them first. I felt guilty a lot of times, sometimes I still do. But it is helping me to see it in that light. I have lost some more weight and my numbers have improved. My exercise is not fit in, but a part of daily routine. My meal planning is still going through some new ideas with what I am doing, but at least it is doing. I feel better about everything because I know I am trying hard to make it work. That is a good motivation for me.

In your line of work, it will seem impossible. But really, unless you can make it work out that you have to put your health up front, you will not be able to do the job you love and take care of others. That is how I cam to terms with it.

Jennieetch 2014-01-19 08:12:00 -0600 Report

Thank you everyone so much. I did post a thank you post. All of your replies helped me get in gear. Diabetic connect saved my life. I am living again and not looking at diabetes as a death sentence. I think I want to b a diabetes education instructor, which I can do as an LPN. I don't have to change my career just what I do with it. Thank you Set apart for your experience. It helped show me that I don't have to quit doing what I love I just have to tweak it a bit.

Dr. Gary you're right I don't suck as a mother. As a matter of fact my husband and I have decided to try for another baby. It might happen it might not as I have PCOS as well but we can try and if God feels we deserve another baby then we will b blessed with one. I'm currently getting off all my anti depressant and anti anxiety meds and feeling great. I have decided I think I need a new therapist. I truly believe in therapy but it needs to b with someone u can connect with and I just don't connect with mine.

Buddy love u can message me anytime. My email is Jennieetch@aol.com small u can email me anytime and we can talk that way if u would like.

Nick1962 I did the home care thing for a while and I didn't really enjoy it. To many people live in filth and then I'd prefer to clean for them than take care of them. lol. I'm very sensitive to smell and when I would walk into someone's house who only had a path to each room and stunk of cat urine and feces made me want to run out if there, but I am looking into other avenues. However if I do get pregnant my husband and I have decided I will stay at home with the children. Being a stay at home mom is just as good for me.

Jayabee52 unfortunately I have a neck injury that CNA worked partly caused but I just can't handle being a CNA. It causes too much pain. I respect all CNAs. It's back breaking work and I would love to go back to it if I could. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with me. It really helped.

Thank you eristar. I'm sending u a hug and support your way also. We can both do this. If u ever want to talk I'm here. I don't always go on here but I check my email often. Jennieetch@aol.com small use it anytime u want and I will get back u always.

denipink57 your words have helped me so much. You truly have been my inspiration.

Gabby I have made my health number one. I'm starting to do all kinds of things I did before. Thank you for sharing your experience with me. Everyone's experience helps a lot.

Type1Lou 2014-01-03 14:53:23 -0600 Report

You cannot change the fact that you have diabetes. You, and only you, choose how you will deal with your diabetes. I never felt that diabetes controlled what I did and I successfully worked a stressful job for 24 years before retiring in 1994. I was diagnosed at age 27 and am now 64. In the early 2000's, after reading Dr Richard Bernstein's book "Diabetes Solution". I started really counting my carbs and began limiting my daily carb intake to 120 grams. That enabled me to gain better control. By going on MDI and finally starting to pump in 2011, I had the flexibility to skip meals and not be tied to the clock…hooray! Staying as healthy as you can to be able to see your son grow up might be a strong motivator. It can be done and the power is within you to make those hard decisions. I believe in you…believe in yourself Jennie!

denipink57 2014-01-03 14:34:23 -0600 Report

you are a whole person. fearfully and wonderfully made. no one is quite like you. diabetes is only one small part of the whole. oh, you can make it one big part but it isn't. there is so much more to you like your family.

can you stop feeling so poorly because you have diabetes? can you accept that you are diabetic and that now your job is simply to control it? like anything else, the car we drive — if we don't control it we go off the road and God forbid we kill someone. you would do anything to not let that happen right? then do what you need to do to control being diabetic.

you talk about wanting to just die. you will just die and a miserable, painful death if you don't control being diabetic.

if is simple: eat right, get lots of rest and exercise, take your medicine and be mindful that you are diabetic and so have limitations. do that little part and the rest of whole is FREE and HEALTHY to do all you wish to.

you are not well because you are not taking care of yourself. if that is what you want for yourself and for your loved ones then have at it. but, what is that? that is not living! live your life. embrace what interests you. go out and help another person. give of your lovely self and feel so good back. go back to school and learn another component of what you love so much.

get out of your head. get out of the poor me's and into the i am fabulous and watch me roar! but, you have got to want it. i can't give it to you. i have it. i have it and i am moving forward because i am worth it. you are worth it too!

sandyfrazzini 2014-01-03 14:26:59 -0600 Report

I can understand how you are feeling to some extent. I have been a type 1 for over 31 years, there are times I do really well with my readings and times I don't care and don't even try. I was feeling very stressed and just completly overwhelmed, I realized with some help from a friend that I was depressed and she kept urging me to talk to my doctor. I finally gave in and went to the doctor and he was great, I didn't have to say anything, he just knew I was feeling pretty depressed. He started me on an anti-depressant and I also changed some things at work which relieved alot of stress. I can't say I am 100% or anything, but I am a lot better then a month ago. Don't give up on yourself, keep trying and just do your best. You won't fail as long as you make an effort. Maybe you could go to a diabetic support group. Good luck!!

John Crowley
John CrowleyCA 2014-01-03 10:23:39 -0600 Report

I'm sorry you're going through such a tough time. Diabetes can be so frustrating and discouraging. But hang in there. You're among friends here. We understand.

It sounds like you're already seeing a therapist, which is great. Depression and diabetes often go hand in hand. So make sure you get in to see your therapist. And if he/she isn't helping, then find someone else who can.

As for your job, don't get too discouraged. Clearly you've had a rough year. But as you continue to learn and as you are able to step-by-step get better control, you will be able to do the job as well as anyone else. There are many nurses with type 1 diabetes. It is not an impossible combination.

Keep your head up and trust that this is going to get better.

dagger1234 2014-01-02 21:53:46 -0600 Report

Wow that' sucks and hugs. I hope you are going to be okay and remind urself u don't need to stop doing everything especially for doing something you love - for your health. Only stop if it's actually affecting it.

Harlen 2014-01-02 12:37:26 -0600 Report

Them that can do ,do ,them that can't teach ?
There are a lot of LPN jobs out there hat are not high stress .
Maybe go back to school and get RN ?
Either way if you can't keep your #s good you may not be able to work any where ?

So take it one step at a time ,it's the only way to do it .
I tried to jump in and take it on all at one time and flopped big time .
Started taking one one thing at a time and now great #s .
Best wishes