New and Curious

RachelA212
By RachelA212 Latest Reply 2014-02-18 16:45:26 -0600
Started 2014-02-16 14:15:33 -0600

Hi.

Over the holidays I was diagnosed as T2. Although diabetes runs in my family I have found that I still have not gotten over the initial shock of the diagnosis over a month later.

I am only 22 years old, have an active lifestyle, eat very healthy, have great cholesterol, and a healthy BMI. Because it runs in my family and it was something I was made very aware of at a very young age because my grandfather never took proper care of his diabetes and even lost a leg to the disease, I have always tried to make healthy preventive choices that led to my above shape. My father then was diagnosed in his early forties but he also has never been a healthy person (refuses to eat anything green and I've never seen a person that drinks more Mountain Dew than him).

Therefore, I thought I was doing everything right to stave off the disease as long as possible. And yet, a couple months before my diagnosis I started noticing all of the signs and symptoms at once and scheduled an appointment with my doctor.

Overall, what I have been most overwhelmed by is the anger I feel. The day I was diagnosed I bought a stack of books to start learning what in my lifestyle I now needed to change. The doctor put me on metformin as well. As I've been learning about diabetes in these books and they talk about the preventive measures you can take and power foods to eat and how you shouldn't really have to worry about it until you're about forty for T2 if you're generally healthy it has been confirmed that I was literally doing everything right and I've only gotten more angry.

I wondered if any one else felt just angry at the world? It's been over a month now and I'm still feeling like this. It's not even angry at my dad or something, I don't blame him at all even though he has admitted to feeling really guilty ever since we found out. It's literally just anger without a target.

On top of all of this I go to a really really competitive and difficult college and am in my final semester and therefore am already really really stressed about that. I keep reading how badly stress can affect diabetics but there's nothing I can do to get rid of it. I chose this stressful path four years ago and I can't change it now during my last semester. Anxiety is another thing that runs in my family on my moms side and I'm already on medication for that as well. How true is it about stress and diabetes?


10 replies

mary, the diabetes lady
mary, the diabetes lady 2014-02-18 16:45:26 -0600 Report

I can almost feel the stress and anger you are experiencing as I read your post. I am so sorry that you feel so badly and you're under so much stress and tension. So what can you do about it? Is there any way to prevent the stress? Well, if you're in your last semester of college and you have chosen a stress-filled major, I think we can agree that there isn't too much that you can do to change that element of your life.

Now let's look at what you can do. First let's look at the stress factor. The answer is meditation. Your probably saying: "What? Look, I don't have time to do meditation and if I did, I either don't believe in it, it's against my religion or I have no clue on how to do this." Begin with 5 minutes twice a day. You can do it anywhere, any time. If you can, close your eyes and take 3 or 4 deep breathes. Concentrate only on your breathing. If you feel other thoughts coming in, push them away and think about your breathing. Believe it or not it works! It actually is a reboot for your mind.

All my life I have been terrified of going to the dentist. The stress levels for me would begin when I made my dental appointments. I have a wonderful dentist but that didn't stop me from obsessing and being filled with anxiety. If my appointment was a week away, then I would be filled with anxieties and what if's for that entire week. Since I started meditation, I go into the dentist relaxed and calm. I have no anxieties before the appointment. It works whether you believe it or not. Books: "Retraining the Brain" by Dr. Frank Lawlis, "Mindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation" by Dr. Dan Siegel for starters.

You need to take a new look at the anger you're feeling. How's that working for you? It's a form of denial. You do have diabetes. It's time to take control of this dang thing and show it that you're the boss. You will feel so much better when you do.

Understand that anger is often a side effect of diabetes. When your blood sugars fall, you can become very irritable and angry. Once you get some sugar into you, you're like wow that's better. Just watch next time you see the Snickers commercial - they're right - a little sugar and your anger seems to melt away. What they don't tell you is that you got the diabetes from eating too much of their product. Ugh.

Diabetes is a very simple condition. I don't like to call it a disease because I don't see it that way. We eat too many carbs because sugar is in every single packaged/processed food stuffs. We eat too much low fat or fat free foods. These foods are loaded with carbs because when they take out the fat they have to replace it with something or else that "food" would taste like the box it's packaged in.

My husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes at the age of 41. He went to his doctors,took his meds, ate what they told him to eat and got worse and worse. By 2002 he was on insulin - 43 units a day. He suffered from severe neuropathy in both his feet that limited his walking to about 75 feet at one time. He was restless, irritable and no longer the man I married in 1960. He tried everything or so we thought.

I read a book, "Diabetes Solution" by Dr. Richard Bernstein that put me on the path of research and discovery on what I could do to help my husband. I created a program that I believed he could live with.

In 2003 he started my program. Within 3 months he came off of all insulin, in 8 months he lost 80 pounds and a few years later lost another 20 pounds for a total weight loss of 100 pounds. The neuropathy was gone in approximately 1 year after beginning the program. In 2004 he was in 2 5K races (walking) and finished. Last year we went to Disney World and he walked from 8:30 A.M. until 11:45 P.M. when I asked him about his feet he said he never even gave them a thought.

Diabetes can be beat. It can be controlled. We did it and so can you. We have taught our program to hundreds and hundred of people. It's a matter of education, motivation and implementation.

Boiled down we educated ourselves about carbohydrates. The ADA recommends you eat 45 to 60 grams of carbs per meal! YIKES! We eat that many grams in a day.

Exercise - we go to the local recreation center at least 3 times a week and walk the track and/or swim.

We eat a lot of fat and absolutely no fat free or low fat foods.

There is a lot to learn. We've put our 4 classes into an exciting DVD. I am not going to tell you where to buy it because then I am selling you something. I want to help you - not sell you.

You can do this. You are 22 years old. You have your entire awesome life ahead of you. You can spend the time that you have being angry, denying your diabetes and getting worse and worse. Or you can take control of your diabetes and let "it" know you're the boss and you're not having any of it's horrific effects.

Take charge. Become an empowered patient - be a proactive partner with your doctor in your own healthcare. Question everything.

If you do these things, you will be the big winner. Diabetes loses.

You are a winner! You are in a game you don't want to lose - the stakes are way too high and the prize is a great life.

locarb
locarb 2014-02-17 20:57:25 -0600 Report

I absolutely understand. My initial response was anger also; followed by a litany of thoughts and feelings. Anger is a healthier response so don't berate yourself for those feelings. I don't know if this response is helpful to you in any way, but I struggled with all things diabetic for three years and most recently my endocrinologist told me after a million medical tests and labs, that I no longer exhibit any symptoms of diabetes. Continue taking care of yourself and allow yourself to feel how you feel. As you can see, there are many here who truly understand. Sometimes that's all we're looking for. If so, you have found it here.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-02-17 10:51:09 -0600 Report

Hi Rachel, Welcome to the DC family. I read your story and thinking back to the day I was diagnosed, I realized that I never made it to anger. I was shocked and was frustrated because I didn't know what to eat.

I never tried to find blame because you cannot blame anyone for having diabetes. Not one person on this planet is responsible for what nature does or their genes.

I don't understand the anger concept because I didn't have that problem. Like you, I bought a lot of books. I read most of them. Sure they tell you what you could have done to prevent it but what they don't tell you is that being diabetic is not the end of your life. It is simply the beginning of a new life style. Diabetes can happen to any one at any age regardless of how healthy or unhealthy they may or may not be.

Don't think that because you lived a healthy lifestyle, had very low BMI and thought you would not become diabetic. There are athletes who are diabetic and are probably in better shape than you.

The best advice I got was on the day I was diagnosed and it came from a friend who is a diabetic and I never knew. He said "So you have diabetes, what are you going to do about it besides feel sorry for yourself?" My first thought was dang no sympathy from him. Then my eyes opened and a light bulb appeared over my head,

What am I going to do about it? My parents didn't have it and neither does my sister. I have cousins who are some of the worse diabetics in the world. So I jumped in with both feet.

My opinion for you is this. You can waste your time being angry or you can get up and do something. T2 can be controlled if you are willing to do the work, have patience and keep a positive outlook on life. Your grandfather didn't take care of himself and lost his leg. This happens to every diabetic who does not or refuse to take care of themselves.

They did not "give" you diabetes, Yes it runs in the family but there are people who have diabetes running in their families yet some family members never get it.
You are 22 years old, You have your entire life in front of you. You and your father can help each other. You can also tell him not to feel guilty. It is not his fault you are diabetic. I have not stopped doing anything that I was doing prior to being diabetic, in fact I have added other things. The only thing I changed was my eating habits and adding exercise. I control my diabetes, It does not control me. Yes I have diabetes, it does not have me. I don't have time to be angry over having diabetes. Anger is a negative emotion and I try very hard to keep a positive out look on life because life is short and tomorrow is not promised to anyone. I no longer focus on being diabetic because it is not a focal point in my life. I have too many things to do besides being focused on it.

I think that if you want to live a healthy life with diabetes, you have to get rid of the anger and do the best you move forward with life and be as happy as possible. Please do something special for your dad and then for yourself. I wish nothing but the best in life for you. Stay strong you can do this.

debimzadi
debimzadi 2014-02-16 20:43:36 -0600 Report

Rachel
I was diagnosed T2 over the holiday. I too have been and still am angry. I am 55 years old. I'm not sure but believe my father may have been an undiagnosed T2. Both of my parents were riddled with what I term as social disease. Alcohol and the like.

I am not in great shape. Haven't been for years so my first thought was to blame myself. There is a book I read by Gretchen Becker. T2 diabetes "your first year". She makes a good point. "It's not your fault".

I think stress was what triggered my T2. I am strong type A. Work in management and carry a heavy stress load. It's not going away so I'm working on learning coping techniques.

Belly breathing
Journalling
Soft music
Meditation
Yoga

Find something that works for you. If you can't stop the stress then find a way to make peace with it. You are worth it. Take care of yourself.

Deb

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-02-16 20:06:25 -0600 Report

Hey Rachel,

Welcome to Diabetic Connect! I am really glad you found us. And I should also say, welcome neighbor. I also live in the Big Apple.

I am not a physician but I am a therapist and work with clients living with chronic conditions. What I have learned is that a new diagnosis can bring up a lot of feelings, once you get beyond that initial shock. Sadness, frustration, fear, anger. It's all normal.

A new medical diagnosis reminds us of how unfair, and how random, life can be. Life can be going in one direction and then suddenly the direction changes. We are also reminded how as much as we want to be fully in control of our lives, we really aren't.

Here's another way to look at things. Receiving a medical diagnosis is like suffering a loss. And when we lose something, we grieve. And we grieve at our own pace as we integrate the loss and decide how to move on with our lives. It's the beginning of a new chapter.

Anger is all part of the process of coming to terms with a medical diagnosis. So let yourself be angry. But don't be afraid of your anger and don't hold it in. Talk, vent, get support from people in your life who are willing to listen without judging you or trying to tell you what to do. When we let our feelings out into the open, rather than holding them in, they lose their power to control us.

You also mentioned anxiety. I encourage you to take things one day at a time. Getting educated is a first step toward managing your anxiety. Flood the fear with facts. Stay connected with your doctor, stay focused on your self-care routine. Remind yourself that you are doing everything you can to take the best possible care of yourself. That's where you do have control.

If you are feeling overwhelmed by the anger or the anxiety, to the extent that it is keeping you from doing the things you need to do in your life on a daily basis, then you might also want to consider sitting down with a mental health professional and talking things through and getting some new perspective on what's going on in your life. Just a suggestion.

Support is power! Keep talking. Stay connected. Don't go through this alone.

And stay in touch with us!

Gary

fozy
fozy 2014-02-17 06:06:11 -0600 Report

Welcome to diabetic connection, I too went through the phase,Im predisposed to diabetic family I already knew about this illness and when I came to states I wanted to know everything to avoid getting diabetes and dropped from 176 to 130 changed my diet, about five yrs I was diagonized with diabetes at the age of 35yrs I was crushed And I become angry at everything I stopped eating well and exercising and gained back 30 lb . I spent alot of time asking why me, then two yrs ago I went home and was trying to help my late dad ,his medication , exercise and how to eat right and through that journey I begun to look back at my own and this was my Ha!Ha moment I came back and changed my diet and my exercise with the help of my healthcare team. I also involved my husband and kids as my support system.let loved one around you know how you feel, I find exercise helps me I have nerve issue on my right leg so I can't run but I ride my cycling bike at home for 30 mins twice and is find it relaxing.

Glucerna
Glucerna 2014-02-16 18:34:16 -0600 Report

You sound like a strong woman Rachel. Like jayabee52 said, many people are angry when they're diagnosed with diabetes. Stress can make blood sugar levels rise as well. It's great that you're expressing your feelings here, and I also want to encourage you to either ask your doctor for a referral to a counselor or contact someone from your college. Having someone to talk with about what's going on in your life is going to be really helpful with both diabetes management and completing your college courses. ~Lynn @Glucerna

jayabee52
jayabee52 2014-02-16 16:12:06 -0600 Report

Howdy Rachel
Anger is very much a part of the whole diabetes thing, It seems to both cause anger and is made worse (higher Blood Glucose [BG] levels) by it. Likely that anger may turn into depression cause my therapist said once that "Depression is Anger turned inward."

I was a very angry man for about 2 yrs after my Dx and wanted to do hurtful things to myself. I flew off the handle easily and that was very unlike me. I also got depressed. So don't be surprised by that if it comes in your life too.

I am wondering if your T2 or T1? Your Dr can do a test for "C-reactive protein" to determine what is happening there. Since you say you have a good BMI and your family line tends to be Dx'd in the 40s while you are presenting 2 decades sooner. I think it is worth a look.

God's best to you and yours
James Baker. .

RachelA212
RachelA212 2014-02-16 16:20:31 -0600 Report

I am T2. Why do you bring up the C-reactive protein? What can this indicate or tell me?

Also thank you for replying. I felt silly at first posting all of this as I am usually a very private person but I haven't found anyone I can talk to that understands what I'm going through. Not even my dad because of his lack of care towards his own diabetes despite my family all worrying about him.

jayabee52
jayabee52 2014-02-17 09:50:26 -0600 Report

Your diabetes presenting in your 2nd decade of life whereas your father presenting symptoms in 4th decade of life is one reason I suggested that test. It would tell you if your Dx as a T2 is accurate or a mis-Dx. Previously on DCI have heard of that mistake being made. And eventually with much confusion that Dx was corrected. Or it is possible you could have 1.5 LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults) diabetes where there is a honeymoon period where the pancreas does behave like you have T2 for a while You can read other discussions about it here ~ http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-discu... and here ~ http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-discu... and here ~ http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-quest...

No need fo feel silly. Since folks in times past didn't like to discuss medical issues (except to complain about them) it was likely there wasn't much knowledge about diabetes shared, and to be honest, a lot of that info would be inaccurate or very outdated. That is why this forum is so very important IMHO.

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