Stress Relief

By sweetslover Latest Reply 2014-11-13 22:44:44 -0600
Started 2014-11-05 21:13:05 -0600

I was diagnosed with diabetes type 2 about a month ago. I am 66 years of age and am experiencing tremendous stress. I am on medication, exercise daily in the pool at the health center, and am watching my diet. Along with the diabetes, I have neuropathy, and L-5 radiculopathy. My parents are both in their late 80's and both have advanced dementia. I am their care giver. Because of my lumbar problems, my neurologist says I cannot ride my horse, which has always been my way of handling tension and stress. I have supportive family and friends, but I don't want to sound like a cry-baby all the time. It is getting more difficult to put on that "smiley " face. There are some days when I just think I cannot continue. What can help me handle these feelings?

14 replies

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2014-11-07 11:54:20 -0600 Report

I agree with Dr. Gary, take time out for yourself. If you can no longer ride your horse, find something else to do that you enjoy. If you are in an area where you can keep a horse, odds are there are 4H clubs in your area. See if you can volunteer with them and help kids who don't have horses learn about raising, training and caring for them.

Caring for elderly parents can be very stressful. Find someone to come in and sit with them for a few hours so you can get out and do things you enjoy or check into a day care facility for them if possible. If they liked to read, get them audible books to listen to if they have poor eyesight or cannot hold a book. My mom enjoyed reading so I found her the books she liked from the library or bought them for her.

If you feel you cannot continue, talk to a professional. It also helps to keep a journal where you can write down your thoughts and feelings. Having someone you can talk to will be very helpful to you.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2014-11-06 22:45:03 -0600 Report

Hey sweetslover,

I am glad you found your way to Diabetic Connect.

I know what it's like to be a caregiver for elderly parents. It's not easy. And the stress can feel overwhelming.

What I would encourage you to do is to take time for yourself as much as you can. Take breaks. Enlist other people to help you out, other family members, friends, and professional caregivers. See what resources might be available to you. It's really important to get time for yourself, and to make sure you don't push yourself too hard.

And get emotional support. Reach out to friends or family members who can listen when you need to talk about how you feel. Vent when you need to.

Take time to take care of yourself. Make yourself a priority.

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


Nick1962 2014-11-06 14:20:18 -0600 Report

Also had L5 radiculopathy. I know the pain well, and I also have a very capable chiropractor that has been keeping that pain well managed, and most times gone completely. If you do not see a chiropractor already, I would consider it. I know how the pain plays on the mind also. Ultimately my problems spread from L5 to L2 and required surgery which did away with the pain. During those painful years though, music got me through mostly – kept my mind from straying to those thoughts.

sweetslover 2014-11-06 20:13:13 -0600 Report

Thanks, Nick1962 for your comment. I went to a chiropractor for almost a year before he referred me to a neurologist. I have been doing extensive decompression, which seems to be helping with the pain. I still have problems walking and with my balance, but things are improving. I like the music idea—that would be a good stress reliever for me.

Nick1962 2014-11-07 08:46:51 -0600 Report

In the end mine required surgery. While I’m not in my 60’s yet, they decided not to wait because there is an age at which the healing/rehab process can be just too much. Sounds like you’re still young and active enough for it though, and if the pain is challenging your lifestyle, you may want to have a discussion with your doctor about it or other alternatives. If you haven’t gone through a round of epidural shots yet, they are BRUTAL.

Christmas is coming and maybe time to get one of those new-fangled music players. There’s lots of great music out there, and just because you’re “older” like me doesn’t mean you can’t listen to what the younger generation is listening to. I’m always discovering new stuff that makes me happy.

sweetslover 2014-11-07 08:53:32 -0600 Report

Thanks, Nickl1962. What a great idea for a Christmas present. My family is always asking me what I want. I have already been through the epidural routine—not a lot of fun. My doctor says I am not ready for surgery—we'll just have to wait and see.

Nick1962 2014-11-07 10:44:19 -0600 Report

I met my yearly “allotment” for shots in 8 months. I wish I had pressed my doctor a bit harder at the time because in my mind they weren’t fixing the problem, just wasting money postponing the inevitable while I suffered (and I wasn’t the nicest to live with during that time). Just a personal opinion, don’t let your doctor dictate how you feel. If you’re in pain, and in turn it’s messing with your thoughts and emotions, press him/her for treatment because it’s not going to improve. Quality of life has a value, and I know I took that for granted.

Recently discovered Kimie’
puts me in the right mood pretty darn fast.

lilleyheidi 2014-11-06 02:57:52 -0600 Report

Have you considered talking to a professional? Care giving is a very tough job. I did it for several years, and I know it takes a lot of you both physically and emotionally. Our friends are great support, but like you said, we don't want to lay all our stuff on them, and sometimes having a professional, a therapist or a pastor, or someone like that is good to talk to.
Also, remember, you don't have to always wear the smiley face, no one expects that. You are human.
Best to you.

sweetslover 2014-11-06 05:55:30 -0600 Report

Thank you for your response. I am usually such a positive, upbeat person that these feelings have taken me by surprise.

jayabee52 2014-11-06 07:28:04 -0600 Report

Howdy Sweetslover

I second Heidi's suggestion. I have needed the help of a professional therapist every now and again. And since you are newly Dx'd you may not be ready for the negative emotions which may come with the higher BG (blood glucose) levels.

God's best to you and yours


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