Need Advice on taking control of Diabetes

By ALembo Latest Reply 2014-12-18 02:16:35 -0600
Started 2014-12-12 10:02:00 -0600

Hi everyone! My name is Anthony Lembo and i have type one diabetes. I was diagnosed with diabetes when i was 9 years old. During my early years with this disease, received alot of help and support from my parents. They would constantly remind me check my blood sugar and give insulin before meals. Since graduating high school, i have moved out and have lost the support team being around me everyday. I really thought i could handle this disease on my own, but the problem is, i ignore it. I recently graduated college and have seen my A1C rapidly increase every doctor's visit i have. I always tell my doctor and myself that next time i will do better and manage my diabetes that way it should be managed. However, i go right back on to the path that i have been on for that past five years. Here are some of the problems/ bad habits that i have. I do not check my blood sugar regularly. It is actually rare. I for some reason feel that i can somehow detect what my blood sugar is. It is not working out. My blood sugar when i do check it, is high. I also have bad eating habits. I eat to much during the day and have seen my weight increase over that past several months. I do not eat as healthy as a diabetic should. It is hard to change a eating habit that you have had for years. I know that i have diabetes and i know there are complications, but for some reason i feel that since i am not seeing the complications that there is nothing wrong. I know i can not stay on the path that i am currently on. If i do, i will not live a long life. I hear how great some people do with managing their health and diabetes and to me it seems very hard. I know this is a common problem. Can someone give me advice to get on the right path? Any words of encouragement or stories that someone can share if they had this struggle too?

8 replies

sandyfrazzini 2014-12-17 12:02:10 -0600 Report

Hi Anthony, I too am a Type 1 diabetic I have been one for 32 years and have been on the insulin pump for about 9 years, I was 11 years old at diagnosis. I can totally understand what you are talking about, I have been there and back many times myself and it can be hard and also frustrating at times, but it is worth making the effort and hopefully it will make you feel better. I am once again trying to work my way back from months of not making the right choices, such as diet and testing more often. It's a life long struggle, but one I am not ready to give up on just yet.
My mom would always ask did you take your shot and I would say yes so she would stop bugging me and then I would forget to do it. It would drive me crazy, so I would start to avoid it and I guess sometimes I feel like that with the testing. I have gotten a lot better at it lately and I am really trying hard to change how I take care of my diabetes. I know what to do, it's just a matter of doing it on a consistant basis. The best of luck to you.

Stuart1966 2014-12-13 23:36:12 -0600 Report

Hello Anthony:

As your peers, we smile at your position. Any one of us have been or are now in exactly your position. You, not your parents, NOT your family have gotten you here. They helped you, they supported you when you made mistakes. But you have remained alive, gotten this far. You.

Does not matter where you pick, simply choose a small thing, any thing you wish to rebuild the habit of. Some you can quit cold turkey, if you wish. But you don't pick up the entire beach (at one time) to change a single grain of sand.

One becomes two, and three, with practice, time you will rebuild the walls, and steel beams of where you desire to be. One grain at a time.

Focus on right now, today. The future is too far away. You cannot change more than the "right now", and none of us can change the past, the last time I checked anyway. So let that one go.

You are NOT weak, you are not feeble. If you were, you would have been DEAD a long freakin time ago, you are my diabetic brother.

I am closer to you, to my diabetic peers than I am any living person, on the planet. Lovers, wives, partners, playmates, it does not matter.

You could be any one of us, and we are you.

As your peer, your diabetic elder I am going to ask the impossible of you. I am going to ask you to forgive yourself, the burden you have laid upon yourself. I will ask you to laugh at yourself for no other reason than I ask it of you.

Do you believe, that CONTROL is a thing which will guarantee a specific outcome? Do you believe that your A1C is a measure of your moral goodness, or inability(ies)?

It is a number, and nothing more. Nothing. There is no guarantee that a "low" A1C is causal for no complications. It is an indication, a whisper, a hint. The current thinking shows a good indication that after twenty years or so, if you don't have "complications", it is unlikely we develop them (apparently).

Which tool do you wish to start with, what arena will you begin with. Food? Meds? Exercise? Choose the tool and hone it.

Discipline is not a pill one takes. It is a muscle which must be stretched and, used. In time it becomes a habit.

lilleyheidi 2014-12-13 02:45:53 -0600 Report

Anthony, Do you have supports? Do you have family or friends who are willing and able to help you get started if you said "hey look, i am having a rough time right now and I need some help"? Like the others here have said, ultimately it comes down to you. Nobody is going to test your blood but you. Nobody is going to force feed you vegetables and protein but yourself, and no one is going to give you your insulin other than yourself. But, it really can help, especially when you are getting started on a new habit and a new routine, to have a support system.
Can you call your parents and your doc and your best buddy and say "look, I haven't been doing so well looking after my health and I need your help"?
You know, this group here is going to be here for support, but you need a core support team. For me, it was my doctor and my therapist and my best friend.
Some people can get by doing this all on their own, others of us can't, we need support, and it sounds like you had it growing up and may need a little extra right now, and that is perfectly OKAY ! just reach out and ask, i can't imagine anyone saying that they aren't willing to help you. If you are at all spiritual, pray a bit about it too.
If you want a support buddy, I'm here for you, I went through needing support when I decided to get serious about taking care of my type 2 diabetes.
Best of health to you, HUGS Heidi

Anonymous 2014-12-12 17:19:29 -0600 Report

Your Subject line is almost: TCOYD in acronym. Google TCOYD-Take Care Of Your Diabetes has posted suggestions via Steve Edelman, Endocrinologist, who like us, living with T1 early in life and now were not young Chickens, but, can easily control vs. disease controlling you. Can you sense your Blood Sugar when your High@300 vs. 200mg/dl vs.125? How often do you test???????????

Type1Lou 2014-12-12 14:49:03 -0600 Report

James pretty much said what I want to say. While you recognize what you need to do, only YOU can do it. You are still young and have your whole life ahead of you. Withh the right decisions you can live a long and healthy life or, you can continue to ignore what you know you need to do and will most likely develop those nasty complications that severely impact the quality of life and lead to premature death. The choice is yours and only yours. You control whether you test or not; you control what and when you eat. It's never easy to take control and break those bad habits but the effort is well worth it in better control and quality of life. Wishing you the strength to make those right (if difficult) choices.

kimfing 2014-12-12 11:41:46 -0600 Report

My husband fof many years ignored and not tested untilyears back his Dr asked him if he would like to see his dghtr graduate high school and she was in middle school. He changed his ways immediately and i finally became involved because he let me. It is a lot better now since i was dx last year t1 @ 45! I got my sugars under control and felt great, not like i have felt in many years. I vowed at that point to never feel that bad again. Yse, we do have our days when we aren't on top of it, but that is human nature. It's only for the day and very few and far in between. We can encourage and support u from afar ultimately it is up to you to take the reigns and manage your disease. Good luck

jayabee52 2014-12-12 10:48:51 -0600 Report

Howdy Anthony
You've taken the first step and admitted there is a problem and it isn't going away by itself.

However, just talking about it won't correct it. And the only one who can take action, really, is you.

I am a T 2. I have a eating plan which may help even a T 1. The thing is you'd have to implement the plan. It is rather simple, but is radical at the same time. Since I have started the "experiment" 3 + yrs ago, I was able to get off my twice daily injections of NPH (I know not possible for T 1s but you could likely reduce the amount taken), and lost 65 lbs over the course of 5 mo all the while maintaining my BG (blood glucose) levels at 80 to 130 mg/dl and achieved an A1c of 5.5%. If you express interest, I will send the link to you.

Yes for a while I struggled with denial of my diabetes. I felt burned out. But I eventually decided to tackle the problem which was causing me so much pain and trouble. I had burning neuropathy from knees to toes. I also got Chronic Kidney disease for which I must have dialysis 3 times a week for 4 hrs per session. The neuropathy is both figuratively and literally a pain! And I am told that due to my need for dialysis my life will be 10 yrs shorter than it will be due to my diabetes.

So It is up to you, Anthony.

I pray you get serious about your diabetes and do something as soon as possible about it


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