Fearing the Worst- How do you get a grip?

By Sparkleberry Latest Reply 2013-10-08 11:50:14 -0500
Started 2009-08-15 19:09:26 -0500

I was diagnosed in January of this year so I've been on this ride for 8 months now. I've had a rough time of it to say the least. I had a very lovely "honeymoon" phase of the illness and now that I have come out of it I am really struggling. My readings are all over the place, I have been having lows in the middle of the night in my sleep and waking up starving or with the shakes and dizzy. I'm afraid all the time. I have a 40 minute commute to work and it took me months to be ok with driving because when I was diagnosed I was driving to go get blood work done and I flipped out. I had an all out panic attack and I thought I was having a heart attack on the side of the road. The ambulance came for me and I really thought I was gonna die. I have never been so scared in all my life. Since that happened I'm afraid of this illness. I didn't know it was diabetes (type 2) when that happened, but now I know and any little strange feeling or bad day or whatever just throws me for a loop and makes me scared and anxious and panicky. I had to start Paxil to help with the anxiety but there are times when my mind still gets the better of me. I start thinking about having a low and passing out and being all alone and nobody finding me to help me or having a high and passing out. I think about driving and getting sick and wrecking or being caught somewhere without access to food when I need it. I carry a "lunchbox of life" as my daughter calls it because I'm terrified of not having food on hand if I need it. I'm so scared all the time and I hate it. I used to be such an adventurous person and I wasn't afraid to do things on my own. Now all I want is to be home where it's "relatively" safe. Can anyone relate and how does one cope with this gosh awful fear? I pray and try to keep busy but the thoughts keep coming…

13 replies

Stuart1966 2013-10-08 11:50:14 -0500 Report

Hello Sparkleberry:

It's like living with a rattlesnake slithering through your clothes. In time, you will respect it… with enough time you will no longer fear, not the way you do now at least.

If you were not scared of it, that would make you someone VERY special indeed, unlike anyone I've ever met.

The game with fear is to NOT feed it kindling! We can all worry, we can all have secret fears of one kind or another… but in terms of the brand new monster under your bed, its completely understandable why you are terrified. You don't know what happens when it bites you… if you're still having that fear in 5 years at this level then there is a real problem. For right now though… its entirely sane and completely normal.

Now, let's help you out, get rid of whatever you carry in your lunchbox. A single bottle of soda will protect you against anything you will ever encounter. The mini bottles, the 12 oz bottles, the 20 oz bottle of regular soda, which you ALWAYS keep in your car, one in your bedside, one in the fridge ALWAYS with no exceptions.

If you use them, when you use them, replace them immediately. Protocol 101.

Lows can, will, do happen. Lows which require outside help, are very, very rare by any standard. Nothing to be terrified of… they are the flu of diabetes. You can catch one once in a while, crush it and move on… you will not flip your car, you will not die from it.

There are hundreds of thousands of your Type 1 cousins (of which I am one) and far more of your T2 siblings. We ain't dead either… Heard/read of us dropping like flies in a bug zapper?

We live long, very normal lives, diabetes is just a small if important part we must care for, the whiny child of our bodies.

If, intrusive thoughts are getting in your way, call the person who proscribed the anti anxiety meds and talk directly WITH them for a bit.

Ever called your regional Diabetes Clinic? The local one might do the trick, but the regional one will likely be even better source… if you cant find the answers you want? But, you are absolutely no different than you were BEFORE you had a name for what happened to your body. Now you have a name for it… give yourself some time, its a big shark we all play with in this kiddie pool..

What thing do you want to do the most, which you are terrified about doing again? There is an old saying about how gorgeous sailboats are anchored in the harbor… that is NOT their purpose. Nor can you shut yourself in at home, "safe". We have jobs, partners, kids, friends, responsibilities, of every kind. None are found at home… at home will not protect you from the fear which you wish to hide from. Nice place to rest for a night, two, but not the place we live our lives. It won't protect you in the least to hide there.

Merely my opinion, I could surely be mistaken

amyo 2009-08-16 13:49:24 -0500 Report

I was dig. Jan2009 and I had the same feeling. Xanax was my pill and yes I do carry the lunchbox of life.
Recently I went to the Bahamas for a week and was so afraid of swimming, biking, and all that.
You can do whatever you want just remember to pack things for that activity.

hbkunkel 2009-08-16 13:38:28 -0500 Report

I was told when I was diagnosed that you have to go through all the steps of "grief" before you can accept your illness and pick up the pieces and go from there. The panic and fear will subside but this site will be of great value to you. You will very quickly learn that many of us have been through the same thing and you are NOT alone. I always carry juice boxes in the car for sugar lows - you know like the ones kids take to have with their lunch. Pick ones that are 100 % juice and they work quickly and taste good too. Good luck and keep us informed of your progress.

hbkunkel 2009-08-16 13:38:27 -0500 Report

I was told when I was diagnosed that you have to go through all the steps of "grief" before you can accept your illness and pick up the pieces and go from there. The panic and fear will subside but this site will be of great value to you. You will very quickly learn that many of us have been through the same thing and you are NOT alone. I always carry juice boxes in the car for sugar lows - you know like the ones kids take to have with their lunch. Pick ones that are 100 % juice and they work quickly and taste good too. Good luck and keep us informed of your progress.

MarineMomX2 2009-08-16 10:08:59 -0500 Report

Everything above is great advise. I found out last week for the first time how important it is to keep those glucose tabs in my purse. Read any and everything you can get your hands on, you never know what kind of experience you might have and educating yourself on this disease. Also, find someone you can talk to daily..co-workers are great and you typically see them every day. Just having someone to talk to and share your questions with helps with the stress, anxiety and just not knowing part of diabetes. I've found several co-workers that had the same 'not knowing' issues I was having and being able to talk to them has helped me immensly!

lipsie 2009-08-16 08:51:54 -0500 Report

Hiya, I agree that more time, knowledge and support will help you. We are a great team here for you at that. You will learn so much and meet some excellent people. Also I always carry the glucose tablets around too, they are cheap and I got mine at Walmart…I am sure you can get them just about anywhere…small and easy to carry everywhere you go..check that out for sure!! Hugs!! Anytime you want to talk, just msg me! Sheila

mamaoak 2009-08-16 07:26:26 -0500 Report

yes i fear this as well but am getting use to it that is carring luch every where. sort of going through the same thing i wass diagnoesed in jan as well what are you on i take apple juice with me a little box it does the trick also you can get a tube of iceing sugar that works to or they sell glucose jell at wall mart works faster than the tablets get a bracelt or neck lace i have had the same feers but i take a cooler with abunch of snacks and a lunch. iam now off all medications and doing well you may not be eating enough. check you glocuse when you feel bad you maybe high or low i felt funny also sometimes it would feel the same for highs as lows. yes this is a very scary thing. especially driveing. watch your carbs toomany put you high and not enough makes you to low. take care

kdroberts 2009-08-15 21:51:14 -0500 Report

I have a theory about diabetes and the diagnosis when the diagnosis is for an adult. I think that almost all diabetics go through the same process after diagnosis, not the same timeframe or same degree but the overall process. One of the stages is exactly what you describe, panic, fear, overwhelmed, clueless, highly emotional and similar. I also believe that this is an important stage and one that will pass. When you are going through it, it sucks. Pretty much rock bottom. However, something will happen and you will start to get out of it and you will be much the stronger when that happens.

You need to take baby steps and rationalize. For instance, you don't need food, you might need glucose though. if you go low food won't help much but pure glucose will. Get yourself a tube of glucose tabs, they are cheap and fit in a pocket or purse very easily. They will raise blood glucose very quickly and are really the ideal choice for low blood sugar. Another example. What medication are you on? The idea of medication is that you bring glucose levels down to normal range as best you can. They are not meant to drive you low and if that is happening then you need to discuss it with your doctor. It may be as simple as a small reduction in dose.

There is also a good book called diabetes burnout, see if you can get it from your local library, they should have it. It's a very good book and part of it deals with the situation you are in.

Harlen 2009-08-15 21:15:03 -0500 Report

Knoledge will fix the fear
I right it all down,it was how I was able to fined what my carb to insulin ratio was mine is 2g of carb to 1 ut of ins.I fined pepsi "not diet" gets my Bs up quick.At night I didnt cover every thing rather have it up a bit then 33 or less,I am now on the pump One of 8 in my state with T2 and A pump ,what a big chang in every thing .
Befor you drive check your BS If low eat something small It takes time to get it all down but you will get it.
good luck and keep in tuch.

steely 2009-08-15 20:00:37 -0500 Report

I was diagnosed in February 2009. I had spells of hypoglycemia but was in complete denial about having diabetes. It forced me to take notice when my eyesight went, I honestly could not get enough to drink ever.

I was diagnosed with a fasting blood glucose of 410. Needless to say, no more denial. That is how I came to the get a grip moment. I knew that if I didn't get my blood sugars under control, this disease would kill me. A piece at a time. Toes, feet, kidneys, eyesight, I don't want to go that way.

I went to the diabetic classes and dietician, who told me that I needed to eat almost 200 carbs a day. This made no sense to me, carbs make blood sugar go up. So I searched the internet and found a book called Dr. Bernstein's Diabetic Solution. Bingo! In the 6 months I have been controlling my diabetes, my blood sugars rarely go over 120. I'm not afraid anymore. I know if I stay with the Bernstein Solution I can stave off complications. Not forever perhaps but longer than I would have been able to do.

It's not fun, it's low carb but it's the only way I have been able to control my diabetes and the fear that comes with it. Hope this helps in some small way. You can take charge and have control over this disease. Don't let it control you.

Be Well

Jipwhip 2009-08-15 19:53:38 -0500 Report

To start with do you carrying any candy in your lunchbox of life? It will help raise your blood sugar fast if you are having lows. Also are you eating before taking your drive. Anxiety is the worst. I had this problem too. Was on meds for awhile. I have just learned to take each day as it comes and worry about today not what could happen in the future. It also helped to write down what was bothering me to get it out of my head. Also talking to others helps too, especially if they belong to the diabetes club. A lot of us have been there or are going through it just like you. Everyone here on this site is here to help you. Hope this helps you out.