"Guilt" (Follow-Up)

By Stuart1966 Latest Reply 2017-06-26 13:38:19 -0500
Started 2017-06-04 16:10:01 -0500

I wanted to follow up the posted interview with Dr. Gary and explore a bit more the idea of "guilt".
Dr. Gary asked Interesting questions… (like always).

Anyone ever have guilt from hurting another person emotionally BECAUSE of our disease? The kids terrified mommy, daddy is going to "die" when the paramedics show up?

The baaaaad low which haunts our loved ones in the right now AND far, far into the future?

A low from or in/which another person is actually hurt because we were…

Are these common experiences?

20 replies

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2017-06-21 12:31:38 -0500 Report

I do not feel guilty if I hurt someone emotionally because of my disease. I find that people who are none diabetic feel they have a right to make you eat foods you know you can't or who think they no how you should care for yourself are very thin skinned. So when I tell them to mind thier own business have the tendency to get angry, upset, or have their feelings hurt, over time they asked for it.

This is your disease, not your parents, spouse or friends. You can not live your life trying to please them over your disease. You have to do what YOU need to do. Therefore, I see no reason to feel guilty or ashamed because you have a disease.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-06-12 22:10:55 -0500 Report

Hey Stuart, thanks for the kind words. I am glad that discussion was helpful to you! That's a very interesting perspective on guilt, you are coming at it from an important angle. Families worry. And I can sure understand how someone living with diabetes might feel guilty about giving family members another reason to worry. Excellent point. I would encourage someone in this situation not to blame themselves. Diabetes is not always predictable in spite of your best intentions.

NewSong53 2017-06-07 13:03:26 -0500 Report

I don't feel guilt over it, although I do feel shame. The rest of my family (two sisters and one brother) can't understand why I can eat anything that causes my blood glucose to spike. All this while telling me about the delicious BBQ cookout they are having that day, or the big Chinese dinner they gorged on or how they were glad they could still eat pizzas and drink beer. Geesh!! I guess no one can really understand until they've walked in your shoes. The only guilt I experience about it is what it does to my own body when I don't take care of it — it's a form of self-hatred that creates depression and makes it even harder to dig out of it. I can certainly relate to alcoholics who crave that drink so badly. I am that way about sweets when I "fall off the wagon" with sweets. That makes me extremely grateful for those of you who shared your experiences with fasting and Dr. Fung. Until I read his book and learned why we crave food and how fasting is much easier than simply limiting carbs, I thought I was trapped forever. Now I know just what to do, although sometimes I get a little scared when I slip and my BG numbers just won't go down, even after getting back on track. A recent experience made me realize my lethargy probably wasn't due to high BG so much as a virus that my body is fighting.

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2017-06-26 13:38:19 -0500 Report

Carl Jung said, "Shame is a soul eating emotion". Shame is an emotional choice. I think if a person feels shame about something, it makes that person not be their true self. You project a different persona than you would if there was no shame.

I have never viewed Diabetes as being on a wagon, being a battle or a struggle. I viewed it as a life style change and rolled with it. In December, I had my Gall Bladder removed which caused another life style change.In March I had a stent put in my heart. Another life change within 3 months. It slowed me down but it didn't stop it.

If you give it a name it becomes what every you call it. Therefore, you put yourself in the wagon which in my opinion allows you to fall off of it. Get out of the wagon. Look at ways to add a sweet treat to your diet. I do it based on what my numbers are. So if after dinner my BS is 100, I will have a sweet treat because I know it isn't going to raise it over 120-125.

I have diabetes, it does not have me. I control my diabetes, it does not control me. You have to think positive and let go of the shame because it can bring you down. Good luck

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-06-17 11:46:48 -0500 Report

Hey NewSong, it's nice to see you. You said it well. Nobody gets what it's like to live with diabetes who hasn't experienced themselves. If you're not diabetic yourself, then you understand diabetes intellectually, from the neck up, but not what the highs and lows, the carb and sugar cravings, are really like. And you bring up a good point about guilt that turns into self-hatred. I think it's important to set limits with yourself, of course, to take the best possible care of yourself. but it's also important to be kind to yourself, to accept that you are human and not always perfect, to pick yourself up after a self-care slip-up and get back up on the horse. all that self-criticism can lead to feeling helpless and hopeless, and that's what depression is all about. sounds like you are keeping yourself informed and doing a lot to stay on track. Thanks for jumping in and sharing your story with us.

msann 2017-06-10 09:20:32 -0500 Report

hey lady why feel guilty you didnt invite diabetes to your house you have got to take control of your own health sounds like your siblings got to much negative ideas you need to limit yourself from them they should be supportive not down you good luck

NewSong53 2017-06-17 12:59:07 -0500 Report

Thanks — I hit a slump buy I'm back on the wagon now and just chalking it up to a bump in the road!

Stuart1966 2017-06-08 13:43:24 -0500 Report

Hello Newsong53
Thanks for taking part. Going to have to think about this one a bit more. hummmmngh. Shame vs. guilt… Self-hatred? Yikes that's a powerful thing too… interesting…

I wonder if there is a SERIOUS different between the different camps of diabetes on this one. Gestational vs. Type 2, vs Type 1 vs.

I wonder if the term guilt is a very different creature for each one perhaps?

Just Joyce
Just Joyce 2017-06-26 13:20:25 -0500 Report

In my opinion, shame and guilt are added burdens a person caries around and the end result can be unnecessary stress. I don't feel guilty and feeling ashamed never occurred to me.

NewSong53 2017-06-17 13:03:26 -0500 Report

Well, I know everyone has different opinions and everyone's experiences are different. I just know how I overindulged in junk food, sweets (especially), not drinking enough water and refusing to give up a high-stress job (and comforting myself with food). I can't undo the past but I feel responsible for my type 2 diabetes and for the fact that sometimes I can't seem to fight the urges. It's a mental attitude. But once I decide to be kind with myself and take a lot of environmental factors into consideration, I get back up and dust myself off. Much different than the downward spiral I went through in earlier days. Limiting my contact with unsupportive people really helps, as well as learning to accept things as they are and finding a workaround that is better for me.

w8chd 2017-06-06 22:36:49 -0500 Report

i never had that issue. The potential side effects were lightly discussed around my daughters when they were young, but not enough info was given to scare them about any aspect of it.

Stuart1966 2017-06-08 13:47:25 -0500 Report

Hello w8chd:
Thank you for taking part as well. So as their parent you NEVER had guilt because of diabetic events which others experienced, and likely found traumatic not as familiar with the teeth and fires of diabetes as you, or their peers might be?

Just checking…

w8chd 2017-06-09 19:46:07 -0500 Report

No, I NEVER had any guilt over any diabetic events. I believe my lowest ever was in the mid 40's, have had highs the meter couldn't read (600+) But never at any time was a big deal made of it. In no instances were the any calls to EMS or scrambling to the ER. I really doubt the girls or anyone else who may have been present at the times were aware of anything.
I do realize others do have episodes where help is needed. In my 17 years of diabetes I have not. So no, I have never had any guilt issues associated with diabetes or any other illness.
To me it's about presentation. If I don't dramatize it, most likely they won't either. That may not work for someone else, but it does for me and has served me well in the past.

GabbyPA 2017-06-05 10:21:24 -0500 Report

I never thought of it that way mostly because I live with adult kids and a hubby that understood very well chronic. Though he did often say he would die if he ever had diabetes. He always said he could never do the things I do to keep up with it and he was in a wheel chair...I guess it's just what makes you familiar with things.
So I guess I have not experienced the guilt of that and so far I have never had an episode where I said or did things that I regret. But if I had little ones, I could certainly see how that would be very different.

haoleboy 2017-06-04 16:41:36 -0500 Report

not from diabetes
however …
I caused a whole lot of stress and fear for my family (particularly my son) and friends when I had my stroke. it's been four years now and I've just "forgiven" myself for that.

☮ Steve

Type1Lou 2017-06-04 16:35:13 -0500 Report

I know that I caused my husband a lot of anxiety because of repeated severe low blood sugars. He became very adept at injecting me with glucagon when I was beyond helping myself and saved my life more than once. Since I began using an insulin pump in 2011, those really scary lows have stopped and we haven't needed the glucagon since then. Yes, diabetes does take a toll on our loved ones even when we do our best to manage this condition.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2017-06-17 11:49:00 -0500 Report

Hey Lou, well said. I always say to my clients, when one person in the home is living with diabetes, everybody is living with it. You're right, it can take a toll on everybody. That's why communication and teamwork are so important.

Stuart1966 2017-06-08 13:49:35 -0500 Report

Point of information please? What long acting were you using back in 2011?

Type1Lou 2017-06-17 17:23:59 -0500 Report

I was using Lantus. At the time, I was letting my PCP handle my diabetes after moving permanently to Florida. My A1c was creeping up into the 7's and my PCP kept on increasing my Lantus dose while telling me to cut back on my meal-time Novolog dose or even eliminate it (I am Type 1 and produce no insulin; this advice just didn't sound right to me…). This PCP's advice landed me in the ER and I was admitted for tests on the first night of a vacation in Idaho in 2010. (My husband had injected me with glucagon which got me conscious and ambulatory but still incoherent.) We cut our vacation short and returned home. When I recounted this episode to my PCP and he advised me to continue to follow his advice, I self-referred to an endo. The endo actually reduced my Lantus dosage by 25%, changed it from a bedtime to morning injection and re-educated me about carb-counting and sliding scales for boluses. Within a year, I opted to try pumping insulin and hope I never have to go back to MDI. (I also changed PCP but continue to see an endo for my diabetes) Probably TMI for a simple question…

Next Discussion: Overwhelmed »