How Big a Burden

Jonathan - 13553
By Jonathan - 13553 Latest Reply 2008-07-03 19:06:46 -0500
Started 2008-07-03 03:16:02 -0500

This is a topic that came up for discussion at a meet-up I attended with a group of other Type 1s here in NYC. We were all different ages, from early 20s to early 60s, some pumpers, some on injection therapy; some relatively recently diagnosed and some with it for decades.

The question is: How big a burden to you is having diabetes?

The reason I pose the question is that there was a significant divergence of opinion, with some of us saying it was an enormous burden, running through virtually every aspect of our lives, and others saying it was not that big a burden or that they had other burdens which were greater.

My personal take is that it is a big burden, taking up about an hour a day with blood tests, carb counting and food measuring, pump and sensor maintenance, making sure I have all my emergency stuff with me, thinking about food and blood sugar and exercise, checking what's new on the OC (definitely not a burden, but something that I would not do if diabetes was not part of my life), etc.


5 replies

Melissa Dawn
Melissa Dawn 2008-07-03 13:20:02 -0500 Report

A fair question. I've gone through different phases in my life. At times, I barely worry about my diabetes. Other days, I feel very burdened by it. I've had diabetes for so long that I don't really think about the day to day maintenance. Testing my blood sugar, taking insulin, monitoring what I eat — its so mundane to me that I'd have to think NOT to do it.

The part that burdens me is the worry. I worry about what happens if I can't control it. What happens when I have children to care for and my blood sugar drops suddenly? What if I find myself without insurance? Its things like this, trying to plan for life ahead that make it seem more of a burden.

Overall, it isn't a big deal to me. I'm used to it… but if I get thinking, it will weigh me down for a time.

morris.js 2008-07-03 11:45:25 -0500 Report

Granted, I'm a type 2 that has gone from an insulin pump to now just taking 2 oral meds a day, but I still need to remember all the testing supplies, glucose tabs, Glucagon Emergency Kit, etc.

But when I consider what my life would be like if I did not take care to control my Diabetes, I would have to say NO, it is not a burden. My brother almost lost his foot to what started out as a little infection because of his Diabetes, and was hospitalized for several weeks. To me, those complications along with the others would be soo much more of a burden.

butterfly_8 2008-07-03 19:06:46 -0500 Report

I understand what you mean about the complications. Through no fault of my own my Diabetic co-ordinator who was caring for my feet filed my toenail too short. I developed two ingrown toenails that became infected. I am now living a nightmare trying to get my foot to heal. I will be forever careful after this. No it will not be too much of a burden.

GabbyPA 2008-07-03 11:17:29 -0500 Report

What a great question. You will get as many different answers as there are people. Attidue will be the main difference for me. Being new to the whole thing personally, it is a bit of a burden, but I have to say the alternative will be much more of a burden to the rest of my family. That is what I don't want. I have been overwhelmed and I am sure I talk too much about what is going on, but it keeps me from crying my eyes out, so it is good.
I get frustrated as I try to make sense of why my BG numbers are high or low, but the point is that at least now I am paying attention.
I guess I see it more as a responsibility or a wake up call and as long as I keep humor and keep learning, then the burden will not be too heavy.

John Crowley
John Crowley 2008-07-03 10:49:57 -0500 Report

This is an interesting topic. I will say that having the pump definitely made the day-to-day management of diabetes simpler. Before the pump, it seemed every time we left the house for any reason, we'd have to think through all the supplies we might need.

The pump does seem to make it simpler.

And we try not to focus on diabetes constantly simply because it seems like an exhausting way to live. We deal with it when we need to and then try to live as normally as possible.

But we do have some friends who's son also has diabetes. Their son is not very vigilant about taking care of himself. His A1C has been 10+ for a while. I think if I were his parent, I'd worry and dwell on diabetes a lot more than I do.