What is best when talking with other diabetics? Should I give my opinion on staying positive, or should I just listen to them instead?

By Chad1978 Latest Reply 2011-11-01 18:35:11 -0500
Started 2010-01-18 14:32:45 -0600

I have been diagnosed in 2008 to have type 1 diabetes, and have not once been depressed or angry about it. I always looked at it like it could have been worse, or I just look at the cases of 2 year olds that are diagnosed with cancer, and think that I am actually lucky to have a controllable disease. Now I know a lot of diabetics amongst my friends and family members, most of which are type 1 diabetics. Now my question is when talking amongst these other diabetics should I give my opinions on being positive and looking on the brite side or should I just listen and let them vent? A good majority of these people are still angry and maybe even slightly depressed over their diabetes even though they may have had it for 15 years or more. I am not a person that gets easily depressed, sad, or angry about my health, and may only be affected by the health of my kids over my own self.

116 replies

Type1Lou 2011-11-01 10:51:33 -0500 Report

I guess your reaction should be geared to doing what you think would be most helpful to the other person. Your being upbeat, in and of itself, serves as a shining example that diabetes can be dealt with. I find that I get annoyed with the anger and denial others have with their diabetes since anger and denial does not help them deal with it. I'm just not sure that telling them that would be productive. (I'm not sure where the "anonymous" poster below got the idea that you are in denial…quite the contrary IMHO.)

Chad1978 2011-11-01 11:47:42 -0500 Report

I posted this almost two years ago, and I still am getting responses to it. My philosophy on this question has much changed from when I first asked it. Since becoming a diabetic I have found out many people around me, especially at work, were also diabetics. Some of these people are people I have known for years, but was just finding out about their situation. A lot of these people, that I now consider my friends, were very annoyed by my reactions to my disease. You see I never once thought of diabetes as a negative in my life, so that means I never got depressed over my situation. Many of those people struggled within themselves over their disease and got mad at me when I didn't want to sit down and bitch about it. At the time I didn't think about those moments as being a sort of therapy for them. I just wasn't interested in complaining about something that didn't bother me. I was being very honest with them, and they just got angry. That is when I asked the question on this site. A couple weeks after I posted this question I really started to have to think like someone that doesn't feel or think the way that I do. That is when I determined that maybe they just needed an outlet. Maybe, just maybe, they wanted to talk about their personal diabetic issues with a fellow diabetic rather than anyone that was not. That is when I decided to test my theory with those people that I originally felt were just complaining. It turned out I was right. They just wanted to let out all of their frustrations, and once I realised that I was so happy I decided to put some thought into the situation. It turns out one of my fellow co-workers was not even coming close to taking care of his diabetes. He was eating very unhealthfully, and took his meds only when he thought about it. I had to use some on the spot psychology with him, and tell him that what he is not doing could not only hurt him, but could also hurt his family, especially his kids. That talk really kind of opened his eyes up, and so he promised me that he would contact an endochronologist, and start to the responsible thing for him and his body. He has now lost about 40 lbs, due to proper exercise, and has lowered his A1C numbers down from the 8-9 point range to a consistent 4.5-5 range. I realised that sometimes people just need someone like them to vent and get their frustrations out. This situation was not just a turning point for my friend, but also for me. I started seeing people much more differently than I used to. I just realised how long this post is, so sorry. Sometimes when I get into the moment I just keep on keeping on.

Type1Lou 2011-11-01 17:37:27 -0500 Report

I realized I had also replied to your post back in May (but after I posted today too. I always looked at my diabetes as something I had to deal with. It probably stemmed from the fact that I grew up watching my Dad test his urine and give himself shots (from the mid-1950's until he died in the 1970's…) I'm not saying I always made the right decisions…that took me some years and the onset of some complications…and I'm still struggling to properly count those carbs!. I never saw my diabetes as a factor in my work performance and success..and I frequently worked 10 and 12 hour days. I agree with you that there are much worse conditions to have…I'm watching a friend cope with her husband's deteriorating Parkinson's disease where it will only get worse…now that is cause for depression! Yet, they are taking one day at a time and making the best of the time they have.

Chad1978 2011-11-01 18:13:41 -0500 Report

First of all, I am very sorry to hear about your friend's husband. Secondly, one of the reasons that I find it hard for me to complain about becoming a diabetic in '08 is that it is fairly simple to deal with, especially when you compare what I have to do in todays day and age compared to someon like your father back in the 50's. The technology and info in our present days is much much better than it was even 10 years ago.

Type1Lou 2011-11-01 18:35:11 -0500 Report

You are so right! I wouldn't go so far as to claim we are "blessed" to have diabetes but it could be infinitely worse!

saber32 2011-11-01 11:54:23 -0500 Report

i get a weird reaction lords some people in places once they find out im a diabetic i see it a lot at work the saying i did not know you are a diabetic now even thou I told every manager in there my breaks will change

Chad1978 2011-11-01 12:05:05 -0500 Report

Ha, good ol' managers. Without managers where would these companies be? My guess is in the black rather than the red, but what do I know? LOL. The people I found out that were diabetics were people that I see on a daily basis, but we are not always in the same area. I work for the railroad, and some of the people here are not very outspoken on what ails them. The railroad is a whole other realm.

jayabee52 2011-11-01 13:12:29 -0500 Report

I know that myself too about the railroad. My first wife (mother of my sons) was an engineer/fireman's daughter. And for one summer (during college) I was a "gandy dancer" (for the uninitiated someone who helped to keep the tracks in good working order)

Dixiemom 2011-11-01 09:48:04 -0500 Report

Oh girl, you are a girl after my own heart. I believe honesty is the best policy but each individual is different. Sometimes we have to just listen and keep quiet and other times it is good to respond. I'm like you. This disease doesn't get me down. I have other problems besides this and I keep a positive outlook. If I do getr depresseed, or frustrated, I vent. It may be just yelling and screaming or getting involved in a project or spending some quiet time with nature.

Chad1978 2011-11-01 11:53:45 -0500 Report

I have learned that venting is definitely a very good thing to do. Personally, I have never had a problem speaking about any problems I may have, but what I realised is that many people do. Maybe they feel embarassed, or feel that no one gives a care, or whatever. What is true as that everyone is definitely different, so what works for one person may not necessarily work for someone else.

Anonymous 2011-10-31 23:57:14 -0500 Report

Its what most people here suspect and that is you are in denial and the people around you know and are waiting for you to open your eyes.

Dixiemom 2011-11-01 09:50:48 -0500 Report

I would like to ask you a question. Why do you think a positive and upbeat attitude is a sign of denial? I would think that it was the opposite. Those with a gloom and doom outlook do not cope with their problems. A new study came out that says happy people live longer then those that are unhappy.

Chad1978 2011-11-01 09:04:38 -0500 Report

First of all, what is it with these anonymous replies? I don't get offended, and I hate the whole P.C. ways. I am always open to honest replies. Say what you want to me folks without hiding behind a shield. I hate organized religion, but am A-OK with spirituality. I refuse to blindfully defend one party like the majority of the people out there. Both parties suck, and so there is no way I can blindfully and biasly say my favorite party can do no wrong and your favorite party can do no right. I am an open and honest person, and more importantly a realist, so speak your mind to me. I am a big boy, and I can handle it. Even if it's downright nasty.

OK, so to answer to your reply all I have to say is that I honestly do not care what people think of me. Maybe I did back in high school, but even then I highly doubt that to be true. I can honestly sit here and defend who I am, but lets be realistic. No matter what I say I do not know anyone here personally, so I will never be able to get everyone to buy into my thought process. What I will say is that I really am a realist, and I really am pretty damn optimistic in life. To this day I have had very little time set a side for being depressed. The only times I was stressed out and/or depressed was when I lost a friend/family member. Even then I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and moved on. You have two choices in life. You can either sit down and pity yourself or you can pick yourself off and continue to move forward. I choose to move forward in life. My goal was to motivate people, and hopefully help them to see this disease in a different light. My goal was never to pat myself on the back nor was I doing this as therapy for me. My therapy is my friends/family. I always say frineds/family like that because my friends are pretty much a part of my family, and my family members are very much my friends. I enjoy life, and I have very little time I want to spend sulking about things. I know I am pretty strange this way. I just do not let things get me down. I also do not hold in things that bother me. In other words if something is bothering me I talk about it then and there. I do not allow things to fester inside of me because that just makes things all that much worse. Maybe this is why I am rarely stressed out or depressed.

Type1Lou 2011-05-26 15:33:23 -0500 Report

You are to be commended for your positive approach. You are an excellent role model for your children and other diabetics out there. I was diagnosed Type 1 at age 27…perhaps we've benefited from some maturity and life experience before having to deal with this disease. I feel blessed that I did not have to cope with it as a child nor as a teenager. Recognizing that there are now many tools out there to help us better control our condition and using those tools is a critical step for us. Kudos to you!

Chad1978 2011-05-26 21:01:42 -0500 Report

Well, thanks, all I want to do is to try to motivate anyone that is looking for a little positive sway. I am still just a diabetic toddler, as I have had it for only about 3 1/2 years, but not once have I looked down nor have I looked back. I live only for today, and work hard to make sure I see many many more todays. I have learned that positive thinking tends to rub off on people so if my positivity towards life rubs onto others than that is great. Many people don't look at things the way I do, and that is OK, but all I know is that being positive makes my life that much more enjoyable.

Chad1978 2011-05-25 19:03:10 -0500 Report

Well, I have not been on this site in quite some time. I have been very busy with my career, my children, my wife, and now I have decided to go back to school. I was shocked to see all of the responses, and good ones at that. The one thing that I have to say, on this category, is that I found out it was best to listen, but to always push the positiveness. Not in an annoying way, but in a supportive way. Most people are not like me and do not think the way I do. When I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 29 it was basically just another day. I thought OK I just have to get this under control, and I did, and still do have it under control. I have also learned that many people are more scared and fear this disease, and rightfully so. I have learned that the best medicine truly is laughter. If a diabetic friend is feeling down the first thing I do is listen, and then figure out a way to get him/her out of that slump. Sometimes it helps and some times it doesn't, but what I have learned is that they all appreciate my effort, and are not annoyed by my positiveness at all. The way I look at this disease is that there are young children with this disease or worse ones so who am I to complain about getting diabetes at 29. I'm sure it may get tougher as I age and I may have to really work hard at keeping control, but I have motivation…my family.

Thanks for all of your advice, opinions, etc. I always appreciate honest answers whether they are good or bad, so feel free to say what is on your mind.

Your fellow diabetic,

rentintin 2011-05-26 12:16:29 -0500 Report

I think you are a rare jewel and agree with you 100%. May your tribe increase. A good listener is hard to find and one like you who has a greatful heart is even more to be treasured. There are so many things worse that diabetes , not to minimize the disease, but things can always be worse. Enjoy life and God's many blessings and don't dwell on the negatives.

MewElla 2011-05-25 13:34:57 -0500 Report

I think it should be handled on a individual basis after all some people just seem to be stronger and more upbeat than others who always look for all the problems and like to dwell there. Diabetes is an usually a new day everyday…some days golden, others like charcoal and for me, I just have to adapt to each one the best way I can.

Chad1978 2011-05-25 21:19:51 -0500 Report

This is definitely one important thing that I have learned to be true. Instead of me just jumping out offering my advice to someone I instead learn if it is advice they are seeking. One person may be looking for guidance while the other is just looking to vent some frustration.

MarkieMarkie 2011-05-25 13:27:30 -0500 Report

I think it best to approach each situation as a personal response. Greatly satisfying that you don't easily get depressed over your diabetes and I am very grateful yuu don't because attitude often helps. However, there are some people who have a hard time dealing with life changing situations and depression can develope… I know I get depressed when I think I am tryiing very hard to control my SL and nothing seems to work, i.e. with stress and other factors… I find my diabetes ups and downs have been like a roller coaster… sometimes I feel great about msyelf and other times… I get so tired and tired of trying.. I keep going and put one foot in front of the other, but I thiink that people with concerns even if it is depression regarding this disease should be listened to… sometimes a lending ear can help lower SL… I know… I know, now I'm just rambling, but often times when I don't have someone to talk to I talk here and it seems to help.

Good wishes.


MarkieMarkie 2011-05-26 09:21:56 -0500 Report

Glad I could at least respond and try to help. Sounds like you've gotten yourself together… keep doing what you're doing… Keep in mind that people take strength from those of us who demonstrate leadership, whatever it may be… knowledge (strength), physical abilty, determination, accomplishment… etc. It gives us hope to know that if someone other than ourself can accomplish something then it is a possibility for anyone to accomplish the same thing… when people vent or sincerely ask for your opinion it may be their way of saying… teach me, teach me… to do what you do… and it is true.. everyone is different so what may come easy for some may not come as easy for others. The point of the matter is there is positive alternatives to suffering through this disease… there is faith, hope and love… and the greatest is love… just listening is saying… I love you… I hear you… how can I help.

Best wishes.

Chad1978 2011-05-26 11:11:35 -0500 Report

Again, very good points. I completely agree on all accounts. Sometimes all it takes is one word of encouragement to really help someone feel much better. Everyone is definitely different, but what I have learned that a common bond that we all have is to want to be motivated in life, whether or not we have a disease. I try to make friends with as many positive people that I can, because that only helps me stay positive and motivated, but it also just makes life that much more enjoyable. I also try to befriend those that do act like diabetes is, and has to be, a negative thing in their life. Many times I am able to show them that it doesn't have to be a negative, and can in fact be a positive thing. Sometimes they just can't be swayed, but at least I tried my best to help them to see an alternative way of looking at the disease.

To me this disease has definitely turned out to be a positive influence in my life. Sure I would have loved to never have gotten it, but I have made many friendships that I never would have had had I not been diagnosed with it. I met people in some of the diabetes programs in my area that I have attended, and had I not been diagnosed I would never had attended those meetings. I have become friends with people at work that started because of our common bond with diabetes. Now I am not certain that we would never have been friends with or without my diagnosis, but I guarantee that it made the friendship process move a heck of a lot quicker.

Stay positive,

Chad1978 2011-05-25 21:23:44 -0500 Report

Well, if you are rambling then welcome to my world, because I am definitley a rambler at times, LOL. All jokes aside, I completely agree with your thoughts. The one thing that I have learned is to figure out if the person that is talking to me is seeking advice or just looking to vent. Sometimes we all just want to talk to somebody and vent while another day we may be looking for some advice, and both scenarios are OK, and completely healthy.

Least 2010-01-30 22:15:50 -0600 Report

I think the best thing to do is play it by ear with each person! Sometimes the longer you have it, the more prone you may be to getting down and depressed! (You have a longer history of problems and just "dealing with it")

If you notice someone is always down, and can't think positively, then it is probably a good idea to approach them on "how much worse it could be". I know from ten years with diabetes that there will always be ups and downs. I appreciate it when my mom and others in my life remind me to be positive, and usually it encourages me! There are times though, when I'm having a really bad day, that I appreciate a sympathetic ear or shoulder to cry on…and won't hear the positive stuff no matter how it is worded!

Anyways, that's my two cents for what its worth :) I hope it helps you with your diabetic friends!

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-01-31 01:23:53 -0600 Report

Personally, when I was VERY depressed, a clinical illness, NOT feeling sorry for myself, a BIG difference, and something that most folks do not understand, and at the risk of sounding gruff, too positive a person did NOT bring out the best in me—-Too conflicting to how I was feeling, BUT it did help just to have someone to listen quietly, yet with an understanding gleam in their eye, they really didn't have to say anything, and probably wiser if they just smiled and noded kindly. None of us ever Know how someone else is feeling or how to treat them, outside of just smiling, quietly, and accepting. PR

Chad1978 2011-05-25 21:14:11 -0500 Report

I absolutely agree and understand all to well about clinical depression. My sister has been clinically depressed for years, as she has Alopecia. She sleeps for what seems like 16 hours a day, and is just always seems down. I agree that no type of positive influence can truly help a clinically depressed person. My somewhat vague question was meant at an average person, and not someone with an extreme case like clinical depression. I wish to god that all it took to help someone in that state was to help them think positively, but it just isn't so. Hopefully someday soon they will have an easy way to help someone snap out of clinical depression.

imsuzie2 2010-02-01 00:36:56 -0600 Report

Amen. Give advice when asked, listen if not.

Chad1978 2011-05-25 21:17:55 -0500 Report

My opinion on this is yes and no. I say no to being preachy about the advice, but if you have some advice that helped you out, and just may be able to help them to get motivated then I say yes. I do understand that sometimes people just want to vent, and are not looking for any kind of advice, period, but I feel if they are venting out that if we have some sound advice we should ask them if they would like to hear what we have to say. Maybe they say yes and maybe they say no, but if we don't ask how do we know they aren't looking for a little guidance?

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-01-30 00:10:17 -0600 Report

From a 77 year old woman who has had type 2 for 3 years, borderline for over 50 years.

You are concerned over what to say, can't figure out what THEY EXPECT you to say? What they really want? I think that you worry too much, personally I just like to chat with anyone who will listen, diabetis happens to be a current topic, but have many other things to talk about. Most of my friends are NOT diabetic, and do NOT listen, so—yes, I do vent some to those who appear friendly, but MOSTLY on this site where others are in a similar boat and "get it"!

Just relax and be yourself, don't feel like you need to MAKE everyone else as happy as you, that really rubs folks the wrong way, trust me! Things, advice or such can be taken the wrong way, so it is best to just smile, nod and act kindly, and NATURALLY lead the discussion to other topics, but DO NOT make it a SHORT dodging out of the topic—or they will think that you do not care.

A lot of older folks have already been dealing with emotional illnesses, have NOT had the wonderful, caring support from family and Drs that you have, and frankly, that can really be resented by others as they will think that "you don't have a clue" and you don't because everyone's opinions are based on their own personal backgrounds, over which neither you , nor anyone else, has control! So don't get overly confident in your listening abilities, as that could change in a heart beat, then you might be forced to see diabetis and life, thru different colored glasses, but if you don/t, don't brag about it, just be greatful!
Best wishes for an understanding and loving road thru life, but if there are hills and valleys, do not be dismayed, others have already trod those roads and left you a well worn path for you to find your way! God Bless you!
Pat Roth

Chad1978 2011-05-25 22:36:21 -0500 Report

Sorry for such a late response, but I have not logged in for quite some time. This response was very good, and definitely worth reading. I appreciate your honesty and advice.

I wasn't really concerned so much about what I should say, but more like do they want me to say something or not. The one thing that I have learned since I posted this message is that sometimes people are looking for advice, and then sometimes they are not. I know people don't like getting advice when they are not looking for it, so I struggled for a while learning if and when I should try to offer my advice.

making people happy is just me being me. I have always been a people person and pretty energetic. I just have always enjoyed motivating and/or making those around me smile/laugh. If I can make those around me feel better then I am a happy man. Some times it doesn't always work, but at least I tried. I am pretty lucky because I have wonderful friends, family, and co-workers that are able to talk openly and honestly about most subjects including the dreaded two, politics and religion. Ok those latter two, on occasion, does bring a little heat, but every single time there is a little heat it is always dowsed by plenty of laughter.

I agree with you about the fact that not all diabetics have had a great support system, and they were always the toughest ones to crack, older or younger. I was never overly pushy, but I pushed enough consistently that they realized that they had at least one person that was going to support them whether they wanted it or not. It was very hard for them to trust that someone was on their side, because some of them had almost no family support even though they did indeed have families. Some of the older people I know, like my neighbor, didn't really have any family, and they were on their own for years, but again I pushed just enough to get them to realize I was definitely on their side. I really only pushed these people because I could see that they weren't taking care of their diabetes, and I felt it was better to possibly anger them and hate me if I had even the slightest chance to get them to start taking better care of themselves. Needless to say it took time, but the three toughest people I knew finally allowed me to basically be there support system. I then introduced them to some of my other friends and neighbors, and now we all have many people on our support systems.

I definitely am very grateful, and have no interest in bragging. I am the type of person that truly loves life and enjoys the people around me. I am a people person, and always will be…well, except for when it comes to slow drivers in the left lane, but that is a whole other topic, LOL…anyways, I know I have annoyed some people, like my neighbor and a few other tough cookies out there, but it was well worth it. I was lucky in life to always have a great support group amongst my friends and family, and I am just talking about a support group in life well before becoming diabetic. I know that those around you are very important, so you definitely want the majority of those around you to be positive. Again, it is a shame that many people do not have a positive support group, but at least they can go onto sites like this to possibly find someone that can understand what they are going through.

Now I don't want it to sound like I have all the answers to life and can befriend anyone I speak too, because that just wouldn't be true. I am not trying to motivate someone every single day, other than my children, but I wish I could. I am only 33 years old, and have much to experience in life, but as a father of two wonderful boys I refuse to be anything other than positive in my daily routine. Sometimes I may have a bad moment, especially when my sugars get low, but I snap out of it very shortly, and get my sugars back to good levels, and I am then the normal me again. The only time I ever get edgy is when my sugars get low. God do I hate low sugar levels. The sweating, the shakiness, the I was raised by a very positive family from my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc. I may not know everything, and maybe I am still very naive about many things, but that's OK. That's the great thing about life. We are able to learn from the good things and even the bad things in life.

I really like your closing statement. Very poetic, and yet it is very much true. Again, thank you for your great response, and I wish you the best. Have a great Memorial Day weekend, and sorry for the lengthy response, but sometimes once I get typing I just can't stop.

Your friend,

imsuzie2 2010-01-30 01:53:23 -0600 Report

Pat, you are so unique, I just love you! And, not many women BRAG about their age as you do. You look like about 50 in your picture. What great genes you have!!!!! Not to mention your loving heart. (those stupid, bitchy church ladies are all wet) Hugs

Deb-G 2010-01-23 08:41:32 -0600 Report

I guess i look at it this way…I think the positive outlook is AWESOME…and projecting it to others is awesome too…but I think its important for even diabetics to realize not all diabetics are the same…You could be talking to, offering advice, or being aggrivated with the lack of positive feelings in another diabetic who is perhaps…brittle?…or has other factors that make their own personal control very very challenging…

If you are a diabetic who can easily control your body you should feel thankful…and by all means share your enthusiasm…but…for me…I do all the right things and my body still denies me reactions sometimes…I do all the same things and still cannot control my swings…am I at the border of being considered brittle…probably…but part of that aspect of this desease is that it is difficult control regardless of what you do…

Its just all relative…and yes i'm feeling pissy today because I take my sorry ass to Mayo tomorrow…I am one of the best diabetes patients i know with the shi**iest luck…

So i'm not always cheerful :D

With that in mind…I do appreciate your cheerful thoughts and your aggressiveness with your desease…I am happy yours is cooperating…truly :)

dietcherry 2010-01-23 11:53:48 -0600 Report

Deb, your level-headed responses are always a delight! Will you be able to communicate with us from Mayo? Good luck and Prayers and Wishes are following you! Renee :)

Deb-G 2010-01-23 12:36:05 -0600 Report

I'll have my laptop with me…so possibly :oP I do notice sometimes the website doesn't cooperate with me on my laptop recognizing my password…I'm not sure why that is!! lol…So it will depend on whether it wants to aggrivate me or not? lol…

My oldest daughter is also making the trip with me…(she's 16)…She was my 911 connection with my last seizure when I also really hurt myself in the fall…So I am letting her come hang out with good ole mom…course she'll have to be doing her homework via the internet by day but i'll probably be busy most of each day anyway…

I will try…for sure…cause I love reading the funny stuff in these threads sometimes…I love that when one of us is having a hard time…another lifts us up!…I appreciate you all…

<3 Deb

imsuzie2 2010-01-23 21:01:32 -0600 Report

Deb, you have so much on your plate besides the diabetes, so of course doing all the right things might not work one day or another. I am so sorry to hear of your so recent loss and your poor baby…what did the vet say? You are so lucky to have the support of family, and a daughter so willing to accompany you for companionship and support. We are all here as well, and each of us send you love and hugs for the upcoming stay at Mayo. Suppose you can't think of it as a mini spa vacation with lots of special attention, can you? LOL

Hugs and angels to support and comfort you…Suzie

Deb-G 2010-01-29 22:57:49 -0600 Report

lol Suzie…thank u!…The Mayo trip was worth it…not quite the spa vacation I imagined BUT…lots of things learned and I really needed that :)

My pup is hopefully on the mend…doing another round of antibiotics for what may be a stubborn UTI…We did an xray to ease my mind about stones..I didn't want her in pain while I was away…xray was clear so antibiotics it was…I just got home this afternoon and she is lookin good so far…bit more time on the Rx…then i'll have her checked out again :)

Thx for the well wishes…I am done with my self pity party LOL ;)

imsuzie2 2010-01-30 01:49:06 -0600 Report

Deb, you can have a pity party or a P&M anytime you want. It is our RIGHT! And, as you know, this is the safe place to have it, with the support of our second family. As long as you don't stay in the funk or hurt yourself (that goes for any of us), go at it!!! Hugs

officervanessa 2010-01-22 15:04:33 -0600 Report

glad to see that there is another diabetic who feels the same way about having diabetes that i do ;) unfortunately, as much as you try to tell another diabetic that it could be worse… many of them don't get it. to them- this is terrible. all you can do is show them how positive you are about the situation, and that you don't let it stop you from anything… and hopefully, eventually they will follow in your steps and also accept it.

Chad1978 2011-05-25 22:48:47 -0500 Report

Sorry for such a long delay to your response, but I have not been on this site in quite some time. I, too, am glad to see someone with a positive outlook to life after diabetes. I completely agree that being positive is the best thing we can do. Eventually it can, and very well may, rub off on them. Diabetes is definitely not very fun, but if you work at it it doesn't necessarily have to be a burden. Sure sticking needles into your stomach is no fun, but it is good practice for any parties that have stick the tail on the donkey…although, you are blindfolded in the donkey party. Guess I'll have to start sticking the ol' needle in the tum, blind fold style. Boy this response has really turned strange fast. Oh, well, so be it. I think diabetics just need to get out there and laugh more. You know, enjoy life. Of course I have only been a diabetic for about 4 years, so I guess it's easier said for me than someone who's had it for 10 years or more. I'm still just a diabetic toddler.

Troy's Mom
Troy's Mom 2010-01-22 04:11:04 -0600 Report

Honestly I think you should be who you are and spread the positivity. If they don't get it now maybe in reflection they will. With me I'm the ultra sensitive type and it's hard for me to take the tough love positive look sometimes but later it sinks in. When Troy first got Diabetes last year he was 2. I cried and cried and cried. I called my mom and she said "pick yourself up off the floor. It's not like he has cancer" Oh believe me I was so mad at first but over time I understood what she meant. Without people like you and my mom telling it how it is how do you expect people like me to be able to stop crying and get off the floor. A doctor told me the same thing "it's not cancer" And when we were in the hospital we were in the same ward as the cancer patients. Little 2 year olds, OMG, Ya it's not cancer. I can never erase the picture of those innocent little guys with no hair looking at us looking at them. So if I may say listen and be compassionate and then tell them your story or your thoughts and if they get mad then maybe later it will make sense. Does that make sense.

Chad1978 2011-05-26 11:40:45 -0500 Report

Hello, and sorry for such a late reply, but I logged on last night for the first time in a very long time.

As far as your son getting diabetes at 2, and I assume he is now 3, that really sucks. When I make the point about kids getting cancer or other diseases I am only comparing me to those children, and not comparing diseases at all. My point is that I got diagnosed with diabetes at 29 and that I feel that I am pretty lucky because I got to live 29 healthy years whereas many children don't get even 5 years of a healthy life. When I became a diabetic my health was never a concern, as I knew I could manage it, but to this day I still am checking my boys blood sugars. Knock on wood they both are healthy, but with me being a diabetic it only makes their chances that much higher. My youngest, Brendon, is 3, and my eldest, Brett is 8. These two are my motivations in life, and I want to do what I can to make sure they live the best lives they could. I completely understand about the way you felt. No it may not be cancer, but it is still going to be a tough ride. Luckily for him it sounds like he already has a great person in his corner, and good for him, but also good for you. As crazy as it sounds this is only going to make the bond between you two that much stronger for the entirety of your lives.

You see, my wife's cousin's son, Alex, became a diabetic at 9 or 10 years old. The teen years are tough with diabetes because of puberty, and all of the changes our bodies go through at that time. The one thing that is true to this day is that the bond between the two of them is unbreakable, but in a healthy way. They turned a negative into a positive, and honestly I don't know if there bond would be where it is now had he not been diagnosed with diabetes. He knows that she is in his corner no matter what ups and downs he has. Stay positive because he is definitely going to need a strong supporting cast around him, especially during those awkward years of life.

Your friend,

imsuzie2 2010-01-22 04:47:20 -0600 Report

Mom, I can only guess how hard this is. If there is good news, I think Troy is young enough to think this is "normal", as he grows you can make a game out of having him help you plan and measure his food, and teach him good healthy choices. It is a chance to get the whole family eating healthy, "playing" healthy together…walks, biking, swimming, etc. Lots of athletes are coming "out of the kitchen" with their diabetes. I watch dLife on Sunday, 4pm CNBC, and they are always doing stories on people with diabetes. Lots of good info, and this year they have 2 new hosts, one is a MD. And, you have us. Hugs

Troy's Mom
Troy's Mom 2010-01-22 04:55:51 -0600 Report

So true. One of the benefits of Troy getting diabetes at a young age is that he will just think that this is normal. He will think that his diet is normal too. Poor teenagers who get it have a huge transaction to face plus Troy won't be sacred of the shots. He is already used to it. My mother was over the other day when I had to give Troy his insulin and she was so proud of him. He barely flinched and hardly put up a fight. Pretty normal. Gosh he is only 3 and has had it for a year so 1/3 of his life he has been diabetic. God Bless you.

imsuzie2 2010-01-22 05:28:43 -0600 Report

I have to admit I am envious of Type 1's. I think I have it so easy as a type 2. It is scary to me to think of giving myself a shot, having to "KNOW" how many carbs I am eating, measuring the amount of insulin I would need, and then worrying about the high and low roller coaster. I can understand the stress of having to deal with all of that, just THINKING of what Type 1's deal with on a daily basis…the strength you guys have (you too, as Troy's mom, having to learn this and teach it to him) is just awesome. You guys are heroes. Hugs

imsuzie2 2010-01-20 05:09:06 -0600 Report

CM, I would so much rather be with a happy, positive person than a whiner. What fun are they? Until Oct of last year, my nicknames were "Pollyanna" and "Little Suzie Sunshine". Life hit me in October, and when the doctor said I was clinically depressed, you could've knocked me over with a feather. As I work thru this, I would rather be with you than a depressed me!!! Keep that fabulous, positive attitude, and avoid the downers in life. Keeping your humor is so important. Like you, I don't really struggle with my diabetes, it is the ulcerative colitis that effects my life more, and mine is in better control than a lot of other patients with it. Outlook and attitude…S2

Chad1978 2011-05-26 11:43:14 -0500 Report

Oh I have some whiners in my life, and they are OK. We just roll with the flow, and when they annoy me with the whining I chime in and annoy them with the positive side to their negative side, LOL. Whiners just need a shot of honesty, is all.

Pam from KCMO
Pam from KCMO 2010-01-20 05:36:50 -0600 Report

Oh, my, Suzie - my brother suffers from ulcerative colitis. We think it's related to the rheumatoid arthritis he had as a child. Like me, he now watches his diet closely, no longer drinks, and uses self-hypnosis to manage the pain and stress in his life. (He's a psychologist who works primarily with chronic pain patients - uses hypnosis on them and teaches them self-hypnosis as well to help in pain management. He's amazed his docs - at his yearly colonoscopy, he doesn't get any anesthetic - he goes into trance! Show-off…)

dietcherry 2010-01-20 13:31:59 -0600 Report

Cool, Pam! Where can I buy some of that trance-and does it come in liquid or pill form?! LOL Just kidding! Wish I had that kind of mind of matter! Renee :)

Pam from KCMO
Pam from KCMO 2010-01-21 04:11:36 -0600 Report

My brother' s in San Antonio so the plane fare for any appointment would be prohibitive for you, Renee. LOL!

He did teach me a technique that has helped me both in dealing with stress and, at one point, with severe TMJ. Here's how it works:

He talks a lot about your unconscious mind - the one that's running along unnoticed while your ordinary mind is moving you through your day. Self-hypnosis, he says, is a way of speaking to your unconscious and getting it to behave. (That's how I understand it anyway.)

Here's the procedure he taught me: I sit quietly (and ALONE), close my eyes, and begin focusing on my breath. As I breathe (deeply), I visualize numbers in my head, starting with 100, and then slowly counting down to 95. When I hit 95, I say to myself, "I am calm. I am comfortable. I am in control" Then I visualize the number 94, and on down to 90. Then I open my eyes and I'm done. And I invariably feel better. I do it at work, in the car (when it's parked, obviously!) wherever.

You can substitute three phrases for whatever you're dealing with. When I had TMJ, the phrases he gave me were, "My mouth is open. My teeth are apart. My jaw is relaxed." It helped.

So it's not a liquid. It's not a pill. It's in your head!

imsuzie2 2010-01-21 06:06:14 -0600 Report

I look forward to my yearly colonoscopies for the "sleep" and tell them not to wake me, let me wake on my own. Love those 20 to 30 minutes!! :) He doesn't know what he is missing! But, I'd also like the pill form of the self-hypnosis…

donna13 2010-01-21 08:53:38 -0600 Report

I hope you were kidding when you said you look forward to a colonoscopy. I was so happy last year when they said that I didn't have to come back for 3 years. That 20 or 30 min. of sleep does not make up for the 24 hours prior. I think I would rather hit myself on the head and become unconscience that way then to go through all that.

Deb-G 2010-01-21 11:46:26 -0600 Report

I am TOTALLY NOT looking forward to my first Colonoscopy!…and I think too i'd rather wake up when its over lol…

Seriously who picks that field to work in? LOL

imsuzie2 2010-01-22 04:39:18 -0600 Report

Since I have had UC for over 10 yrs, more like 28, I need to have one yearly, due to higher chance to get rectal cancer. There are 2 preps that are easier to take. One is pills, Visacol (I think it is spelled, horse-sized pills) and Rx strength Miralax. Miralax is all but tasteless and can even be mixed in water. Dealing with UC makes Type 2 easy to deal with!

The first colonoscopy I had in '82, the gastro at Kaiser let my husband in the procedure room and watched. I woke up, saw the screen and said, "Wow, look at that" and was out again. LOL Think I scared the doctor.

Deb-G 2010-01-22 11:02:00 -0600 Report

Suzie…Kudo's to you for following thru and doing them!! I totally realize how important it is regardless of the discomfort…Way to go keeping up on it…not just for you but for your family that loves you :)

imsuzie2 2010-01-22 22:33:33 -0600 Report

Deb, we just do what we have to do, no matter how unpleasant. Guess my mom set the example going to chemo in the mid 60's, three times a week, hooked up to an IV. Funny, I don't remember her hair falling out of vomiting…but at 14 or so, maybe I have blocked it out. When I turned 16, I got the jog of taking her to chemo, and would spend the time in the lab looking at stuff under the microscope. The doctors and lab people and nurses were like family for the 5 or so years she was having care, and they came to my Sweet 16 party and my sister's wedding and mommy danced with her doctors. When it part of your life like a chronic illness, you don't think too much about it, it is part of your daily routine. :) Hugs

larry A
larry A 2010-01-19 16:21:43 -0600 Report

I have a friend that was just diagnoised with type II and she is just torn up about it. I listened to her concerns then I told her what worked for me and what has not worked for me, I also told her to get liturature concerning diabetis and have her family read the material so they have some idea of the struggle that she is going to have and that they will have understanding this monster that we all deal with.

dietcherry 2010-01-19 13:26:08 -0600 Report

Hey cml0678! Hope you and all my friends here are having a great day! I have an idea for you-why don't you invite your friends/family to join this site and they can vent/rejoice/bend an ear/ and share with all of us!!! This would be a great solution to your problem! We are all fun, funny, supportive, and positive people on this site and I know we can all help them, if that is what they need! No excuses, now, with your positve attitude, you can certainly talk them into it, right?! Plus you rack up points for inviting friends!!! It's a win/win for everyone involved! Also, your wife and kids (if they are old enough) can join, as well,l as caregivers/family members who are affected by diabetes! We will all be looking forward to meeting them so Get Busy!!! Lots of Love, Renee :)

Chad1978 2010-01-19 13:52:24 -0600 Report

Hmm, that's actually a pretty good idea. My kids are definitely too young, but I am pretty sure I can get some friends and family on with no problem. I will have to look into this matter. Thanks for the great idea.

dietcherry 2010-01-19 15:02:06 -0600 Report

LOL Well, be sure to let us know when they sign up so we can send them friends requests! This will surely put an end to your problem of being unable to ask them what they need from you! I say use that bluntness and honesty and just ask! LOL It must really be tough on you to not have that open line of communication with these family/friends! I can't imagine!!!! Lots of Love, Renee :)

BeckyJ 2010-01-19 13:24:54 -0600 Report

Congrats on staying so positive! As to your question I would imagine that many of the people coming to talk with you are looking to siphon of some of that positivity. lol. Now I have not had this disease as long as others, only 10 years, but I can tell you that the longer you have to deal with a chronic illness the harder it is to stay positive. I have some other conditions that require a daily infusion of positivity just to survive, one is Bi-Polar so that makes things difficult. So far having a good attitude is working. When I was first diagnosed I was so proactive and positive that I had several people come to me to ask what was wrong with me. lol. They just couldn't understand how I could see the good in a dibiliating illness. For me it was a realization that I coud DO SOMETHING to make myself feel better, not just let my body do whatever it wanted. When I finally had to go on disability and stop working was when I hit my first wall of major depression about my diseases. I started looking for anyone out there to vent to. My family has other major problems to deal with so I didn't feel comfortable unloading on them. It seemed so petty to bother them so I started talking with a therapist. Just made me more depressed because he didn't UNDERSTAND. I've found someone now that can get it but it took some trial and error. I first had to convince her that my mood swings did not all come from my mental illnes but sometimes I was just mad/sad/frustrated with dealing with a daily struggle to stay well. Be thankful that others are coming to you for advice. It shows how good a person you are and how you affect their lives. Some may be looking for advice but many may just want someone new to vent to. Personal experience has shown that some people just get tired of hearing your troubles, no matter how much they love you. lol.

Chad1978 2010-01-19 13:50:08 -0600 Report

Thank you for being honest. I am definitely not at all annoyed by these people coming up to talk to me about it, but I am just trying not to give advice when they are only looking to vent, but then I don't want to say nothing if it is just them looking for any advice to staying positive. I can totally see how it can get harder the longer you have any type of disease or illness, and I have only had diabetes for about 2 or 3 years now. I am not really a person that gets sick of others wanting to vent about whatever. I suppose if that was the only thing happening every single time we spoke than sure it would get old, but I am a pretty easy person to discuss things with, because I only offer advice when it is seeked, but usually when someone asks me for advice they literally ask me for advice. These people that I am conversing with confuse me because for the first time in my life I can't tell if they want advice or if they are just looking for an ear to vent. I have no problem with either situation, but I also don't want to give advice when they are not looking for it nor do I want to stay silent when they are looking for advice. The common sense thing would be to ask them, but many of them wouldn't be completely honest about it either way. Some would, but those I have already asked, but the ones that I am unsure of are either to shy, or proud, to admit they are looking for advice or for an ear to vent. Ii wish people were more bluntly honest like me. I don't beat around the bush. I say it as I see it, and I tell people exactly how I feel so that there is never any confusion. Oh well, everyone is different I guess that's what makes life so exciting.

Libra1969 2010-01-19 12:38:40 -0600 Report

I think it's great that you have such a positive attitude towards your diabetes. My advice in any situation, whether it is diabetes related or not, if a person comes to you and wants to discuss something, their health or otherwise, it is always a good thing to lend that ear and listen. When they are finished and if they ask your opinion then by all means I would certainly try to have a positive discussion with them. Alot of times people are just looking for someone to listen. That does seem to be hard to come by these days. Keep up the positive attitude.

Antique-Dave 2010-01-19 09:23:04 -0600 Report

Good listeners are hard to find, and often when found are sought out. In itself its not a bad thing but it can become quite toxic.

Its one thing to be a good listener, and have an empathetic ear. Everyone needs a time to vent, but you don't want to allow yourself to become a dumping ground either.

Its great that you have been able to remain positive, and that others look to you for support.

Have you ever heard of the term active listening? http://www.studygs.net/listening.htm

there is a lot more of this material online, its a communication skill that builds the trust you need to go on to helping to problem solve.

For myself I can listen to a vent, empathize with a problem, lend a shoulder, but if every time I see the person they are going down that same old same old road without taking any responsibility to change I'm going to start avoiding them.

Most of the time people just need a mirror, a sounding board that allows them to get a different perspective so that they can follow through on a decision that they have often already made.

There are some people whose negativity is so toxic that it can destroy you along with them if you let it happen.

Chad1978 2010-01-19 12:43:55 -0600 Report

I never heard of that term, but I will check out the link. The thing is that they talk about their issues, but are not necessarily being negative or anything. I just can't figure out if they are just looking for someone to talk about it or, as someone pointed out on this site, if they thinking that maybe I am in a stage of denial and they are trying to get me to spill my beans and break out into some emotional tirade. I am much to honest to be in denial, and I try to point this out to them by speaking about my diagnosis and the things that I make sure to do to control my disease rather than let it control me. It is just hard for me to figure out with these people of what they are looking for. I can't figure out if they are looking for an ear, a shoulder, or are instead looking to lend their support to me. Normally I can usually figure these things out, but for some reason I feel they are looking for me to give them some sort of answer to how I stay so positive. The only reason I think this is that they go into details, which I think is them trying to vent, and when they finish I give a few seconds to see what their reaction is, and the reaction is them staring at me, making me feel like they want me to tell them something. The reason why i am so confused is because these people have had diabetes for many more years than I have, so how could they possibly need me to help them out other than by giving them positive support, which I already do?

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