Complications : True Stories from Diabetics

By MAYS Latest Reply 2012-12-27 08:54:48 -0600
Started 2010-04-28 20:10:57 -0500

Complications resulting from diabetes are not just the results of medical research studies, they are real.

Most importantly, it can happen to any one who is a diabetic if proper care is not taken to manage your blood glucose levels :

Understanding diabetes is the first step :

Taking the necessary steps (glucose monitoring) and having these test performed will help you to see and know the results of your efforts to manage and control your blood glucose levels :

Any personal stories, comments or other input of diabetes complications added to this discussion would be appreciated.

Help others to understand the seriousness of diabetic neglect.

~ Mays ~

28 replies

scribbles 2010-04-30 18:19:32 -0500 Report

To Robbibird3: You may have to practice 'tough love' with your brother. If he's old enough to be a prison guard, he's old enough to take responsibility for himself. He may have to hit bottom before he 'grows up". Just one question for you and it's sorta personal - if you don't take care of you, who will? That's why you may have to resort to tough love.

Richard157 2010-04-30 09:51:02 -0500 Report

I have a friend in England who was diagnosed with type 1 when she was 12. She refused to eat properly and ignored her diabetes. Her father took her to the diabetes ward at a local hospital. She saw diabetes patients who were very ill and were on dialysis machines with kidney problems. There was one individual who was blind from retinopathy complications. There were some diabetics there who had amputations. My friend was so frightened by all this that she began taking her insulin and watching her diet much more carefully. She has now lived with her type 1 for 51 years and she has no complications.

I was diagnosed when I was 6, in 1945, and did not experience any denial because of my young age. I obeyed my mother and never ate anything with sugar. I have used very tight control. Now I have lived 64 years with type 1, and I have no complications.

tabby9146 2012-12-26 08:24:32 -0600 Report

that is great that she turned it all around and has done so well for so many years! and as I have said before, great that you have been doing so well for so long too. what an inspiration!

Richard157 2012-12-26 08:53:42 -0600 Report

Hi Tabby, it has now been 67 years since I was diagnosed, and I still do not have diabetes related complications, except some minor nerve damage.

Happy New Year!!

GabbyPA 2010-04-30 09:57:29 -0500 Report

You are our hero Richard. How is that study going that you are in?

Richard157 2010-04-30 12:47:05 -0500 Report

Hi Gabby, the Joslin Type 1 Study concludes in April, 2011. I am anxious to see the conclusions too.

GabbyPA 2010-05-01 08:23:44 -0500 Report

Do they give you any updates or progress reports on the study or are you going to have to wait until it is finished?

MAYS 2010-04-30 13:07:07 -0500 Report

Richard, you are a true, living source of actual diabetic knowledge to all.

Your friend experienced (in my opinion) what all diabetics should be exposed to, not the horrors as others say, the true actual facts of the results of diabetic neglect regardless of what they are, no matter how graphic !
The victims themselves will tell you that I didn't know, didn't care or just simply believed that it couldn't happen to me, but look at me now.

Once diagnosed with diabetes, it's a lifelong partner, till death do you part,
any denial of such is just plain foolishness on behalf of the non believer.


tabby9146 2012-12-26 08:25:58 -0600 Report

in diabetes classes I went to, they talked a lot about what could happen, what all we are at risk for, but I wish that in all classes, at least for a few moments, talk about some who have had it a very long time, and how well they have done. it would help so many.

Shortaphrodite 2010-05-02 06:25:29 -0500 Report

Hi Richard,

I have been trying to soften the complications for my daughter because it was put to me that if i didn't do this, this would happen etc and I became very anxious and depressed when i got older and do not want this for my girl. She is non compliant (she's almost 10) and I just don;t know how to make her understand that what she is doing is putting her kidneys and eyes at risk, She already is showing signs of kidney damage and changes to her retinas. My mother in law suggested we take her to the renal unit but i felt this would just freak her out. Any suggestions?? Her dad and stepdad tell her if she doesn't wear shoes she'll get ger feet chopped off or if she doesn't get her diabetes under control, social welfare will come and take her off us. I vehemently do not agree with these scare tactics to make one understand the reality of it. She gets very frightened and I try to soften what they say. I won't lie to her but i don;t want her to have the living fear of God put into her either.

MAYS 2010-05-02 10:39:17 -0500 Report

Don't make the mistake of softening the effects of diabetes neglect and complications as a tool to educate someone, incorporate it in with other means of educating, (videos, books, hands on participation) .
Many diabetics who have suffered the complications associated with diabetes,
will tell you that they wish that these things had been made known to them.

Why not order one of these Diabetes Wish Kits, they are free of charge and contain many tools to aid in educating a child on diabetes and the care of such, you can see a list of the contents and ordering information below.


Pass this information on to others that can benefit from it !

Richard157 2010-05-02 11:30:42 -0500 Report

I have read many posts about children who are not compliant. Some parents have even resorted to going to a counselor with the problem. A step I would take would be to have her talk with other young diabetics. If there are none in your area then try the following website. It is a site for parents of diabetic children. There is a special forum there for teens and some of them are very close to your daughter's age. Here is the link:

Good luck to both of you!!


dietcherry 2010-05-02 08:40:32 -0500 Report

I never tire of hearing your story, Richard-it always puts a wide smile on my face! I've had T1 for 30 years and, so far, no complications here, either! You are just one of the many inspiring people I've met on DC! Lots of Love, my friend! Renee :)

MAYS 2010-05-02 10:19:42 -0500 Report

Being T1 for 30 years also makes you a dynamic success story as a diabetic,
any suggestions, comments or advice that you can provide would be very helpful to others and greatly appreciated by myself as well as others.
(This is an open invitation to all to help all)

~ Mays~

Richard157 2010-05-02 11:22:05 -0500 Report

Hi Renee, thanks for your reply. Many people have bought my book, published in March. They say they were inspired by the book and it gives them hope for their future.

GabbyPA 2010-04-29 10:25:31 -0500 Report

My complication is what made me test. I had an ingrown toe nail removed and after the surgery I noticed that my feet felt funny, tingly. I asked my podiatrist about it and he said it was probably just nerve damage from the surgery. So I paid no attention to it until it really began to bother me. I recalled that this could be a symptom of diabetes. I tested with my mom's meter and bam! 305. I was upset, mostly at myself for not being more insistent with my doctor. Fortunately this is my only trouble at this time and when my control is better so is the comfort level of my feet.

joni55 2010-05-01 23:14:01 -0500 Report

My feet are real sensitive to pain, do you find the same?

GabbyPA 2010-05-02 14:46:36 -0500 Report

Mine can't tell me if they are hot or cold. They bother me most at night, of course, when I am trying to sleep. It is a pain that I feel, sometimes like my toes are broken, but asleep. I jump when my husband gives me foot rubs. It takes me a couple of touches before they calm down and allow him to work his magic. He checks my feet also, that is how I found a cactus thorn in my foot. Geez! I felt a bruise, but I didn't feel it go in, and it went thru my shoe! So take care of those feet.

Robbibird3 2010-04-29 08:45:08 -0500 Report

I know that for me diabetes seems to be related to other problems developing. I have several conditions wrong with me. some even consider that most of them are considered autoimmune diseases. Take Hashimoto's Thyroiditis which is a condition where levels of thyroid hormones go up and down throughout the day and week. Even minute to minute. The thyroid is your central regulator and some call it like a pace maker. Thyroid hormones tell the heart how fast or slow to beat and will cause fluctuations in body heat. I'm not a doctor so I can't explain how the thyroid hormones effect every part of your body I just know that it does. There are even some people who think diabetes is a disorder related to the thyroid even though others think it a separate issue.

Managing diabetes can be a difficult thing. For my brother Doug, he's not a happy camper. I don't think he likes that he was diagnosed and getting him to test his sugars is not an easy thing. Try having a serious discussion with him and how important it is to keep sugars down and how he should take snacks to work with him. In the beginning he refused to do such things. He said as a prison guard he couldn't bring snacks in and take regular breaks to test his sugar and eat snacks if he needed them. I don't know who convinced him maybe it was the prison itself because now he does carry snacks with him. I worry about my brother. Yes he made some changes but at 6"1", he's a big guy. He has started going to the gym so he is trying to do something about his weight but he is so temperamental. No discussions are allowed about what changes he will need to make. He's been in the hospital a couple of times because his sugars were out of whack. Mom has all she can do to sneak changes into his routine. He uses Splenda, uses some macaroni that his doctor's office recommended and I think he tests once daily. I don't live with him He is buying a house so he and Mom have somewhere. Mom pays his bills. Mom gets him whatever he wants. She does his laundry for him and cooks for him. Love my Mom dearly, in her late 70's but what is going to happen when she is no longer there to do those things for him. He use to have an apartment he can do for himself but will she allow it. No!! So guess who is going to end up having to take over when the time comes. Yep you guessed it Me. My older sister wouldn't nor would my younger brother, he already has a slave for that, his wife does for him what my Mom does for Doug. My hubby however even though he is ten years younger does his own laundry, cooking and yes he even has to help clean the house. But I got off on a tangent sorry.

I just wanted to show how important it is to stay in control of diabetes and how hard that can be when you have other things you also have to consider. Medications that you take for other health problems can effect how well your medication for diabetes will work. I know because I made a list yesterday of mine that enhance and interfere with my Glucotrol XL.

ston3xc 2010-04-28 22:08:20 -0500 Report

When I first became a diabetic, my first husband thought it was no big deal, stick your head in the sand and it will go away. He didn't even put me on his insurance at work so I could get supplies. As a result, sometimes my health suffered. Every time your blood sugar peaks, you lose millions of brain cells. If that goes on for many years, well you get the picture. I had a mild heart attack at age 46, I've had all my female organs removed and have to take hormones, I developed cataracts and had my lenses replaced, I have to have laser treatments on a regular basis to keep my vision. I have extensive nerve damage. My veins are so fragile and small, I dread having even simple blood tests. I had two carpal tunnel surgeries, the left hand never re covered because the nerve was completely shredded. Maybe these things aren't related to neglect when I was younger, but if I had it to do over again, I would have done things differently. So don't stick your head in the sand, it catches up to you, sooner rather than later!

Shortaphrodite 2010-05-02 06:16:56 -0500 Report

Yes I know what you mean,although here in NZ we are lucky because all of the specialist visits over the years I've had, haven't cost me anything. I have Hashimoto's, rhuematoid arthritis, bad neuropathy of the legs and lower spine, auto neuropathy of the stomach and temperature control, retinopathy, epilepsy, depression, dubytrens contracture ( a carpal tunnel like affliction), hearing probs and I'm only 41! The last time I went in for surgery, 3 dr's pleaded with me not to have general anaesthetic. I asked why not and they said it was because I had the diseases of an 80 yr old. My husband puts his head in the sand too but i think it's his way of coping because he feel useless because he thinks he can't help. I tell him that he can help by being there. I also have managed to hold down a job, although it's on-call. It keeps me going and gives me the strength to carry on. I also have a young daughter with type 1 so I have to be an example to her so I try not to let her see me suffer too much.

And i agree that you are responsible for own life, not just your diabetes.

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