Fear Factor

By DonnaAnn Latest Reply 2010-01-28 11:02:11 -0600
Started 2008-08-23 22:38:15 -0500

For diabetics there are a lot of fear factors surrounding the disease. blindness, loss of limbs, kidney problems, stroke, and so on.
Personally, when I started to read about diabetes I became very scared of what "could" happen.
I hope this thread will help others in some way. What is your worst fear? I hope that by people posting about what scares them, they can get over it and conquer the fear. For me, its loosing a foot. Having a bad heart along with diabetes is scary. I have times when I get lazy with my foot care and my Jimminy Cricket tells me that I should not do this. Yup, I get lazy. But not for long. I remember seeing my grandmother in the hospital when I was younger all tied up with tubes and no leg. I do not want to be my grandmother! So, I do my homework and read about foot care all the time.
How does a diabetic not let diabetic fears over take them?

56 replies

1968LeeLie 2010-01-28 03:19:11 -0600 Report

Well being that I am a newly diagnosed person, I don't fear diabetes and I won't let myself live in fear of it, don't get me wrong, I was scared to death when they told me. Im not one to live in fear of what might happen or will happen. I just really try to live everyday to the best of my ablitiy. I am a Luekima survior, going through a 3 year chemo session taught me a lot about living in fear for your life. Everyday I would fear the worst, whether it be chemo or raidiation treatments. I am not trying to throw in a sob story here or compare cancer to diabetes. But at some point I had to quit dwelleing on the fact that I could die and start to focus on wanting to live. Same goes for me with this condition, yes I have givin thought to the complications that come along with diabetes, but I don't sit and dwell on it or live in fear of it. I just do what I have to in order to cope with it. My concern, not fear, but concern is how expensive it is to be a diabetic. The cost of medical supplies and the right foods is my biggest concern with this condition.

Elrond 2010-01-28 04:09:46 -0600 Report

Lee, after surviving leukemia, diabetes will seem like a walk in the park. I was diagnosed more than 30 years ago and despite nearly dying twice, I'm still going strong. If I had paid attention and done things properly, I probably could have avoided those two brushes with death. Above all, listen to your doctor and/or diabetes educator. For questions not covered there, you have your friends here. Even after all these years, I'm still learning.

1968LeeLie 2010-01-28 04:58:33 -0600 Report

Thank you for the kind words. I also want people to know that just because I'm not living in fear with diabetes, doesn't mean that I am taking it lightly either. I know it's a very serious condition as my mother struggles with it day by day. I don't start my diabetes classes for another 4 days, but plan to attend each and every class and trust me, I will be listening. : ) As with anything, the more you know the better off you are. I have already started dropping my sugar levels just within the last five days by adding more water and less junk to my diet along with Metformin, L-Arginine, and Multi Vitamin. Thanks again for your reply.

ferk01 2010-01-28 02:16:27 -0600 Report

I am in fear everyday of dying from diabetic complications. Due to my disability my diabetes has been out of control. I have recently found out that both my eyes have cataracts due to the steroids I received during this disability. My sister died ten years ago of diabetic complications after her pancreatic transplant. Therefore, I worry everyday of dying. I try to be very diligent with my care even though most of the time my diabetes is out of control. I pray everyday that I do not die.

Elrond 2010-01-28 01:45:32 -0600 Report

I already had and survived a stroke and a heart attack. Both were very bad and I wouldn't recommend either for grins and giggles. However, I think losing my sight is my biggest fear. The loss of a foot or leg would be terrible but I believe I could adapt in time. But I depend so much on my eyes that I doubt I could recover from that loss. I generally disdain watching TV but spend a large part of my waking hours here at my computer and as far as I know, nobody has developed a Braille monitor. Besides that, I never could touch-type worth a darn.

jayabee52 2010-01-28 02:08:29 -0600 Report

Actually David, my new bride has been blind since 14. We met online in a website called Dating4Disabled. We were in a long distance relationship between Nov '07 and Mar '09. We were about 500 mi apart. She uses a screen reading program called "Jaws" and a braille display which shows the words on the screen in braille.

"Jaws" (whom she affectionately calls "Charlie") speaks the letter as you type it and then it will go back to read what she just wrote. If not for the adaptive equipment for the blind, we would not have met. [Thanks "Charlie"] Yes there are things that she can't do or read with a computer {like "see" or "read" jpeg files} but she can do a lot! So David there ARE solutions out there for people stricken with blindness. Just FYI ~James~

Elrond 2010-01-28 02:27:48 -0600 Report

Thanks, James, but i still doubt that I could write novels that way. My first book was just under 400 pages and due to a lack of funds I needed to do my own editing. No spell check program can possibly handle the nuances of dialog as used in a novel. Many of my characters don't use perfect English and I constantly find myself arguing with the automatic corrections in Microsoft Word. And a few characters use English that is TOO perfect. (As in 'do not' instead of don't.) Then one guy tends to mimic bad regional Earth dialects. (He loves old movies: 'We don't need no steenking badges!') He fancies himself as Scotty from Star Trek so he frequently uses a bad fake Scottish accent. (Me poor bairns!) It's even more comical because the guy is African-American. But he owns the ship so he can do as he likes.

jayabee52 2010-01-28 03:03:17 -0600 Report

I have "argued" with MS office word a few times myself! LoL!

And I by no means do I wish to minimize the downsides of blindness as I live with the practical aspects of that daily. Yet my wife is amazing! She remembers many phone numbers & CC and banking #. And she seems to have the town (and neighboring towns too) we live in pretty well mapped in her head. When we're out driving {much more when I was first here} and I didn't know how to get somewhere, I would tell her what cross street we were coming to and she'd tell me turn right on Huntwood and left on Hesperian and we'd find get there. It's amazing what she can do.

What is more, she graduated college, went 1 year to law school, then earned a Masters in Social work and got her Licensed Clinical Social Work license here in CA (not an easy thing for a sighted person) and worked as a LCSW in the field for about 25 years. Life is difficult for her at times, being blind, but she hasn't let it keep her down. That's part of what attracted me to her.

Long story short, I think you could write your novels if you became blind IF you REALLY wanted to! It might not be as easy as if you were sighted, but you could do it. In fact "Jem" is planning to write her life story soon.

Sue Turner
Sue Turner 2010-01-28 10:39:39 -0600 Report

Hi Elrond,

"Braile monitor," now, that's funny! Not… I like you, think that I could just about deal with anything except loosing my eyesight…That too, is one of the things that I fear the most… Let's pray that never happens…For those this has happened to have my deepest sympathy…I know sympathy is not what one who has experienced this wants to hear because they have, or are overcoming their handicap…

Turtle 2010-01-28 01:03:10 -0600 Report

This is a very insightful post. Thank you for the opportunity and place to discuss this.

My biggest fear is having to go on dialysis and wait for a kidney transplant.

Spottsmom 2010-01-27 17:50:54 -0600 Report

I have so many other health issues that I tend to see Diabetes as the least of my issues but than when my sugar went really high once and I could not see it scared the crap out of me. Than they thought i had a mass in my pancreas and I read up and that scared me and well i constantly have issues with my feet Hurting and well I am disabled already and can only walk and stand short periods but the thought of losing a leg or foot and not having that is scary and well cripe this all added up scares the crap out of me.

That said i have learned that I can not dwell on the fear and the what if's cause well if i did that i would never get anything accomplished So I live it like I am not sick As much as i can cause with my liver as it is i get really sleepy and fatigued really quick. add the pain of a back injury and well there is only so much i can do but darned if i do not try and push it.
I watch my diet and do all i can to stay healthy and Pray a heck of a lot So Far God has got me through a LOT of stuff i will continue to have faith that in this too he will protect me

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-01-27 20:23:19 -0600 Report

I am proud of you, too, Spotts—It is OK to admit fears, get them out in the open, then deal with them. You can't fight shadows and hope to gain much peace of mind! Pat R

CeeLou 2010-01-27 16:10:16 -0600 Report

Losing my independence. I think all of these responses are totally legitimate fears, as most, if not all of them would in turn make you dependent on someone else. I can accept a helping hand, but I hate to be needy.

Cricket Crafter
Cricket Crafter 2010-01-27 09:15:44 -0600 Report

Quite honestly, as a caretaker trying to do all I can and teach my husband all I have learned, is to be blamed for anything that might happen to him…As well as blaming myself…I try really hard to help him. He is stubborn though and thinks I really don't know what I am talking about, but talking to other people who don't know the whole story or what goes on in our house is even worse. I am doing my part, but others' feel he could do it on his own.
Well, maybe he could if he knew exactly what he needs to do and how to do it, and nothing is exact, it is all trial an error with the body and mind…You have to do what seems to work best for you. It may work for someone else but not for you.
You should start by your physicians suggestions; Medication, diet, nutrition classes, exercise etc.

thiruvelan 2010-01-27 08:11:18 -0600 Report

Fear will not help only worsen the complications. Keep yourself physically active, choose smart diabetic diet and monitor your blood glucose level. These are the only thing a diabetic can do, any thing that happen after this is their own fate, have to face no other go.

salmanda 2010-01-27 16:00:10 -0600 Report

Believe me, I do not sit around being afraid. My "fears" are really just thoughts that are floating around in my head. I certainly don't lose sleep over them or anything else having to do with this disease. I don't have the time to dwell on fears of any kind! The only thing I can do is take care of myself and do what my doctor says…the rest is out of my hands.
Sal :)

2010-01-26 21:47:47 -0600 Report

my fear is losing my feet. whenever I get a tingle. i break out in a sweat and god forebidddddd i bump my toes..lord I watch them like a hawk when that happens. I have cute feet, i don't want to lose them..

salmanda 2010-01-27 05:56:22 -0600 Report

Lucky you to have cute feet! :) Feet and knees are not the best looking parts of the human body. Yes, I would also not like to lose mine, but not because they are cute. They have been pretty helpful over the years, and I would miss them!
Sal :)

Sparkleberry 2009-08-15 21:08:12 -0500 Report

I'm afraid of waking up in the hospital because I passed out and it took long for someone to find me and get me the help I needed. I'm really afraid of having to take insulin some day and I think most of all I'm just plain afraid of getting really sick and dying young. I had never thought about dying until I was diagnosed with this illness. Now it crosses my mind almost daily. I don't feel safe anymore and that is something I just have not been able to come to terms with yet.

salmanda 2010-01-25 19:13:56 -0600 Report

Well said…I would also add that I fear having something happen while driving. I would never want to hurt someone else. I had a friend with diabetes who had several accidents due to her diabetes. It was not in control though, and she did lose her right to drive after she hit a police car.

begonia 2010-01-25 22:25:34 -0600 Report

i agree completely,driving petrifies me lately,mainly at night,i worry that i'll get unsteady or worse and there will be nobody on the road to help,i've actually had several episodes of hypoglycemia on the road at night just from anxiety alone after eating plenty of food,pineapple juice gives me heartburn to so it really stinks

P2putt 2009-08-14 07:20:31 -0500 Report

Greatest fears are kidney failure,loosing my vision and amputations. That's just to mention a few. Pete

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-08-14 13:58:21 -0500 Report

WOW!! I have been so BLESSED!!!! Surely I will not have to go through some of the trials that some of you have, IF I BEHAVE and this site sure does show you the wisdom of doing just that!! Love, PR

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2010-01-28 11:02:11 -0600 Report

You know, I had never even THOUGHT of kidney problems before they found that mass on my left kidney, removed it and the rotten kidney too, said that I had been using one kidney for some time, and DIDN"T EVEN KNOW IT!! ISN"T THE HUMAN BODY WONDERFUL?? Even if we don't know it, God can still be working on us to keep us going when we are too tired to care or be bothered—I sailed along for quite awhile, so I am not afraid of kidney problems. My cousin only has one kidney, is NOT in good health and only has 40% use of ONE, so it is possible to "get by with one!"

If anything happens, I feel like I can handle it, with God's help, He carried me while I was too tired to walk! Hugs, Pat R

Pat Roth
Pat Roth 2009-08-13 23:00:10 -0500 Report

I have been fortunate to have lived most of my life without diabetis or any complications, have been so busy working my way out of this deep depression, that I am just stumbling along, trying to blindly do what all seems pertinent to me, and thankful that I am in as good a shape as I am, the diabetis is just another wrinkle in my scheme of things—-what else can God hurl at me? My life has been too emotionally tortured to much care—I will just do my best and pray that God will continue to lead me through this maize of life, Trust in Him, I am too tired to care much, kids are all grown and gone, never see the family, our parents are gone—so, just try to make sunshine where I can.

Am working with my neighbor kids right now, hiring them to water my flowers, talking to them and letting them vent to me as they fear school starting again—they are dark and are teased!! Their half brother was half negro and hung himself at 16 yrs, so if I can lighten their load, it helps me too. I bought them multi-colored cross necklaces at the fair last week, as my contribution to helping them to feel safe and protected as they start back into a painful situation of school.

For myself, I have given all that I could, and if it wasn't appreciated, I know better—for once—God will just have to take over the worries—-my energies are pretty well shot! Love to ALL. Pat Roth

Jipwhip 2009-08-13 22:12:33 -0500 Report

My biggest fear is going blind. I have already had laser surgery done to both my eyes. I go to my eye doctor once a month to receive injections in both eyes to keep the blood vessel growth down in my eyes. I have been doing this for two years now, and still have my vision.
I can handle amputation as I have lost three toes due to bone infections. But not losing my sight. We use our vision to do everything in our lives. But I will cope if that happens.

Bizz 2009-08-13 18:30:48 -0500 Report

I'm raising my 19 month old grandson and my biggest fear is not being around to care for him or being too sick to care for him.

He's is my big "kick in the butt" motivating me to take care of my health.

lumpyduane 2010-01-28 03:43:41 -0600 Report

That's my biggest fear also. I have two young sons that I would like to be able to see them grow up. I would like to be involved in their lives, watch them play sports, graduate from school, get married someday. That's what keeps my on my toes.

Blue Moon
Blue Moon 2009-08-13 17:47:17 -0500 Report

My biggest fear is going blind and not being able to take care of myself. I'm really independent and to lose that in mind and spirit wold just be too much. My vision gets blurry when my blood sugar is in the 200's and you can bet when that happens I eat salad and fish the rest of the day if not for a few days. It freaks me out that much.

christine s
christine s 2009-08-13 12:53:41 -0500 Report

Well I am not sure what my fear is just yet… I think it would have to be glaucoma or becomming insulin dependant. The Met is not working so my dr took me off and when I see her next week I guess we will be talking about a different approach. The met makes me throw up and well the other side effects is annoying. I have began to be acustomed with checking my BS but now she only wants me to check it only 1 x a day so I am on the search for a new dr and I believe she is not looking or caring for me for the best interest of my health; So I think my fear is not finding the right dr and not getting the treatment I need. Not to mention the medical team that will be my support system. Thanks for this thread this is a great idea

P2putt 2009-08-14 07:32:55 -0500 Report

1 time a day is insuffient. Take it more often on your own.Consider changing dr. Is he/she an endrochronologist. Bet not! You please take care,Pete

Vicrgreen 2009-08-08 18:08:08 -0500 Report

I, too, most fear losing my eyesight. I spend hours every day reading or on the computer. If I couldn't read I don't know what I would do.

I have what they call an acute eye angle, which makes me subject to something called acute angle glaucoma. The doctor took the laser and punched holes in my eyes to help prevent the glaucoma from developing, but it was a wake up call. I had always taken my eyes for granted. No more.

Churchill said something along the lines of all we have to fear is fear itself, I'm sure that fear is a component of making the situation worse, so I try not to worry about it. Still…

Judimar 2009-08-08 17:54:11 -0500 Report

My biggest fear is not being able to handle whatever is thrown at me. I know that as long as I have the love and support of my husband and sisters and have faith in God I can overcome anything. Probably the biggest fear I do have is giving into fear.

MarineMomX2 2009-08-08 10:37:13 -0500 Report

Heart disease is my fear. Family history plays a big role in that aspect. I'd like to live longer than my mom and gmom. I had an eye opener a couple of months ago and was headed down the wrong road…very quickly. It's hard, but we have choices we have to make on a daily basis if we want to improve our quality of life. I'm making some of those right choices, my bp and bs are both down significantly from where I was 6 months ago. Still have a long way to go…but, I'm not giving in.

Carol11 2009-08-08 10:22:13 -0500 Report

Mine is that there will NOT be a cure in my life time and I doubt if there will as I am already in my 60s.

Harlen 2009-08-08 09:01:36 -0500 Report

I have no fears
Life is like poker, you got to play the cards you get.
I have lived and love like there is no tomarow,what comes comes
I take care of my BS and hope but do not dwell on what may happen
Be strong do what you know you nead to do.Most of all live your life you only get one shot {So live}

Sue Turner
Sue Turner 2010-01-28 10:45:27 -0600 Report


You are amazing! I am striving to overcome my fears…I wake just about every morning in a panic, because of all the fears that go running through my mind…I wish I had your attitude about life. However, I am working on it… I am praying that one day, I will get there…Hugs, Sue

Antique-Dave 2009-08-08 08:50:53 -0500 Report

When I was first dx in March I had all of those old stories in my head regarding my grandmother great grandfather and uncle's diabetes. Adding to that was several friends who did not take care of their diabetes and died way to young.

Thankfully we don't have our Doctors telling us to eat mountains of mashed potatoes like they told my grandmother in the 1970's.

My mother used to talk about how gma was cheating because her bgl was always around 200 to 300 but she was just eating the carbs the doc told her to and it killed her heart.

Great gpa lost a leg and my uncle lost all of his fingers and toes. Losing a leg would be rough but manageable, losing eyesight would be the worst I think.

There is a lot of longevtiy in our family, 90 to 100 is not uncommon, I always just figured I could coast on genetics and make 100 since I was not a heavy drinker or smoker. Now I've got to put some effort into it.

I think at dx in March that it was the first time I had to think about not being able to be a centurian, I had to look at my mortality (and it looked back)

Debe Pendice
Debe Pendice 2008-08-24 22:32:46 -0500 Report

Boy this hit the nail on he head to me. I had fears and learn to conquer them all. I am diabetic, loss a limb , did dialysis and got a transplant, even had eye surgery in both eyes(laser). With the help of God I overcame it all. Doing well and looking foward to a good future. You can overcome fear…

Mantra 2010-01-27 19:37:29 -0600 Report

God bless you Debe, your words give strength to me, and I told my Mom about you too when she was at hospital, you've inspired her to stay tough somehow. Big thank you, hugs

Ryan 2008-08-24 22:26:21 -0500 Report

Me too pancreatic cancer or blindness. I pray every night for healing so I have faith that as long as I do my best to take care of myself, I'll be okay.

Avera 2008-08-24 16:03:56 -0500 Report

Until I read this post, I had probably put the "Fear Factor" in the very back of my mind. It is not denial, I would just rather worry about not falling off the wagon concerning diet. Kepping to a diet low in carbs is my greatest problem. I spend so much time meal planning I don't have time to think.lol

morris.js 2008-08-24 14:05:36 -0500 Report

I would have to say that mine would be losing my eyesight. I could live ok without some limbs, but to not be able to see the beauty around us would probably kill me.
Kind of on a side note, that fits in with such pleasures, my step son came home last night from Iraq for an 18 day leave. While we were driving home from the airport, he stuck his head out the window just like a dog to smell the fresh clean and dustless air. Then when we got home, he commented on how good the fresh cut grass in the yard smelled. Such simple pleasures that we all take for granted over here.

daniel velazco
daniel velazco 2008-08-24 15:13:11 -0500 Report

Just like Morris my fear is losing my eyesight. At the present time I am going thru Lazer Surgary to stop the bleading behind my eyes. Diabeties got to my eyes and I'm doing eveything to get my G under control.

CeeLou 2010-01-27 16:07:47 -0600 Report

Aw, I love reading what you wrote about your son.
He sure has an appreciation for the finer, simpler things.
Losing eyesight would be very difficult to deal with, it would make you so DEPENDENT. Losing my independence is my all-time, worst fear.

GabbyPA 2008-08-24 13:51:54 -0500 Report

I think one of my biggest fears is getting pancriatic cancer. That is what took my father. He went too young. It was so fast that we couldn't do anything. I also worry about loosing my ability to keep mobile. I am very independent in body and spirit, and to loose one I fear I would loose them both.
What I do to overcome these fears is try to take control of what is going on with me on a daily basis. As long as I do the best I can do each day, then I have won the battle to try again the next. I had said it in another post, but I will say it again. I will not be a diabetic victim, but a conquerer. There are times, when alone in a dark place, I silently worry about the eventual outcome. But I don't stay there long.

Goddess 2008-08-24 09:24:44 -0500 Report

My worst fear used to be like yours. Losing a foot or leg. Now it is going on a feeding tube. I have a disease caused by diabetes called gastroparesis.

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