how actually bad is it to have diabetes?

By seventyonedragonflies Latest Reply 2010-08-30 20:06:25 -0500
Started 2010-08-22 12:11:15 -0500

i have read about complications of diabetes, but a question i want to ask, is one i have feared to ask.
just say, you take care, and eat right, keep the numbers reasonable, do you live just as long as you would if you didn't have diabetes?
i don't mean to be a debbie downer, but i just want to know.
hope you all have a great day, i am going to get out of the house for a bit.

20 replies

donna50 2010-08-29 21:36:56 -0500 Report

i agree live life to the fullest iam 50 years old and iam giving motherhood a 2nd chance this little boy has given me a fresh new look on life and a reason to take care of myself

seventyonedragonflies 2010-08-29 15:14:24 -0500 Report

ok, finally. so no matter what i do (and i won't stop giving all) diabetes will more than likely kick my behind. got it.
my goal is like everyone here i think, is to lose weight, and try to get rid of it all together. if i fail, the worst thing that can happen is i will take LESS insulin, right? thank you gabby, and jay (i had a best friend named jay) and everyone else trying to help me through this question. i am still in awe of you people, and hope to bring what you have gave me to someone else.
i am scared. i guess we have that in common, i just thought if i do everything correctly, i would never have any 'complications'. the truth kinda bites does it not? i can do this. i can do the best i can. my numbers are getting better. i still need to exercise more. i have a couple of other problems that make physical things a bit painful, but that is my next goal. i swim in the ocean a couple of times a week, and that will certainly tire you out, the waves and all. and as you know walking in sand is more challenging that walking on pavement.
i always think, this is nothing, in comparison, there are many people who are worse off than myself, it keeps me from feeling so blue. (someone else said said it here too, but i don't have my glasses on… misplaced them… and this time they aren't on my head haha)
the thing that made me start worrying about all of this is i told my dr. that diabetes just may save my life, because you have to eat right, and exercise, and he didn't say anything. so it made me wonder if diabetes is more scary than i first thought. well, i guess it is. HOWEVER… with you guys, i feel safe, and empowered. Viva La RevoluciĆ³n!!
can't thank you enough, and it must have been hard for you guys to clue me in, you never want to tell someone bad news, so i appreciate you all even more.

seventyonedragonflies 2010-08-29 08:23:42 -0500 Report

i must reiterate, i understand how no one knows, and i appreciate you all writing back. you gave me a lot to think about. i guess what i really wanted to know, is that if we take good care of ourselves, can it not affect us at all?
my hubby, has heart problems, that are just horrid, so i understand we never know how long we have, and after 21 years of marriage, we still get giddy. so i am absorbing every second with him!
i fully intend on tending to myself to the best of my ability, as to not exacerbate any complications. so, if we do all we are supposed to do, there are NO complications right?

GabbyPA 2010-08-29 08:55:28 -0500 Report

Oh, well...nope.
Our bodies are not working properly and there will eventually be what the world terms as complications, even if you follow the rules to the tee. The main complication is just age. Our age in and of itself causes complications. I suppose if we stopped calling them complications and just looked at them as the natural course of things we would be more honest in our expectation.

We cannot hold of the effects of the years any more than we can stop the process of dying. All we can do is do what is best for us as an individual to help us keep a good quality of life, enduring our complications. Some are more avoidable than others because we can see them on the out side. Others we have no clue are going on, but it is natures way of keeping the balance. We are just more aware because diabetes opens us up to more health issues.

This, however, is not an invitation to ignore your own care and to do the best you can. I just don't want people to feel they have failed if they end up with other things going on. Those are reminders of our mortality, not green lights for abandonment. Those are the triggers of appreciation for the life we have. Those are the things that keep us humble and make us strong.

jason123 2010-08-29 22:12:13 -0500 Report

OP raised a very good question, one that I have been wondering ever since I was diagnosed. I was recently told by an endo that if we keep our bg level normal like non-diabetic (A1C under 6), our chance of developing complications is no higher than that of a non-diabetics. I met a 88 year old type 1 diabetic in a meeting, he has lived as a diabetic for almost 70 years! He is frail at old age, but healthy and complication free…did that endo just said that to make me feel better?

seventyonedragonflies 2010-08-30 16:03:56 -0500 Report

hey jason, thats basically the same question i had, i can't see your dr. telling you an untruth, just to make you feel better. and what an inspiration the 88 year old fella! i guess like gabby said, we are more susceptible, so we need to just be more aware.

jason123 2010-08-30 17:21:35 -0500 Report

You never know what those dr. are thinking, they may not even know the answer to that question…that is why every time I hear something different I would like to compare notes, see where the different opinion come from…I have done my part, now your job is to go find Gabby.

Talk about Mr. 88, Amazing man indeed, he got his diabetic game plan, a loving wife and mighty god besides him. he shows up at every meeting, even though he is got nothing to learn from anyone, he always tell every one his story, more like braging, since most people are there for the first time, he gets a standing ovation every time…he gladly receive it, and never get tired of it…lol can you blame him?

GabbyPA 2010-08-30 20:06:25 -0500 Report

Actually we have a member here who has been a type 1 diabetic for 64 years and he is "complication" free. He has written a book on it and it is for sale in We are all proud of him. He did things, specially in his youth, that were anything but to the tee. Just goes to show, some will have the issues with complications and others might not. We just have to accept our responsibility to do our best. This is a great discussion and has made me think a little more about my own care and efforts.

jayabee52 2010-08-28 13:34:58 -0500 Report

What Gabby said just a bit below is a wonderful way to look at it. It is similar to the way Jem & I lived. We were both diabetic and we both had many "medical challenges". But we tried not to let it keep us from enjoying life and each other's company because we had the GIFT (yes gift) of being more aware that we could be called out of this world at any time, so every day is precious. Diabetes is a pain, and its complications could kill any of us, but we can't let any medical challenge dim our love of life and the gift of being alive.

Gemm 2010-08-28 12:48:30 -0500 Report

As has been said already - none of us know how long we have with or without diabetes - or any other illness - chronic or not. I lost a husband in 1997 from a sudden heart attack and nobody - not even our doctor - knew he even had any heart problems. Since then I've remarried and about 5 years ago almost lost my current husband to a heart attack. He was fortunate though that he had his in the ER parking lot of one of the best cardiac hospitals in this part of the country where he was working on their new expansion.

We are both diabetic (I was just recently diagnosed after many years of being hypoglycemic) and don't worry about how long we are or aren't going to live with that or any of our many health problems. We just worry about making the most of each and every day that we live and enjoying life and our interests. We both hunt, fish, love camping and family activities. We have not allowed our medical problems to keep us from living a full life, even though doing many of the things I like cause me additional pain (I live in pain on a daily basis from extreme OA in my entire body). I make all of the jams, jellies, syrups, baked treats, etc myself as that way I know exactly what we are getting and aren't getting any "hidden sugars" as there are just too many "names" for sugar to memorize them.

As for dying sooner - sure if we don't take care of ourselves we could. My husband's father died of complications of his as did his ex-wife - both because they chose not to take good care of themselves and their diabetes. His father though was in his 80's when he died but his ex-wife was only in her mid 40's and left 2 teenage sons behind when she died almost 3 years ago.

Live life to it's fullest so you don't have any regrets on things you didn't do when your time comes - my father told me that when I was young.

edlremlr 2010-08-24 12:09:31 -0500 Report

i hate having it.its just hard for me to right and not b able to eat as much as i wan tand awhen i want.i get tierd alot when my sugurs up and it just hard for me to always have it under control.

GabbyPA 2010-08-23 18:29:04 -0500 Report

I guess I have a rather unconventional view of life. I know we are all going to go, and I don't want to go before my time...however, do I know when my time is going to be? Nope!

I learned that this week. My husband and I had a great weekend get a way. We came home and two days later, in an instant, I almost lost him. And do you know what I almost lost him to? A stupid blister on his foot that let an infection into his body and in less than 24 hours took him down. He's not diabetic, but if that had been me, they would have blamed it on diabetes. It seems once you are diabetic, everything is blamed on that.

So here is what I do. I focus on having the best quality of life for as long as I live. If diabetes cheats me out of a few years, I won't care, because I will have lived my life with no regrets. I am not saying that I don't want to take care of myself at all. Indeed, not taking care will reduce my quality of life. So I do the best I can to do what is best for me on all fronts. Emotionally, physically and spiritually.

But I also don't let my diabetes stop me from doing adventurous things, maybe even dangerous things. I do not want to look back and say "I wish" anything. My life is finite, the sooner I accept that, the sooner I get busy doing the things I want to do.

LennyDenny 2010-08-24 15:02:20 -0500 Report

RIGHT ON!!!!! - If anybody doen't live their life to the fullest than it's not living at all. I don't care if we have diabetes, heart and lung problems we all need to do just exactly what your doing. Live life to the fullest. Your right sooner or later our time will come, but until then lets live!!!!

d1956 2010-08-25 15:08:29 -0500 Report

Amen. We gotta go some time, and I don't plan on helping it along, but you are just surviving if you aren't doing all you can and what you love. I can't do a lot of travelling alone anymore, due to other issues, but I still travel. Can't do everything I used to but if I can't do atleast some of what I love I think I would just give up and sit all day. My Granny did that and turned into a bitter recluse. Not for me!

PattiJL 2010-08-24 15:44:40 -0500 Report

You are an inspiration with your words. I am so sorry about your husband. We almost lost my stepfather due to an infection a few weeks ago and yes, he is also diabetic. Live each moment and have no regrets!!!!

MAYS 2010-08-22 13:21:29 -0500 Report

Life, and the extension of such, comes with no warranties, standard or extended.
Taking care of yourself as a diabetic is essential, failure to do so, WILL contribute to complications, that can lead to an early demise (death).

Fortunately, you have a level of control concerning this, one that cannot be measured in actual years being added to your life expectancy.
How many people, who have a chronic illness, can say that they have some, (at least a little) control over their illness.

Don't ever apologize for asking questions, without them (questions), there would be no answers!


RAYT721 2010-08-22 12:27:05 -0500 Report

Don't worry about asking questions… that's what we are here for. The long term effects from diabetes range from mildly annoying to life threatening, which is why management and knowledge are the keys to your success control and prevention. I can't answer about insulin but I can tell you that author/friend/DC member Richard Vaughn wrote a book entitled "64 years of diabetes health" (available on Amazon) and is a Type 1 diabetic having been diagnosed as a child. Richard is proof that in mind, body and soul that you need not limit yourself to putting off your hopes and dreams because sometimes what seems or feels like the impossible is possible.

seventyonedragonflies 2010-08-22 12:13:59 -0500 Report

oh yeah, and are there any bad side effects of using insulin? i know, you may be thinking, 'gee, don't she have google?' i do, but there is so much info it is mind numbing. thank you ever so kindly.

Guardianstone 2010-08-24 00:26:22 -0500 Report

I understand your worry. My husband is a cardiac patient with a variety of other problems. I am a type II diabetic with a group of my own problrms. Between us we never know if today is our last day. There are no date stamps or expiration dates stamped on either of us. We try to be content with every day we have. I told my doctor that I was going to stick around to bug my great great grand children. I plan to be around for a long time. I refuse to let this disease take anything else away from me.
Defiant, and bullheaded
Guardian stone