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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I'm In Touch With These...

There were a couple of posts on the blogs I read regularly that I was particularly in touch with.

The first is Jay's post over at Cyber Pancreas regarding fighting depression, but also the "Trifecta" of weight loss (being Cardio, Weight Training & Diet), and not being able to pull it off.

Those two topics in particular hit home with me. When asking himself "Why am I depressed", he answers "Well, for the most part I just try not to think about that, it makes me depressed.".

It sounds wrong of me to get a chuckle out of that, but I don't mean it that way. I chuckle because that perfectly sums it up! When feeling down, it is so much easier to just ignore everything, stay down and feel sorry for yourself. It feels like the amount of energy required to pull yourself back to good is just so great that it's really not worth it. Too much work.

I also like the "Trifecta" thing. In his post, he's referring to weight loss. I like the term "Trifecta" because it presents the idea that weight loss is not just a one sided thing, but rather is a small handful of things that all need to work together in order to get results. I think a similar concept applies to diabetes control, though there would be many more than three things implied in the "Tri" of "Trifecta". I tried thinking of other words but they just don't work.

Pentfecta
Octfecta
Hexfecta

You get the idea. There are so many things that need to work in harmony in order to pull off good control. If one of them is off by just a little it can throw things out of whack. And by "things" I generally mean everything.

The second post that got my attention was Kassie's post over at noncompliant about "Not Good Enough".

She touches on how after the discovery of insulin that living with diabetes was up to the patient, and how there is a lot of guilt there. What if things are not going right? Who's responsible? Me.

Yes Kassie, I hear you - I often don't feel that I'm doing good enough.

I often think about what happens if I develop a complication. Will I be able to be Ok with myself knowing that if I could have just done better 10 years ago I could have prevented it? The guilt is a trip. It's like living your whole life with this big bubble of fear and guilt just waiting to surround you and explode.

There has to be some balance out there somewhere. You know - where you can pull off the "Octfecta" of good health & diabetes control without it consuming your entire life. It's a mental thing I think, and a damn elusive one at that.

I feel that the mental health side of diabetes is often ignored until depression and other things start working their way into the mix. I think that it should be given a fair amount of attention right off the bat. Expecting people to be Ok with all the potential guilt and responsibility, without having some kind of mental meltdown, is a bit of a stretch.

Maybe I'm just tired of dealing with it all the time. That's fair too isn't it? Yes I do have a counselor, and no I'm not having any suicidal thoughts. I'm just feeling "worn down" with diabetes and am entitled to that feeling. I'm working to get my head back on straight and move on with the burden.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Deven said...

It's so nice to have found your blog. My husband is 28, and has had diabetes since he was 12. He is having a rough time due to complications. Right now retinopathy (he is on his sixth laser surgery). Being able to hear your perspective has helped me to understand how he might be feeling when it comes to control. It's refreshing, and I thank you...
Deven

4:00 PM  
Blogger Violet said...

Hey Scott. I've been looking for a pearl of wisdom that might help you. Guess what: I got nothin! You are fighting the hard fight, and you're absolutely right that it sucks sometimes. And/or a lot of the time. This spoken from the beginning of Year Two, hardly someone who's made it through what you have!

I will say, though, that I see you being so hard on yourself over the struggle and your perceived failings, and I wish I could say something to ease part of that burden. I imagine that if someone beloved to you had this disease you would never address that person with the tone you sometimes take with yourself. And so perhaps you could give yourself a break--not so much a BK break perhaps :) but rather a break from roughing yourself up over it. You're alive, you haven't given up, and that makes you a walking miracle. Hang in there.

5:47 PM  

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