Seriously, what toll does having a cronic disease take on our mind, body, and emotions? IMO it is very difficult to be cheerful with sometimes limited mobility, strict dietary considerations, and facing the unknown daily.
Many of us had the genetic tendency toward diabetes and didn't know that even average eating habits would propel us in this direction, and many of us had life situation and emotional problems that propelled us toward overeating. I would go so far as to say that virtually none of us dreamed that whatever our situations were, would make us end up as diabetics.
So, now what can we do that is positive? Please let us hear your solutions and outlooks on this situation. I, personally have become compulsive on my low carb/low cal eating and have to work very hard to "enjoy the moment", "carpe-diem (Seize the day)".
I do see "light at the end of the tunnel", in that I do not believe that diabetes needs to be progressive if it is caught and acted upon in time.
I really don't think diabetes has negatively impacted my mind, body or emotions and I was diagnosed almost ten years ago. I've always had a positive outlook on life and that helped me through the initial weeks after diagnosis of diabetes and this summer when I battled breast cancer.
At first, I was a bit compulsive about how I ate. I remember asking my husband, half jokingly, if he was trying to kill me when he would ask if I wanted to go for an ice cream cone on a hot summer night. We would go out to dinner with friends and I wouldn't even taste the bread or dessert. My doctor at the time told me to be careful, I would burn out if I kept it up. I heeded her advice.
After ten years, I've loosened up a bit. When we go out to dinner with friends, we get one or two desserts to share and I take a couple of bites. I will eat a small piece of good bread with olive oil or butter. I'll eat part of the outside skin of a baked potato and leave behind the fluffly white part. But if I take a bite of something and it doesn't meet my expectations, I won't eat it, no matter what it is. At the end of the day, I can have a "small amount" of anything I really, really want.
I think having a chronic condition (I find it hard to think of Type 2 as a disease, by the way) can accentuate our natural emotional tendencies. I've known women with Stage IV cancer who were so brave and always maintained a positive attitude to the end. Then there are those people who are "naturally" cranky or uncivil and having a health issue just brings it out even more.
For me, I do not think diabetes has any impact at all on my emotional state.
For me, I already had a very serious liver disease when I was DXed with diabetes. Diabetes is a much easier condition to live with. My liver disease just keeps progressing and progressing and progressing. There is little to nothing I can do but wait to get the top of the liver transplant list.
I have lots of control over my diabetes if I choose to act wisely. On any day I feel well enough, I exercise. On days I don't feel well enough to go to the gym, I at least slowly walk a mile.
I stick to a schedule of when I eat and what I eat. I try to make healthy food choices. I take classes in diabetes and healthy cooking.
The single most important thing I do is consistently practice portion control. I found this the hardest change to make but I feel much better with my numbers under control, so I stay with a limited carb (limited for me- high for those of you without liver disease) - lower calorie diet.
I can think of one thing about diabetes which can frustrate me and slightly depress me. I hate it when I know exactly what I have eaten and my BS is high when I did not expect that reading. I hate that! I never know where I went wrong and I sort of fixate on the high number until my next normal reading.
I remember when I was first diagnosed the dr told my parents to look for signs of depression, because "diabetics will always become depressed, especially the young ones". When I went to my first adult endo, she put me on an anti-depresssant; it was her opinion I was overweight because I was depressed.
I do think that in general when someone finds out they have an issue that is going to affect the rest of their life, it takes some time to get used to the idea. There is a whole range of emotions that people go through, and some do stay angry or rude thinking that life is unfair to them and only them. But, that doesnt mean it happens to the diabetic population as a whole.
Also, I find that when my sugar gets high, I get super cranky because I dont feel good. My DH knows thats when its time to get me some water and check my sugar.
Years ago when my son shattered his wrist and was dropped from the Marines, I told him that the true heroes in life were those that came up to adversities and conquered them moving on without letting them affect them. I strongly believe that. Most of us will never have to do a heroic act like save a life or fight off an assailant, thank goodness. However, the way we approach our everyday lives with their ups and downs, and their heartbreaks and disappointments is the test of our metal. If we can face each day, with a smile, and find the good, overlooking the bad and moving on- that is heroic! Just my personal view, and so for me diabetes just is as it is, and has little to do with the way I live.
Flutetooter, my mom was cranky and overly sensitive and emotional, but I'm not sure what part came from her diabetes and what part was her emotional make-up.
I have seen a person who had LOW blood sugar talk meanly to a child, and she was pretty cranky. We were stuck on a bus to Vegas, and this woman hadn't eaten enough. She kept saying how hungry she was feeling. That was before I knew about keeping snacks on me. I would have offered her one. Her friend said she's never seen her like this.
The worse I get is tired or sleepy if my numbers are higher. I remember when teaching that I found it harder to be humorous and kinder when extremely stressed from children acting up in the classroom, if I ate a doughnut or bagel that was brought in and put out in the faculty room during break-time. I had to work HARD to control any negative emotions if children with ADHD were acting up. It was "before" I was diagnosed with diabetes, but I WAS pretty aware that something was going on. Luckily, I remained calm, and also decided NOT to eat those donuts that were out occasionally.
I definitely believe diabetes can make anyone crabby & rude. I've observed it in family members as well as here. Our pre-diabetes emotions & baggage are also a factor, but I think having a chronic illness exacerbates them.
What matters most is how we handle it - dealing with it constructively or taking it out on others.
If a man yells: --YOU LIE-- in a room full of politicians, how do they know who he is talking about
I have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes at age 80. I have also bven invaded by gout at the same time. None of the standard meds prescribed for either gout or diabetes 2 agreed with me, so now am on Insulin by pen 25./75, 28 units once/day before supper and the new Uloric for gout. The insulin is causing all sorts of listed alergic reactions. The Uloric is lowering my my uric acid, but doesn't seem to upset my stomach like the other prescriptions. Both my PCP and Endocrinologist adnut they don't have any answers for me about these 2 conditions. I was a healthy, happy person prior to reaching 80 and it's been down hill from there. My husband of 60 years gas also been diagnosed with Type 2 adult onset and is on Gyburide and is getting niew irritable by the day. Neither of us have any diabetes in our family histories. My mother lived to be 95 and my husband's mother reached 80. We have retired and had hoped for at least a few years of less stress and healthy living. Some day--------
Dealing with any chronic condition is difficult. I manage several conditions including moderate to severe chronic pain from multiple degenerative spinal conditions. You can click on my user name or avatar picture to read my story.
Some things are possible to control and even reverse such as type 2 diabetes. I am seeing the benefits of being aggressive with making lifestyle changes already this year. I have already lost almost 10 pounds since 1/3/11 and my fasting blood glucose readings are nearing the normal range again.
My philosophy has always been to keep as active as possible, keep doing research and keep a positive attitude. These are three key ingredients in a recipe for success, IMHO.
Honestly, I feel like my health problems are a huge part of what defines me. I don't talk about my health issues when I meet new people, but they're always there. I think it's because they disrupted my life at a young age (14). I went through a period of hopefulness (what one might call "denial"), then hopelessness and despair, then apathy and depression, then anger, and now I've sort of reached the "acceptance" phase. "Acceptance" does not mean that I don't try really hard to be as healthy as possible. It just means I understand my body better. I used to be very anti-medication. I went off Plaquenil 3 or 4 times, and had a flare-up each time, before I finally decided to stay on the recommended dose.
My diet is not flexible at all, because I get sinus migraines and I find that avoiding moldy/cultured/fermented foods helps me. However, I focus on the things I CAN eat. I can't eat cheese or bread or dried fruit or cured meats or (**SOB**) chocolate (I might have to retest the chocolate soon :P), but I can eat olives, salad and other fresh veggies, apples, clementines, small amounts of popcorn popped in olive oil, eggs...you get the picture!
I must add that for the most part, I think my health issues have shaped me into a kinder, more patient, more understanding human being.
The only time that I become overly grumpy, or short on the fuse, easy to frustrate or otherwise is when I got hungry. Always seemed to be a family trait. Now I know better than to let it go, and if I think I will be in situations where I will be unable to eat on time, I take a snack. Usually for me it is a protein bar of some sort since I know at the time that I will usually be on the move when unable to eat. I even used them on long flights when we were not sure what the schedule would be for meals.
Yes, I can get grumpy if I'm overly hungry, too. Even as a kid, I remember feeling what I would now describe as hypoglycemic and would need to eat something right away. And I remember my first follow-up visit after being diagnosed with T2, my doctor came in and said her nurse thought I was irritable. She brought me some OJ and I was fine (it was late afternoon and I was probably running a bit low). I had initially been put on Starlix and after that, we changed to metformin and I have never had a "low" since that time.
I had an uncle who was Type 1 and he would get downright combative when he was too low, which happened often. I think my aunt didn't know how to count carbs and he'd have the wild swings all the time. He was a very gentle man, so these occurrences were totally out of character and he'd be fine once she got some food into him.
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