Hey Diabetic Community, I’m 20 years old and I was diagnosed when I was 10 but only this past year did I wake up to taking care of myself. Honestly having this scares me, so so much. This past year I’ve been in a terrible mentality, fearing for my future and planning for the worst in it. My view on life has changed and my motivation has vanished. At the end of the summer there was a sudden change in my vision and since then it hasn’t been the same, things are slightly blurry and it’s very noticeable to me. The two specialists that i went to told me that i still had 20/20 vision and any change was because of aging and unrelated to diabetes. But since then I haven’t been the same. Also, since this quarantine has started my feet have been ice cold constantly, I’ve been exercising daily and that seems to be the only thing that helps this. Honestly, I just feel like crap 24/7 mentally and if anyone has advice for me I’d appreciate it. Also it’d be nice to talk to someone one on one who’s gone through feeling like crap to being okay with this if possible.
Hi @Sam12345 and thanks for writing in. Some of us on the forum have had diabetes for 50+ years, and you probably want to do one on ones with someone close to your own age group, so I’m just going to say a few things here - I’m sure you will find others to chat with individually.
First, I know diabetes is scary, or can be. But if you’re looking for inspiration there are professional and Olympic athletes and people in various areas of entertainment who are living with it as well. I mention those groups because this people are well known - but the most important ones are everyday people who are parents, teachers, students, service providers, business owners - but to mention friends and neighbors we don’t realize share it with us.
It is possible to live a long, happy and yes, healthy life with diabetes as a part of it - the key of course being to manage it as best you can.
You mentioned issues with your eyes and cold feet. At diagnosis (and probably reiterated later if you’re diagnosed young) diabetes “can” lead to complications. I think doctors go through the list so they can’t be accused of not keeping their patient informed, and the list is scary. It’s tempting to think everything that happens to us is because of diabetes. But (and this may or may not make you feel better) sometimes stuff just happens completely apart. I have allergies - nothing to do with diabetes; I’ve worn glasses for years - I started needing them because I worked in front of a computer all day. So when you are having health issues, yes, let your endo know what’s going on, but as your eye doctor said, it may be something unrelated. Having said that, so check with your endo about your cold feet - we can be more subject to nerve damage, but many of the diabetes complications can be managed - and it could be something else manageable as well.
Coronavirus can be scary for diabetics and it’s good you are taking precautions. I’ve had “appointments by phone” with a couple of my doctors, and my allergy specialist have me a month’s supply of my “brew” to self administer. So take advantage of such options, and if your insurance has a nurse call line use it - I don’t know how much the virus may have affected their availability but it’s worth a shot (no pun intended) if you can’t get to the doctor or feel safer staying home. And last (finally!) don’t hesitate to seek out counseling if you think it might help - from what you write it sounds like it could be good for you. Lots of people with diabetes feel the need to speak with a professional as well as others who live with it. Coronavirus is changing the way we do things now - out of necessity - So while in person appointments are more typical you might find visits available online. Check with your insurance for ones who have hopefully been vetted and are reputable.
Wishing you the best. Keep us posted on how you’re doing.
Has your thyroid function been tested? I got unusually (for me) depressed about 3 years ago. My endocrinologist tested and found out I had hypothyroidism. She put me on synthroid and my attitude came back to normal very quickly. Also, if you’re upset, you might not be managing blood sugar as well. Swings in blood sugar can cause blurry vision.
hi @Sam12345 and Welcome to Type One Nation.
The sentences above are what I identified with the most, You are on new ground and in new territory. When you move past the early stages of grief and into the world of trying to accept this and deal with this, you may find that it is scary, and that it can be paralyzing, . When this happens, at least to me, I find that it feels like a slide backwards.
I did some work with generalized anxiety and I can tell you from experience that when I think about my death from diabetes complications, that I get terrified and the world seems to be closing in on me and that anything I can do is futile and will lead me directly to the thing I fear the most.
What I can also tell you is that re-framing what I need to do into smaller steps such as “just for today” or just “for the next 5 minutes”, things become more manageable. In time, you will learn new skills to be able to not only survive, but it’s possible to feel good and there’s even room for happiness too.
re-framing is a good strategy for managing that feeling. There are other strategies as well. there is nothing that changes overnight. You will need time in this new headspace of yours and it will not feel good at first. Talk about it and listen to what others are saying. Not everything will work for you so you can figure out what sounds right and work from there. if it’s any help at all we are all rooting for you.
@Sam12345 Hi Sam and welcome to the JDRF TypeOneNation Forum! I expect that here you will meet others who have been through what you are experiencing and pick up a few tips that you can adapt to get you on your way to living a full, an active, and a very fulfilling life. Like me, most of the people on this site are not medical professionals, but we will add the “more authentic” diabetes wisdom based on decades of living with diabetes; you will also need to weed out some stuff.
Both Dorie and Mike, who like me have lived successful lives while living with diabetes for 60++ years, have offered you some very good suggestions; I’ll add a little about your eyes - I hope the specialists you consulted are ophthalmologists who are trained to recognize “diabetic retinopathy”. In 1966, I was diagnosed with retinopathy [at that time, the world’s largest cause of adult blindness] and told I would be totally blind within two years - this was my very scary “wake-up call” that told me that I had to take better care of MY diabetes - for ten years I had been in denial and did nothing more than take a shot of insulin most mornings. Thankfully, I found an ophthalmologist / scientist who had a theory for a cure and became his guinea-pig; under his guidance, and many other scientists like him, there are now some wonderful and effective treatments. I urge you to find the best available eye-care for yourself.
Best wishes for you; please continue visiting this site and sharing.
Cold feet can happen with inadequate tissue flow. For years I saw a person who manipulated my knees, shins and feet to open up the pathways. My feet would feel so much warmer after this therapy.
This professional taught me to feel where the temperature change was occurring, commonly in my shin. My warm leg would suddenly turn cold as I felt down my calf. It did not matter which side of that leg was being touched.
Self massage is not as nice as someone else doing this, but my therapist died a couple days ago so I am on my own trying to keep the tissues open to blood, lymph, nerve flow and whatever else may be causing my ice cold feet. Trained not to sit cross-legged, I do take that position in order to comfortably reach one leg at a time. The pressure needed is often about the weight of a nickel, or say 5 grams. Smooth strokes until a tissue congestion is felt. There I let the couple fingers linger on the tight spot. The direction of my stroke along my leg or foot is parallel to the musculature. Going to the origin or insertion of a muscle. My therapist used to say “get on the bus and ride.” Our bodies want smooth movement. When there is a blockage it is pleased to have a little persuasion manipulate the bound tissues into releasing. Once one bit of facia lets go those muscles under it no longer have restraint holding them in uncomfortable positions. After several regions are persuaded to relax the flow to my feet prompts warming sensations.
Truly I doubt anyone can follow my train of thought or suggestions here. If we can keep our feet feeling good nerve and tissue flow we can keep them maintaining healthful temperatures. Self massage is affordable. With practice a few minutes to start can become 5, 8, 14, and 20 minute sessions in a month’s time. Ideally I like to do both feet so I can wear matching wool socks.
Hi there— I am 31 and was diagnosed, later in life at 23. It was extremely difficult going from being totally “normal” to being diabetic. I totally relate with you and I ALWAYS contribute anything off ex: blurry eye- issue with my contact; numbness in my arm- I have been working outside like an animal due to corona; white spot on my toenail- nail salon issue) to diabetes although they are not related. It is so easy and natural in my opinion, to jump to this conclusion. I too, worry about my long term health and how getting older will look for me and it is terrifying and exhausting. I had a break down yesterday; just being tired of every minute of everyday dealing with type one but all you can do is talk to people who make you feel better, and mostly take care of yourself to the absolute best of your ability. Everyday is a learning experience for me with this and I feel it will continue to be. Be safe and be well and you got this!!! Hugs—
Sam, Joe wrote about re-framing, and I just discovered a YouTube channel, “Between Two Lines” by a T1D who posts weekly short videos about living with T1D. While he doesn’t offer new ideas, he does take a humorous approach to diabetes. I’ve lived with it for 55 years and enjoyed the perspective the man provides. “If Your Blood Sugar Could Talk” is the first video I watched, and it made me laugh. That doesn’t negate your pain and frustration, but it gives another view while you talk with other T1D folks in person or in a chat room like this. Take a look at the channel. You can do this.
I am 21 I got T1D when I was 9 which is almost the same as you! I also dealt with not taking care of myself. Never took it serious ended up in the hospital 4 time for Ketoacidosis and drinking. I was headed down a slippery slope. I know have a beautiful baby and I’m still figuring my sugars out day by day. Remember you don’t have to be perfect everyday. And all you can do is try. My Snapchat is @kay.sw you can follow me and message me anything you need or just to talk. I know dealing with what we have to deal with can cause a lot of mental stress and anxieties. Thank you for sharing your story!
So sorry you’re feeling overwhelmed! For me, it comes in waves, though I’m the mom of a t1d kid (also Sam ) so it’s not quite the same. Luckily the body is VERY resilient and it’s never too late to get it back on track.