How to keep on going

Hey, I was diagnosed in 2007 and since then I've been having a really bad experience with diabetes. I just cannot find anything to motivate me to care about my health. I have no idea why  because I know I need to and I want to be healthy. What does everyone else do or think about that motivates you all to keep taking care of yourself even though its such a big hassle and pain. I want to care--I just don't know how to make myself...HELPPP

I wish I could help you with this! I have the same problem, it's getting better though. I have problems taking my sugar ( I always check in the AM) and my mealtime insulin. I never forget the longlasting insulin because I feel like crap when I miss it. I can't decide if this problem is because I'm lazy or if I afraid of seeing bad numbers.

I've had T1 since the summer of '97 and the first couple years I was the model diabetic. I tested my sugars all the time and took my shots faithfully. Then I got to college in 2000 and things just kind of went down the tube. Looking back, I wish I had had someone to tell me how to manage my diabetes in college because it's a totally different way of life. I no longer had a regulated schedule and trying to find times to eat was a real challenge. I also didn't have a doctor I was seeing regularly and so no one to keep me accountable either!

I've been out of college for quite a while now and until very recently, I just couldn't seem to stay motivated to manage my diabetes. Here are a few things that have helped me:

1. Even if you're afraid of what the meter is going to tell you, test your blood sugars! Knowing what your numbers are is half the battle. Otherwise you're just guessing at how much insulin to give yourself and that rarely ends well.

2. Don't be discouraged by highs or lows. Diabetes is a balancing act.

3. If you can't motivate yourself for you, think about all of the people around you who care about you and want you around for a long time!

4. Think about the future and how diabetes can affect it. Even if it seems like all those horrible things diabetes causes can't happen to you, they can! You are not invincible.

5. Don't let diabetes get the best of you.

I hope some of this helps! Best of luck to the both of you!

Thank you Tiffany! Your words are very encouraging and helpful! I can do this!!

Something else to consider is the incidence of depression among people with diabetes and the major impact it can have on one's control and motivation to strive for control. It doesn't have to be tearful wallowing to be depression. Ambivalence or apathy and anhedonia are signs of depression. Unfortunately the prevalence of depression in our population is vastly underappreciated by most endocrinologists. Its not sorrow for disease. There are theories that the glycemic abnormalities affect the brain pathways (or brain chemistry).

I tell this to every single patient I see who is having problems getting motivated -- get thee to a psychiatrist!

Something else to be aware of is the guilt associated with diabetes. I don't think I know anyone who hasn't been affected by this. When I get a higher blood sugar, I have guilt, remorse and regret. But I keep trying for the next one.

One book that I think is interesting and also very helpful is "Cheating Destiny" by James Hirsch. Its not a sappy self-help book but talks about diabetes and the challenges that those of us with it face. It is REALLY good. And I cannot say that about other books about diabetes (I find most of them to be boring. . . very boring).

There are different motivators for different people. For me, I want to prove that my life will not be limited. I also wanted to meet the prove to my endocrinologist/friend that I can do it. Its a challenge that I will meet and conquer. Its a competitive thing.  Other people are motivated by the fear of complications -- I've seen a lot and it i terrifying. Some are motivated by their local JDRF chapter. Its like a built-in self-help group that is really encouraging. Kind of like a Weight Watchers for diabetes. There are those motivated by their kids or the hope to have children. And then there are some who are just motivated to do it because it has been ingrained, it is a habit and they don't want to go off track.



I love Hayley's suggestions.  I use some of the same methods. The fear of losing limbs, kidney function, and my sight is enough to motivate me to check my blood sugars often (too often, according to my doc).  I also think that depression may be responsible for limiting your desire to care for yourself.  If life doesn't seem that important, I'd try to treat THAT first.  Honestly, I try to think of the things I want to accomplish. I refuse to be a statistic so I do anything I can to prevent long-term complications. I have done a lot of things simply to prove that I CAN... that my diabetes won't limit me.  I guess I'm a contrarian so that helps me fight.  I would also find small things in your life that you value and use those things to help you motivate yourself to take care of yourself.  Example: my mom adores me. If I die, she suffers. So, I have to live.  Example: I have a house full of rescued animals. If I don't take care of myself, I can't walk them, work so I can feed them, do everything I can for THEM.  As silly as all that stuff sounds, it's always worked for me.  Find the little things in your life that matter more than others and try to connect those things to your survival.  

[quote user="Michele "]

Find the little things in your life that matter  



love this!

[quote user="Michele "]Example: I have a house full of rescued animals. If I don't take care of myself, I can't walk them, work so I can feed them, do everything I can for THEM.   [/quote]

YAY for this! I love animals, my cats are rescues :o)

I'm actually about 95% better. I just got the pump and it's really helped me take better care of myself! I'm also going to order that book (Cheating Destiny)

Thanks for all of your help!

Now this may have been said...I am a little busy right now at work (taking a break :)) to read all of the posts, but I would think there is one thing that's very simple on "how to keep going..."

It's this: Do you want to live a healthy long life? Then take care of yourself. What you do now affects your future health and health issues. As much as we can rely on others for inspiration, it comes down to us to take care of ourselves. Yeah it sucks and is inconvenient and overwhelming at times, but it's better than the alternative, right?