I am a brand new diabetic. I have only been diagnosed since March 10th. However, my way of coping with it turned bad enough that I turned to self harm. I am 14 and a freshman in high school and taking several harder classes along with being involved in a performance choir, the forensics team, and I was in the school musical up until last weekend when the show was put on. It was all a ton of stress for me and I didn’t feel like I had anyone to vent to. One day I was in dress rehearsal for the show and I was curling my hair with a curling iron. Without really thinking I touched the iron to my wrist twelve times. At first it felt kind of satisfying to have something that I had control over, especially with all of the things that weren’t. Things like my rising and falling blood sugar levels, having trouble with gaining weight, the new schedule I had to be on, the period of time when my vision went incredibly blurry, and the constant poking and stabbing and pricking and checking that I had to get used to. However, after that moment of feeling in control, i had a clarity of thought, “Holy cow. What have I just done?” It was scary. Now, a week or so later, they aren’t blisters anymore, but they will definitely scar. These scars will serve as a reminder of that moment of clarity. So now I have to ask, how do you all deal with it or see your children or relatives deal with it? My parents and I had a discussion about it and they proposed some ideas, but I want to know what you guys think as my parents empathize, but don’t totally understand like you guys do.
I’ll tell you how I went through coping with diabetes. I had strange things happening like dry mouth even though I drank tons of water, had to repeatedly go to the restroom for unknown reasons, and felt exhausted when I would eat food. Of course these are all symptoms to diabetes but I didn’t think it could happen to me since I did sports in high school. At 19 I went to the doctor and he told me I had diabetes. My first reaction was nothingness. I didn’t feel anything but just a blank mind of uncertainty in my thoughts. At that moment I knew that I had to accept I had diabetes. Instead of becoming frustrated and angry, I learned to embrace it. I didn’t want it be different because I have diabetes but I wanted to live my life as it were still the same. So I have motivated myself to stay on track of my sugar levels while being a full-time student and full-time worker. What also motivated me to understand my situation was to show my parents and my siblings, as well as the people around me, that I’m strong and I will continue living my life full of happiness no matter how hard or difficult my situation gets. I didn’t want my mom to see me sad, and that helped me so much in keeping me moving forward.
Good Morning! I was diagnosed at the age of 18 and didnẗ know a single soul who was living with diabetes. I now have 32 years of living with T1. I never went through a ẅhy me¨ period but I did obsess about what I could and could not eat as there were no pumps or cgmś back then. I would say the thing that got me through and continues to get me through diabetes 24/7 is a positive attitude! I decided that I could control my diabetes and I refused to allow it to control me. I was in college during diagnosis and continued my studies for teaching and I was a member of my college dance team. Of course I had to make sure I checked my sugar levels on a regular basis and I always had snacks with me but other than that I lived life like a nondiabetic. When my oldest daughter was 11 she was diagnosed as well. Seeing me live a normal life inspired her to do the same! You can do this! A fabulous step is joining this group. I encourage you to find a top notch endocrinologist and local JDRF groups for support. You will live your best life by taking care of yourself and educating others about what it means to live with diabetes.
everyone with this disease goes through trauma. it can take many forms including clinical depression. When I was diagnosed, I became intensely angry and then numb. I took my anger inward and became depressed. In some weird way I wanted to hurt myself but was too afraid to do anything drastic. It took a very long time to forgive myself for getting sick and to accept that diabetes isn’t a punishment. I can say it now but it took me almost 19 years to come to that conclusion.
In order for me not to look at myself, I surrounded myself with chaos, I preferred people who had problems bigger than mine including drug and alcohol addicts. This affected my relationships.
when I got to the point of acceptance, things started to get better. not the diabetes of course, but how I felt about diabetes. I hope you have someone to talk to, I hope you have access to therapy. please take good care of yourself. the way things look right now may not be how they really are.
Ouch! That had to hurt…
Honestly, every single diabetic has those moments of “this sucks and I’ll never figure it out.” Those days are awful. I can think of at least 3 times in the past two weeks where I said out loud this just sucks and makes no sense and is trying to drive me insane.
That said, you can figure it out. I was diagnosed at age 7, and at that time, the answer to every low was drink lots of Sunny D and the answer to every high was “get better control.”
Hormones are horrible on blood sugar control. It will be really hard to stay tightly controlled for probably another 5 years or so for you. It’s not your fault. And it will get better/easier the longer you have it.
Eventually, you start to understand what your body tells you before you get too far out of control. Tired means do a blood test. Hungry means do a blood test. Mad as heck means do a blood test. Cut your finger accidentally? May as well do a blood test with it.
I was in debate in high school and worked after school once I was old enough. I just carried a bigger bag with me everywhere and made sure I had sugary snacks and vending machine money at all times.
Get on an insulin pump if you can. It will allow you more control over the insulin you take and the dosing. It should help with things like rehearsing for 12 hours without a break and cramming for exams so long you are awake well past normal bedtime.
And stay away from using that curling iron for anything that isn’t curling hair! Those will take forever to heal, which will just make it harder to control your numbers.
And yeah, I know you’ve heard that from about a thousand other people by now, but I felt the need to say it, too. Besides, there are much more fashionable ways to tell the world you are diabetic. I have a whole collection of diabetic alert bracelets, one to match every outfit I own. Try that next time. Make a constructive statement out of your frustration. Embrace the hurt and anger and then let it go. You will get through this. You are not alone.
I am also very new to diabetes, but not quite as new as you. I was diagnosed on October 6. One way I have begun coping with it is to try to find positive people as dia-buddies. I follow a bunch of people with T1D on instagram (some of my favorites are t1dchick, glitterglucose, coolreeree, and typeonetypehappy). It’s nice to see other people posting so publicly about their struggles and triumphs with the disease since I do not yet feel comfortable with making my diagnosis so public. Another suggestion is to download the BeyondTypeOne app and find other people who are newly diagnosed teenagers in your area. For me, finding other people who are living full happy lives even with T1D has been helpful and it’s nice to vent to people who actually understand.