Trying to stay positive

I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in 2008, and did not take my disease very seriously.  Just last month I was having trouble breathing and my fiance convinced me that I needed to go to the hospital.  It turns out that I had keytoacidosis.  I also found out while in the hospital that I actually have Type I diabetes.  Since my hospital visit I have been taking my disease very seriously.  I am eating well, exercising, and taking my insulin.  My numbers are generally good and in the three weeks from my release from the hospital to my follow up endochronologist appointment, my A1C went down from an astounding 12 to a 9.  

My problem is staying positive.   For some reason it really hits me when I go grocery shopping.  I guess it is just the copious amount of things that I can't have.  Have any of you had this problem, and if so how do you suggest I deal with it?  I also get frustrated when my diabetes affects those around me  (for example if I have a late breakfast, at say ten, I can't have lunch until at least 2, and neither can anyone who is with me).

I have read  that stress can raise your blood sugar, and that the disease itself causes stress.  This combined with being in my first year of law school, I am surprised my sugars are down at all!  Thanks in advance for any advice.

Hello, and welcome to our community! I have been type 1 for 65 years, and still have problems in the grocery stores when I see the foods that are not good for me. None of those foods are in my basket when I check out because I know what they will do to me and how they will make me feel if I eat them.  I do eat some things like potatoes and pasta, but never more than a half cup at a meal. I count the carbs I am going to eat and know that I need one unit of fast acting insulin for every 7 carbs in my meals and snacks. That is called a 1:7 carb ratio.  Do you know your insulin:carb ratio? You may need one unit of insulin for every 10 or 15 or 20 carbs. Your ratio can be determined by experimenting until you get good results.

I have good health after 65 years of diabetes. You can have a long, healthy life with type 1 diabetes, after you have established good control.

A good book for beginning type 1 diabetics is "Using Insulin" by John Walsh. If you ever use an insulin pump then "Pumping Insulin" by John Walsh is also a very good book.

Good luck to you in the months ahead, and good luck in law school!




There shouldn't really be anything you can't eat although the goodies may not be good for you or anyone else. Some foods may be harder for you to deal with than others but are not forbidden for diabetes. 

It's great that you are taking good care of yourself now.  It's true that there isn't really any food you can't have because you're diabetic; you just have to learn how each food affects you personally, and deal with it.  I don't know, but based on how you describe when you can and can't eat, it sounds like you may be on long acting insulin.  I was on long and short-acting insulins for many years and often felt like a slave to insulin-clock.  You have to eat at certain times to "feed the insulin" and can't eat when you feel like it.  An insulin pump makes life SO much easier, because then you're able to eat when you want, and even NOT eat if you don't feel like it.  When I went on a pump I remember the diabetes educator telling me, "Now you can eat like everyone else, but DON'T!"  Becoming diabetic means you'll now be so much more aware of the bad stuff that most people eat.

Whatever you do, don't spend too much time focusing on self-pity.  It doesn't do you any good what-so-ever, and there are so many great things in your life that need your focus!  You are not a "diabetic", you're a person, and a student and everything you were before.  You just have a condition that requires you to monitor what you eat and take some medication.   This is what they call controlling your diabetes, and not letting it control you.  I don't deny myself cakes and pies and candy because I'm diabetic, I deny myself because like most people I want to be in shape and look good.  Turn into a health and fitness nut.   You'lll drive everyone crazy of course, but they won't feel sorry for you, and you'll have no reason to feel sorry for yourself.  And once in a while, have the junk food if you're really craving it; then you won't feel deprived and go crazy!


I was really depressed for a while after being diagnosed. Although I have to say after starting the OmniPod pump therapy, I honestly feel like a new person. I have a totally positive attitude now towards my diabetes. Life is just easier on the pump. I don't have to be on such a strict routine taking my shots. I also don't have as many high or low numbers. And basically, you can eat whatever on the pump. I am more "aware" of what is unhealthy now so I still avoid bad foods for the most part. But if I want pizza or brownies or something I can eat them! Just gotta give myself the bolus from the pump! Are you on pump therapy or shots? Everyone is different and some people prefer shots, that's OK. For me though, since being on a pump I am not nearly as stressed and I feel so much more relieved. I won't be going back on shots! I still get a little upset sometimes thinking about how I'm young (almost 20) and already on kidney meds and already have some retina damage. And that down the road I may have more complications. That depresses me. But then I remind myself I am living in the best time! We may not have a cure, but we have good treatments and good doctors. Technology and medicine have come a long ways. If you think about it, before insulin was invented people with Type 1 diabetes would die an awful death. I have a book called Breakthrough: Elizabeth Hughes, the Discovery of Insulin, and the Making of a Medical Miracle. It's a good book. Seeing how hard things were BEFORE insulin makes you really appreciate just how much we have nowadays!

I am currently in grad school getting my PhD, so I get the stress thing. Just general stress doesn't affect me too much, but really big things do tend to make me run a bit higher. You can't really prepare for it, but being aware that it may happen should help. If your numbers suddenly go crazy, take a couple minutes to think about how stressed you are. Eventually, you will probably be able to figure out what makes your sugar spike and what doesn't. For example, maybe writing a term paper doesn't phase you, but giving a long oral presentation totally messes you up. Different kinds of stress do different things to people. Don't over-think it, just be aware that it could happen. Good luck!

Most diabetics can eat like anyone else, as long as they carb count and use a pump or multiple daily injections.  Has your doctor advised you on a carb ratio or your insulin sensitivity factor? 

I see, being such a late diagnose is hard mentally. 

Staying positive is very hard, but the grocery store problem is one of the ones that feels good to get over. Keep to the outer track rule. Don't go into the inner tracks of the grocery store only on the outer track. If there are a few items that you need off of the inner track locate the right isle from the outer track run in and run out. =) this is how i keep from being tempted by those icky-good prepackaged goodies. As for law school get in and fill out a disability forum. I had a history of getting very very ill on finals week. Whether from stress of actual sickness it was debilitating, I tended to do much better for some classes having a separate test taking location and time from the rest of the class. filling out a disability form can get you the leeway that we sometimes need for dealing with the very real issue of stress on numbers issues.

My understanding is that doctors used to be much more strict about diabetic diets. My daughter's doctor told us that studies showed that kids who were put on any sort of diet did worse with their diabetes than those who were allowed to eat anything. They have encouraged us to make good food choices for Sarah, but nothing is really off limits - except regular soda which she never drank anyway.

We obviously want our daughter to eat right and be as healthy as possible, but our diet hasn't really changed. She eats pretty much whatever she wants, whenever she wants, as long as she takes the insulin for it. We've discovered a few things that we implemented just to keep from having those really bad days:

1. Ice cream is rare, and I prefer if she has it early in the day instead of the evening, because it always makes her high.

2.  I always double the carbs in Mexican rice, because it always makes her high.

3. She can have fruit as long as each serving of fruit is accompanied by a serving of peanut butter (or other protein). A serving size for fruit is usually 1/2 piece, any more and she'll be high later.

I'm sure there are many more little tricks that others have picked up, and I'm sure they're different for different people. But the point is, you don't have to live without - you just need to learn how to live with...