Diabetes sucks (diagnosed week before college)


(Carolyn) #1

so i just found this website at work and i’m crying in the bathroom to finally feel not alone in this.
i’m 21 and have had diabetes for three years. i got diagnosed the week before i went to college which super sucked bc of all the bad food habits that i had been accustomed to. i was in denial honestly for a little over two years, it helped that i was relatively active because i play rugby, but i ended up going into dka back in march. it scared all of my friends and family and myself, and i realized i needed to make a change. it’s difficult though being around my friends who want to help but then also want to go get donuts or ice cream on a daily basis, and it’s totally not their fault!! like i don’t want them to change their lifestyle for me, but it’s so difficult when i want those things too and feel like i can’t have it, or be as care free as they are when eating it.
i used to also intentionally give myself too much insulin just so i could get low and give myself an excuse to binge eat.
moral of the story, i have been a mess.
this weekend though, i got the dexcom g6, which has been pretty cool and opened my eyes to what i should’ve been paying attention to before. but it’s also been wayyy more frustrating like noticing that my blood sugar goes up after i did a super brutal workout or noticing it spikes at night. being in college makes this so difficult, and it’s hard not to feel alone.
sorry for all of this venting, it’s been a whirlwind of the past three years, but i’m feeling ready (although a bit discouraged) to finally take care of myself and get on track.


(joe) #2

@bankruptbarbie hi Carolyn, yep I agree it sucks and furthermore it sucks if it’s on your 1st birthday or your 51st. Or your first year in middle school or your friar year of grad school.

Welcome to TypeOneNation: the club we would all prefer not to be in.

I am glad you’re here and if I may judge from your post, I am glad you’re trying new tech like the g6.

If I could give you 1 piece of advice, this disease is miserable and exhausting, please take it easy on yourself and for @&&&) sake have a donut once in a while, maybe not every time but once in a while it’s perfectly ok.

If I could make one comment: you are more together than I was in college all you need is patience and you can figure this out to where it isn’t the primary thing in your life. There’s no reason why diabetes can’t be just a reflex, just a 6th sense you have to deal with so you can be a human and enjoy everything life will throw at you in the Times ahead. I am rooting for you.


(Jess) #3

College was rough for me too. The workload, stress, crazy schedules, late nights studying, eating at all hours, unhealthy food (pizza, donuts, Chinese food, etc), all work against good control over your diabetes.

High blood glucose is also addictive. Your brain loves excessive glucose, and you get into these roller-coaster cycles of highs and lows. I’ve been there. You’re doing the right thing by trying to get better control over your diabetes. It’s never gonna be perfect. And you’ll probably never stop craving those donuts, but you can do it; You have to, unless you want to go blind or have kidney failure 15 years down the road.


(msab) #4

type 1 about 60 years now, spent way to much of my life time reeling against it till I saw a 60+ year old with no legs hand wheezing his way up a mile of 30 degree incline, there but for the grace of god go I, I have since developed a different view no matter how bad things feel to you, it is still a blessing from the universe you are still here to see it. The best you can do is to follow your diabetes plan as close as you can as the complications that seam to follow diabetics are mitigated by close control, but don’t make that the hard rule, splurge on your diet is great occasionally and store no guilt you didn’t ask for an disease I would not wish on my worst enemy, to hard but doable †


(Becca) #5

The college life is the hardest.

I’ve had diabetes for 11 years now and I’m going into my second year of college. I get strange looks from all the girls whenever I pull out a syringe or even my meter to check my blood sugars. (I go to an all girls school) All my friends claim they want to help to but never actually do, they just yell at me when I ignore my diabetes only after my dad does. ANYWAYS, feel free to contact me, seems like we are in similar situations, hopefully we both can get out of this bad habit of ignoring or not taking care of our diabetes the proper way.


(Claire) #6

You are right, diabetes sucks, but it will get suckier if you give in to denial. I got T1D when I was 21 too, but mercifully it was the fall after I graduated college, and that was 48 years ago. I didn’t take very good care of myself for a lot of those years, but I was not a brittle diabetic, fairly easy to control and had good genes, no heart issues. I have had very few complications and only one instance of DKA in all this time. Consider yourself fortunate that they have CGMs and pumps now. They didn’t then.
What woman needs donuts anyway? Vanity should make you avoid sugary stuff. If your sugar cramming friends are fat, find new friends…
Diabetes is not a diet that you cheat on. It is a life sentence, so get over what you can’t have. With insulin you can eat anything you want, but if you do, you will weigh a ton and your health will suffer. Project forward and see yourself in a career, married, having children, living long and healthy. It is about the choices you make now, so how important is that donut?


(Emma Lassen) #7

Hey Carolyn! I’m so happy you found this website! I think one of my biggest struggles with diabetes is feeling like no one else understands, but being able to get on here and read that there are others out there that are just like you is so comforting.

I am a senior in college and have been living with diabetes for about eight years now. I think my freshman year of college was one of my toughest times managing this disease. At first, I was very apprehensive about telling anyone about my diabetes. There are so many misconceptions about type I diabetes and sometimes people’s ignorance can be hurtful. In highschool, everyone knew but I guess I just thought that when I went away to college I could leave my diabetes at home too. I was wrong. My Alc following my freshman year of college was nearly 12% and I felt like crap allllll the time.

After getting back on track that summer, I took a different approach to my diabetes management sophomore year. Instead of hiding my diabetes from my friends, I shared it with them and what I learned was that if they are true friends then they will try their best to understand. I also educated them because when you are ignorant about something, it is easy to judge but when you are educated then things become easier to understand. I still have to remind them of things sometimes and they do not know how it feels to have three lows in a day or not go below 250 for the day but at least now they are considerate of my diabetes. Having a solid support system made it easier for me to manage my diabetes because I was no longer embarrassed to pull out my meter or take my insulin.

A couple of days ago I was out with some of my friends at a bar and a man asked me if my insulin pump was a house arrest monitor. (1. Last time I checked I would not be wearing a house arrest monitor on my arm 2. If I was on house arrest, I would not be out at bar) anyways before I could become embarrassed my friend quickly jumped in and explained to this man that it was an insulin pump and made the man look incredibly dumb. So it just goes to show that one of the biggest things standing in way of my diabetes management has become my best ally.

I know everyone copes differently with this disease, but I hope you know you are not alone!! So maybe try reaching out to some of your friends and when they all go out for ice cream you get some too! Just take the time to give some insulin for it :slight_smile:

Stay strong!!! You are a diabadass!!!


(Nancy) #8

Hi Carolyn,
I thought perhaps I can help you a little with what you’re going through. I’ve had T1D for 58 years and there are so many things that weren’t available to me when I was in college that I had to learn the hard way. For instance, no one told me that I shouldn’t exercise if my blood glucose if I wasn’t between 150 and 250. There were so many times I exercised thinking I was trying to lower my glucose when I was above 250, then couldn’t understand why my blood glucose was 350 after exercise. You are fortunate to have the Dexcom G6. Even the G5 can help you determine whether you can exercise or not.
I agree the disease sucks, but compared to the way it used to be without a glucose monitor, a CGM, and pumps, it has improved. You can do this and live a successful life. It doesn’t mean you won’t get burned out, disgusted, or depressed, but find someone to discuss this stuff with. This website is a help for all of us because it proves we aren’t alone in struggling to manage T1D.
Nancy


(P.) #9

Hi Carolyn.
It definitely sucks, but there is a range of suckiness. It’s sometimes possible to be having fun w/o having to think about diabetes.

I’m for getting a diabetes educator who has T1. They don’t make you feel bad because you don’t fit a textbook description T1 optimal behavior.

As for the donuts, go for a donut hole or two. That can quiet your craving and keep BS in line. If I don’t at least taste food I want, I feel really deprived and that promotes me into overeating. When you go to a friend’s who has cooked dinner. Just taste a few things and remark on how GOOD it tastes.

For me, part of learning to handle diabetes, required me to not feel I had to be perfect as doctors seemed to suggest and also to think of how nice I would look if I didn’t gorge every time I had the chance.

Don’t worry. It must have taken me 10 years to learn how to eat.

We’re all pulling for you!


#10

When I went to college, I barely told anyone I had diabetes and put it on the “back burner” much of the time. Do I regret how I handled this? Yes, for sure. Did I feel guilty for not paying closer attention to my diabetes? Yes. But I will echo what a lot of people on here have said - give yourself a break. Seriously. That doesn’t mean ignoring you have diabetes or losing control of your blood sugars. It means that you are human and living with a chronic condition that can be very challenging to control and keep at the forefront of your thoughts all the time. Keep in mind your body’s needs and take care of yourself the best you can. Diabetes can be intense and overwhelming. You got this! I also find this forum VERY helpful and supportive especially when I am feeling negative.

Do not cut things like donuts and ice cream out of your life entirely. That will backfire. Allow yourself to have these things and you will figure out how much insulin to give yourself and how much to have each time. If I didn’t let myself have a donut, I would be miserable!


(colleendawes) #11

Oh man feeling alone is the WORST part of this disease so I’m psyched you found the group and you are feelin’ the love! You are such an inspiration to me - I feel really connected to you because I was in the same situation but you are already doing so much better than I was at the same age. I was also diagnosed after my freshman year of college. I was sick for SO LONG - went blind for a day, ate like crazy and lost 40 lbs (I was an athlete, so this really wasn’t a good sign), used to drink like a fish. After my diagnosis I didn’t stop partying hard until after I graduated with my masters…5 years after first diagnosis. I hear you about the living-in-denial deal, and that’s honestly fed by feeling alone as a diabetic and by not feeling empowered to take care of yourself. I am so sorry that you went through the scary experience of DKA and we all feel for you. I also, as an athlete, would intentionally go low so I could eat a ton of food to bulk up. And that post-high-intensity-high-glucose happens to literally all of us unless you’re an olympic-level athlete. Those daily frustrations are the friggin worst. Your “mess” sounds real familiar to me, but girl - you are doing so well! And you are on such an excellent path forward.

Listen, you can be everything you want to be, do everything you want to do, eat what you want to eat, and still be healthy. But you do have to care. You know this, I know you do, but you have to take a lot of care of yourself. Who knows? Maybe your passion about food and drinks can encourage your friends to take a look at their lifestyle habits too. All my friends turned into health nuts after college and me having diabetes actually helped them learn about how our bodies process food and what’s good for us. You are totally worth caring about, so find a good support system that goes beyond just wanting to help to actually showing up and following your lead. I posted elsewhere in this forum about using humor, social media, the rad T1D tees and funny diabetes memes to get through it and to educate your peers. I highly recommend this as a laugh-at-your-stupid-pancreas strategy to get you through those highs and lows. HAAHAHAH! PUNS INTENDED!

I’m proud to say that I too am working on it. I have a CGM, I have the 670g, I’ve got great support, I just finished my first JDRF Ride, and I’m starting to build community locally. But jeeeeeez I nowhere close to having it figured out. No way. We’re all in it together and you are totally motivating me to be an even better T1D version of myself. So keep on truckin’ you fierce femme! You got this.