Tag Archives: fear

I don’t know what I think I know

In the 15 years I have lived with type 2 diabetes, I have not had many meltdowns. I have suffered from diabetes burnout, denial, periods of anger, periods of negligence, and overwhelming moments courtesy of the endocrine rebellion I have been subjected to by my body. But I have not cried or thrown pity parties that often. Not the kind of pity parties where I bawl like a baby because I just don’t know what to do and no one understands me. Well, I had a fantastic meltdown last night when I was supposed to start my Lantus treatment. Why? Because I am afraid of hypoglycemia in the middle of the night and not knowing what to do.

Sure, I have dealt with a few lows here and there; my worst one being a 52 mg/dL that came with some disorientation and face numbness. Other than that, my lows are very rare and not that bad—most of them have been “false” lows when my body is trying to trick me. But a real bad low where I don’t know where I am or what to do? Nope, I don’t remember that, and I am terrified.

Now, we are talking about basal insulin, the one that has a long lasting action and a starting dose of 10 units. Insulin veterans must be laughing at me. But hey… I have never used the stuff before, and my body may get crazy, you never know. I have gotten mixed stories; people telling me they were OK, people telling me that they went really low, etc. I guess we are all different, but I think my fear comes mainly from the fact that I am supposed to do bed time Lantus, I am alone at night because my fiancé works 3rd shift, and I don’t think I can rely on my cats to help me that much.

After expressing my fear to a few people, one of them actually told me something that surprised me. She said I should learn everything I can about hypoglycemia and go from there. Now, wait a minute… I thought I already knew everything I can about hypoglycemia. Are you telling me I have to do the Hypoglycemia 101 course all over again? And if that is the case, does it also mean I have to relearn everything I think I know about diabetes? I guess I will have to go all Socrates… ipse se nihil scire id unum scia… I know that I know nothing. 

But I will be brave tonight, and I will take my Lantus. I am prepared with an alarm clock to test in the middle of the night, a bottle of glucose tabs, and juice boxes. What I need now is to keep on being the same brave human being I have always been and grab this insulin fear by the horns. I am sure my pancreas will thank me.

Go Test Yourself!

A couple of weeks ago I posted something on my Facebook timeline about testing my blood sugar (Shocking! I never talk about diabetes! :P). One of the comments came from a friend who’s afraid of getting tested, even though she was told she had pre-diabetes and she has a family history. She says she’s terrified they’re going to tell her she has diabetes because her father had too many complications and she can’t deal with that. My words to her: GO TEST YOURSELF!

As scary as the thought of having diabetes is the sooner you learn you have it, the better. Sure, when you’re diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, it isn’t fun to hear you have to change your life style, prick your fingers often, stop eating anything you want, exercise and all those fun things people with diabetes have to do. Most probably your doctor will put you on a medication that can and will upset your stomach and you will wish you never took it… but test yourself! If you’re afraid of developing complications, learn the most you can as soon as you can and take control of your diabetes if you have it.

People who are afraid of getting diagnosed or who are newly diagnosed see the condition as an overwhelming burden. IT IS! However, they also believe they won’t be able to make it, they won’t be able to manage it and they will sooner or later die of horrible complications. My words to my friend were “commitment and discipline” and her response was “the two things I lack of.” —Well, she’s not the only one. I think that’s what we struggle the most with, and I think that’s the first thing we have to work on instead of making ourselves crazy with a lot of information about the condition itself. Learn how to cope, learn what is good, learn that there is support, learn that you’re not alone.

It pains me to hear a friend telling me she/he has diabetes, but they won’t tell anyone… hence they’re not taking care of it. I don’t know if it’s denial, fear or a combination of the two… but please! If your doctor tells you that you have diabetes, don’t put it on the back burner. There is a way to live a happy, healthy life with a chronic condition. You just need to be aware of it.