Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Other Half of Diabetes - 2016 Diabetes Blog Week Day 2

Today's prompt: We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk? (If you are a caregiver to a person with diabetes, write about yourself or your loved one or both!)

Wow, where do I even start? The emotional and mental wear and tear of dealing with diabetes is intense. It is always there, always demanding attention. 

For me, dealing with it as the parent of a child with diabetes is the most difficult. Even though he was diagnosed as a teen, I still worried. Worried about his current health (is he low/high, real people sick), worried about his future (complications, jobs, insurance, relationships), worried he wouldn't wake up. The first year was the most difficult dealing with those fears, because we don't let fear rule our lives. I had to deal with it, learn to push it aside, learn not to let it control me. It wasn't easy!

Dealing with diabetes as a spouse is difficult as well. I worry about him too! We've been married 25 years. We work together, including commuting. Our lives are completely intertwined. I want it to continue for a very long time. Again, I have to deal with the issue of fear so it doesn't rule our life. 

Dealing with it in myself is honestly the easiest of the three. Not that it's easy by any means, but I don't have the same battle against fear. Yes, I have some worries about future complications, but it's easier to push those aside for myself for some reason. Maybe I'm still in some bit of denial. I don't know. I guess time will tell about that. There's so much more going on in my head, but I'm a little bit afraid the dam may burst if I go there. Maybe later, a little bit at a time.

Another mental/emotional aspect is All. The. Numbers. Our lives revolve, in many ways, around numbers. Blood sugar, carbs, insulin, insulin to carb ratios, amount of exercise,  time left until bedtime. We all have access to each other's Dexcom data through Nightscout. It helps us stay on track. We're an extra set of eyes and ears for each other. It can be draining, but I wouldn't have it any other way! If one of us needs a data break, who better than your t1 family member to keep an eye out for you? And sometimes, I happen to catch really cool patterns in our numbers. Lots of instance where 2 of us have the same blood sugar at the same time (twins), and sequences. I haven't caught us all at the same number yet, but it will be really cool when I do. We definitely work together as a team to help each other KDA!

Cool sequence I happened to catch

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  1. It would be such a different journey for you to experiance those emotions as a mum, partner and for yourself. You seem like you have a lot of inner strength to deal with this, and find those quirky positives like the patterns.

    I was visiting my diabestie once and we got the exact same number when we sat down for dinner. It was a pretty cool moment to capture. Hope you've got your cameras at the ready in case it does ever happen.

  2. I try to stay positive, but it's really hard some days!

  3. Yes, all the numbers!! It's overwhelming at times for sure!

  4. I'm glad you all have the support of each other in this.

    1. Thank you. It really helps us get through the day.