The Other Half of Diabetes

“Our topic today is The Other Half of Diabetes.  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!)” Karen Grafeo (Bitter-Sweet Diabetes).

I’m so far behind in Dblog week, my apologies, this year it happened to fall amongst my assessment week and they have had to take priority. I will write all the blogs planned they will just be really late 😛

Emotion, thefreedictionary.com defines emotion to be:

1. A mental state that arises spontaneously rather than through conscious effort and is often accompanied by physiological changes; a feeling: the emotions of joy, sorrow, and anger.
2. Such mental states or the qualities that are associated with them, especially in contrast to reason: a decision based on emotion rather than logic.

So how does that tie with diabetes? How does your body not producing insulin link with you being angry, sad or happy? Honestly, at a chemical or biological level, I don’t know but it does have a huge affect! More than I to care to acknowledge, looking into some stats for this blog I discovered that people with T1D have two to four times the chance of developing depression. Whilst I cannot explain why there is is link o what that link is, I can describe/explain what happens to me and my methods of trying to deal with it.

Last month I was asked if I would mind contributing a blog to Diabetes Daily Grind it could be on anything I liked, there was only an approximate word count that I had to comply with. I spent a few days trying to come up with a subject to write about and then I had a really bad high and ended up blowing up at someone (I have a feeling it may have been my Mum but I can’t rightly remember 😦 ) Mum and I had a big talk about what happens when I am high and how much I have changed emotionally since going on a pump and gaining some form of control over my bloods. I realized that I cannot be the only one who experiences intense emotions with blood level changes and I felt like it needed discussed. So that was my blog Putting a Face to the Name (the High Blood Sugar Demon)  I have linked it in so that you can go and have a look at it rather than post the whole thing. Keep in mind in that post I am only discussing high blood sugars.

I also want to talk about low blood sugars and what I experience with them because whilst my coping methods are similar to high blood sugars what I actually experience is totally different. I want to link in a blog post written  by someone else here because I believe the author has hit the nail on the head and I am not able to describe any more accurately. The post is called ‘Everything was in slow motion. Even my brain was going slow. (A hypoglycemic event explained)’ written by Neel Jadeja on the blog ‘LifeLoveandInsulin.’

Having to deal with such an emotional roller-coaster everyday is exhausting, especially when there is the opinion that if you worked harder and controlled your bloods better then you would not be experiencing the emotions caused by highs and lows. It never stops, you don’t get a holiday, you don’t get paid and there is very little reward for the effort required in comparison to the flack you will get when you are deemed not to have done enough. It’s normal to feel confused, irritated, sad or frustrated about it all and on the whole those feelings come and go as your management changes but sometimes ruts form and those feelings don’t go away, they get worse and start effecting how you manage your T1D, or in some cases don’t manage it. If this happens one of the best things you can do is talk to your DN or endo, let someone know you are struggling, it sucks to admit it and have to talk about it (trust me I know) but if you don’t no one can help. Generally hospitals will have a psychiatrist on the team who specializes in chronic illnesses and you can be referred to talk to them. Being referred to them doesn’t mean you are sick, it just means that you need some support and you may only need this a few times or you may need it over a longer period but if its what you need in order to manage your T1D most effectively then it just has to be part of your management system. If you can find out if there is someone available who specializes in chronic illnesses (or even better T1D) but if not then a general councilor or just talking to your DN or endo is a fantastic place to start.

Most importantly, know that you are never alone in how T1D makes you feel and there is always someone who can talk it over with you and take some of the strain.

 

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Continuing Connections – #DBlogWeek Day 7

DOC (diabetes online community) is a fantastic way of making connections with others who are travelling the same route as you with diabetes, it is also a great place to ask questions and find out about different technologies, coping strategies and maintenance ideas.

DBlogWeek has been an incredible way of broadening my circle of known DBlogs, there are two ladies that I need to thank for introducing me to #DBlogWeek. First is a lady that I found on FaceBook Arlene who writes the wonderful blog Cut the B.S.!…I mean Blood Sugar! I highly recommend checking out her blog, it is easy to follow/read and I enjoy it 😉 The second is the fantastic Karen of Bitter~Sweet Diabetes who is the founder and host of DBlogWeek. Not only has she got a fantastic blog but she has a list of all the people who have taken part in this years DBlogWeek here so that if you want to find some new DBlogs or just see what else is going on out there you can have a wee browse. I think there are around 200 so plenty to choose from and you are sure to find something that you like among it all 😉

I will, over the course of the next year, work my way through these blogs to find new reading material but this week three blogs in particular stood out to me. First up is The Grumpy Pumper, I feel dreadful admitting this but I have been following the Grumpy Pumper on Twitter for months but have nit gotten around to checking out his blog and the answer is yes, his blog is as good as his tweets! He has a humor about him that I could not possibly recreate and I enjoy immensely, it may not be your cup of tea so go in with an open mind but I do smile when reading it.

Second is The Trials of Type 2 Diabetes. As someone with T1D I have gotten constantly frustrated with people making comments about me or my illness that, I feel, only apply to people with T2D. But as I have ‘grown up’ I have started to research ‘what is T2D,’ what is the disease process, who can get it, why do people get it, what are the influencing factors etc etc. The more I have researched the more I have understood about the disease process, risk factors etc etc but I have never actually been able to talk to someone with T2D to get an idea of a comparison between T1D and T2D. Far as I found (so far) this blog was one of the only ones for T2D taking part in #DBlogWeek (I could be totally wrong about that!)

Third and final was the blog Defining Diabetes and Mental Health. This blog seeks to bridge the gap between diabetes and mental health and get talking about how really they go hand in hand. As an occupational therapy student I have learnt a lot about mental health and it’s impacts/correlation with those suffering from physical ailments but it has only been in the past maybe 5years that I have realized the impact that diabetes has on my mental health and I have never found anything talking about it openly. Until now. I have not read all of the blog posts available on this site but from what I have seen and the description they offer I think it looks great and would really recommend it to all PWD because it is an area of life that all too often goes under the radar or people dont want to talk about.

Those are my new picks from #DBlogWeek I hope you enjoy having a read through them as much as I have. A huge thank you again to Karen for arranging #DBlogWeek and to all those who have participated, it has been a fantastic week 😀

Hope