From Ottawa, Ontario, Canada:
After 35 years with type 1 diabetes, I see three ways it can ruin your life:
- You obsessively monitor glucose levels, activity, and food intake, and take multiple insulin doses, debasing what should be a spontaneous and creative human life to the role of merely imitating a pancreas.
- You monitor glucose less obsessively, but try to go for a generally low blood sugar, which reduces you to the level of someone with uncontrolled epilepsy, since you are forever suffering all the physical, and the much worse social and psychological, consequences of hypoglycemic episodes.
- You can monitor blood glucose loosely and create a good buffer zone against hypoglycemic episodes by letting the blood sugar run high, but then face a more rapid development of complications.
Each of these options can be just as bad as the other from the patient's point of view, but when will diabetologists recognize that emphasizing strict control in no way makes the patient healthier as a whole psychological, social, and physical being, but just substitutes one form of disease for another?
Living with diabetes can be overwhelming, and it is easy to feel like diabetes can take over your whole life. However, it does not need to be all encompassing, and many people with diabetes are able to find a way to balance living their lives and managing their diabetes. It sounds as if you have not yet been able to find such a balance.
I think it's vital that you find a mental health professional who works with adults with diabetes who can help you begin to see your life as more than the diabetes. No one needs to suffer the way you are. Please seek the help of a professional.
Additional comments from Dr. David Schwartz:I agree. You need to see a counsellor. Please ask your doctor for a referral as soon as possible.
Original posting 11 Dec 2001
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