Monday, December 22, 2008

Irrational Fears... or Not??

Every now and then I go through a phase where I am totally consumed by fear. It doesn't happen very frequently, although maybe it should... I have always gotten out of my crisis mode by telling myself that they were just irrational fears, but I have recently come to the conclusion that they are absolutely not irrational; they are real and they should make me realize that at some point, I've got to stop.

I've got to stop giving up when I am scared, when I get frustrated, when I get angry that it is me dealing with this stupid disease, when I get too lazy to care, when I get so consumed by my weight and "how I look" that I sacrifice my health... where will I draw the line?

I have had diabetes for 18 years now, and for just about 18 years I have not been under good control. I am lucky to be alive, let alone still able to walk, see, etc. I do have some retinopathy and I am on ACE inhibitors, but I don't know if it was preventative or because I had some existing damage. The doctor never really explained it to me and I suppose I have convinced myself that if it was serious, he would have.

I think one thing that seriously overwhelms me is the thought that every single day makes a difference, which in turn means that every bad blood sugar also has an impact, right? Every single one. But I can't prevent every single High... it is impossible and somewhat out of my control unless I do nothing but focus on my diabetes, so I used to get completely overwhelmed and give up. I have recently come to the conclusion that giving up really isn't an option anymore. So what if I get frustrated and angry and upset and ask "why me"... I still have to push forward and get it done. There is no other option. It's the only choice I have...because at some point my fears won't be just something that scares me to death for my future, they will be a harsh reality that I will have to live with for the rest of my life. I will only get so many chances and so many "warnings".

The fact is this: I have diabetes. I AM a diabetic. I have to use the tools that I have to control it, because that is what diabetics all over the world have to do. I am no exception.

My little crisis modes should have forced me to fight harder, not get scared and give up. I don't understand why I react that way. Giving up does not seem as though it would have been a logical option when I am afraid of the consequences of my neglect of my diabetes, but for 18 years it has been. I don't know what life has in store for me, but I know that all I can do today is to ensure that whatever damage has been done doesn't get worse. Thinking about the past 18 years won't change them, unfortunately, but every good decision from here on out counts, too, right?

So, lately I have been living in the fear of the rational possibilities of the harm I have caused, of MY own consequences of MY actions, and it hurts, but maybe it is exactly what I need.


Layne said...

I went through exactly what you are going through when I was in college. I worked in the hospital and every day I saw a zillion diabetics in the hospitals with eye problems, amputations, transplants, infections, and on and on and on. It scared the hell out of me. But they were all very old and all Type 2.

In nursing school, I asked my instructor "Where are all the Type 1's? Wouldn't they be even sicker as old folks, having lived with this disease their whole life?" He said "Well, if someone had lived through 50 or 60 years with Type 1, they would have lived through a lot of years without good treatment options." And he left it at that. But the end of his thought petrified me. There aren't any old Type 1's because they didn't survive. And that instilled they best healthy fear of my life. It was the moment I thought, well, I'm gonna be an old lady and still kickin' and have my eyes and my toes and kidneys.

It's an uphill battle and overwhelming that you never get a break. There are times when I know my bloodsugar is high and I can't do anything about it. All I can think about is the damage it's doing to my body. Eventually I realized that's just too much pressure for one person to have to deal with day in and day out for the rest of their lives. I try to take it one day at a time and forgive myself when I "mess up." It's hard but, you are right, we have to do it. No excuses. If you ever wanna "talk" to someone who knows where you are coming from, feel free to email me.


Layne said...

WOW! Sorry for the novel! ;-)