I was diagnosed 2 years ago with T1D and, at first, I was willing to do whatever it took to remain healthy. I have had depression since I was a child. I live in an area where doctors are not familiar with T1D and the nearest endocrinologist is over 4 hours away. I am at the end of my rope with this disease. I can’t eat ANYTHING without my blood sugar soaring and food is one of the very few things that actually bring me joy. I don’t know what to do. I feel completely helpless.
Diabetes sucks and add depression onto that and it really sucks. I struggle with that as well. There is no easy answer to missing the foods we enjoy 🙁 Try to hang in there and message me anytime if you would like. It is difficult being isolated.
Mallory, no one can tell you what works for you as we all are different, but with time, you can figure out what will work for you. I have had T1D for 51 years now, and am fortunate to be very healthy and do not allow myself to be limited in anyway by this condition. You can do this, it takes discipline and knowledge. You are fairly new to this and it takes time to figure out how you will manage. I’m sure you know all the lean protein/low carbs stuff. It will get better over time, just keep moving forward. If you don’t have a CGM, please get one! Best advice I can give you. JC
In all the years you have had Type 1, have you spent significant time living alone? If so, did you worry about putting safety precautions in place? Any recommendations for young people living alone?
I’m so sorry you’re having such a hard time.
If you want to learn about a way of eating that will prevent roller coaster blood sugars from food, I recommend Dr Bernsteins book Diabetes Solutions.
My daughter has been having the easiest time ever since her diagnosis by following his recommendations of how to eat and using considerably less insulin, therefore reducing major highs and lows.
It actually also helps her overcome what she called a “sugar addiction”. She decided she had to stop using food as a reward and stop thinking of sweets and junk food as anything special because she saw that they were always the cause of her worst blood sugar days.
It’s not for everyone of course, but when it works for someone, it’s life changing.
Helpless – ugh the high blood sugar and love of fooood! I am a foodie through and through and have had diabetes for 13 years (diagnosed at 18) and STILL struggle with soaring sugars just after a nibble. And, to boot, I live in LA and my mother is one of the top diabetes educators in the area. And I STILL struggle every day with diabetes. I worked really hard to be close to great docs and I learned that in the end, nothing is going to make my sugars like I was when I had a working pancreas. I FEEL YOU!!! Do you like to cook? I have some great foodie recipes that I can share. Are you wearing a pump? The lonely journey of diabetes is tough – but we have people we don’t even know cheering us on from the sidelines like marathoners, everyone admires us but they do want to be us. IT GETS BETTER!! You definitely should read Dr. Bernstein’s book. Let me know if you want to swap foodie tales!
In the sixty-plus years I’ve had T1D, the best, the most helpful tool I’ve used is the Dexcom continuous glucose monitor. Once you begin using it, blood-sugar patterns begin to emerge, the effects of the foods you eat become apparent, and the connection between the timing of your meals and the bolus you take for those meals becomes more visible. I have a sister who lives in another state, who also has had T1D most of her life, but who is also a diabetes educator. She has been my best T1D coach. Having someone (especially a diabetes educator) that you can communicate with frequently and who knows the insulins and diabetes gadgets you use is perhaps as important (if not more important) than an endocrinologist that you only see occasionally. Perhaps this blog will serve as this “coach”.
I assume the follow up about living so long by myself with TID was asked of myself. To answer your question, yes I live by myself and have for large portions of my life. My recommendation to you would be much the same as Frankholby, that being, get a CGM if you don’t have one. It is the most revolutionary tool since insulin. I have always had good control (6.7-7.0 or so), but with the Dexcom 5, mine are around 6.0 now. More importantly, this was achieved through less highs and lows and much more steady glucose levels. And, the alarm when you go to far up or too low can be a life saver in the middle of the night. And again, frankholby is right on, you start to see patterns of food impact on blood sugar, you know very well how much insulin to take and how quickly it will work. Additionally, Dexcom is about to come out with a dexcom 6, that reportedly needs very little calibration and is FDA approved to be used to treat (dexcom 5 is not) due to it’s great accuracy.
We all have tricks to deal with lows. Mine is I have all the normal stuff, glucose tabs, etc., but I keep gatorade for emergencies. You don’t have to chew and it works very quickly.
And to re-address mallory, see it takes work, but you can live a long healthy life, it just takes practice and time.
And lastly, Shout out to you Frankholby for living for 61+ years with it! Way to go my friend!