The harsh reality.

This is where I get brutally honest about life with type 2 diabetes.

I know that eating that donut this morning and then the bag of chocolate chip cookies this afternoon were bad choices. But I did it anyways.

I know that putting off exercise another day was bad for me, especially given the week I took off because of ankle tendonitis. But I did it anyways.

I could be told a million times how I need to watch my carbohydrate intake and how I need to exercise, but sometimes the motivation IS JUST NOT THERE. The smell of the donuts and the lure of the recliner are too powerful.

Thoughts of living with type 2 diabetes, taking care of myself day in and day out, for years to come becomes too much to handle. I wasn’t in midlife when I was diagnosed – I was just short of 29 years old. Yeah, yeah, I know all too well about how many type 1′s have lived with that condition from a young age, but what I experience IS different. It is uncharted territory for most people my age.

It is hard to think that I didn’t do this to myself. That all the bad habits caught up with me. (Though the realistic side of me knows about the missed hypothyroid diagnosis, the enormous weight gain while on a certain anti-depressant, and the genetic predisposition to type 2.)

It has forced me to become an amateur athlete, complete with sports-related injuries. It has robbed me of the freedom to eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s during PMS. It has taken away the ability to skip a meal because I don’t feel well. It has made me yell and scream at the scale. It has made me feel absolutely exhausted from a night out during the work week, when only five years ago, five hours of sleep was normal for me. It has made me wonder if I’m running out of time before another disease or condition appears in my relative youth.

And sometimes I forget that controlling my feelings about type 2 is every bit as important as controlling food intake…

Posted on September 26, 2007, in Diabetes, Fitness. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. You’re not the only one. 30 years of eating habits are hard to shake.

    And it’s a huge change to make – not just ‘eat healthy’, but ‘eliminate large portions of your daily diet’ – much of which is feel good, comfort food.

    Plus you have a blood meter. So instead of going ‘well, that donut’s pretty bad for me’, you end up seeing -exactly- how bad it is for your sugar. Which doesn’t even let you pretend!

    Motivation comes and goes. I’ll do really well for a couple of months, then poof! Must have biscuit, white bread.. all the stuff I know I can’t handle.

    I wish there was a perfect motivator Fear, guilt and a desire to live to 100 are apparently not enough.

    Hopefully this patch goes fairly quickly through for you!

  2. I appreciate the honesty and candor with which you write. As a type 1 diabetic diagnosed at age 11, I often think it might have been even harder to take if I had an extra 18+ years of habit forming behavior to change in an instant. The thing is, having diabetes for me has made me so food-conscious and am often wanting sugary and carb filled foods–probably just because I can’t eat them (very little). I don’t eat them often, but I obsess about them more than a normal person who doesn’t have diabetes does. It’s crazy how I can drool over ice-cream or cake or even a potato. I don’t ever get to eat those things guilt free and I guess for me the motivation doesn’t always keep me from making poor choices, but I do my best. We all have moments of weakness. I don’t always exercise every day like I “should.” I eat more carbs than I “should.” But I do a lot of things right, and can be glad that I have the awareness of how I’m feeling, and then make the choice to do something about it (or not).

    Thanks for sharing. We sometimes need a “Woe’s Me moment or two to just acknowledge how hard it is to live with this disease.

  3. JC Jones MA RN

    Thanks for the honesty – great insight for those of us “on the other side…” How do we(clinicians) meet
    (patients) in the middle? JC

  4. Laura> Yeah. Let’s invent the perfect motivator!

    Amylia> It is difficult to change the mindset, especially with my other issues (SAD, anxiety) to consider.

    JC> thanks for reading – I hope it can help develop new ideas for clinicians on the reality of type 2.

  5. It’s hard to be perfect every day which is what type 2 seems to demand of us. It’s harder when it seems that everyone else, even other type 2s are chomping down on the biscuits and the cake. It’s hard when you know you have a pretty good diet, probably better than the health care provider who is scolding you for the few lapses you’ve had. Diabetes is not easy. It’s just plain hard because it does not end.


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