Tag Archives: DOC

Dblogweek – What Brings Me Down

May is mental health month so now seems like a great time to explore the emotional side of living with, or caring for someone with, diabetes. What things can make dealing with diabetes an emotional issue for you and / or your loved one, and how do you cope?

Depression, anxiety, burnout, panic attacks, eating disorders. These are just some of the mental health issues that a person with diabetes can deal with at some point.

I’ve watched my uncle, my brothers and my daughter struggle with multiple mental health issues over the years. I watched my uncle struggle with depression that he treated with alcohol for years. My uncle died from complications of his diabetes in 1999.

One of my brothers is so burned out with his diabetes that he doesn’t always check his blood sugars or take his insulin regularly.  He’s been hospitalized many times for DKA. He calls me and asks me for help with his diabetes a lot. He already has complications from his diabetes. Watching him not take proper care of himself and his diabetes scares me. A lot. It has for years. But like they say you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. It has to be his choice. I do hope that one day he truly takes things seriously and gets better control of his diabetes.

My other brother also struggled with depression and turned to alcohol. He didn’t do such a stellar job taking care of himself either for a while and also has some complications from his diabetes. He’s doing a lot better taking care of himself and his diabetes now. He tries to keep tight control of his numbers.

My daughter has gone through episodes of depression, anxiety, and burnout many times. She often gets upset about having diabetes, counting carbohydrates, checking her blood sugar, doing pump site changes  (or insulin injections), or cgm changes. She often gets upset, cries and questions why it had to be her that “got diabetes”. During this time, the only thing I can do as her parent is listen and console her.  My daughter sees a therapist to help her deal with her feelings. She’s learning of ways to cope with her anxiety and depression. I hope that she learns the right methods now so she doesn’t rely on alcohol or drugs later in life. She also loves going to diabetes camp. Her home away from home. The place where she feels normal because everyone is like her. She’s made a ton of friends that she can talk with about different problems.

I often find myself feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, exhausted and burned out from dealing with diabetes.  Watching those I know and love deal with this chronic illness each and everyday can take its toll. The alarms from pumps and cgms haunt my thoughts and even my dreams. Some days and nights are better than others. Many nights I’ve dreamed of diabetes and its complications. After one of these dreams, I wake in panic mode and often have a bad day dealing with anxiety.

I have some amazing friends that I’ve met through the DOC that are around to listen when I’ve hit a rough patch. People that have either been there as a PWD or as a parent of a child with diabetes. A few of these online DOC’ers I’ve met in person and I’ve become great friends with and I know that they’ve got my back if I need them, just like I’ve got theirs. My family and friends outside of the DOC are also there to listen when problems arise. I know that I’m never truly alone, even though sometimes I feel like I am. So thank you for sticking by my side, through it all. <3

 

Diabetes Month Photo a Day – Day 17

Day 17: DOC

The Diabetes Online Community is well known as the DOC. This community is a place (or places) where those with diabetes or the parents of a child with diabetes – no matter what type – can find someone who ‘gets it’.

Some of these communities are JDRFtudiabetesChildren With Diabetes (CWD), and Glu are just some of the places that you can find support for ‘almost’ whatever you are looking for. Along with this there are blogs, so many of them, which are all amazing in their own way. You can also find communities of support on Facebook. In this community you never have to feel alone there will always be someone who’s been where you are and can help you through it and you will come out feeling empowered and able to take on the world.

A few of the amazing people we've met from the D.O.C.

A few of the amazing people we’ve met from the D.O.C.

We’ve had the pleasure of meeting a few from this community, in person. A few years ago we met Dr. Natalie Strand, she is not only a person with diabetes but she was also on the winning team in the 17th season of The Amazing Race. We met Cynthia in Sept 2012, who blogs at Diabetes Light. Yesterday, we met Kerri who blogs at Six Until Me.

We’ve also met so many others locally through JDRF and just by pure luck. It’s so amazing to have these connections with other people who know what it’s like to have a pump site or CGM site that fail, that understand the 2 am blood sugar checks, the sleepless nights, the hopes and dreams that they have, exchanging new ideas and recipes, the frustration of dealing with the ins and outs of a disease that can not be controlled perfectly no matter how great you micromanage it! Who else would completely understand all the D terminology that we use on a daily basis?!?

The DOC simply is amazing in this journey with diabetes, one that I’m thankful to be part of in this journey. Without these amazing people, who are also on this journey, I would feel alone. I hope to attend the CWD conference in the near future to meet so many more of these online friends from the DOC.

Coming Soon: Diabetes Blog Week 2013

The past few years I’ve read so many Diabetes related blogs. Though must admit, I never considered myself being a blogger. Or trying to keep up in the blogging community. This next week May 13-19, 2013 is the 4th Annual Diabetes Blog (DBlog) Week. You can read more about it here: 4th Annual DBlog Week.  And for the first time, we are going to attempt to blog every day for the topics that have been given. So stay tuned, it’s going to be a WILD ride!

Topics include:

  1. Share and Don’t Share
  2. We, the Undersigned
  3. Memories
  4. Accomplishments: Big and Small
  5. Freaky Friday
  6. Diabetes Art
  7. Spread the Love
  8. Diabetes Dream Device
  9. Diabetes Wild Kingdom