“Is it Winter or Something?” – Dealing with Diabetes Guilt

Finally caught up on my DOC reading, I have noticed a trend.

Negativity – and not in a hateful sort of way, but in an “I’m really frustrated with myself because I feel like I’m failing” kind of way.

While my first instinct would have been encouragement, I honestly can say right now that I don’t feel like I have any weight to encourage anyone, because I have to say I feel the same way.

My blood sugar monitoring has dropped to pre-DOC levels. Some days I don’t test at all. I could blame my “Other D” resurgence, I could blame my lack of continuous glucose monitor, or I could blame a genuine disheartening. But playing the blame game does absolutely nothing for my health or myself.

In some ways, the last few weeks have left me feeling better. I (dangerously, and would not encourage ANYONE to replicate my decision) discontinued use of my anti-depressant, which I suspected was giving me side-effect headaches. The headaches have declined but have not gone away completely. My depression symptoms have increased, but not much, which leads me to believe that the meds were not doing their job. One bonus is that I have been sleeping at night, although not through the whole night – I have been waking up almost every night between 3 and 5 am to blood sugars of 200 mg/dl or higher.


Is it the weather? Is it the time change? I know that last year, this type of thing started around this time, but I blamed it on being alone most of the time since my roommate had just left, her internship tenure expiring. But this year I’m safely with my family, and have a lot of social interaction with friends. I am jobless again, which doesn’t help, but seriously. December is supposed to be a happy time, and I admit, Christmas traditions both old and new have been helping me cope, but sometimes it just isn’t enough.

Things get overwhelming quickly. I want to buy my loved ones gifts, but I am broke. Cleaning and organizing my things would make me feel better, but I can’t find the energy to do it. Staying at home, I’m experiencing blood sugar spikes almost every time I eat anything with a small amount of carbohydrates, I end up with a nap inducing blood sugar spike. I basically feel like I am in a fog.

So much of diabetes care has to come from within us.

To really feel as though we are living healthy, “normal” lives, much of our care depends on our determination and ability to continue to do the same things over and over again: count carbs, change the infusion set, bolus the insulin, test the blood sugar, let go of our hard-earned dollars to buy the precious medications that keep us alive. Check for ketones, and make the decision whether this episode of the flu warrants a trip to the emergency room or not. Burnout sneaks up on us like a grinch stealing Christmas. All we can do is all we can do. The trick is to not look at the numbers, not feel guilty for past mistakes. It can be hard. I am terrified of the day I realize my life is shortened because of my own mistakes. For the time when I am told I can’t have children because of my lack of control. When I lose the use of my feet or my hands lose feeling, and I lose the ability to play the piano or type a blog. When I lose my sight and can no longer drive a car, losing my personal freedom. When kidney failure causes my family to lose me. But these things are not things that should be dwelt on. Each day is a new day. The other day I posted this facebook status:

“Things seem ok when you take it one step at a time.” 

Test this meal. Count these carbs. Drag my butt to the gym today. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Forget about yesterday. One step at a time is the only way to live life with diabetes without bogging yourself down with guilt.

 And it’s the only way I want to live.



1 thought on ““Is it Winter or Something?” – Dealing with Diabetes Guilt

  1. Stacey D.

    Your analogy about taking it one day at a time is excellent. And I hope you find some comfort in doing just that. When things feel overly difficult or like you’re coping with so much, it’s easy to just ignore everything. But knowing that’s not the answer is a big step in the right direction. I hope you start feeling better soon Sara.


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