Tuesday, 17 May 2016
The Other Half of Diabetes - Tuesday 5/17
We think a lot about the physical component of diabetes, but the mental component is just as significant. How does diabetes affect you or your loved one mentally or emotionally? How have you learned to deal with the mental aspect of the condition? Any tips, positive phrases, mantras, or ideas to share on getting out of a diabetes funk? (If you are a caregiver to a person with diabetes, write about yourself or your loved one or both!)
I haven't really shared my story about how diabetes affects me mentally- put my husband and parents can probably tell you a few stories that we would laugh about now but in those moments they were hard. For me being diagnosed when I turned 19 was bitter sweet. Sweet because I was old enough to understand that something was wrong and I would be able to manage it on my own. However- bitter because things would never be the same and living for 19 years doing whatever I wanted and eating whatever I wanted would need to change. I feel like I was in denial the first few years, I was also dealing with some depressed because my whole world was flipped upside down. It took me 7 years to face the facts and take control.
Last year I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease- which is a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, I am sure many of us living with Type 1 diabetes are a wear of the condition as you have probably will probably get you thyroid function tested as well at some point. I believe my underactive thyroid has played a big toll on my mental wellbeing in combination with living with diabetes.
I had all the symptoms in the book before actually being diagnosed and put on the right does of thyroid medication and had always blamed my diabetes. Even with good control I figured this way just my normal! Boy was I wrong! It was a combination of events I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease and found out I was pregnant all in the same week- it was a bit of an adjustment.. As soon as we were able to figure out the right does of medication I honestly felt like a new person! It was also around the beginning of my second trimester so I also got some energy back afters a few months of pregnancy exhaustion.
My best advice would be to take your time. So many of us rush everything in life. It took me 7 years to figure our what works for me and how to live a happy health life with diabetes and now hashimoto's disease. Its not something you can make sense of over night, and our friends and family members may never truly understand the battle you face everyday- but that doesn't mean we are fighting this battle on our own. since being diagnosed in 2008 I have kept the same family doctor who is heaven sent- and feels like part of my family! However I have changed endocrinologist 4 times, and I can honestly say I have never been more comfortable with the health care team I have created for myself, which I think is the most important part and everyone should take the time to find doctors whom they are comfortable with. (Which I will talk more about on Thursday)