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Am I taking on too much?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by annamillhouse, Oct 18, 2010.

  1. annamillhouse

    annamillhouse Type 1 · Member

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    I'd be really grateful for people's thoughts on this... I don't get a chance to talk to other diabetics much, so I'm not sure whether how I lead my life is normal or just excessive!

    I'm a T1 diabetic, and have been for 26 years (I'm 33), with relatively OK control now (HBA1C = 6.5), but it's not always been that good. I have a hugely stressful & busy job as an events manager in London, where I've made so little fuss about diabetes that people know abou it, but it's never a consideration (or as I'd see it, an excuse) for "slacking" or avoiding too much pressure. I'm also mid way through doing a part time MA, and I'm due to move in wth my partner at Christmas, so I'm kind of between 2 homes at the moment too.

    I know that I need to spend some time really conceentrating on diabetes, my diet and tightening control even more, as I'm worried that things might start to go wrong. I've been told I need referring to an opthamlmologist as the background retinopathy has got worse, though I don't know to what extent, I have proteinuria that the hospital are just keeping an eye on - so I'm panicking massively.

    Sorry this is going on a bit now, but I really don't know where to start! I've always thrived on pressure but I'm starting to feel that life's too short - am I messing myself up for the sake of pride?

    Any thoughts or shared experiences would be so helpful... thanks.

    Anna
     
  2. TheSparkyPony

    TheSparkyPony · Well-Known Member

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    I would personally take a breather and re-evaluate what you are doing in your life and where diabetes will take priority!
    I'm only 18 (T1 too!) but have been burning the candle at both ends, working full time, travelling to work and back and I have horses too which has meant me working 18 hour days and giving no time for my diabetes - not eating properley, not injecting properley etc etc
    I'm suffering for it now - I'vve had recurrent DKA's which has meant me leaving my F/T job and instead working a small P/T thing just to keep my head above water. My neuropathy has gotten worse and has now left me with internal neuropathy of the stomach which means i'm being sick frequently, which again means finding a decent job is hard if I'm running to be sick all the time!

    I know it may seem like you are coping ok at the minute, but if things spiral out of control without you realising (as I didn't) it can get ugly pretty quick, and you won't be able to keep your fast paced lifestyle as you wish.

    I've probably waffled too much but hope my input will help. Just sit down and refocus - diabetes does NOT take over your life, you take over your diabetes, and there is a way around everything :)
    Perhaps talk to your diabetic team? I know mine deal with people from stay at home mothers to business excecutives who fly between different time zones all the time and they manage to find a routine to suit all.

    Good luck, hope you get it sorted soon and keep us updated! :mrgreen: xxx
     
  3. Snodger

    Snodger · Well-Known Member

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    It sounds to me as if you are managing your diabetes really well now. Less than a third of type 1s get their HbA1c down to 6.5, so before you do anything else you should be stopping to congratulate yourself.
    no doubt someone on here will get at me for saying this but: Are you totally sure you need to reduce further than 6.5? If you look at the evidence from the huge trial of HbA1c in Type 1s (the DCCT), the 'good control' people who had fewer complications and slowed complications were averaging 7.2 HbA1c over the trial period. So, maybe you aren't at 'non-diabetic' levels but you are already doing better than they were, which means great things for your chances of slowing complications.
    Also, it sounds to me as if your medical team have perhaps not supported you as they should. To be told you have retinopathy which has 'got worse' without them giving you details or help is naturally going to be a cause of anxiety. Different doctors/eye specialists will phrase these things in very different ways, and sometimes they put the fear of god into us for no reason. Ditto the proteinuria. Can you get them to be a bit more clear, helpful and/or humane in the way they provide information? From the sound of it, you are already doing all the right things anyway blood-sugar-wise.

    I'm now 39 and have had t1 for 20 years. Like you I have pursued a similarly stressful career path, often with odd hours and unexpected demands which make it tricky to keep blood sugar balanced. And like you I have been determined not to ask for any special favours and to go at full speed. I think that's fine and don't think there is anything wrong with that, but I have in the last year or so slowed it down, changed career and allowed myself a bit of space to refocus on diabetes. That's helped me be a bit kinder to myself. It is hard work and tiring sometimes to do everything we want to do. I firmly believe we can do most things, but I also believe we should give ourselves full credit for doing it, and if we need to take a breather like SparkyPony says, that's also fine.

    I feel as if I've waffled too but maybe it will help to know that you are, in my opinion, doing brilliantly? ...your choice ultimately to slow down or not but either way you should not feel you are doing anything wrong.
     
  4. yipster29

    yipster29 · Well-Known Member

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    This was really interesting for me to read as I've not been T1 long (18 months) and I'm 36.

    Long hours, stressful job, 6 year old son and all the family bits that go with it all! I don't let diabetes be 'an excuse' as I always see it and wonder if I'm doing myself any favours!

    HBa1C has been between 6 and 7 on every time of checking so guess I'm OK but always end up with the same concerns as above!

    Sorry I've not really answered anything, more say you're not alone and thanks for such an interesting post! :D
     
  5. Debloubed

    Debloubed Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Diabetes is a full time job. If you have another full time job then no wonder you get stressed from time to time! Try not to beat yourself up, pay attention to the retinopathy and available treatments and remember, it's ok to drop the odd ball when you are juggling so many! Sometimes, something has got to give. PS - moving house is massively stressful, I've done the living between 2 homes thing, I bet when that is sorted you will feel a lot less stressed! Good luck :D
     
  6. annamillhouse

    annamillhouse Type 1 · Member

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    Thanks everyone for your replies! I really appreciate hearing about other people's situations and experiences, whether good or bad, as it helps you feel less alone in dealing with the day to day ups and downs of diabetic life!

    People's situations, and ability to deal with things all vary of course, so sometimes I feel like a little kid sticking my bottom lip out for not wanting to deal with everything like a grown up, then I hear what other people have to deal with & I have do much respect for their honesty & strength! It's all relative I guess, but the good wishes of others is such a boost.

    So... I've asked my tutor whether I can defer my studies or a while so I can move & get to grips with diet and blood sugar issues (and yes I agree, 6.5 is great, I'm thrilled, but I'm still worried about BM fluctuations, and feel like sometimes I'm chasing my tail trying to keep things more on a level!) - I suddenly realised that time is the thing I'm missing, and at least I'm in a position to find a bit extra by being honest & admitting I can't do everything at once! I'm seeing my GP tomorrow so I'll try to get a bit more helpful info from her as well...

    So thanks again - and good luck to all of you in managing all the things that life throws your way, on top of diabetes!! XX
     
  7. nikkihc

    nikkihc · Member

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    Hi everyone,
    Firstly, thank you to Anna for raising this, I'm in a similar situation with work (50/60 hour weeks etc) and two homes (renovating one of them).

    I have been wondering the same about my own circumstances and therefore to hear everyones thoughts on Anna's situation has been great.

    Thank you all, as a result of this post, I will also being "giving myself a break" by actually booking some days off work, for no reason other than I deserve it !! lol !!

    Good luck to all of you and thanks again.
    N x
     
  8. annamillhouse

    annamillhouse Type 1 · Member

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    Do it! Book that time off! 2 quotes that I try to remember when everything else seems to be taking priority over "me time':

    1. this is not a rehearsal
    2. no one ever said on their death bed "i wish i'd spent more time at work"

    Ax
     
  9. hazyclaire

    hazyclaire Type 1 · Member

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    I know exactly how you feel. I work a full time and stressful job, as well as a busy social life and often put other people's needs before my own.

    It has begun to dawn on me lately that I may be getting away with only giving my diabetes about 75% effort on a short term basis, but I will be the one to suffer in the long term from all those times I've done my injection late and let my sugar levels go a bit high. I guess as I get older I am starting to take everything more seriously and looking more at the long term bigger picture, whereas when I was first diagnosed as a teenager I just couldn't see that far into the future.

    I get depressed every year after my eye screening when they tell me there have been changes and I know that I could have tried harder to keep my sugar levels in check. It's just so hard to balance everything in life and to remember to prioritise my diabetes, it's so easy to neglect it and forget about the long term implications. I'm sure that if my only full time job was to manage my diabetes my HbA1c would be perfect and I really hope that in 10 or 20 years time I don't look back and regret not taking more time to look after myself. But unfortunately I have a big mortgage to pay!
     
  10. greenday

    greenday · Newbie

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    I would make sure you start to take care of yourself now!!
    I had a stressful job for many years and just didnt look after myself. As long as I felt ok I didnt bother about my high readings. I regret it now and wish I could turn the clock back. Now I have been made redundant and everything personally is going wrong so now I have even more stress. I am trying my best to keep levels down now but so wish I had done it sooner.
     
  11. jaykay

    jaykay · Well-Known Member

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    As a therapist I used to warn people, 'If you don't voluntary get balance in your life, your body will make you'. Lots of people take on too much , with or without a serious illness, then are made to re-evaluate by their body breaking down on them. I think the trick is not to try and do everything but strive for balance in all things. It really is okay to say 'no' to people, including bosses, partners and family. Put yourself first sometimes and don't feel guilty. If you are a happy, contented, balanced person you help not only yourself but those around you. Take a deep breath and decide what you need to prioritise in your life, then go for it...and good luck :D
     
  12. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

    There is a number 3,

    3. The graveyard is full of people who thought they were indispensable.

    As jaykay says, balance is the key.
     
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