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Bereavement and Diabetes ?

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by World Hereafter, Oct 7, 2013.

  1. World Hereafter

    World Hereafter Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Anyone had any experience of going through bereavement (or other major shock) as a Diabetic?

    How did it affect your BG levels and diet and overall Diabetic health?

    I am seriously struggling with sleeping and eating .. routines have gone to pot and been all over the place for a while now... BG's have shot up higher than they were at diagnosis a year ago.. even my fasting BG is higher than it's ever been. Even not eating for 24 hours, my BG was way too high.
     
  2. Linda Cundall

    Linda Cundall Type 1 · Newbie

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    At the moment I have a close relative in hospital very ill, my BG levels are all over the place like yours mostly high, eating when I can but testing and carb counting, all seems to be ok then high for no understandable reason. I have put it down to stress and lack of sleep and hoping things will get back to normal when this trauma is over.Hope yours will improve with time.
     
  3. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    Hello World Hereafter

    This can be a very difficult subject and I wont pry.

    I am Type 1 and last year I went through a bereavement with my 11 year old daughter. It shattered me, my BS were all over the place, my body was traumatised because of the worry and stress. This went on for 5 to 6 months and I became ill throughout that spring and summer and then I was diagnosed with Coeliac disease.

    Could you see your DSN or GP to get some help, support and advice coping with the bereavement and diabetes? Hopefully another type 2 will be able give you more practical advice. from experience I can say the time is a great healer.

    Take care and best wishes RRB
     
  4. World Hereafter

    World Hereafter Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you both so much for your replies, and for sharing your experiences.. I know it's a very difficult subject for many people, but it does help to know other people been/going through similar.

    I had read briefly (when diagnosed) that stress/upset can affect BG levels, but had no idea just how strongly they could be affected.

    I saw GP couple months ago, as was in major shock and not coping. Was referred for bereavement counselling - am still on a very long waiting list to start. Nothing was mentioned about the diabetes, but to be fair to GP, that was last thing on my mind, and since bereavement I have only been testing when I remember to ( not at every meal like usual). Perhaps I need to go back and tell GP or DN nurse about the BG levels, as they are very high and all over place.

    Thank you again for replying
    x
     
  5. Tracey69

    Tracey69 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi
    Sorry to hear yoour news.
    Stress will make your sugar levels up an down fo a while until you start to come to terms with what happened, not easy i know.
    You may find you have to adjust your indulin levels a little.
    Hope all is well and settles quickly for you, but please don't worry regarding your sugars as that won't help either.
    Take care
    Tracey
     
  6. Netty70

    Netty70 · Well-Known Member

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    Wow I know exactly how you feel I suffered a great loss in May and since I have ignored my diabetes quite a bit
    But I have told my DN so she knows what am going through so is being very patient with me but to be honest am never gonna get over my loss ever so my family have told me I must look after myself and my diabetes I am really trying
    Good luck hope you work everything out


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  7. ChrisOT61

    ChrisOT61 Type 2 · Active Member

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    I lost my mum in April this year, was diagnosed in August with type 2 and put on metformin. Since then I was doing quite well, BS readings were quite good and I had lost over a stone in weight. However, in September my dad died and since then I have been so totally overwhelmed with grief that my diabetes has gone out the window. I am not taking my metformin or testing my blood sugars and am eating all the wrong foods. It's almost like I'm on a self destruct mission and I don't understand why. My dads funeral was today and I am hoping I can find some comfort and closure and get back on track and start looking after my own health again.

    Chris xx


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  8. Netty70

    Netty70 · Well-Known Member

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    Chris your post brought quite a few tears to my eyes I am so sorry for you loss know how you feel
    Don't beat yourself up about what your doing wrong as you have a lot to cope with
    But your health is really important and you could cause a lot more complications if you don't look after yourself
    I know it's going to be difficult at the mo but having your diabetes to concentrate on will hopefully take your mind off other things
    Hope you start to look forward soon
    Take care
    Times a great healer so they say :)
     
  9. ChrisOT61

    ChrisOT61 Type 2 · Active Member

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    Thank you Netty for your kind words. I really do want to get my diabetes under control and look after myself again. I know my mum and dad would want me to get on with my life and get back on track. It's so hard though. At times I haven't cared about myself and have even felt guilty to even be thinking about myself when my parents are gone. I've always been a comfort eater and the during the last few weeks I have needed a great deal of comfort. But now is the time to stop crying and start again xx


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  10. Netty70

    Netty70 · Well-Known Member

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    I am sure you will chris
    This forum is a great place for advice and a light hearted banter
    You will find a lot of people who will help and are happy too it has been a saviour for me
    Good luck with everything
    One step at a time hey :)


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  11. hunxstar

    hunxstar · Member

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    Hello all,

    Death and diabetes, not the Double 'D' I was aiming for...

    I lost my dad in May, and was diagnosed 7 weeks later on my return to the UK after being abroad to take my dad to his final resting place. I had been feeling rotten for quite a while, and I was not surprised at my diagnosis. My dad died of pneumonia, he had T2 for 20 years, and had a couple of heart operations during which time, especially in recent years, where I was in charge of his meds, I learnt a lot about his conditions. Now I find myself taking some of the very same meds he took; I was offered my blood glucose monitor by my DN and I refused it, because it it the exact same model he used ( I have my own), a constant reminder of my grief and loss of my dad. My dad managed his diabetes very well right up to the end. He passed very suddenly, just one week after he had come back from a trip to Hong Kong to see his family, he went into hospital. I was with him until the very end.
    Existing depression, a sudden loss of a loved one, followed by my diagnosis, followed by my most recent loss of my cat after 13 years in the last fortnight has made me very unstable.
    Some days the despair is so bad, I forget to eat, but then I know I should eat cos if I don't my BS will rocket, cos food equals meds, but I can't eat as I have no appetite, then I feel guilty and powerless and so the vicious cycle begins.
    Trying to do what's right for the needs of my body is important, now more than ever, but how can you do that when grief and loss drive you temporarily insane? Both bereavement and diabetes are unique journeys for all of us (I remind myself all the time that my dad's diabetes is not MY diabetes) the learning curve for both these aspects of our lives is only as tight as we make it, so how can i take/maintain control of my BS when I have no control over my emotions, can't sleep properly, can't eat properly, or conversely no longer able to comfort eat/drink myself anymore ? What was before (in my mind) a simple coping mechanism is now just as dangerous to as drinking a pint of neat vodka, or necking a bunch of pills.
    When we suffer a loss, we all at some point will question our own mortality, and even the ones of those around us. Diabetes does that too, I feel.
    I read somewhere else in the forum a few months back about a chap who had suffered a loss and as with many of us (including me!), diabetes went out of the window - eat wrong, drink wrong, sleep wrong, everything wrong....- as ever, the helpful advice from fellow members gave me a little more hope and courage to get through things, it went some thing like
    it's ok to take that 'sod diabetes, I've bigger fish to fry' view if your life has suddenly out of control - , but sooner or later, as we deal with our loss, we WILL become stronger, and will regain our responsibility of our diabetes, our life...life goes on, and I owe it to myself and my family, alive or dead to (eventually) get back to normal routine, and for me. We all go off the rails at some point in life, and it's painful, but as the saying goes, this too shall pass. We have good days, we have bad days, but we just have to do things in our own time.

    My dad had a saying in Cantonese, which *roughly translated* meant 'You have one life, so live for it', sort of saying that you are your own responsibilty, so healthwise, it's ultimately up to you. His expression reminds me everyday how only I can make a difference if I am going to manage my diabetes well or not, and I for one am not going to get some stupid metabolic disorder get in the way, genetics or not goddammit!!

    Friends and family who have also gone through your loss may need to be aware that you are concerned about chucking your numbers out of the window - the stress and related emotional issues can contribute to elevated BS levels; coupled with not eating properly could send your numbers sky high. Let the people around you know if you are concerned (both loss and starvation are not a good combo), perhaps they can remind you or check that you are taking your meds/eating/ checking levels etc etc. I became very forgetful during the first week after dad died, and forgetfulness and confusion, which is very common with a loss can sometimes be a symptom with hypers...as I was undiagnosed at the time I may have been hyper for a LOOOONG time - my A1c was 86 (!) when diagnosed.

    sorry if this is rambling, but I hope this helps. Everyone is here for each other, and without this place to express myself, I don't think I would be able to at all.

    thanks for the soapbox time!

    Cheers
     
  12. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    hunxstar, Please don't think you are rambling, you're certainly not, just getting it all of your chest by expressing yourself and your post gave me a lump in my throat. You have gone through such a lot in a short time.

    I wish you all the best for the future and I know time is a great healer.

    I love your dad's saying ' You have one life, so live for it' take care,

    With my very best wishes RRB
     
  13. sheepareevil

    sheepareevil Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi all

    I am so glad to hear other's stories dealing with this. I lost my mum just under 2 weeks ago. My blood sugars are all over the place ranging from 18ish to 2ish in less than 2 hours. i also have other medical conditions that are agrivated my stress and upset so in general everything has gone to pot at the moment!

    I think that the problem is that my emotions are so varied, so quickly that it is just burning up energy.
    I have had a lot of issues around my mum, as a child I was her carer and we have only just started to develop a good relationship in the last couple of years. She was my rock when I was diagnosed and I don't think I could have coped over the last 9 months without her. I also have a lot of anger, as my mum died due to mistakes made when she was in for a non-life threatening condition.

    I have also got another appointment with my diabetic nurse, after I was told to lose weight (which just has not happened as it is not a priority at the moment) so waiting to be told off about that.

    I hope that everyone has found some comfort with time.
     
  14. jampot

    jampot · Member

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    Hello
    I just had to reply after reading all these posts.
    I know what you are all going through although my story is more of a back-to-front one.
    My husband died very suddenly in January and since then I have had more major life events than in my entire life, apart from trying to cope with grief.
    I have come to believe that stress is the killer and not at all surprised that blood glucose levels are all over the place.
    As well as other major events (younger brother suddenly dying; my change of lifestyle as I had to buy a house, oh i could go on) I've been diagnosed with diabetes type 2; hypertension and skin cancer.
    There is nothing I can add to other posters except to say that you need to take control of your diabetes again asap because we all know the consequences of not doing so.
    It's hard I know, but you are not alone with all the excellent people on this forum.
    Take care and big hug
     
  15. annepgill

    annepgill Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I think stress plays a big part in it I was reasonably healthy until my mum passed in November 2011 and it broke my heart,by November 2012 I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism diabetes and asthma in my mind stress caused all my illnesses, I wish you health and happiness :)


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  16. World Hereafter

    World Hereafter Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you to everyone who has replied, and I am so sorry I have not been back on the website since my original post.

    I am so sorry to hear your experiences and sad losses. I hope everyone is getting the help, support and healing they need. I have just started having bereavement counselling, early days yet.

    Have spent the past few months wanting to shut myself away and 'disappear' from the outside world. I'm sure many of you will understand exactly what that feels like. Am only just beginning to get some full night's asleep again, and finding that the occasional days where I don't cry are a welcome novelty.

    The bereavement counsellor said it can take years to heal from bereavement, especially an unexpected one. Would just be nice if more people understood that, instead of expecting the bereaved to carry on as normal. Already had a few people around me say things akin to'"you should be over it by now' or avoiding me, or just being very non-understanding about me not doing stuff like I usually do.

    That's been perhaps the hardest thing (apart from the loss of the loved ones)... other people's reactions and/or lack of understanding.. sometimes it feel like I'm on another planet or another dimension as normal life still feels 'unreal'... and now we're in the by run-up to Christmas, I want to be able to make that a happy and special time for the loved ones still here on this earth.. but the truth is, 'celebrating' is the last thing I feel like.

    There must be so many others out there, not just in the Diabetic world, who will be spending this Christmas as their first without a person/people they loved dearly. Please spare a thought or a prayer for them, and if you can, make some small gesture to help them, or comfort them, or check they are ok, or just let them know they can talk to someone and not be alone with their grief.

    x
     
  17. hunxstar

    hunxstar · Member

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    I know how that feels, sometimes it seems like there's a schedule or something that you're meant to follow when grieving...but I am sure as your counsellor told you, not to let anyone pressure you to be/feel/do anything before you feel you are ready. Those that avoid you or say the wrong thing have not experienced YOUR loss, so healing is something you go through by yourself, you call the shots. There are those out there who have not experienced great loss, and it is a case of 'forgive them, for they know not what they do.' Sometimes people just don't know what to say; some will upset you without meaning to; never mind them. I still get teary every time I fill my medicine boxes every month; it's what I used to do for my dad. I don't expect anyone to understand that! :) You just do your thing, it's journey that is unique to everyone of us.

    Good Luck and stay strong,
     
  18. Erin

    Erin Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Dear Worldhereafter,

    Strange thing that after my father died, i got kind of fuzzy. It was about a year before i got diabetic
    and there were other personal problems. But I think it is the diabetes. Thanks for sharing.
     
  19. beardie

    beardie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    My mums greatest fear was Type 2 diabetes. I was diagnosed about 6 weeks before she died. I could not tell her when she always asked how I was. I hated lying to her.
     
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  20. poshtotty

    poshtotty Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    These are all such sad stories of how bereavement and loss can affect not only our health but also our reactions. I believe loss and shock can trigger diabetes and this was my experience when I lost my own mother without warning 2.5 years ago. Sudden death is the most difficult and traumatic loss to experience.

    Don't be too hard on yourselves. The most helpful thing I found was checking into this site daily when I realised I needed to take control of my health after neglecting it because of trauma and stress. Just spending a few minutes here each day, reading others stories and being inspired by them, gave me a few rare moments to concentrate just on myself and learn how to put myself back together again.

    Even if you don't want to post, I would say it could be the first of many baby steps to restoring your health. Just check in daily, read the inspiring stories, and adopt some of the advice and make it your own. Gradually, you will be addressing your own health and improving it.

    At the height of my grief not only my health was affected but also my reactions to situations and my judgement in decision making. Discovering this site and giving myself a few minutes each day to accept my own condition and then address it has restored my well-being, not to mention gained me some wonderful new friends. Even though they are only online friends, there is no denying that we all care about each other and that same care will carry you through this difficult time, and remind you to take care of yourself too
     
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    #20 poshtotty, Nov 25, 2014 at 10:27 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 25, 2014
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