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Type 2 How do I deal with the stress of being newly diagnosed?

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by AllieRainbow, May 23, 2018.

  1. AllieRainbow

    AllieRainbow Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I am newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes (three and a half weeks in), and I am now in the middle of my third week of Low Carb High Fat eating. I am not on any drugs, having decided to try and lower my blood sugar with diet and exercise.

    I was prescribed Metformin, but I am reluctant to go that route as I have managed to shift a lot of weight already - around a stone and a half so far, after making changes to my diet and exercise around 5 weeks ago before I had the HbA1c test.

    I made bigger changes when I got my blood monitor and started testing and eating to the meter, with initial results in the first few days being lots of 8s with the occasional 7s and 9s. So far I am having good results with the blood sugars, with them now daily 6s, with the occasional 5s and 7s, from a HbA1c on diagnosis of 82 (9.65).

    I felt very stressed yesterday, and I felt rather tearful and mentally exhausted. I am dealing with the mechanics of everything reasonably well, and my blood sugars are coming down, but I feel like I am having a bit of a delayed reaction to the stress of the diagnosis now, after pushing my feeling to one side in order to deal with the changes I needed to make. I also saw that the blood sugars shot straight up into the 7s as soon as I started to feel stressed yesterday, and I saw a similar effect last week when feeling particularly stressed - Wednesday is not my best day of the week.

    Everything feels rather overwhelming at the moment. Dealing with a life long health condition seems suddenly rather daunting, and I have also recently been diagnosed with another condition that requires management. I am someone who has hardly ever been to the doctor's as I have rarely been ill apart for the usual flu and colds occasionally. Any other health issues have been treatable and then not an issue any more.

    I am wondering if anyone has any tips for dealing with stress and the emotional issues around having a long term health condition? My husband has MS and I am all too aware of how hard things can be emotionally when dealing with a long term condition with an uncertain outcome.

    When I saw the Diabetic nurse a few days after diagnosis, she talked a lot about what she seemed to think were inevitable complications of a progressive disease: blindness, amputations, stroke and death through heart disease! Fortunately I had already been on this forum or I might have flown straight to Switzerland to book myself into Dignitas. After her little pep talk my blood pressure was the highest it has ever been.

    In my experience, dealing with a chronic illness definitely has similarities with the Kugler-Ross 5 stages model of grief - Denial - Anger - Bargaining - Depression - Acceptance, and I have seen these cycle around with my husband's MS in no particular order. I am feeling a lot of weight on my shoulders at the moment as I am the one in the caring role and now I have a couple of health issues of my own to deal with.

    Every Wednesday I drive 90 miles each way to see my parents and do some shopping for them and help them deal with any issues that have come up as they are both finding themselves struggling with health issues.

    I have a couple of big bottles of bubble bath in, so I am going to get to bed earlier and have a relaxing bath over the next few nights. This evening I will be having a reflexology treatment, which really helped last week to bring the sugars down after a really stressful couple of hours with my parents.

    I am considering taking some meditation classes at a local Buddhist centre as I have always been terrible at relaxing, and even thinking about relaxing makes me a as stiff as a board!!

    Has anyone else tried anything for stress relief that you have found useful? I would like to feel more able to deal with this emotionally long term, and I think that may be taking one day at a time and not stressing about things too much - if that is possible for me!

    Allie
     
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  2. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    When I was first diagnosed I had a similar conversation with the DN "progressive chronic end up on insulin etc.." I was lucky enough to have already found this wonderful forum so in fact got quite angry at her ill informed negativity so I channeled that anger into proving her wrong.
    I think your one day at a time is a good one also I would be inclined to give you a bl**dy great pat on the back for taking control and making the changes you have made already. It sounds like you have quite a lot on your plate so to have taking control of your Type 2 deserves huge respect.
    I think on the forum we sometimes think that everyone knows and does what we do and its only when I go on the diabetes.co.uk facebook page and read some of the awful stuff posted there that I realise what a haven this forum is.
    I'm not very good at the "supportive" side but I do want to say you are already seeing great results that your stupid DN will find it completely amazing when you have your next HbA1c - so look forward to the stunned look on her face when you inform her you have done this without meds.
     
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  3. Guzzler

    Guzzler Type 2 · Master

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    Diagnosis is a little like grief, it takes time. You seem to be having a normal reaction even though 'normal' can be very hard. Meditation is a great idea, I use yoga breathing and relaxation techniques to help with stress and pain and it teaches you distraction/coping mechanisms. Some people prefer to block everything out, take the opposite route but this in my opinion is dangerous, it means that they may not test or address their problems face on and we know where that road leads.

    The long soak in lovely smellies sound like a grand idea, being a carer sometimes may mean that 'me time' flies out of the window so make sure you get some, you and your hubby will benefit. Chin up lass, you are doing all the right things.
     
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  4. AllieRainbow

    AllieRainbow Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Actually I would say you are very good at the supportive side - thank you so much for your kind words, reading them really helped.
     
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  5. dunelm

    dunelm Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Three and a half weeks in, well you are doing OK so far. Great determination and your anxiety is not unusual.
    A day at a time, bit by bit, breath. Keeping a diary of food, exercise and blood glucose readings will certainly help you to figure out what works and importantly what doesn’t.
    Lots of interesting ideas on this forum and other places. Not all of them will be for you so find what works for you and as bulkbiker has said, look forward to startling the DN when you next have your HbA1c checked.
     
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  6. AllieRainbow

    AllieRainbow Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, I will look into the meditation tomorrow when I have more time, and see if I can get to a class soon.

    @dunelm - thank you for your kind words, I missed your post as I was replying to another one.

    The chin is up although it is a bit wobbly reading everyone's kind words.
     
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  7. Smallbrit

    Smallbrit Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I wanted to reiterate that what you are doing so far is great in taking control of your blood sugars and also in acknowledging the stress and how it is all interrelated. And those are lovely results - I still get excited when I see something in the 5s... and I already managed to get down to 48 from similar numbers to your starting HBA1c!

    I agree on finding the 'me' time and am with you that sometimes the things that are meant to relax have the opposite effect. I am severely deaf, which has been progressive for 15 years now, and hence any kind of guided something that involves listening to things - soothing music, exercise classes, spoken relaxation techniques - fill me with panic. But working in the garden, jogging (to use the term loosely), reading all seem to make life calmer. It's finding what works for you.

    It is all a work in progress and we do all still have our off days. I regularly wish I could hear properly. I also wish I could have eaten the kids' Cookie Dough ice cream that I gave them last night. Ah well...
     
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  8. Runica

    Runica Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    For an instant relaxation technique, I breathe like a sleeping baby. Their bellies go in and out but the chest never moves. At the GP surgery, it can take my blood pressure down from 140/90 to 131/80 within 90 seconds - probably not as low as I would get at home, but an instant and measurable improvement for my DN to register. A nice trick if you feel yourself getting wound up, and don't mind your belly hanging out! Also try looking up 'mindfulness' with Dr Google, good for grounding if you can find a quiet 5 minutes.

    Congratulations on your weight loss, well done you! Also congratulations on finding the LCHF route so quickly, and on your self-reliance/self education. It can take a lot of time to adjust to any major changes in our lives, but I do believe you are on the right path.
     
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  9. DCUKMod

    DCUKMod I reversed my Type 2 · Master
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    Hi Allie - I'm not going to comment on the specifics of your post, but suggest you have a look at the attached graphic.

    Change is difficult and exhausting. The Kubler-Ross Curve is a really useful illustration of the stages we all go through at our own paces and in our own orders when we need to make a big change. We don't all follow the stages in the order shown, and nor do we necessarily find ourselves in any given stage just the once. We all really are truly different.

    Where the graphic can be reassuring is to understand that all those car crash feelings and jumbled emotions is very usual, and as with most things, these tough times will pass.

    You're in a heavy learning stage at the moment, but, given time, it gets easier.

    upload_2018-5-23_11-5-16.png

    You've done wvery well so far, so stick with it.
     
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  10. rom35

    rom35 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi @AllieRainbow, I think that you are in the very well known process of acceptation of bad life moment.
    1. denial
    2. anger
    3. bargaining
    4. depression
    5. acceptance

    Meditation, Conteplation, any method which brings you to phase 5 is great... Whish you luck and congratulations to the work you've done to this time...;)

    P.S. I see that @DCUKMod was quicker...
     
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  11. Tabbyjoolz

    Tabbyjoolz Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    You're doing all the right things and don't be surprised if your feelings overwhelm you occasionally. My favourite way to wind down is to walk for an hour and take in the scenery and get nice and tired. I draw and paint in my spare time and that is a lovely way to zone out but be "present" at the same time.

    The nurse also took my BP straight after I got the bad news and my BP had rocketed, yet she seemed surprised by this...
     
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  12. AllieRainbow

    AllieRainbow Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    On the cookie dough, I went round Asda with my daughter last night and it was literal bursting with carby products everywhere I looked. I bought coconut cream, some peppermint tea bags, some macadamias and some Oppo ice-cream. That made me slightly better, but all those things that I am no longer eating!
     
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  13. johnpol

    johnpol Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    To be honest with you I wouldn't listen to the nurse about the complications, as they have to tell you the worst possible outcomes, and they don't live with it either. Take comfort from the fact that you are doing al the right things, monitoring LCHF and exercise. The mental side of things can be challenging, I will admit, on my diagnosis a good few years ago I just bumbled along, it all hit me after a bereavement. everyone worries about the stress of this magnificent condition, but you are again doing all the right things by taking it one day at a time and recognising the fact it can be stress full at times.
    Take the "Me" time you are planning to, it can be extremely beneficial to you. Remember its a journey and every day is different and give yourself a huge well done!!!.
    Take care.
     
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  14. Brunneria

    Brunneria Other · Moderator
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    Yes.
    It is hard.
    Not going to pretend it isn't.
    And feeling bad about it is something you actually need to do in order to recognise that this is a major change.
    Not something that can be swept under the carpet or glossed over with a too shiny Can Do attitude.

    Sometimes people who find it 'easy' to start with end up having a harder time in the long run, because they haven't had the deep fundamental change happen.

    But there will come a time when you walk round that supermarket and see a whole host of things that now appeal more than you ever thought - and I bet they are things that you always associated with 'naughty', but when that mental switch flips they will become permissable, enjoyable and guilt free.
    For me, that list includes double cream, excellent quality dark choc, really delicious stinkily superb cheeses, and so on.
    Your list may look completely different, but so long as it contains foods you love, that you look forward to and that make you feel good, then have at it.

    Meditation is great. I couldn't imagine life without it.
     
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  15. Resurgam

    Resurgam Type 2 (in remission!) · Expert

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    We all have a terminal condition - it is called being alive - no one survives it.
    All we can do is to have managed it as best we can whilst we are still able to do so, so whilst we are alive, let us live.
    I think that I am probably lucky in that I have always tried to eat a low carb diet for my weight, so diagnosis with diabetes allowed me to go back to a more relaxed lifestyle - I was on a cholesterol lowering diet which meant eating carbs, trying to exercise enough to 'burn them off' but still seeing my weight increase month after month whilst being assured that I was just not trying hard enough.
    For me low carb solves most of my problems and gives me the energy to cope with the rest - what I can eat is the good stuff, and not eating all those carbs had meant that my shopping is easier and faster too, some aisles I just don't need to visit, so long term I have more time for myself. Only eating twice a day also gives me a little more time and it means I can decide to go out somewhere with very little preparation.
    From what I read you are doing very well very quickly and you should soon start to realize that the nurse was completely wrong about your prognosis.
    Could you organize the shopping on line and arrange to be at your parents to receive the delivery? That might take off some of the strain - we used to look after my mother in law in a similar way, but it was before the supermarkets started doing deliveries - it would have helped a lot.
    My son's mother in law has MS and always has a flare up when she has been on a low fat diet - myelin is a lipid - a fatty substance - and I have wondered if there would be some protection if she did not eat low fat foods 'to be healthy'. No one seems to make the connection - but she would not entertain the idea of using unhealthy fats - she uses sunflower oil in a spray, her ideas of what is a good thing to eat are firmly fixed, despite the same thing happening every year.
     
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  16. bulkbiker

    bulkbiker Type 2 · Oracle

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    What flavour Oppo did you get? The choc hazelnut is my favourite..
     
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  17. AllieRainbow

    AllieRainbow Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    I haven't tried it yet - I decided on a little greek yoghurt with some coconut cream stirred in as I was in the mood for coconut, and all the yoghurts in the supermarket fridge were very high in carbs, so I gave them a miss - I will be trying some tomorrow though and my husband thought it was lovely.
     
  18. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    907CBA9A-A3CC-4D5E-9012-F730545DF4F1.jpeg
    Oppo just released a new flavour :hungry:
     
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  19. Rachox

    Rachox Type 2 (in remission!) · Moderator
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    Allie, I don’t know what other diagnosis you received and I don’t need to know, but just to say I had the double whammy last year too. I was diagnosed with asthma just before my type 2. In addition to dealing with my diabetes low carbing has also benefitted my asthma and also my arthritis which I’ve had for many years. Low carb eating has an anti inflammatory effect so its benefits are far reaching.
    Otherwise don’t forget if you need to bend an ear we are all here for you x
     
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  20. RuthieSadler

    RuthieSadler Other · Member

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    Sometimes high blood pressure is white coat syndrome - fear of medics. When I attended the diabetic clinic it was high when the nurse took it but 45 mins later when the Consultant took it - it was fine :)
     
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