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How do I tell my family?

Discussion in 'Newly Diagnosed' started by tealeaves, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. tealeaves

    tealeaves Type 2 · Active Member

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    Hi

    I'm 27 and have just been diagnosed T2. This both is and isn't a shock - on the one hand I am very overweight and need to lose around 8 stone. On the other, I have not shown any symptoms (to my knowledge) and the only reason I even had a glucose blood test in the first place was the GP accidentally ordered it along with other blood requests - I have had thyroid cancer and am now on replacement hormones which are monitored monthly, and he was also testing sex hormones which came back normal. So to receive a phonecall saying my blood sugar was high and i would need to have a glucose tolerance test was a surprise to everyone really.

    So I went to see the GP and he told me I was showing diabetic levels. I can't remember everything he was talking about or writing down, but he said the first test was about 7.5 and the second test after the glucose drink around 12.5 - I think.

    I have another appointment with him on Thursday, along with the diabetic nurse, and with the dietician in a few weeks.

    The problem is I have a lot of issues with food -I've been diagnosed with 'an eating disorder' though doctors and shrinks don't seem to know exactly what to do with me, but it relates to food phobias and 'selective eating disorder' in order to remain in control over some aspect of my life. In a nutshell I haven't eaten anything remotely fruit, veg or salad like for well over twenty years and my health is seriously starting to suffer as a result - hence the diabetes now! It isn't as simple as telling me to make an effort with what I eat - it's like telling someone with a fear of heights to be a bridge painter for a living. But I have an appointment with a private NLP specialist in a couple of weeks - I'm hoping he will be able to help me else i don't know what i'm going to do. I am a self confessed carb junkie and coach potato and the thought of having to change my eating habits and go to the gym (all those thin people!) is terrifying and I'm having panic attacks.

    Now the main issue I'm battling: telling my family. I moved back home with my parents when I was diagnosed with cancer as I couldn't continue to work. The elephant in the room has always been me and my weight, literally! Nobody talks about it, nobody has ever pressured me into eating properly, nobody ever forced me as a child and as a result, no 'issue' has ever been made. Even when my parents (not overweight) are watching what they're eating and ribbing each other about what they're eating, nobody has ever said a word about my plate of food, my lifestyle, anything - it has become an issue by its simple fact of never being talked about. I have always been the fat girl that likes pies and watching tv - it's sort of who I AM.

    So to suddenly say to my family "I need help" just seems an innsurmountable challenge. I hate a fuss and I hate drawing attention to myself. To make matters worse, we recently lost my grandad due to heart problems and he was also diabetic - it will destroy my mum to remind her of how serious this can get.

    I feel very young to be dealing with all of this and am now just waiting for the next big health problem. Another cancer, probably. I feel very guilty and know it's all my fault, and don't know where to begin. As for telling friends - i can't bear the thought of them thinking "I told you so".

    Without challenging my food phobias, and without telling my family, I don't know what on earth to do - but these seem impossible :(

    I'm sorry for the long post, there probably isn't much anyone can say that hasn't been said before. I just feel very scared and alone, and don't have anyone I can talk to.
     
  2. rippers

    rippers · Member

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    Hi tea Leaves,

    My heart goes out to you, you seem to have alot to deal with and none of it easy, just take it one step at a time, is all I can say, except I see that you are going to see a NLP specialist, if you are serious about this line of help, I would suggest you also consider a Cognitive Behaviour Therapist too, they can help to get to roots of problems and help you build on new thinking patterns from there, could really help with food phobias and motivation, but I really do wish you all the best and hope you can get things on a more even keel
     
  3. tealeaves

    tealeaves Type 2 · Active Member

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    Thanks for replying.

    I did forget to mention, my GP has also put me on the waiting list for CBT after I told him my problems with food and that I need to be taken seriously, not treated like a picky child. i don't know how long I'll be waiting for this though.

    I'm considering lying to my parents and saying it's pre-diabetes or something, i just can't admit the truth out loud :(
     
  4. borofergie

    borofergie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tealeaves,

    Go to Amazon and order a couple of copies of "Why we get fat" by Gary Taubes. Even if you only get through the first three of four chapters, it should be enough to convince you and your parents that the fact that you are overweight has nothing to do with laziness and overeating, but is instead entirely down to genetics and bad dietry advice.

    It's not your fault.

    Good luck

    Stephen
     
  5. tealeaves

    tealeaves Type 2 · Active Member

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    Hi Stephen

    As much as I would love to blame genetics, I eat too much and never exercise, and it has caught up with me. But I have to say, I know plenty of people, friends and family, who eat like pigs, more than me, and never move a muscle and they look like whippets - seems very unfair!

    Decided to bite the bullet and tell them tomorrow after Sunday dinner - which for me will consist as ever of meat, 2 or 3 types of potato, yorkshires, stuffing and gravy! Every mouthful will be laden with guilt...
     
  6. WhitbyJet

    WhitbyJet · Well-Known Member

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    tealeaves - welcome to the forum.

    Please stop being so hard on yourself, as borofergie already said, its not your fault that you put on weight, you are not to blame for it. Here, have a look at this link, viewtopic.php?f=27&t=22019&p=208924&hilit=dillinger#p208924 and listen to some of the things Gary Taubes has to say, I think like the majority of us you will be thinking this is an eye opener.

    Enjoy your Sunday roast tomorrow, you dont even know where to start or what it is all about, I bet you dont have too much information yet either, so dont worry, get your head round things, start off slowly, the more you learn about diabetes and how food affects your blood glucose levels the less fear you will have.
    At the moment you are still reeling with shock at being given this diagnosis, but trust me it does get easier as you go along, setting yourself little goals that you can achieve, realistically achieve, there is no point saying ok, from tomorrow 3pm onwards I will only eat lettuce!
    Do it slowly, maybe even start off tomorrow, eat half a roastie less, leave a little bit of the Yorkshire Pudding behind, eat more of the meat instead, but even if you dont do that, dont worry, you are not a failure.
    You have shown your strength already by coming to this forum and opening up about your issues, you have been coping with cancer, you also seem to have some insight, all things I didnt have when I was hit with the diagnosis.

    To learn more about diabetes I suggest you google 'blood sugar 101', its an excellent site, you learn the basics pretty quick if you read through those pages.
    Its also important that you get hold of a blood glucose meter and test strips, this way you can test before you eat and then 2hrs after your meals and you will soon find out which foods give you a spike.

    Before I shut up I will give you the link that is normally given to all new members

    viewtopic.php?f=20&t=17088

    Now have a good read, and feel free to ask any questions as they crop up, dont you worry, no question is ever considered to be silly, there are very experienced members, everyone caring and supportive, just give us a try.

    All the best x
     
  7. angieG

    angieG Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tealeaves,

    Please don't blame yourself.
    I am type 2, diagnosed a year ago and was not overweight and have always been pretty active (although never doing the gym stuff). But like you I have diabetes in my family and therefore have a genetic tendency towards the disease......thus not necessarily my fault.
    Even without your issues with food and a lack of exercise you would probably have been diagnosed at some point due to your grandad.

    Please talk to your family about it and get them to support you as you try to adapt to different foods.

    Since cutting down on the carbs I have got even slimmer and trimmer and have felt healthier and more active than I have been for years so it can be a good thing. I don't get tired so much and need less sleep at night.

    When you have your Sunday dinner tomorrow try to reduce the amount of potatoes you have, maybe try just loads of meat and some yorkshire pudding perhaps.....you may be surprised at how much better you will feel as a result and this may encourage you to change your choices and help beat your fears.

    I hope you get support from your family, but remember whatever happens at home there are plenty of folks on here that are willing to help and advise....we are all in the same boat and have felt the same feelings and fears. It is frightening thing to deal with at first but after a while it will become second nature to you and you won't feel so overwhelmed.

    Keep us informed on how things go and don't get stressed out about it all as that will make things worse.

    Best wishes
    Angie
     
  8. barleymo

    barleymo Type 2 · Active Member

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    you have my sympathy and best wishes, I also have a dreadful problem with weight although I think I eat as I should. I recently started on Byetta injections and was losing weight, feeling good and positive, now another disaster, have just come out of hospital after suspected blockage in bowel (it wasn't) and have to go back into hospital for more tests but cannot take Byetta while this is all going on, so back on goes the weight - even on same diet. Feel like I can't win. But don't beat yourself up about it all and we can't all be perfect. Take any help you are offered and find out what you can about dealing with diabetes and try to start being a friend to yourself.
     
  9. tealeaves

    tealeaves Type 2 · Active Member

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    Thank you everyone for being so kind - you're right, it is a lot to take in. I've read the posts you've linked to - it's left me a bit :***: but I can't lose 8 stone overnight so there's no point getting so worked up. I suppose it's no different to if I had made the GP appointment for Monday instead of last minute on Friday, I would've been none the wiser all weekend. And if the GP hadn't ordered a glucose test on automatic pilot I still wouldn't know - I'm not thirsty, I'm not going to the loo a lot, etc, and aren't these the ones people tell you to look out for? Bit scary.

    The thing worrying me tonight is my hands, legs and feet feel hot and tingly - is this normal and is it serious?
     
  10. AMBrennan

    AMBrennan · Well-Known Member

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    Please do stop blaming yourself - especially since you have seen yourself that diet and exercise aren't as influential as commonly thought.
    Think about it - humans are quite good at e.g. maintaining body temperature, mineral balance independent of the environment (within reason) and it stands to reason that our bodyweight is similar. Furthermore, 70% of our energy intake is used to maintain our body temperature - exercise is all well and good, but the few hundred calories you burn when exercising don't really matter in the grand scheme of things.

    As for low carb, I really do hope that this latest diet fad is finally a cure for all ills because otherwise this advice would be quite irresponsible. [Since a random pro low-carb MD was cited earlier I'll cite the low-carb sceptical EU.L.E. to back up my points - what do we do now?]
     
  11. borofergie

    borofergie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Learn German?
     
  12. borofergie

    borofergie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    No. But you can lose a few pounds every month, so that when you've lost one stone everyone will tell you how (even more) fabulous you look and then you'll be motivated to lose some more.

    The longest journey starts with a single step (and all that)...
     
  13. tealeaves

    tealeaves Type 2 · Active Member

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    True :)

    I think I'll just start by gradually reducing carbs. Cutting them out completely overnight will be too hard. And then wait and see what the doc/nurse say on Thurs.

    Still have no idea how to actually go about telling people - that seems hardest of all :|
     
  14. borofergie

    borofergie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Good plan.

    Compared to thyroid cancer this is a walk in the park. It's almost completely under your control, and once you get your BG under control you needent have any complications at all.

    I'm quite proud of mine. I've spent the last 8 months boring anyone who will listen with T2 diabetes and low-carbing.
     
  15. borofergie

    borofergie Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    How so?

    How is telling a T2 (and self confessed carb junkie) to reduce their carbs irresponsible? How would you have her control her diabetes? By dosing up on the insulin that she doesn't take? :roll:
     
  16. tealeaves

    tealeaves Type 2 · Active Member

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    Yeah...I didn't really understand what was being said there, so thought it best not to comment on that! Couldn't work out if it was for or against low-carb!
     
  17. AMBrennan

    AMBrennan · Well-Known Member

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    I did not intend to suggest that limiting carbohydrates cannot be used to control diabetes, or help with controlling diabetes. And if it works for you then keep doing it.

    Of course, limiting carbohydrates intake can be used manage diabetes (although, to me, that sounds a lot like telling a farsighted person to not read as much) but that's different from saying that carbohydrates cause obesity, diabetes and even cancer, which is what the cited author, Taubes, does.
    My concern with that is that any extreme diet may not be healthy, and will defiantly interfere with normal eating (If a diet requires me to eat things I don't feel like eating, and doesn't allow me to eat things I feel like eating then I won't stick to it.).
    I do hope that you are right, but I fear that solutions to highly complicated problems such as this are not going to be that simple.
     
  18. byte83

    byte83 Type 1 · Active Member

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    Hi tealeaves, welcome.
    Like you I am young 28 and overweight with food issues. Like at moment a choc orange squares is stareing at me but I hope to resist (prob wont last long). But I have startred to make changes only small like suggested above, its slow but starting to see results. Joined a weight managment group at local lesuire centre (£1.40 a time) were we talk bout anything n everything. Also do 1hr exercise as our instructor says as long as your moving its good, we do something different each time so get to try allsorts. Everyone is really surportive and all have different abilities some can only do chair exercises so caters for everyone. My point I have found not alone and easier with others. Not a easy thing to start I know as I dont like exercise n am very shy so very difficult step but worth it. I am very lucky with my family as we talk bout everthing, but glad I told them. My 13yr old cousin has is now eating better n my sisters doing more exercise (even though all slim), so I know I have helped them (makes me feel little better). I just walked in from docs said I had diabetes and that was it, they ask questions I try and answer. Hope it goes as well for you. :)
     
  19. SparkJack

    SparkJack Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi tealeaves
    I think I posted a reply at the same time as someone else and mine disappeared!
    You have come to the right place for support.
    It's very worrying when you receive a diagnosis of T2 without the other issues you have mentioned.
    I too had a weight problem of about 8st. Mine was a way of avoiding issues in my past and until I had dealt with those my weight became impossible to stabilise- up, down,up etc I worked hard with these for nearly a year and am now beginning to sort my weight out and not comfort eat or eat emotionally anymore. I am really pleased for you that you have been offered NLP and CBT but the waiting lists for these through the NHS can be very long. Look in you local telephone directory. There are many charities who will offer free or limited cost, counselling, more quickly .
    I have been lucky to have met a work colleague who I trust implicitly. We both had similar past issues to deal with, similar weight issues and a diagnosis of T2 almost at the same time. We can tell each other things that we would not tell our families about. We totally support each other without intruding. We accept each other warts and all , unconditionally. I hope you can find a friend like this or perhaps you already have one you are close to.
    One baby step at a time. Ask as many questions as you want to and need to and we will support you on your journey. Good Luck :thumbup:
     
  20. viviennem

    viviennem Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Tealeaves, and welcome!

    Like Borofergie, I too can bore for England about Type 2 and low-carbing :lol: .

    The first thing I will say is that your blood glucose levels on diagnosis are not desperately high; they could be a lot higher, so it seems you have been caught early. I didn't have any symptoms either, and I don't think any damage has been done to me as yet.

    Secondly - you need to get the help you have asked for with your eating disorder, and please do push hard for that. To my way of thinking your diabetes is almost secondary to that - you need to be eating a good diet including vegetables and some fruit to get proper control of your blood glucose.

    Third - your doctor seems to be sympathetic, so ask for a blood glucose monitor, and test as per the advice WhitbyJet gave you the link for. The figures you are aiming for are in that advice - the NICE guidelilnes. That way you'll learn what effect different foods have on your blood glucose levels, and can begin to take them out of your diet or just cut down on the portion size. In your place I'd start by replacing the "white" carbs with low GI brown carbs. Much as I love my low-carb diet, I wouldn't suggest you try to go too low until you've increased the food groups you can eat. Slow and steady is the way.

    I too had to lose at least 8 stone on diagnosis. I've been dieting for the best part of 50 years, so I fully understand how you're feeling - also the bad self-image and lack of self-confidence and most of all the self-blame. In that respect diabetes has been the BEST thing that has ever happened to me! I am in control of it, and that feels good! :D

    I have stopped obsessing about my weight, and instead "eat to my meter". Low-carb keeps my blood glucose under control, but it also makes me lose weight - 4 stones in 18 months. My last HbA1c test was 5.2 - non-diabetic level, though I am still diabetic and always will be! If I went back to my whole pizzas and vast amounts of pasta and mashed potato, I'd soon be back up to high blood glucose levels, believe me :shock:

    If I was to recommend one book for you to read, it would be Atkins Diabetes Revolution, by Dr M C Vernon and J A Eberstein. It explains things very well. Blood Sugar 101 by Jenny Ruhl is also useful.

    You'll find lots of help and advice on this forum, and lots of support from people who understand exactly what you're going through, because most of us have been there - at least partly! (some of us are skinny :wink: ). Don't be afraid to ask questions - there'll always be someone here to help.

    Have a good read of the info WhitbyJet gave you the link for; also have a look at the low-carb recipe section. There is food after diabetes, and we're all going to enjoy our Christmases, too!

    If you think it would help, print out this post and show it to your GP. I don't think it's anything special, but some GPs aren't sure about low carb, so it helps to have a living example :lol: . The most important thing for you now is to get a meter and learn how to test. You need testing strips on prescription as well, as many as you need, to start with. Your use will get less as you begin to understand what you're doing. Get that help with your eating disorder, and learn to love yourself again.

    Viv 8)
     
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