Diabetes is a condition that affects more than just our bodies, it influences our emotions as well. It can sometimes feel harder to cope with the emotional aspects of diabetes then the physical demands. With that in mind, we revisit the “Diabetes and Mental Health” chat from July 24th and ask:
What can a parent of a child with diabetes, or a person with diabetes, do to help reduce the emotional impact of caring for diabetes?
Oh, diabetes. You impact my emotions on a daily basis. On any given day you may make me feel:
- Frustration. But I bolused correctly…why is my BG skyrocketing?
- Anger. I’m going to have to do this crap for the rest of my life? Really?
- Disappointment. I really wanted to work out today but my BG isn’t behaving. Or, I just worked out and my BG has dropped causing me to consume calories making me feel like my workout was a waste of time.
- Fear. Will I go low overnight and not feel it?
- Tired. I am sick of dealing with insurance companies, BG checks, so many doctor’s appointments. I just want to be normal.
- Empowered. My BG has been perfect all day. I can do this!
- Strong. If I can handle diabetes, I can handle anything.
For me, in order to reduce the emotional impact of diabetes, I try to focus on my last bullet point – strength. Diabetes sucks. BUT, it’s not going away. When I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed by all the disease entails emotionally, financially, and physically, I try to remind myself that I have a choice. I can choose to be miserable and feel sorry for myself or I can choose to accept that this is my reality and I need to deal with it and keep moving forward. Sure, the pity party sometimes wins out. I am human, after all. But choosing to be happy and accept this leads to many more positive days than negative.
My advice for those Type 3s in our lives – focus on the positive. Remind your PWD how awesome they are and how proud of them you are. Diabetes isn’t easy. It feels good to get that pat on the back or high-five and a “you’re doing a great job”. Don’t harp on us when we’re having a tough day or our BG is being naughty. Let us throw our tantrum and know that tomorrow will be better and that we are doing our very best.