Thursday, July 25, 2013

Treating Both The Mental & The Physical Sides Of Diabetes Is A No-Brainer.

Last night’s DSMA chat was of course about Diabetes.  But this week's chat was all about the mental side of diabetes in all dimensions. As in all the baggage diabetes creates, re: food; food issues, self esteem, blood sugars, the stress of managing blood sugars, judgement and doctors treating the mental side of diabetes and not just the physical, etc. 

It was an amazing chat & BIG THANKS to Cherise for making it happen!  

So amazing that I’m still thinking about it today. 

And as far as me and 99% of last night's DSMA chat are  concerned, HCPs must treat the mental side of diabetes as well as the physical. 
Diabetes is damn hard to live with because simply put: Diabetes is constant and never ending. 
Sure, there are days when diabetes is easier to manage, when it’s not so all encompassing - and those days are great - But even on the good days, diabetes is right by our side - and in our heads.
And there are days when diabetes is incredibly difficult to live with  - And I’d divorce myself from diabetes in a hot second if I could. 
Because on those days, Diabetes makes me cry tears of anger, frustration and isolation.
There are moments though when we mourn our lives pre D - even when we don’t really remember much about our lives before diabetes. 
And there are so many moments when we beat ourselves up for what we did our didn’t do in the past - And the Diabetes Guilt eats us alive. 

Diabetes and depression go hand in hand. 

We are not our numbers, but PWDs are always judged by our numbers. 
Numbers are everywhere when it comes to living with diabetes. 

Our lives with diabetes are measured in numbers - Units of insulin, grams of carbohydrates, blood sugars, labs and A1Cs. People with diabetes see numbers on their plates instead of food. 
And every number has a story. 
And people who don’t live with diabetes don’t know or want to know those stories - or know that those stories even existed.  They just want us to be good and have good numbers, period.

But diabetes... and living with diabetes isn’t black and white, because diabetes is never the same disease two days in a row. 
And diabetes can flip it’s bitchswitch faster than the 5 seconds it takes for your blood sugar to flash up on the screen. 

Diabetes is hard work.  

And our diabetes is not our fault  - Even though the majority of the world thinks it is. 
Sidebar: Thank you media for not doing your jobs.

So it’s paramount that healthcare professionals teach people living with diabetes coping mechanisms about handling our lives with diabetes. 

I’s critical that our healthcare professionals talk with us, not at us - And that they encourage us to talk..... Or talk with someone. 

Because it's OK to talk to someone when diabetes gets overwhelming - It really is and I do.  

Diabetes support both on-line and off should be mandatory, not a luxury. Nor should patient peer support online in the form of blogs, twitter, online communities, facebook be considered a fad - because it’s not. It’s helping tremendously and it’s here to stay. THANK GOD.

Having Diabetes is not just about having a broken pancreas or a screwed up metabolism. 
And the endocrine system affects pretty much everything in our bodies - So why wouldn’t it effect our emotional well being?? 

So yep, treating both the mental and the physical side of diabetes is a no-brainer in my book. 


StephenS said...

Kelly, this is a beautiful post, and you are absolutely right. Thanks for everything you said yesterday and today.

Nicté said...

As many other times, what you write resonates so much with my feelings and thoughts.
Had I not found the DOC, Im pretty sure I wouldn't have gotten strong enough to kick my diabetes burnout soon enough and it has helped me so much ever since.
Diabetes can walk all over me and make me feel angry sometimes and the guilt can eat me up...but knowing Im not the only one that goes through this and more importantly, gets out of this! is what keeps me from loosing my mind.

Thank you KK for your amazing support, also. You rock!

Catherine DeVreeze said...

Thank you! Because of the DOC, I have made the best friendships! These gals keep me going daily.

Jenn said...

When I was first diagnosed I was never warned that I would "feel" anything. Man did I ever feel something though. I was mad, depressed, scared, confused, unsure, mad again, etc.

Not too long after my husband went through the same feelings. He felt helpless, angry, confused, scared, slighted, sad, etc.

Years later when I received my corrected diagnosis I went through all the same feelings again.. but added a couple good ones.. vindicated, relieved, better understanding.

At no point did any of my doctors mention talking with someone to work through it all. I know it would have done me a world of good. It wasn't until my current endo suggested joining Twitter and told me about Cherise that I even felt like someone "got it". That is when I found the DOC. It has been a true life saver, and I'm never going to give it up!!

Cassie Thompson said...

My son saw the endocrine psychologist for the first time today. Thank you for sharing this. I just want my kid to be ok.

Alecia said...

Awesome post Kelly. I've been thinking about that DSMA chat a lot too. xo

Scott K. Johnson said...

Well said, K2. I'm bummed to have missed the chat.

Jessi Panke said...

"And people who don’t live with diabetes don’t know or want to know those stories - or know that those stories even existed. They just want us to be good and have good numbers, period." - Oh my gosh how I struggle with this one!!! There are certain people in my life that I was close to before the "D" but once I was diagnosed it was like a huge wall went up. It is exactly as you said. I try not to let that wall get in the way but any time that diabetes comes up with some people, up goes the wall. And it's going to come up, it's my life! Sigh, seriously, I just don't get it. I love this post because it's so true and so much what I want everyone around me to see and understand.