Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Diabetes and Fear

I know there are a lot of people who sit around and worry and fret over their future in relation to diabetes. What if I loose a limb? What if I have to have an amputation? What if my kidneys fail?

While these are all very real possibilities, they are by no means something I sit around thinking about. If I did, I'd worry myself straight into the grave long before diabetes ever even got it's chance.

Instead, I live my life to the best of my ability and let God take care of the rest. I do the best I can do at any given moment to take care of my diabetes. Sometimes my blood sugars are good. Sometimes they aren't. Either way, it's just that single moment in time. I fix it and move on.

I do have fears though. But they are more immediate fears. The right now, so to speak.

Here's my example:

I have a dear friend of mine who is a single mom. She has 2 young children and not a lot of family around to help her out. We do have a fantastic church family that is always willing to step up when needed, but as some of you may know, it's nothing like having family or a significant other around to help out when you need it.

The other morning my friend called me. She was very sick with a stomach virus. She was needing help and asked me to come over and help her with her children. My first reaction (on the inside) is "Sure! I'll be right over." But my second reaction wins out.

Fear. What if I get this virus? What if I end up in the hospital from it? (It was entirely possible as one of her children already had it and had to do to the hospital) What if, what if, what if?

I told her no. But I offered to help her find someone to come instead. She called some other people and got the help she needed.

That fear made me sad. It made me angry. And it made me realize what a great community we have here in the D-OC. I tweeted my frustrations about not being able to help my friend and had 2 different people (from 2 different states faaaarrrr away from me) want to know where in Tennessee I was because they had friends/family that might have been able to help out.

I hate that I have to be scared of getting sick. I've not been in the hospital in about 6 years. I've not been in the hospital overnight since I, I think I was about 7 years old. But that fear is there. The fact that I can get sicker, quicker and worse than a lot of my healthy friends makes me angry. Because earlier this week, it interfered with my being able to help a friend.

The immediate fears are there. No, I don't think about them all the time, but they are in my mind when I'm making decisions about when to test, when to eat, when to call a doctor, and apparently when to help a friend or not.

Do you guys have fears like that? Immediate fears dealing with the right now instead of the far off future?


k2 said...

I have issues with the "What ifs," a.k.a. fear factors, big time! Not just about diabetes, but life in general.
Every time the whole "What ifs" start to get me down,
I say to myself: "Kelly, what if the queen had balls? Well, then she'd be King. Next question!"
Kelly K

Anonymous said...

I think my biggest fear is since i've started using the pump and really working to get my a1c into that golden 6 range, I am scared of going to sleep and not waking up, even with my CGMS, because of low blood sugar. Often times I wake up and find that my overnight graph shows a time or two when I dipped below the "low" line. My body must have reacted somehow because every time I stay there for a few minutes and come right back up. But what if that stops happening?

Anonymous said...

Good post, Cara. Thanks for sharing your fears. On this end, I also fear the more immediate, as it relates to diabetes: For example, my fear is that my push for tight control without a CGM could result in a severe Low, where I don't wake up, have a violent reaction where I injure someone, etc. Often, I'd rather stay higher and risk those uncertain future fears (ungauranteed complications) than risk the immediate ones. It's a balance, and constant struggle for us all.

Cara said...

Kelly, I love it! :) I need to make myself a sign and stick it on my computer. :)
Sarah, I understand. There have been nights that I've actually turned my CGMS off in my sleep!
Michael, I worry about it some because I live alone. It's scary to think about...which is why I try not to. :)

Araby62 (a.k.a. Kathy) said...

Oh, I hear you. I try not to let the 'panic rat' take over but it's a powerful thing...

For your friend I would say you made the right call--you simply can't put yourself in a situation that may end up turning badly for you (Glad to hear she got help after all.) Like it or not we are more fragile and have to be careful.

Katie from SF, CA said...

Ugggh yes. I was on my home on the bus today and some guy was sitting next to me coughing without covering his mouth. I wanted to yell at him so badly and say, "SOME people have immune system problems and you are making them sick! Cover your mouth, idiot!" But yes, I do worry about the little stuff as well as the big stuff. I love Kelly's moto too.

And it is so fantastic that people in the ODC were there for you. We are not just blogs and tweets, we are real people! :) Great blog Cara.

Anonymous said...

I do know what you mean...I work at an assisted living for people with Alzheimer's and dementia. Pretty much when one person gets sick, everyone gets sick. Sometimes I don't get it and I am happily surprised. Other times it feels like I'm the first staff member sick every time and with my luck I get it twice.

Sometimes its hard when I see my 80-90 year old friends walking around with runny noses and I have to think twice about going up and hugging them. Anyway, sorry for the long comment. I do know what you mean though. :)