Diabetic Cyborg Life: Responses and Diabetes “Curing” Quackery?!
A post “Breathing the Diabetes Away” from a fellow Medium member and type 1 diabetic Xandra posted a piece that evoked a response that was too long to post in the comments. This blog post is my full reply and thoughts that her post provoked.
“The burden of type 1 diabetes isn’t just the threat of long-term complications, or the day to day grind of micro analyzing your insulin to carb ratios and your level of activity…
The feelings of helplessness, of failure, and the creeping sentiment that we are living on borrowed time — that we are time bombs ticking our way to self-destruction — are internal realities all type 1 diabetics face.”
The realities of daily interactions I face take an endless toll on my mental health. A cure to me would not mean ice cream and eating with great abandon, but that I no longer have the weight of tasks and health issues I deal with one a regular basis.
“Rather than ignoring the lack of control by manufacturing false control, let’s ask ourselves this: how can we find ways to get our needs met while recognizing that complete control is impossible? What sacrifices are we willing to make? Where are our boundaries and limitations? What do we need from our friends, family, and peers to get through the day…
Exploring these questions can be painful and taxing, but coming out on the other side with answers that resonate is far more satisfying, fulfilling, and hopeful than trying to force yourself to be impressed with breathing.”
I can appreciate how wellness can improve the life of the chronically ill. To me, complete control is impossible, sacrifices are always painful bur necessary and establishing boundaries and limitations with those around you is a must to get through our lives. Our investigation of these issues is painful, but we can grow from the confrontation of our disease and love our loved ones and ourselves that much more. The wellness the article describes is helpful advice and worth while. Just not is regard to “healing” our diabetes or any other illness.
My initial response when she posted this was much simpler.
“Wow, I don’t even know how to respond to this post. How can wellness and mental health make your pancreas function better? Yes, it very important to maintain a health minds when dealing with the daily chores of being a type 1 diabetic, but suggesting it can heal you is just fraudulent quackery. “
The reading of this did make me consider my own reactions to my diagnosis I received in my life. My reaction to my diagnosis of being a type 2 diabetic in 2005 was much like yours. It felt like a bomb going off in my life. It took me years to adapt to a lifestyle I could deal with. I changed from pills to insulin and then medium acting insulin shots twice a day. Then I was diagnosed with relapse and remitting multiple sclerosis. That was the easier to deal with since I dealt with my being type 2 diabetic. Yes, it is a totally different disease, but same life changing reality of my dealing with all the changes of a new chronic illness.
Then, three month later I became type 1 diabetic somehow. I finally got with an endocrinologist to help deal with the demands of the illness better. The pump came after I overdosed with the long acting and short acting insulin combination I was on. Then, I realized the benefits far out weighed the fact that I did not have “total control” of the injections. Oh, how the time of carb ratios and trying to stay in range is a constant fight. I guess my struggle to simply live makes me more grateful for everyday. At least, I gain a new perspective out of it.
“I suppose you could always talk to a counselor and determine if you have bipolar, and what to do from there. Or borderline, which your description could also fit, or even just the stress of coping with your health issues, but certainly find out from your doctors what mental health services are available to someone on SSI in your area. It shouldn’t be neglected.”
My response was:
“I plan to bring it up in my monthly appointment Monday. I have addressed it them before, but I was not having such intense episodes before. Thank you for reading and responding!! All you here keep me going and wanting more!”
The possibility of my having a personality disorder was not an issue or something I ever considered before my MS diagnosis. The life altering affects of the disease is far greater than any physical changes for me thus far. Limitations of money and cost are the only reason I cannot get an actual diagnosis of my having the illness.
All the psychiatrist and psychologist in my area are cash pay only. My therapist really can only say that is appears the case or agree with my belief, but licensed professional counselors, or LPC, can only do that. LPCs can make no official diagnoses, so that will have to wait till I can see someone that cam. Lets just hope the episodes do not increase in occurrences or frequency. At least, they are only images and not actions that leave me hurt or scared from self-inflicted wounds. The visions are hard enough to deal with as it is.
Closing Thought: The fight for optimism and hope will continue and I will preserve and emerge on the other side of this bout with mental issues better for enduring it.