out of control

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csandner1 posted on Mon, Mar 15 2010 3:32 AM

I'm a 19 year old college student in the Boston area. I've had diabetes since i was 6, and was doing well until a few years ago. i went on the minimed pump when i was 15, and did well in the beginning. then my mom got cancer and my dad left. i was depressed. originally, i stopped checking blood sugar and bolusing insulin as a suicide plan. i no longer see it that way. but i got into a routine of caring for my mom because she was so sick, and didn't fix my habits for diabetes care. my mom passed away almost 2  years ago, and i went through a deep depression, and was in a mental institution. now i am much better, i don't take antidepressants or anything. but, i still don't do anything to help my diabetes except change my pump. I'm so angry all the time from high blood sugar. i want to correct my ways, but i feel like i cant do it on my own. my family does not want to get involved, and my friends can only do so much. 

i know this is so dangerous. my last A1c was terrifying. 


what can i do?

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Jorgie replied on Mon, Mar 15 2010 9:15 AM

I'm so sorry to hear about the problems you have been having.


May I suggest you attempt to calm down and then see your Doctor for some professional help with both the Diadetis and the depression.

Keep us informed of your progress, there are a lot of people here to help you!!! Since you are in the Boston area 'm sure Joslin could help too.


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I am glad you are asking for help. It sounds like you have been through so much in the last 4 years, and I am very sorry to hear about your mother.  Have you discussed what you are feeling with your health care team?  They may have ideas as to how to help you.  Some individuals who are feeling burned out or overwhelmed with diabetes decide to take a break from the pump and go back on injections.  Also have you ever considered talking to a mental health professional that is knowledgeable about diabetes?  You mentioned that you go to college in Boston - so I wonder if you would want to make an appointment with someone from the Joslin Behavioral and Mental Health Unit (phone # 617-732-2594)?  Our job is to discuss the stressors involved with living with diabetes and help you find ways to cope with these stressors so that you feel more able to manage your diabetes.  I also wonder if you would be interested in joining a support group. Some of the Boston colleges have support groups for individuals with diabetes and at the Joslin we have also lead support groups for young adults with diabetes.  Finally I know you mentioned that you have had suicidal thoughts in the past.  If you have any more suicidal thoughts please tell someone from your health care team immediately or call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room.  Good luck.


-Debbie Butler, LICSW, CDE

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i wanted to update since its been a little while. 

im really not doing any better. it has come to the point where i know that i am in serious danger, but continue to avoid change.

i refuse to go to Joslin because im afraid of whats going to happen with my A1c and that they might want me to come off the pump. 

i hate doing my blood sugar, i hate it. its like self harm. i think about it, and i get scared. i dont want to see what the number is, and most of the time it just reads out HI (its a freestyle)

i want so badly to change, and to make this better.

i exercise, i eat very well, but none of it even matters because my blood sugar is so high. 

i cant come off the pump. its the only good thing right now. i have a severe problem with injections, and i know the situation will become critical.

i just need some way to trigger the consciousness that i need to check my blood sugar and bolus. 

maybe i should start a blog for it. i love blogging, or use my twitter account and make it all about improving my diabetes by keeping a record of blood sugar, food, and insulin. i know i can make small changes to my lifestyle so that this is possible...

i think i will start a twitter or blog, not sure which.

either way, i will post the link here when it starts.

i am on break from college for this week, so i should have it up by the end of break.

this seems like a strange post, sorry!

any advise on trigger devices???

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I am glad that you are keeping us up to date and that you are looking for help.  I know you said that you are scared to come to Joslin but I really think you should make an appointment to see your Joslin doctor or nurse educator.  I also think you should make an appointment with one of the social workers or psychologists in the behavioral mental health unit (617-732-2594) to discuss diabetes stressors and frustrations including your fear of checking your blood sugar.  I have worked with several patients that are also scared to check their blood sugar because they do not want to see the number on the meter.  These patients say that they look at their blood sugar like a test grade and if they see a high value then they think of it is like a F.  I try to help these patients look at their blood sugar as “good” information regardless of whether it is low, in range, or high.  If your blood sugar is low then you can treat the low blood sugar with fast acting carbs and if it is high you can treat the high blood sugar with insulin. 

Please make some appointments at Joslin, we just want to help you bring your A1c down and help you cope with your stress.  You also mentioned that you know that you are in serious danger.  As I wrote in an earlier post, please call 911 or go to your local emergency room if you do not feel safe.  Good luck!


-Debbie Butler, MSW, CDE


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cher replied on Wed, May 5 2010 11:45 PM

You are half way there in recognizing there is a problem.  One issue is that the high sugars  indicate that your brain is not getting enough glucose or fuel-- this leads to more depressed feelings.  Would a short hospital stay be something you would consider?  I don't think that any competent MD would take you off your pump when you are getting insulin that way- you just need to get some help re-scheduling yourself.  I have had Dr's tell me to get a pump when I don't want one- Ichanged Dr's.  College is a stressful time, and missing your mom makes it worse.  On a more proactive note for your mental health-- could you volunteer somewhere for a few hours a week.  If you got set up with someone in a volunteer situation- you might develop a relationship that will add to your life.  Perhaps helping a teacher at an elementary school, finding a suragate grandmother at a nursing home etc.


I have had type I diabetes for 43 years and have made it a mantra that I am not sick-- just have to take care of my self and so far so good.  It can be done but it does take self discipline.  It sounds like you are in a place where you need someone to help take care of you until you have the strength to do it on your own.  I would suggest the Joslin center since it is there and perhaps just go to the ER affiliated with it.  If you are a struggling student financially- there are cunty medical programs - medi-cal etc that would pay the bill- the social worker at the hospital can help you with that. 


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