In Order to Quiet your Fears, Look Critically and Directly at Them

April 21st, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

We all know that living with diabetes is a load of work for each of us.  And how we handle that load affects how much work we will have to endure later with any complications of our disease. 

I, for one, I spent the first 10 years of my life with diabetes with an A1c between 10 and 13.   Not great, and my body felt the effects of my constant attempt to avoid dealing with my disease.  When I first found an environment that allowed me to face my fears of living with diabetes and showed me ways to live with the disease and stay myself, I came home with an A1c of 6.9, and have stayed between 7.0 and 7.5 since (with a brief stay at 7.8 while taking the California bar exam… can anyone say “stress”?!).  While training for my marathon last January I had my lowest result of 6.7 (not sure if that was the training or a switch to Apidra; time will tell).

I am of course afraid of potential complications of diabetes.  But for me, a vague term like “complications” is scary just on its own. 

So what complication in particular scares me the most?  I’m not sure.  I think a heart attack scares me the most; I am afraid of realizing I am having a heart attack and what that may do to the people I love.  Going blind doesn’t scare me; I don’t really think that’s a likely complication given my overall lifetime treatment of my diabetes.  Losing a limb is hard for me to comprehend for the same reason.  (I always have to laugh when a doctor asks if I can feel a sensation as they check my feet; I am too busy giggling to answer because they are tickling me!!) 

It’s all so vague, all this talk of “complications” when I was diagnosed at ten and am thirty two years old and fitter and stronger than ever.  It is simply too hard for me to comprehend.

And yet, I’m still afraid of “complications”.  They just sound scary, even when they aren’t guaranteed and aren’t even identified as they potentially apply to me.

So I do what I can to address the complications I am afraid of.  I don’t waste my time denying they are possible.  I look at them, head on, and ask myself: (1) how realistic is it that this complication in particular will affect me (2) what do I need to do now to lessen the likelihood that the complication will affect me.  Then, once I’ve figured that out, I put my fears away on a shelf.  They’re there, but as long as I am doing what I can, in a way I can manage right now today, I rest assured that I will not passively meet any complication ahead of me.

Just like monsters under the bed.  Turn on the light, look, and they disappear from your fears.  You have that power.

Boogah boogah.

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1 comment

  1. From reader CR: Enjoyed reading your story and learning of your page..Ive been a type 1 for 11 years, have been on pump for 4 years,….slowly my a1c’s have been improving…..”fear” is a huge thing for me with exercise and “insulin”..using the pump now and cutting back on my basal rate (temp basal) have been a learning process…I have the CGMS now which has been helpful and have just upgraded to the medtronic revel 523….going to cycle in Tour de Cure North Shore on May 22nd..

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