In the 1945-1988 years I had only one rule to follow. Don't eat foods containing sugar. My doctors never mentioned carbs. I was very committed to following that rule. I became so used to using artificial sweeteners, that a teensy taste of something containing a lot of sugar was too sweet, and I did not like it. Having only one rule to follow made it easier.
In 1988 I read an article in a magazine saying that diabetics should restrict the number of carbs they ate to help keep their BGs lower. That was my first exposure to carbs. Then I found that some carbs acted faster, and others more slowly. I started eating smaller portions of the foods with faster acting carbs. There were more rules to follow, and things became more complicated. Then there was using a meter, basal and bolus insulins with carb counting, and my insulin pump. Things were very complicated then. It was so much simpler in my early years to just avoid sugar. It was hard to be committed to having tight control with all these newer rules, and devices to follow. I sometimes wanted to just drop everything and go back to the old ways. I had no complications despite all the high blood sugar I must have had during my first 40+ years, so convincing mtself to follow all the new rules and use the new devices was difficult.
I did not know any other diabetics until I joined some diabetes websites, in 2006. That was 61 years after my diagnosis. That turned things around for me. I met so many diabetics like me, and saw they were struggling with the same problems I was having, or had previously experienced. There were so many not taking good care of themselves, and having diabetes related complications. I could feel myself becoming more and more committed to having really great control. I had always worked hard to have good control, but my online experience made me more committed than ever before.
My committment has led to my having 66 years of type 1 with no complications except some minor nerve damage. I am very fortunate that having only the "no sugar" rule for so many years has not caused me major problems.
I am definitely committed to being committed. Perhaps diabetics who are not committed should be committed to a ......umm......to diabetesforums.com.
What does committment mean to you?
Anita and I have been married for 46 years. I was a diabetic for 19 years before we were married in 1964. She was only 20 then, and knew nothing about diabetes. I rarely had insulin reactions back then. There was very little known about diabetes care. The monitors for measuring blood sugar levels were not available until the mid 1980s, and there was almost no useful advise given by my doctors. When I became more educated about diabetes, and had a doctor who knew a lot about diabetes, I started using tight control. Along with that control came many insulin reactions (hypos). When the hypos started in the early 1970s Anita was very good about it. She did a great job!!! I praised her every time she brought me out of a hypo.
Anita devoted most of her time to our two sons. Many years later the boys were in high school, and they demanded very little of her time. She was a stay-at-home mom, and had a lot of time on her hands. Later on, the boys went off to college, and I was the center of her attention. She became a chronic worrier about so many things, including my hypos, which were not so frequent at that time. She would feed me glucose tablets when hypos occurred at night.
Fast forward to the new century. Anita is an extremely nervous person, especially concerning my diabetes, even though I have very good control now. She wants me to test every 2 hours, including nights, and once every hour when we are out traveling, shopping, etc. Every time I turn over at night she wakes me up and wants to know if I'm OK. I love her to pieces but she drives me crazy!!! She worries needlessly about my diabetes, even during the daytime.
Anita started to become overprotective after the kids left home. They have been gone for 18 years now. They live in NC and GA and we are in NY. We only see them twice per year. My wife heaps all her mothering on me. I have realized that for some time now, but there is nothing we can do about it. Our marriage is wonderful, and I understand she cannot help being this way. Is it possible to be loved too much? HA!
I started training on my insulin pump in May of 2007. Anita attended all the training sessions with me. She actually said that she thought that I would do much better, and she would not have to worry so much. It was a dream come true to hear her say that! The very next night after she said those words, I had a rather bad hypo. It was the first one since Jan. 5 of that year. She still seemed rather optimistic though. I was encouraged about pumping, and her optimism. I have not had any hypos that required her help since July, 2007. So why is she still worrying as much as ever??? I still have to test every two hours, and nothing has changed, despite the fact that my control is very, very good with no hypos that require her help. Her worrisome ways will never end. I am convinced of that.
After retiring I wanted to travel and see more of our country and Canada. The UK and other European countries were places that really interested me. Anita hates travel and loves staying at home. She even hates flying to Atlanta to see our kids and grandkids but she loves the visit once we get there. I want to travel alone, and am very confident that I would be perfectly safe in doing so. Anita says she will not allow this! If I go, she will go with me, even though she does not want to do so. Enjoying a vacation with her tagging along would be impossible. She would not enjoy it, and we would both be miserable. Staying at home seems to be the only option. This situation is so very frustrating!
I can tolerate Anita mothering me, and worrying about me, but I want to travel. I worked hard for 34 years and we have a nice savings that would permit the travel. The only feasible solution seems to be my running away from home. I would stay away for a few weeks and call her three or four times per day. She would probably, eventually, forgive me. She would be at home with her three cats, where she wants to be. She would be very angry but she would understand, or would she? This escape has occupied my mind for several years. So why don't I do it? My love for Anita is so strong that I cannot do this to her. She would worry so much, and lose sleep at night.
What would you do if you had this problem? It is not fair to me if I stay at home to make her happy, and it is not fair to her for me to take her along, or run away on these dream vacations. We are getting older, and something has to be done about this, but what?
We are currently planning a trip to England in 2011. Will it actually happen? I wonder. We have planned trips like this before, but they never happened. Something always comes up, and the trip is canceled.
When I was 18 I had to work in order to earn money for college. I got a job at a local supermarket. One Saturday night it was my turn to stay after hours, to help with the mopping detail. Every aisle had to be clean and bright before we went home. Being so tired from the day's work made the mopping very difficult for me. On my way home that evening I thought my strange feelings were due to my fatigue, but while making a right hand turn at the first intersection, I collapsed at the wheel. The next thing I knew my parents were standing over me and a crowd of men were behind them. Several cops were there too. My wheels were not straightened during that right hand turn, due to my hypo, and my car went off the road and down a steep embankment into a creek bed.
My car had passed between two vertical posts that were supporting a huge bill board. Some people were measuring the distance between the posts and the width of my car, and they said the opening was about two inches more than the width of the car. My car had passed between the posts, but did not touch either one of them. I was not hurt and the car did not have a scratch on it. The guys standing in back were from a bar across the road. They had seen my car leave the road and they found my parent's phone number in my wallet.
Everyone but my parents thought I was drunk. There had never been any alcohol in my life at any time. My parents told the cops about my diabetes. I don't think anyone there believed their explanation. There was no ticket though and a big wrecker pulled my car up the embankment later that night, or on Sunday. It was like the whole thing was just a bad dream. There were many hypos during my early years during my sleep or after a lot of exertion. There was no way for me to test my blood sugar before starting home that night.
Glucose monitors were not available until many years after that. My feelings and urine testing were my only clues to possible oncoming hypos. My parents thought that God had protected me and that was why I was not hurt. It was wonderful that my car was in good shape and I was able to attend classes Monday morning.
In today's world, I would blame myself if this happened. I now test my BG every time before driving. I do not drive unless my BG is 90 or above.