Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Moving Forward

I haven't been to see my Endo since March.

By my hand-counting, that's close to 10 months.

There's been a couple visits scheduled, one in the summer and one a few months ago. But, knowing that I've been slacking on the D-Management front and dreading the expected A1c that I know is higher than it should be, I have been putting the visit off.

The last time my A1c was done, it came out at 7.9% - up slightly from the one just before Christmas 2010 when it was 7.5%. I'm sure it's higher now, probably somewhere closer to 9%.

(My 30-day meter average is 220, which comes out to 9.3 and my past couple weeks are about the same - as are the past few months or so.)

For inquiring minds, it's not a matter of not knowing what to do. No. I am testing about six times a day, have a pump and now a Dexcom 7+. And while I'm certainly no expert and probably know little in the grand scheme about diabetes management, I've been doing this for 27 years... so I know what's at fault and what isn't: Simply, it's a matter of willpower - or lack thereof.

I've been struggling a lot in the past year on several personal fronts, and that's all led to some depression that has clouded pretty much everything in my life. Sometimes, I just don't care. More to the point: I feel that way a lot lately. Even when I'm testing often, the numbers are commonly in the 200s and 300s and that's what I have grown accustomed to.

There's a matter of underlying hopelessness, that nothing I do really matters. That it doesn't make a difference and it's really not worth it. Even the brightest moments and sparkles of happiness aren't enough to counter the corrosive, pervasive, and overwhelming feelings of depression.

I've kept a lot of this bottled up and have guarded this, but despite that effort it's been spilling out into most areas of my life. Recently, I've started taking some steps to deal with that and that's a work in progress.

After reading some recent posts my friends in the Diabetes Online Community - (Kerri's post here, Jess wrote one, and Melissa wrote one - I've made an appointment. This was in December and the soonest available was January, so that's planned for a few weeks from now. Actually, to be honest: I didn't take the initiative to schedule it. After I reached out to my Endo and CDE about getting a referral for someone in the counseling world, my Endo's office phoned to let me know the referral was in the mail and that my Endo wanted to get me in for a visit ASAP. So, really, it was her, not me.

But the visit is finally going to happen, regardless. That's the point. I'm hoping that I haven't hit the double-digits, but no matter the result it's a matter of asking "What Now?" rather than focusing on the judgmental and critical aspect of the number.

To be clear, if my A1c is high, it's not going to be a surprise. And it's not a matter of not knowing how to improve my D-Management. It's not like we're talking about changing some bolus or basal rates here in order to fix what's going on, although that may be necessary. It's a matter of dealing with the emotional and mental mind games that are causing my slacking.

So, I'm ready to do what's necessary. I've been avoiding it for too long. Now it's time to move on, deal with my demons, and get back in motion on my D-Management. Really, my life.

When your life is clouded by the darkest clouds, and you have the ability to manipulate the weather, how can you possibly not try to move those clouds out of the way for some needed sunshine?

No more avoidance.

The time to move forward is now.

28 comments:

Colleen said...

You've taken the first step, and that's the hardest one.

Mike Durbin said...

I'm sorry that you're struggling right now, Mike, but I'm glad that you're taking the necessary steps. Stay strong, my friend. And remember, if you need anything, you know how to reach me. I'm just a couple of hours away.

Jamie Naessens said...

What you have here is HUGE!! Those demons play tricks on us and make us believe we cant overcome them. I think equally important, you have told us one way to get help by reaching out by telling us HOW someone can get help.

Barb (Diabetes Advocacy) said...

I am so sorry that you are having to deal with all of this. I can't begin to imagine the toll it takes on those living with the disease. As a mom, my heart breaks as I can see the same thing occuring in my own son. So glad that you are able to move forward. Good luck to you! I know you can succeed.

Wendy Rose said...

Oh, Mike!!! Proud of you for acknowledging the issue and taking steps to get help.

The A1c will come -- and go. It may sting for a minute. The victory that lies in wait will be so incredibly sweet in comparison...even if it takes a few months to see the victory emerge.

YOU can do this.

Joanne said...

Even at 4, my daughter struggles. Lately checking her BG has been a battle. When I mention anything diabetes-related, she seems to deflate a little. As her Mom, I can only imagine how hard it is for her and it breaks my heart that I can't take it away.

I'm sorry you're struggling. Hopefully sharing your struggles will help.

Kim said...

Glad you are taking those difficult first steps towards getting back on the horse (unicorn?). Go Mike!

Nikki of Our Diabetic Warrior said...

Mike - Congratulations on taking that first hard step to get back on track! No matter what the outcome, forget the past and focus on the fact that you're now taking control of your diabetes.

May the Lord lift you up and strengthen you!!!!

k2 said...

You are moving forward and that is a very wonderful thing! Don't waste time or energy re: the past because you can't change it - Learn from it and move ahead!!!

Sysy said...

That's exactly the hardest part...the mental and emotional challenges of dealing with this disease long term. Someone once told me "You can do ANYTHING for a short period of time, it's doing it for a long period of time that's truly difficult" and I couldn't agree more. I hope you feel better soon and manage to hit a better stride with the management. I know you can do it.

The DL said...

I know how you feel! Honestly, I have been struggeling too. It's not easy, and it isn't a lack of education. It's just DOING. Getting to the endo is the first step as we both know. I now go more often, every 6 weeks since it helps me stay on track. I also started seeing a therapist and it has helped SO much. I can only say you should do that same in hopes you feel better as I do. Good luck and let's have 2012 be a good year for us full of great A1C's!

Robert Pedersen said...

You go, dude. I'm in an analogous situation with my own d-management. I don't expect my med appt tomorrow to be pretty.

Jaimie said...

I absolutely LOVE this Mike ...

"When your life is clouded by the darkest clouds, and you have the ability to manipulate the weather, how can you possibly not try to move those clouds out of the way for some needed sunshine?" ...

so true! but I know easier said than done at times...((Hugs)) You got this!

Lawren Romero said...

Incredibly important post! You may not realize how common burnout and depression are with chronic illness. Thank you for representing the masses so eloquently and for motivating all of us with chronic illness to take control, and not let it beat us down.

RFamHere said...

You sound like me with going to the dentist. I know it's a big part of my d-management, but I kept putting it off. I take the kids every 6 mos religiously, but I hadn't gone for years. I was also kind of forced into it, thanks to a filling that fell out and cause major pain. Thankfully I went and kept at it. Only have one more tooth to fix and I'll be done! Thanks for the reminder (in a round-about way). I'm calling right now to see if I can get this scheduled (out of town specialist for a root canal - ick!). See, you're helping someone else by sharing your story!

Jess said...

First of all, I am so proud of you! Remember that you are never alone. We're all here for you, 24/7.

And I know that you know that I have been where you are. Totally. Apathy creeps in and is hard to get rid of.

Hang in there, my friend.

Lala Jackson said...

Geez... you couldn't have described exactly where I am any better. I completely know what you're going through and am so happy you've made strides toward getting back on the bandwagon. I really hope you find the pep you need in working with your endo & CDE and counseling. They've certainly helped me in the past. Best of luck!

Mike said...

Wonderfully honest post. Sounds like you are ready to give your D-gremlins a good kicking. Good for you! We are right there for you. We'll hold them down.

Karen G said...

I've felt much like this so many more times than you know. It SUCKS!!!! But, you aren't alone. We are here cheering you on. We need you with us in the DOC. You will make it out of this depression, and I'm so proud that you have taken the first steps.

Kelly Booth said...

I wish they could figure out a way that we could take a vacation from diabetes because we need those vacations. I have been putting off getting labs done for the very reasons you mentioned. I hope everything starts looking up for you!

Mike said...

Isn't it strange how we avoid the doctor when we're "doing bad." That's when we SHOULD go in for help.

Been there buddy. Glad you're moving forward.

Kelly said...

Exactly where I'm at. SIgh. We can do this, we will. I'm right here with ya!

Kelly said...

Thinking of you!

Scott K. Johnson said...

Mike,

Thank you for talking about this. It has been, and often is, an issue for me, and no doubt many others. Diabetes does that to us. It's relentless.

But I think you'll find some relief, help, and most importantly, some hope by taking these first few steps.

We need you around here buddy - and we'll help you get your head clear however we can.

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Simon said...

Hey Mike
It's so hard to add anything both to what has already been said by yourself and also by this amazing community we find ourselves in.
Incredible, renewing, refreshing and honest are just a few of the words that spring to mind....not in reference to this community but YOU in particular.
I find so much of my own journey in your own struggle, and find myself looking around both overwhelmed and uncertain of the road to take.
Ultimately I guess I don't really know any answers nor do I have any "bolt" from heaven to solve all of the disillusionment which like yourself, seems to be continually rattling my cage and unsettling me.
I guess while I'll always long for more from the resources I have at hand and in particular the DOC, I keep coming back to the connections I've made and the individuals like yourself who are so close to my heart and draw strength from knowing that others are going through similar things.
I guess it sounds like a broken record and for me it always feels a little trite to say, "you know I'm here for you" but you are continually in my prayers and thoughts as I see your tweets and read your blog. I admire your honesty and opernness and all that it has brought out in me. I don't know how and perhaps I never will but somehow you will get through this....we will get through this.
Thank you for so many things, keep being the awesome person that you are

Ann-Marie Stephens said...

Hello,Mike!

Happy New Year!
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Founders of Precise Portions

Vera said...

You are certainly right - it's not going to be a surprise and it's not a matter of knowledge. But it's also not a judgement of your person. Maybe you didn't do as much as you should have - but maybe you couldn't. And that's totally fine, as long as you get back on the horse eventually. An A1c does NOT make you a bad person. All the best for the next round of diabetes rodeo!