29 February 2012

February DSMA Blog Carnival

This post is my February entry in the DSMA Blog Carnival.  If you’d like to participate too, you can get all of the information at http://diabetessocmed.com/2012/february-dsma-blog-carnival/
What can we do to help stop depression from hitting our community during the winter months?

After last week's DSMA, which I elaborated on my response in my last post, I saw how many other PWD are affected by depression. And something kinda odd happened.

Even though we're dealing with the lying bastard that is depression, we're not alone. There are people who understand what I'm going through, people fighting the same fight, and that made me feel hopeful. I am not alone. You are not alone. We are not alone. I know it sounds stupid, but this was an epiphany for me.

I have my family support system, and they are the best thing in all of time and space, but they don't always comprehend. It's liberating to know just how not alone I am in this fight, that there are so many people slaying their own dragons, and we can help each other through this.

But I guess this is supposed to be a post about tips and tricks to fight the lying bastard, as per the blog carnival prompt. So, here we go.

1. You are not alone.

2. Your fellow PWD are here to help you.

3. Family and friends, as much as they'll never know the hell that depression puts you through, sometimes physical hugs, shoulders to cry on, and having someone physically there are just the things needed.

4. It's okay to feel like crap. Diabetes is not easy. Life isn't easy. You are allowed to have time and places to vent.

5. You are allowed to be happy. (I think this is the hardest for me)

6. You do not have to settle for something.

7. You are allowed to have fun and be silly. This could be anything from playing with Lego bricks, to looking at adorable pictures, to tickling someone (who is willing to participate), to singing in the car or shower, to dancing like no one is watching, to taking silly pictures of holding twine or spatulas, to just reading a good book, and everything in between.

8. You are allowed to love.

9. You are worthy of being loved.

10. You are allowed to ask for help.

DSMA-22 Feb 2011

#Q 1. Aside from diabetes, are you living with other health conditions? #dsma

My response: Yep. I sometimes feel like a walking medical conundrum and a pharmacy.

Some elaboration, and this goes with question 2, but there are conditions that I live with and we don't know the cause. I have a heart condition, and I've been "diagnosed", but from everyone I've talked to who has the same diagnosis, my case is nothing like theirs. Also, some symptoms were ignored when making a diagnosis, which makes me even more skeptical. I know that not all things are relevant when making a diagnosis, but never been satisfied with that diagnosis, and the medication I take for it just treats some symptoms, and occasionally doesn't help at all. I have depression, and I know the cause of that one. I have anxiety issues, have panic attacks, show many classic signs of OCD, occasionally get migraines... I'm not a good example of someone in awesome health.

#Q 2. Are your health conditions related to, because of, or separate from your diabetes? #dsma

My response: They aren't entirely sure if D cause them or not, but at least one of them is unrelated.

Some more elaboration, yeah, the depression is completely unrelated to diabetes. I should have been diagnosed with chronic depression at least a few years before I was diagnosed with diabetes, but I became a little too good at acting like I was fine while I was mentally torturing myself. I was diagnosed with depression until about 3 years after I was diagnosed with diabetes, and that was a whole different can of worms. Every time they've tried to take me off my depression meds, my depression becomes what seems like a million times worse, and they put me back on them. I don't know if the heart problem, or any of the other stuff is related, or if I'm just that special that I get all the problems! I know, butterflies and rainbows. Here are some adorable photos, because I need adorable photos after that paragraph, and maybe you do too.

#Q 3. How do your other health conditions affect your diabetes management? #dsma

My response: They've made it harder to manage D. They all interact and the meds all interact...sometimes "ydmv" is taken to an extreme

Elaboration: Depression makes it harder to do to the things I need to do to take care of myself. I lack the motivation to do simple things, like eat, take my meds, check my blood sugar, etc. (I'm okay now, by the way. Yay meds making it easier!) The heart problem sometimes makes it so movement is impossible, so I'm stuck in bed, or on the sofa, for anywhere from a few minutes to the rest of the day. After a heart episode (because heart attack gives the wrong impression) all I want to do, and really can do, is sleep for the following few hours. It's like getting to run a marathon while laying in place! So much fun. The other fun mental stuff makes it really hard to let anyone help or let anyone in. It also contributes to lots of sleepless nights. There are nights where my mind goes at a million thoughts a second, and I swear that if the thoughts weren't all going in opposite directions, my brain's processing power could probably do all the math and pretty graphs for a thesis paper, and probably write the whole novel to accompany it at the same time. And migraines, well, those just make the world suck.

#Q 4. Should professional mental health support should be a requirement for all people living with diabetes? why? #dsma

My response: Requirement? No. Offered and easily accessible? Yes. Everyone gets stressed managing this disease & needs help.

Elaboration: I really don't like the idea of requiring people to go see a mental health professional. Things like support groups and making help available and easily accessible should be required, but people shouldn't be forced to attend. Any chronic illness is a pain in the butt to manage, and I think everyone goes through burn out at some point. Having another person to add to the health team is always a plus, but only if it is the right fit. And I'll be honest, many therapist just aren't the right fit, and many of them are judgemental jerks. It seems like more work to find a good shrink than it is to find a good endocrinologist, and I think that says something.

16 February 2012

DSMA-15 Feb 2011

I got distracted and forgot that this was yesterday, but after reading the questions, I feel like 140 characters isn't enough to answer each question anyway. So, I figured I'd ramble here!

#Q 1. What would you do if a relative or close friend was diagnosed with diabetes? #dsma

I've actually gotten to experience this from both sides! My older brother was diagnosed before me, and my younger brother was diagnosed after me.

I think the main thing to keep in mind is to let them take the diagnosis at their own pace and to offer assistance, a should to cry on, or what they need, but not force it on them.

My younger brother has lived in a world where his older siblings have had diabetes for as long as he can remember (even though I was diagnosed after he was born), so to him, diabetes was normal and cool. He hasn't wanted the support group and he wanted to jump in and be just like us--testing and pumping and all that jazz. He does occasionally want someone to talk to, because honestly parents and relatives can't get it, but this is all offered on a "if you want to basis".

#Q 1.5 Would your action change depending on what type of diabetes? #dsma

I don't think it would, over all. Yes, the different types have different action plans, but it still sucks. If they were asking about actual medical things, then I'd probably have to do research, but that's for all diabetics. I want to make sure I have my facts straight.

#Q 2. What would you do if you overheard someone taunted about having diabetes? #dsma

Well, this is going to sound weird, but it really depends on how I'm doing. With anxiety and depression, confrontations are sometimes easy, other times the thought of seeing another person makes me burst into tears and I want to hide away. I'd like to think that at the very least I'd try and do something to comfort the person, maybe even stand up for them.

#Q 3. Have you or your child been taunted or discriminated against because of diabetes? #dsma

Yes, unfortunately.

#Q 4. What actions did you take to stop the taunting/ discrimination? #dsma

If I tried to stand up for myself, it got worse. If I tried to do anything, it got worse. The only way it got better was by ignoring them and avoiding those people like the plague.

#Q 5. What would you do if you had 10 minutes to talk to the President about diabetes? #dsma


I would try to explain that all forms of diabetes need research. Even amongst people who have the same type of diabetes, there is so much variation in the day to day lives of a person with diabetes. You can do the same thing, day after day, and get different results each day. Research to help increase the quality of life of people with diabetes is paramount, and many different options need to be explored.



So, there you have it.

14 February 2012

Start

I haven't blogged in a while (like 2 years!) and keeping all the stuff that bounces around in my brain is driving me bonkers. I need some place to let at least some part of what's bouncing around in my noggin out so I can process it all.

So, what will be here? Diabetes stuff! Maybe other medical stuff! I'm sure that's totally what everyone wants to read about. I'm pretty sure this is going to devolve into a very boring "here's what I ate and here's my symptoms" with the occasionally interesting bit. I hope that I'll respond to things like the DSMA Blog Carnival, but don't get your hopes up.