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November 24, 2004

Mental Health, Other

Question from Egg Harbor City, New Jersey, USA:

I am very embarrassed to say that I am a DCCT-EDIC participant, because my A1c has been running anywhere from 9.0 to 11.0 lately. I am 47 years old and developed type 1 diabetes at age 10. During the DCCT, I delivered two healthy babies who are now 16 and 11. My doctors told me how much they admired me for my dedication to the intensive therapy program. My A1cs at that time were 6.5 to 7. Of course, they switched me from standard therapy right away upon learning of my pregnancies. A year ago I had a major heart attack, and had a silent heart attack as well. Since then, it seems as if everything is going wrong. I suffer from obesity, depression, sleep apnea, diabetic neuropathy, chronic sinusitis, severe neck and lower back pain, asthma, and also take medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, acid reflux, water retention, angina, etc. I've almost given up, and some days wish I'd never survived. My beautiful, loving children, husband, parents, and brothers are the only reasons I'm still here. Can you tell me what to do to take control of my life (and blood sugars) again?

Answer:

Please hang in there. The whole diabetes community is grateful to your participation in the DCCT. It has left us a legacy of information and a model for clinical studies. Don’t give up. It sounds like a lot of things have come together against you. You have to live one day at a time. The problems you describe are not going to all get better in one day. However, they do deserve an effort that begins each day with doing the right thing. Just like the diabetes, good control and a modified lifestyle will help. The things you listed are all treatable. You do have choices. Find some support. Whether this is a family member, counselor, friend, minister, or psychiatrist, find someone who can help you through this time. You sound depressed and may need more support in this area. There is no one thing that will make it all better. However, your family loves you and wants you to do the right thing for your health. I do, too.

JTL