Friday, October 24, 2008

My "Complication" Attitude

Complications are complicated. Especially when it comes to your attitude. And your attitude affects how you care for yourself.

Upon hearing about a friend who is facing some major complications it made me think about how I would handle complications if they were in my future.

Please let me know your thoughts on attitude and complications. I would love to hear your ideas.


Kerri. said...

Wonderful post, George. And my feelings about complications are so ... complicated. I don't have many complications at this point (none you can see and none that affect me in a way I can really feel), but I am very unsettled about thoughts of a future that includes diabetes-related complications. The thoughts scare me. And I'm afraid that I'll feel really guilty and responsible if/when it does.

I'm so, so glad I'm not alone with this. I'll need you guys even more if something starts to happen. I'm lucky to be a part of this community.

Carol said...

George, thanks for being so real about this. I believe God will give us the grace to handle these things if/when they occur, and even perhaps reveal some puropse in it. But it is still so sad and unfathomable when I try to wrap my head around the thought of serious complications. It is under the surface, and I think it motivates me to not want to put off things like travel, running a 1/2 marathon, etc. while I still can.... Thanks so much for sharing your feelings about "the unmentionable" so that we and our brothers and sisters in diabetes who are experiencing complications can find comfort and strength.

Lee Ann Thill said...

I've had some crummy stuff - retinopathy that warranted a bunch of lasers and a vitrectomy, diabetic mastopathy for which I needed 2 lumpectomies, frozen shoulder (in both shoulders and both hips and also got surgery for), and I was well on my way to bad kidney problems until I overcame my denial. Managing my BG's actually reversed some of the kidney damage, and that right there is why it's never too late to start taking care of this disease. As you said though, it is what it is, and you either live with it or you'll die with it. I suppose that's easier said than done, but I really believe having a positive attitude can affect our health. Of course, none of it's easy, but it's not impossible either, and if you can keep a sense of humor and find support, that's at least half the battle right there.

type1emt said...

complications scare me too,but I have to believe that God is in control. Not just complications..plenty of scary stuff out there to be worried about(losing your job, etc) . I try to do my best, and take it one day at a time.(trying not to worry) Focusing on what you have vs what you don't have. Life is going to happen + one thing I don't want is for diabetes to compleatly defeat me.(mentally)

tmana said...

Let's go back a little further than "neuropathy". How did you feel when you were diagnosed with diabetes? Did you ever think, "How can someone stand to give themselves injections every day? Or, several times a day? I can't see how someone could live like that?" And then it happens to you. And you have a choice: live with it, or die from it. You meet the challenge, or you let it cripple you and kill you.

All of us here are fighters. We fight the Glucose Dragon on a daily basis. Sometimes the dragon scorches us, and we have to get back up on our steeds and aim those heavy lances once again. Sometimes, we wound the dragon. And sometimes... more rarely in T1 than T2, it seems... the dragon takes a nap.

Issues with T2 and complications are a bit different than with T1 because the care level for T2 is often not nearly as strict, and doctors are afraid to scold people as old as their parents, people who are on Medicaid and Medicare and trying to keep their rent-controlled apartments with their meager Social Security checks, because there's no other place for them to live. People who eat buck-a-pound-dry pasta, or nothing at all, because it's all they can afford. People who don't check their blood glucose levels because it's either check that once every other day, or buy that pound of pasta so they have something to eat. It's a system that sets people up for complications... but since many of these people are already past retirement age, "the system" doesn't pay attention to their life or their quality of life. They become numbers and "resource hogs" rather than people's respected grandparents and greatgrandparents. And little by little, "the system" kills them off...

Minnesota Nice said...

Oh man, George. First, having such a large number of T1's in my extended family has exposed me to the "crummy stuff" that might happen. It's been shoved right in front of my face a number of times.
By the time I was diagnosed as a teenager, I was old enough to have had a big dose of it and knew that this was not as simple as a broken fingernail.
So, how did I cope? By complete denial. By fooling myself into thinking that I should have all the fun I could while I was able to..........
Anytime reality would rise to the surface, I'd become so paralyzed that I could hardly function. So, I stuffed it back away.
I have had some pretty severe retinopathy. The procedures and surgeries to treat it were very unpleasant, but, I can see the computer fine.
I have bilateral frozen shoulders, but I've adapted (and currently both seem to be getting better).
Most days I feel as if I'm living well with complications.
We are whole and complete - no matter what's taking place in the body. And it's through that wholeness that we are able to love, to matter, and to make a difference.
Have a good weekend, George. You are a great friend.

Scott K. Johnson said...

This was such a great vlog post man. I can hear in your voice, and see in your demeanor that it hit you hard.

But you are absolutely right - we keep going. I echo what tmana said about the diagnosis of diabetes!

Lea said...

I'm constantly wondering and worrying about Noah's future, and any complications that he may develop as his years with T1 rack up.
Trying to keep one step ahead of complications by taking excellent care of himself is what we're trying to teach him right now.

Keith said...

George, let me preface with I feel fortunate that after almost 40 years I don't have any major complications. I can tell some things are changing in my body but I'm not sure if it's age or diabetes at this point and until insurance things change I'll do the best I can.

With that said, I think complications will gradually change my focus from this life to the next. At some point I think a person wants free from the pain and suffering of this mortal coil. This compares with what I've watched in some elderly people; the loosing of the grip on life as they have more on the other side than on this.

Don't get me wrong, I don't want this life to end one second before my time is up, but as I've matured I think I'm coming to a better understanding of how this may ultimately play out. In the mean time I will life to the fullest and do everything I can for as long as I am able.