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Diabetes Denial

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Old 06-09-2010, 10:27 AM   #1
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Default Diabetes Denial

There is a psychological phenomena I've read about called diabetes denial.

Folks who don't accept and deal with the diagnosis appropriately.
They keep eating sugar and other junk and tell themselves nothing bad will happen.
Ten years later, when they start having problems, they are totally shocked.

I know because I am one of these deniers. Anyone else have this problem?
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Old 06-09-2010, 10:35 AM   #2
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Well, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and pcos via the route of insulin resistance. My grandpa died of diabetes and I have a sugar addiction. I would easily give up all real foods forever if I could eat chocolate forever. But do I have diabetes now after birth? I am very wishy washy. I kinda have diabetes? I'm overweight subjecting me to it but... I really have no idea what to say. I am trying to eat better but I know one day I'm gonna eat sugar again. Or is the natural kind I AM eating too much? I tihnk I am sticking my head in the sand a little bit. That and I get hypoglycemic and despise that 3 hour test!
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Old 06-09-2010, 11:25 AM   #3
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I've been in denial about insulin resistance for the past 30 years... through PCOS and trying to get pregnant... gestational diabetes, etc.

But when it came down to an actual diagnosis of pre-Diabetes... that scared me a LOT! Fear can be an amazing motivator!

I think that I would still be in denial if I were diagnosed 15 years ago. But with all the information and the support forums you can find online, I had almost all my questions answered before I even went to the Diabetes class my insurance provided. I had my own meter before I got one through my insurance, and I already had started testing and getting a feel for how my numbers changed due to what I ate.

Just seeing that... having those tangible numbers to show how my BG changed when I ate this or that or after I exercised... made a huge impact on me. Instead of a vague "bad things might happen eventually" idea, I can SEE the direct impact of my behavior on my BG.

So right now, I am no longer in denial. My meter is like bio-feedback -- I can see in front of me what happens inside me. It's not a mystery.

But I was definitely in denial for years about IR and PCOS.
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Old 06-09-2010, 02:48 PM   #4
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Not in denial about being IR (prediabetic)... but there are times in my life where it gets put on the back burner rather than always being on front.

Slowly signs pop up and it spurs me to action. AN on my elbows getting darker or popping up on my ankle for instance.

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Old 06-09-2010, 03:25 PM   #5
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people can be in denial about all kinds of things. What we do with any diagnosis is up to us. We can learn about it or we can work with it.
I was in denial about my creeping weight. That turned into pre-diabetes. SO I decided to really do something about the blood sugar issue, and the weight is part of it.
There are very real consequences to our denial, but we can MAKE other people change their behaviours very easily. But I look at my friend BOB, (he of my rant) and think, "if you had only taken more care of your blood sugars years ago, you would not be in this position, you wouldn't be facing amputations and foot ulcers that don't heal, and putting your family through this ****..."
I don't want the people I love thinking that about me. I want to be a healthy partner to my husband, a happy mum for my whole life, and eventually an active and involved grandma, so the carrot for me is bigger and more powerful than any stick.
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Old 06-09-2010, 04:23 PM   #6
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I tried to ignore it until 6 weeks ago when I realized I was getting higher and higher blood sugars. I had stopped taking Metformin because I ran out and I didn't want to go to the Dr. for another prescription. My bs numbers were over 200 every morning and I finally got scared.

This morning my bs was 109!!! Yeah!

My mother is still a denier and it is hard for me to not get mad at her. She doesn't take care of herself at all and it is like she doesn't care. The food is more important than being around for me, my brother and my kids. The things she is doing that I can't stand are the same or similar to how I used to be and it makes me crazy. I don't want to live like that anymore and that is why I have changed my ways.
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Old 06-10-2010, 05:18 PM   #7
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i had gestational diabetes an was told more than likely i was diabetic but didnt know it... I had baby 4mths ago and it was confirmed i am diabetic! I didnt take any meds or stop eating sugar until a week ago... Already i have numbness in my right heel an blurry vision when looking at things close up, very scarey im hoping that now im doing something about it things will change? ...
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Old 06-10-2010, 10:52 PM   #8
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*raises hand* I've denied my health problems including diabetes for a long time now. I am getting better but still have trouble with it.
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:31 PM   #9
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I'm in denial about being pre-diabetic for sure. Mostly its the*I'll start tomorrow* syndrome. I eat junk today figuring I'll start tomorrow, then tomorrow comes and I eat junk again.
In the mean time my FBS goes up and up daily. I keep putting on weight and wondering why.
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Old 06-13-2010, 03:09 AM   #10
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Hello all,

I am for sure guilty! Interesting because I just posted in the PCOS forum about how I was basically in denial... i knew i had it but figured if i didn't think about it, I woulnd't have to deal with it.

I was diagnosed with diabetes (regulated by nutrition so I dont need insulin THANK GOD!) around December of last year. I honestly didn't think anything about it, but I went through a period where I was extremely sick and I started noticing the difference after I would eat certain things and I could tell that my bs would just take a big drop during certain times of the day.

I realized at that point that it is real, and I'm finally ready to do something about it.

I'm hoping that eating better and losing weight will solve these medical 'diagnosis' that I can't seem to shake.
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:48 AM   #11
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What can we do together to confront our denial and move past it, to start taking care of ourselves?
I'm tired of failing before I even star.
I want to move past the denial stage.
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:35 PM   #12
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I may be the one here in the most denial. Diabetes runs rampant in my family (grandmother, mother, father, 3 brothers, cousin). My oldest brother, an alcoholic, is type 1 and lost his sight because his liquor was more important to him than taking his insulin. The two of us have had it the longest. One brother, not sure of his type, has been on insulin for about 4 years I guess but he doesn't have health insurance and doesn't take it like he is supposed to. The other brother was diagnosed type 2 about 1.5 years ago and has it under control with pills and diet/exercise.

I was diagnosed type 2 almost 20 years ago and put on pills; was under control until the last 3 years or so. Wasn't taking my meds or checking my BS like I should. Not eating right or exercising, except for a brief spell in 2004/2005. On 6-11-10 my FBS was 278 and so I've been put on long acting insulin once a day.

Now lets talk about denial. What did I do this weekend - bought a package of oreo cookies and have been eating some every night. Today my FBS was 308 . NOW THAT'S DENIAL.

Food wise, I am doing better today, so far. Don't know what I'm having for lunch yet.

I have to start cooking again. Right now, I eat out for every meal practically every day. I met with the cert. diabetes educator and discussed strategies and am working on a plan to follow the insulin resistance diet. But eating every two hours - oh man.

Not helping the situation is my problem with depression. Also based on stress test results, I'm only supposed to exercise for 5 minutes at a time (but the CDE did say I could do that more than once a day).

But I will prevail over this monster. ONE. DAY/HOUR/CHOICE. AT. A. TIME.

SIGH.
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Old 06-16-2010, 08:53 PM   #13
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Default why do we deny

denial is hardly unique to diabetes. If we (as the human race, or even medical professionals) could figure out why people are in denial and how to get them out of denial treatment of and prevention of disease would be SOOO much easier. it stinks but its up to us. My denial was about my weight and my likelihood of becoming diabetic if I didn't get my weight under control. I was able to leave that state when I became "officially" prediabetic. Well actually I started working on the weight earlier, but had setbacks.
Although I am doing reasonably well, I do go off the rails from time to time. But not on a regular basis like I used to do.
I don't know what the key will be for you. Maybe recognizing you don't have to be perfect at diet and exercise and medication control. You just have to do better. Better than bad. Not so very hard if you look at it that way?
in any case, its your choice
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:26 AM   #14
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GREAT replys, everybody

As if on cue, there is an article on my CVS/Caremark drug program online.
They put up articles that correlate with the meds each patient is taking.

Lemme know what you think of this -

"After you're first diagnosed with diabetes, it's normal at first to minimize the seriousness of the disease. But if the denial goes on too long and interferes with your self-care, the consequences can be dangerous.

By the time my friend -- we'll call her Tina -- was diagnosed with diabetes at age 52, she should have been well-prepared to deal with her illness. She had been looking after her diabetic mother for more than 20 years, managing her diet, medications, and daily blood tests. She also knew all too well what the disease could do. She had watched as diabetes destroyed her mother's eyesight and caused severe circulatory problems. With all that expertise, you'd think that Tina would have been a model patient.

Instead, Tina kept saying she'd deal with her diabetes when she was ready. The problem was that that day never seemed to arrive. Her only concession to her diabetes was to cut back from drinking two 2-liter bottles of regular Coca-Cola each day to drinking only one. A hundred pounds overweight, Tina made no effort to go on a diet. She tested her blood only once every week or two, and didn't keep her doctor's appointments. Only two years after she was diagnosed with diabetes, she had circulatory problems of her own, including leg swelling so severe that walking was sometimes difficult. Still, she has not made any effort to deal with her illness.

Tina is suffering from denial, a common problem among diabetics and other people with chronic illnesses. "This can't be happening to me," is often someone's first reaction after learning he or she has a serious medical problem. It's not unexpected that a person with a life-altering disease might first rush to minimize its importance. In fact, it's a normal reaction and way of coping when diagnosed with a grave or chronic ailment. But if denial goes on too long and interferes with getting the care you need, it's not just counterproductive: It's dangerous. Diabetics who refuse to acknowledge their illness are likely to develop serious diabetic complications, including circulatory and eye disorders, kidney disease, and heart disease. These problems, in turn, can potentially lead to blindness, amputation, and even death.

For Tina, denial is not just a stage in learning to accept her illness, but an ongoing problem that threatens her very life." Everyone who is diagnosed with diabetes has to go through stages to accept their diagnosis," says Laura Riggi, a certified diabetes educator in New York City. "Fear, anger, and denial are normal reactions to being told that you have diabetes, but you need to work through it in order to take the steps you need to deal with your diabetes." Long-term denial may seem easier than learning to cope with the illness, because with denial you're convinced there isn't anything to cope with -- no need to change your habits and routine."
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Old 06-29-2010, 04:27 AM   #15
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I'm in denial too... I've been a type 1 diabetic for 7 years and for the last 3, my control has been awful. I truly just feel like I can't be bothered with it and I know that's a terrible attitude to have. I'm lucky in that I have had no complications yet, but I know that if I keep going the way I have been then things will start to turn bad.

Help - what can we do?!
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