Maybe it’s the Moon?

Is it just me, or is there a lot of emotion floating around the OC lately?

I thought it was just me, but then I sat down tonight to catch up on some posts, and I was just struck by the seemingly all encompassing “blah” that many of us are going through right now.

I had my endo appointment on Friday. It did not go well. I think I’m over reacting, but maybe not.

See, I’m particularly vulnerable and overly emotional right now, due to my mismanagement of my prescription for Lexapro – the anti-depressant that I take. Typically these antidepressants are not to be stopped “cold turkey”. Well, guess what – I ran out. I’ve got more on the way, but I completely missed that critical “catch point” where you are supposed to actually order it in time for it to arrive before you run out.

Managing prescriptions is another PITA (Pain In The Ass) thing. Why can’t your meds run out all at the same time? Because that would make your job way too easy. It’s another full time job managing all the damn prescriptions (not to mention actually paying for it all).

By the time I hit my endo appointment, I had been off the meds for 7 or 8 days, expecting a delivery any day – figuring “no big deal, they’ll be here soon”. Well, days 9 & 10 pass and I place a call to figure out what’s happening. I’ve got it all straightened out, and expect a delivery any day now.

So the doc spills the lab results. A1C – 9.1.

(stunned, quizzical silence)

“But that’s actually UP from my last time right?”

“Yes, a little, last time was 8.9, but you know what you need to work on, so just keep at it. Don’t worry about this too much – just keep working on it – you’re doing good – you know your problem areas and are focusing on them. Don’t let this upset you too much”.

(more stunned silence as he rattles off more lab results)

“Um, wait – did you just say my HDL has gone down?”

“Yes, it’s at 26, down a bit from (low thirty something number). I’m not going to take any action on this yet, let’s give it some time and see where it goes. ”

“That’s the one that is improved with exercise right?”

“Yes”

“But I’m playing full court basketball for two hours, three times a week…I just don’t understand…?? I don’t see how anyone could be getting any more exercise than I’m already doing?”

“Again, don’t worry too much about it yet – let’s see where it’s at next time and go from there”

He walks me out to the receptionist area to set up my follow up in three months – offering more encouragement and telling me not to be too upset – we’ll work it out with time.

I leave the office, with my head hanging so low that I can’t see anything past a foot and a half in front of my feet. I just simply can’t believe it. How can it be? More exercise? I can’t do more exercise. With the amount of exercise I’m doing, my HDL numbers should be through the roof – how could they have gone down? I just don’t get it. And my A1C – what the fuck is up with that.

Am I fooling myself? Thinking I’m doing much better than I actually am? Or is my BG really averaging 240. Impossible. ImFuckingPossible.

I’m out in my beat up old truck, going through wild swings of wanting to smash my head into the steering wheel, and tears welling up in my eyes. From being all super pissed off to being defeated. Just literally crushed by a 10 minute visit with my endo. Deflated. Defeated. The numbers just don’t make sense. Not sure if I’m more upset about my shitty A1C, which says that I’m destined for devastating complications if I don’t get my shit together, or my low HDL cholesterol level indicating that I should give up my family and job just so I can exercise more than I already do. Why do I take these numbers, and translate them into some personal failure?

What is going on?

How can this be?

It doesn’t make sense.

My numbers say that I’m not working on it – but I am working on it. I’m working hard. And it’s a lot of work. All that work and I’m broadsided with these numbers that indicate failure? But I’m doing all of the right things? And I’m tired. Tired of working so hard to be rewarded with what…

I spent the next few hours just an emotional train wreck. Having been off my “brain meds” for a while, my mental ability to withstand these things, the ability to logically analyze and plan for action, had gone completely out the window. So, train wreck it is.

We are often faced with things that are what they are. You can’t change the truth. I can’t change the fact that my lab results are what they are.

What I can do is look at my situation – try to figure out what it is that is not working right for me. Try to figure out what I need to do differently to get myself back on track.

In reality I know what it is – and it’s something I don’t want to change. I know I need to, but I don’t want to. But – I do want to – or I think I need to want to (huh?). My diet. My eating habits. My carb cravings. My unbalanced meals. My long times between meals. Some days with way too many (unbalanced) calories, the next day virtually fasting all day to make up for the day before.

Is it any question why my body is revolting? How can it survive through all of the punishment I put it through? How can I play basketball when there is nothing for it to burn for fuel? How can I even put together two rational sentences when I’m causing such destruction inside myself?

Eating a nothing but a bagel for breakfast, playing (hard) basketball for two hours, having nothing but popcorn for at least 5 to 6 hours afterwards, then having a carb loaded dinner right before bedtime. What the hell am I doing?

When you really want to do something, you find a way around the obstacles you are faced with.

And I know that I will feel and perform so much better with a balanced and nutritional lifestyle.

In some ways I feel that I’m close – that if I can just get this piece of my self care put together that I’ll have the package mostly there.

So what’s the delay? Why don’t I start? If it’s that clear, why not just do it?

I don’t know.

And I feel really fucked up about not knowing why I continue this obviously self destructive behaviour. I’m not a highly educated person, but I do think I have common sense (but maybe not eh?). I also feel pretty strong about my level of knowledge around diabetes. Is it a matter of will power? Where is mine?

So why don’t I just fix it?

As this stuff has started to sink in, I think that there are a few things that I need to deal with.

1) I tend to be an “all or nothing” kind of person.
2) I don’t feel I have a good level of knowledge around nutrition and balance.
3) I believe I have some deep seated mental issues around eating, and am not at all in tune with my bodies signals.
4) Denial.
5) Spinning my wheels. Working hard in areas that are not paying off.

The lines around these issues are all very gray, and they all blend together creating a recipe of self destruction.

Mix issues 1 & 2, and I get frustrated when I don’t know what to do – so I toss it all out the window and indulge in some huge “all carb” type meal. “If I can’t do it perfectly right I’m not going to do it at all”. What sense does that make? And how impossible is it for me to expect perfection all the time? What a way to set myself up for disappointment when I can’t do it!?

Mix issues 3 & 4 and I just want to crawl in a hole and wait for it all to “go away”.

Issue 5 is about spinning my wheels. Working so hard and not getting anywhere. There has got to be a better way.

Mix them all together and you end up with many imbalances that throw you very much out of your natural state.

So, where do I go from here?

Well, first off, I’m sure I’ll be feeling better equipped after my “brain meds” show up and have had a chance to do their thing. Second, work to realize that I can’t fix these lifelong habits and behaviours overnight. Work on making small improvements. Recognize that things take time, and to not be frustrated so quickly. Be patient. Third, Improve my knowledge around general nutrition. Maybe get some books or something. Fourth, look at ramping up the frequency of my therapist appointments. Fifth, identify where my hard work will reap positive rewards, and re-focus my energy there.

I am tired of it all though – I mean, does it have to be work all the time? Just tired. Tired of dealing, tired of fighting, tired of calculating, tired of counting, tired of limits, tired of tired. Tired of mustering up the strength to battle on.

But what am I going to do? Just quit and let diabetes destroy my life? No – that’s not me either. I am strong, even through these periods of “down”.

Check back with me once my meds arrive. To be so reliant on those damn brain drugs is disturbing to me, but it’s quite clear that I can’t do without them. I’m a mess.

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Scott K. Johnson

Patient voice, speaker, writer, advocate. Living life with diabetes and telling my story. Patient Success Manager, USA for mySugr (All opinions expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent the position of my employer).

Diagnosed in April of 1980, I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. Read more…