Concerned for my future

Hi, my name is Michael and I’m 22 years old. I’ve been a diabetic since November 2004.
In the 14 years that I have had diabetes, the last 12 have not been great. Since 10, I’ve been in the hospital at least once a year with DKA. My a1c was at 14 a few years ago, it is usually around 10-11. For the longest time I didn’t care what happened to me. I’ve lived with depression for as long as I can remember and was waiting for my diabetes to kill me. My blood sugars were constantly high I felt like crap all the time. Over the last 2 years, I’ve gotten a good handle on my depression, and in the last few months, I’m fairly certain I’ve fallen in love with the girl I’m going to marry.
I’m trying my best to control my diabetes since I met her. I’m on the freestyle libre and omnipod pump. I check my blood sugar at least once every couple of hours and am trying my best to keep my numbers in check. I’ve even starting getting a little exercise these last couple weeks. My worry though is that its already too late for me. I’ve already developed neuropathy in my feet, and have poor circulation. I have edema in both my legs. Im also concerned with developing erectile dysfunction because of the poor circulation and nerve damage. I’m absolutely terrified that the damage I’ve done over the last 12 years of neglect is going to cause me to have a bad life in the future. I’m afraid that I wont be able to have kids, and if I am, what kind of father am I going to be able to be? Will I be able to play with my kids, will I be there when they grow up? What type of husband am I going to be? I’m afraid that the quality of Life I have in the future is going to be too much for my wife to live with. I’m afraid of being a burden on my family. I know the damage I’ve done cant be reversed. Diabetes is a damaging disease, even if well managed. But I’m hoping I can at least stop the progression or slow it down. I have so much anxiety about it, sometimes it turns my stomach. I don’t even know if I want to risk putting my girlfriend through that possible future because of how much I love her. I’m so afraid of the negative possibilities that it’s making it hard to stay positive.

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Hi Michael,

I was diagnosed in May 2004, so around the same time as you. I was 18 at the time, so I’m sure our experiences are different, but in some ways we are the same. I also didn’t manage my diabetes in the best way possible. My average a1c for many years was in the 7-8 range. I also had quite a bit of anxiety about getting married and raising a family.

But I got married to a wonderful woman, and I have children whom I love and cherish more than anything.

Obsessing over diabetic complications is counter-productive and serves no purpose. I have a neighbour who has been morbidly obese all his life and has had major heart problems, yet he’s now deep into his 70’s and still kicking. Genetics are tricky. You might live well into your 80’s or 90’s while your perfectly healthy friends will not make it past their 70’s.

Regardless, life is not a game of survival of the fittest. Love is not only for the lucky and the strong (as the song goes). Marry the woman you love and raise a family. It’s the most fulfilling thing a person can do. Be the best husband you can possibly be. Don’t second guess it.

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Hi Michael @MicRom, like Sal @Zale is saying, if not in these words, is that a positive attitude, an “I can manage this” would be an awesome help to you. I can’t personally address the depression that you mention so I’ll skip that part.

I too didn’t manage diabetes well for many years and after the doctor told me I wasn’t trying I stopped going to doctors for about eight years. Like you, I met a young lady with whom I fell in love and wanted to marry and that changed my mind about life and wanting to live a long and productive life. Long story short - we have been married more than 52 years, things still working and we have two healthy and wonderful children who have given us grandkids. So far, I’m the only one with diabetes.
It hasn’t been easy but somehow I’ve managed more than 60 years figuring out what to eat and how much insulin needed to balance foods with activity - yes, I’ve always been very physically active and now as I approach 80 have taken my activities inside the [Florida] air cooled gym 5 days a week. The only time I had acidosis poisoning [some now call that DKA] was when I was diagnosed as a kid after I had denied for six months that anything was wrong with me. With care you should be able to keep yourself from DKA poisoning with a needle, syringe and vial of insulin - and more simply and conveniently with your Omni Pump. It really is simple [but please avoid “insulin stacking”] with use of a BGM or a CGM - in my days of wild living, a simple blood sugar test took three [yes 3] days if I could find someone to draw blood and get it to a lab.
Just make up your mind, set goals for yourself and aim to fulfil and you will be able to live a full life with your kids.

Good luck to you.

Yo dude,
Cgm is way to go! You can use it to learn what foods do to you when you eat them. It has an alarm rang that yells at you when you go to high or low! Big deal! Seriously. Remember being diabetic there is no control!!!
You can only manage it to the best of your ability!! It may mean a major overhaul of what you eat, drink etc. But it can be done! I promise you that. ONLY YOU can make your numbers drop!!

If you are worried about the future, a girl, school, whatever! If you decide to manage it you will feel better, you will act better, and if loved ones see you really trying to be better. Your mood swings will be tolerated better!
Look if you get moody with a significant other ( read wife here) she is only gonna take so much of your BS before she flips out on you cause your yoyoing up n down cause you ate ice cream or had too much whatever and you know your not supposed to! She is gonna flip out on you! And deservedly so, cause you aren’t trying to manage your disease.
But if your really trying and you still are having problems and get moody( read being an A$$ here) she is gonna be a lot more forgiving and supportive.
This is a hard lesson to learn!! Yes you are diabetic and gotta do lotsa stuff to manage it. BUT, diabetics does not only affect you!! It affects everyone you are around a lot!! Never forget that part!! If you really try, people will help understand and forgive your shortcomings if your really trying, but if not sooner or later it’ll be forget you chuck!!

Get and use the tools that are out there! It will make difference!! In more ways than just how you feel, your numbers etc. But it could make a difference in how long you live!!

Decisions you make today affect tomorrow!! Repeat that over and over to yourself.

Remember all women are not like mom. Moms always love, wives not so much!
Good luck. You’ve identified the problem! Now start fixin it! It can be done! It takes discipline, will power and won’t power! BUT ONLY YOU can do it!

@MicRom hi Michael,

If you don’t mind me saying so, what you really need is perspective.

Life is damaging. The damage life causes is irreversible. yes of course additional damage that is due to diabetes is on top of that but if you were in otherwise perfect health you will eventually become damaged and an eventual “burden” to your family… that’s called getting old.

you can’t change what happened yesterday, you only have now. the anxiety goes away with a repetition of doing the best you can do, today. Anxiety and paralysis because of what you can’t control is a misery engine. It only exhausts you and does additional damage. If you need help there are good therapists and strategies with acute or general anxiety.

The largest component of “good” and “bad” is thinking, so if you re-frame your thinking you can find relief. It was explained to me like this: if A is how the world is, and B is your reaction to it, then C is how you feel. A+B=C If you don’t like C, you can either change the whole entire world… .or you can change your reaction to it… pick one.

it is never too late to make a positive change in your life. The only thing holding you back from being a “good” husband or a “good” father… is you.

look I get the anxiety. I didn’t 'check my blood sugar for 20 years, straight. I thought I was gong to get the “you’re gonna die” diagnosis when I went to a doctor after decades of neglect. I got scars. I decided enough was enough, and I just do my best each day. I realized that this ain’t a dress rehearsal… this is all the “life” I am going to get, no mulligans or do-overs, and I do want to participate… so I do.

I am no genius, if I can do it so can you. cheers good luck.

go with the flow. i am a diabetic for 56 years. i have had 3 children and i do not have any complications. take one day at a time. that is what does it for me. if i have a bad glucose day, i say to myself tomorrow is another day. we cannot do anything about our bodies that have their own minds. i wish you the best. if you are anxious your future wife and kids will be anxious. go on with your life, do the best you can and the past is in the past.

best wishes