Monday, December 28, 2015

Grief, Illness, Denial, and Diabetes

The last few months has been a physical and emotional rollercoaster for me. With everything that's been going on, it's been hard to keep track of my diabetes. One way to help me get back on track with my diabetes management is to examine what's been going on with my life: grief, illness, denial, and diabetes.

At the end of September, we lost a great man in our family - my father-in-law. My husband and I started dating in high school, so this man had been part of my life for almost 30 years. He saw me grow from a 16 year old with a crush on his oldest son into the confident mother of five and educator that I am today. He wasn't a man of many words, but he had a way to let you know how he felt. I know he was proud of all of his children and grandchildren. He will be dearly missed. (My father-in-law did have Type 2 diabetes as well as several other medical conditions. The blue candle is for him.)

I've also been dealing with one cold virus after another since early November. I've had two rounds of antibiotics and three bottles of prescription cough syrup. This last round also included pain medicine for pulled muscles around my ribs due to coughing. At this point I only have a slight cough, minor case of the sniffles, and one area of pain remaining from the pulled muscle.

Denial? Yeah, that leads into the last word - diabetes. I've been so busy dealing with grief and illness that I haven't been paying attention to my diabetes. I've tested here and there. I've tried to eat right, but honestly comfort eating during the last three months has taken over my focus from diabetes management. I've overall neglected my diabetes, which honestly may have prolonged my recovery from the various little bugs going around.

So what do I do now?

Grief: I'm going to forever miss my father-in-law, but the pain won't sting as much as time goes on. Yes, every once in a while it hits and I find tears flowing without my consent. However my belief says that his is in heaven waiting for us. In the meantime, we have a purpose here on earth.

Illness: I'm trying to make sure to take care of myself. It's hard to get rest over the holidays, especially when entertaining. However I now have a few days to rest and relax before school starts again next week. There is grading and lesson planning to do, but I can do a little at a time this week. Tomorrow I'll be getting some dental work done, so I'll be relaxing in the afternoon.

Denial: I can't deny that I need to take care of myself while I take care of those around me.

Diabetes: Yup, that's still here even though I ignored it for the most part over the last three months. Comfort eating is understandable during times of illness and grief, however it needs to be controlled.

Why do I share this in such a public way? Because I know I'm not the only one dealing with these emotions. I know I'm not the only one. The DOC (diabetes online community) includes people with all types of diabetes as well as their loved ones. We are here to love and support each other. Yes, I need support, but I also hope that in some way my words will be an encouragement to others during their tough times. It's been a tough year (I also found out that my minivan needs some expensive repairs this week. Ugh!), but I have hope for the future.

I'm not going to pretend that everything is perfect because it's not. However I know with the support of others and my own personal beliefs, I can get through this. I'm going to be ok. So are you!


  1. I'm sorry about your father in-law. I just lost my father in-law in October after a long illness. The added stress does get to you and I know my last A1c was higher than it has been in a few years. My thoughts are with you.

  2. Great words of encouragement. Everyone needs a reminder that this can happen and we need to be watchful.

  3. Great post! It's so easy to let life - and grief and kids and work and illness, and, and... - get in the way of taking care of ourselves. Thanks for your words of encouragement and honesty about the day to day ups and downs of managing diabetes. Hugs!

  4. Thanks for sharing so openly and honestly, Sue. We love you and are here for you, and know you'll climb back. Sending lots of support, love, and hugs.