Do you have any advice for an adult who is newly diagnosed with diabetes?

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Do you have any advice for an adult who is newly diagnosed with diabetes?

Question:

Hi.  Im MG in St Petersburg, FL.  I'm newly diagnosed Type 1 diabetic, 48 years old.  I have a thin build- 5' 4", 124 lbs so this diagnosis took me by suprise.  I'm now on insulin 4 times a day  by injection and testing 4 times a day as well.  I think I've got the hang of it.

I was sent to the ER with a 400-500mg blood sugar was immediately put on insulin, and now take it 4 times a day.  My numbers are now down to 80-125 so Im feeling good about that.  My downfall is I get so depressed and overwhelmed.  Luckily, I have a good support system in my sister and parents, but don't want to over do that call.  However, I've had so many health problems all my life, my family has sure had their fare share of my health crap!!  (stomach cancer as an infant, short bowel syndrome, high blood pressure, osteomylitis- bone infection in my 30's, continuing stomach problems from adhesions that cannot be removed.....blah blah blah)  So, Im trying to keep my complaining to a minimum, but they still need to know my issues since we're a close family and they are who I call for support. I've been trying to walk 45 min a day and that seems to help a bit with the depression.  Any other suggestions??  And, its hard right now to get together with friends because I have such the eating schedule.  My other problem is I of course can't skip any meals and I have to have snacks too.  What is the best way to do a meal plan??  Cook all day Sunday for the whole week and freeze all my meals??  How do people do it??  AHH!

 
Luckily, I just got my insulin pump, and start training on Nov 20th.  YAY! I read a lot, so any books that might be helpful, would be greatly appreciated.  Maybe there is one " How not to freak out or feel overwhelmed."
 
 
Look forward to your replies.
 
Thanks in advance.
 
 
Answer:
Hi MG,
 
Although you describe yourself as feeling "overwhelmed", I would say you have done a great job adjusting to your diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. You've taken so many positive actions already, such as testing your blood sugar regularly and taking your insulin, that you've managed to bring your blood sugar levels down within a great target range.  Congratulations!
 
Another positive action you are doing is walking 45 minutes a day.  Exercise (of any kind) will not only help you feel less depressed, but will also help to reduce your blood sugars, as well.
 
Having emotional support is also very helpful.  You are lucky to have a close knit family so you don't feel so alone coping with your diabetes. I would encourage you to keep your friends included in your new lifestyle.  I'm not sure what you meant by your "eating schedule." Decades ago mealtimes were more rigid; but with today's insulin regimens, our eating schedules are more flexible. And, when you start  your new insulin pump, you will also have flexibility to eat and snack at your convenience.  Please clarify this point with your pump trainer or dietitian.
 
I understand you are feeling overwhelmed about meal planning for the week ahead.  You don't need to cook all day Sunday and freeze all your meals!  You are stressing yourself and you don't need to do that! Why not plan your meals one (or two) day(s) at a time? DiabetesSisters web site has a vast resource of information about healthy eating - see sections "Nutrition Tips" or "Helpful Hints" - for specific ideas.  DiabetesSisters web site also has online Community Support - such as "SisterMatch" - or Events - such as PODS Meetup meetings - where you can make friends in your area.
 
Last, but not least, you ask about any books that might be helpful.  Dare I recommend my newly published book - "MY SWEET LIFE: Successful Women with Diabetes." The book is a collection of 24 personal stories of highly respected and successful women who manage their careers and/or families and their diabetes. The diverse group of women share their heartwarming stories of insights about finding balance between their personal, professional, and spiritual lives.  Maybe they are role models you can learn from and be inspired by?  Good luck, diabetes sister.
 
 
Take care, Dr. Bev