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Do I need help or is this normal? (WARNING: Major vent!)

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by 4monkeez, Sep 8, 2010.

  1. Mom264

    Mom264 Approved members

    Mar 17, 2009
    My take: This email is an overwritten diabtribe, full of cr*ppy little platitudes and catch-phrases. She's trying to be some sort of self-help guru.

    If she were a very good friend I would give her the benefit of the doubt and think she meant well. But you mention she doesn't know you that well.

    If it were me I would ditch this woman. (Or actually I would just distance myself without making a big scene.) She's already taking too much of your energy-- and I remember well in the first few months you need all your energy.

    And yes, of course, do try to take time for yourself as you get through this new diagnosis. But, my feeling on that is geting through the first months is a highly personal thing. You just have to work it out in whatever style works best for you. (It gets better. Post often!)

  2. PatriciaMidwest

    PatriciaMidwest Approved members

    Mar 2, 2010
    Gosh, Kate...so sorry you are dealing with this. I think your friend is pretty clueless about T1, but that is typical.

    It would be extremely rare to find a parent who has worked through their emotions in 3 weeks. I was a mess for months :) It is a journey...and everyone's journey is different.

    Maybe she means well, I don't know your relationship so I can only share my initial impression. Some of the words she chose seem condescending to me "twirling and whirling" for example, and that makes me question her motives a bit.

    Most of us have friends that don't really understand what we go through on a day to day basis. It's really hard when you are used to sharing your life with people and suddenly they don't "get it". It's like another loss, the loss of being connected with people who truly understand you. I've learned to edit myself a lot for my own sanity. :)

    You are right in the middle of a huge learning curve, and things will get easier in time, they really will. In the meantime a nice glass of your favorite beverage and a little time at CWD might be helpful (in moderation of course).

  3. Lee

    Lee Approved members

    Oct 5, 2006
    Moderation??? what's this you speak of?
  4. KatieB

    KatieB Approved members

    May 7, 2009
    Reading this post took me back to the early days after diagnosis, it really did.

    I think she means well, and she's calling it like she sees it, albeit from an inexperienced and terribly naive perspective. If it was a cancer diagnosis, do you think she'd be telling you that three weeks is enough time to "level out"? Nope. People just don't see D in the same life or death terms as they do cancer -- you might try pointing that out if you can manage to write a civil response (I think I would have had a hard time doing that at the 3 week mark, myself).

    I have to say, I think I was more or less a crazy woman for the first year after diagnosis...(I bet I sure looked the part!)...but that "crazy woman" phase was an important part of the process of coming to grips with diagnosis and all the incredibly complex emotional baggage that comes along with it (free of charge! Extra special added bonus!) All I could talk about for the first 6 months was diabetes. It totally consumed my waking thoughts, kept me from sleeping soundly, and literally made me physically ill with worry.

    Did it socially isolate me for a while? You bet it did. Did it lead to me unintentionally scaring off some friends? Yep. Did I emerge from it eventually and find my own peace? Yes, thank goodness. But I am pretty sure the majority of my social acquaintances just wrote me off and thought, "Wow, she's more of a whackadoodle than I thought."

    My husband and I were at such odds that I thought seriously about divorce, and went to stay with my parents for a while with the kiddo. Joint marital therapy (and solo therapy for me) made a huge difference in finding better ways to cope with the stress of having a baby (!) with D. Finding places like CWD (where I could vent to people who could really appreciate and understand what I was going through) made a huge difference. Attending the CWD FFL conference was very healing, also. Honestly, attending FFL was a major milestone in terms of feeling like I was beginning to get over the trauma of diagnosis and focus on living WELL despite D. And it has gotten easier (though it's never easy) since then.These days, I joke that I have found the "Zen of Diabetes".

    So, welcome. We hope you'll be back to post often, and read often, and know that you have many moms and dads walking alongside you on this path.

    LARSMS Approved members

    Apr 29, 2010
    It is hard to understand this sometimes controlled insanity that is D care where what works today may not work so well tomorrow or next week. I fully believe it is crazy-making at times. After some months of sleep-deprivation and simmering anxiety, I have only so much energy. I use most of that up in handling important life issues like D care, school matters, work, etc. I don't have a lot left over to explain myself in terms of how I am feeling or what I am doing to care for my child or myself, so I don't.

    While I think this person may mean well, sounds like a "saver" trying to save you from yourself. This reminds me a bit of dealing with my grandmother about religion. On that topic we just spoke a different language so we agreed early on that it was a topic we could not discuss or we would not be able to speak at all. Perhaps you can just share superficial time with this acquaintance and either declare D care on your emotional state not topics you wish to discuss with her or just ignore her comments written or verbal when they come up. She will get it, eventually, I would hope.
  6. PatriciaMidwest

    PatriciaMidwest Approved members

    Mar 2, 2010
    I totally agree!

    I was so naive when we were diagnosed I thought, it's ok...she'll just need insulin like people need blood pressure meds to stay healthy, and yes it's sad that she has to use a needle or pump to get the insulin, but no big deal. Our hospital training really did not prepare us for the road ahead...

    I thought endocrinologists with high tech software were behind the scenes calculating precise basal rates for my daughter, and that the docs knew exactly how much insulin to give her for every carb she ate. I really thought our biggest role as parents was to keep track of carbs, and the pump/shot would magically take care of everything else.

    I thought my DD's daily insulin would be the same 90% of the time unless she was sick or in a growth spurt.

    Then we came home and reality hit -- and I was depressed, stressed, scared, sad, angry and anxious -- I'm sure outsiders were thinking I needed a straight jacket.

    I guess I'm saying there are probably many naive people who think T1 just means taking insulin - no big deal, and anyone who gets all worked up is blowing it out of proportion. Sad but true.
  7. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

    Nov 21, 2007
    Your friend means well. Thank her for it, but also remind her that it takes time to come to grips with the new life and that, perhaps one day you will come across to her as less stressed, but that, for now, you just need her to be there without judging, like for a couple of coffee or just talk about silly things. Tell her it's a grieving process and you have to go through the motions to get to the end of it, and that you are aware that if you need it, you will see someone.
  8. Teacups

    Teacups Approved members

    Jun 4, 2010
    Oh Kate! ((((((hugs)))))) We're 3 months out and I've been teary-eyed again this week. Those first weeks I was a faucet! And it was at the beginning of summer for us, with an 11yo. Not a 6yo facing school days away from home.

    Think the best of your friend, imo. But how you're dealing with things seems normal to me. As a pp mentioned, you're grieving.

    Things will settle down. But there's still issues. We dealt with the lows of a new dx. Now we're facing highs and adjusting doses. It's never easy, but it does start to feel less overwhelming.

    I would suggest finding something just for you. For me, coffee, prayer and journaling in the morning quiet is a lifesaver! Maybe you need lunch with a gf once a week or a 30 minute TV show where you can zone out every day. I dunno, but do take time for you. It's hard being a Mom, and even harder when you have a D-kid. ((((((more hugs))))))
  9. MamaC

    MamaC Approved members

    Dec 9, 2006
    My guess is that your new friend has had a bit of pharmaceutical assistance from her own doctor and wants to share the love. Her message smacks of, "OMG this has made such a difference in my life; you must need some, too."

    You're new to this and the "twirling and whirling" are actually your new choreography.

    Now ignore her and try to figure out if your little guy's lows have a pattern. Soemtimes things change up when school starts.

    I prescribe three deep breaths and a step back.
  10. Lisa P.

    Lisa P. Approved members

    May 19, 2008
    I'd think back -- what did you guys discuss when she visited?

    For example, the lines about your support system make me think there was some discussion about that?

    I'm guessing this person felt you were reaching out for help to her and she doesn't know how to give it. She suggests a doctor because that's what you do when you want to help someone and can't -- you suggest a professional resource for them.

    People have different comfort levels with distress -- often depending on their family history and personal experiences. Some of my friends jump right in during times of trouble and clean my bathrooms for me. Others demurely look away to protect me from the embarrassment of having expressed emotions publicly.:rolleyes:

    I doubt this acquaintance thinks you're in trouble -- she thinks that you think you're in trouble and she doesn't want to ignore that but she doesn't feel she knows how to help, thus the reference to a doctor.

    She just misunderstood.
  11. Caldercup

    Caldercup Approved members

    Oct 8, 2008
    I believe she means well....

    But, I have to say, that it took me 6 MONTHS to begin to adjust. This is a H-U-G-E responsibility, an enormous worry, and a very "variable" disease. It takes time just to understand what their body is even doing (and that will suddenly change on you, just when you think you've got a handle on it.)

    Unfortunately, I think the better part of valor is to respond that everyone reacts differently to such situations. That you are doing your very best to react appropriately, and -- while you appreciate her concern -- you will do as you see fit.

    Period. Full stop.

    Now, shake it off and go expend your energy on something that will actually help you, your child, and your sense of well-being!
  12. joan

    joan Approved members

    Aug 31, 2009
    You have gotten some great responses so all I want to add is that as you said no one gets it but us. No matter how this acquaintance meant it it is not worth you time or thoughts. We don't know her so if you initial feeling is that her comments were not positive, forget her and what she said and move on. You have much more important things to think about. Unfortunately along with this diagnosis come uneducated comments from so many people that get under our skin. I use to get upset but now I just try to just nod and not listen. People mean well and have no clue about our worries. Good Luck it will get better.
  13. Annapolis Mom

    Annapolis Mom Approved members

    Dec 15, 2008
    I have to disagree with most of the replies.

    I would have loved to get a note like this after three weeks. Granted, she doesn't understand how that levelling out after three weeks is not possible. But she is full of praise for you, concern for you, hope for you. She is saying something very hard because obviously she cares. She probably stressed over writing this but decided that her care for you was more important than how she was perceived.

    Her understanding that you need help (we all need help, not necessarily psychological, but often psychological) shows empathy and she clearly has been thinking about you and feeling the depth of your situation.

    I think this person has tried to put herself in your shoes, and even if that isn't possible, I would count her as a good friend.
  14. virgo39

    virgo39 Approved members

    Jan 8, 2010
    You know, I think that this board is great and I count it a real blessing that I stumbled onto this community. The support and information is incredible.

    And the people here truly do "get" it, in a very fundamental way.

    But some of the posts seem, to me anyway, to have an almost "isolationist" view, in the sense that they seem to suggest that no one can ever understand what parents of CWDs are going through.

    I really disagree with that -- I believe that others are capable of great empathy and understanding. Perhaps they don't understand the nuances of day-to-day diabetes care (2 a.m. checks, the heart-stopping numbers that seem to randomly appear on meters, seeing your CWD deflate from low blood sugar or say something that just makes your heart ache), but many have experience with grave and serious illnesses, some life-threatening, some not, some acute, some chronic.

    I think that there are many more people out there that get the big picture, at least. By having the predisposition to think that they can't possibly do so, seems to me to run the risk of cutting off some avenues of support and friendship.
  15. sam1nat2

    sam1nat2 Approved members

    Jan 24, 2007
    I think its great that you have someone who truly cares.
    Yes, other's dont understand D, and why should they if they don't have to live it 24/7??
    I don't understand conditions my friend's kids have, though I try to display compassion.
    Consider yourself fortunate that people notice you are having a hard time
  16. hipmama

    hipmama Approved members

    Mar 10, 2010
    We're just over 6 months since diagnosis. I'm still twirling and whirling. :)
    I think that she really meant well, though it does read a bit funny. I'd test the waters with her - have coffee together, let her see what you are going through.
  17. NomadIvy

    NomadIvy Approved members

    May 20, 2010
    Well said.
    I wish I'd meet one. And one who can put up with my quirks. :)
    But I really know what you mean.

  18. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

    Nov 17, 2005
    I'd totally be offended by this. Mostly because it's someone who barely knows you, and it's not like she's offering her support, she's offering her opinion on how you can fix yourself. She came on incredibly strong, to the point where I thought, wow, that really takes some balls to say something like that. I find it ironic that with a letter like that, she is calling you the strong willed person.

    I guess I would go along with what others have said and say listen, it's been 3 weeks since my kid has been given a life changing diagnosis. It will not magically fix itself, we are settling in to our new type of normal and it's going to take some time. I'd appreciate your support, but only if it's not judgemental or critical. Then offer to give her an idea of what a day in the life in D is like, so she understands why you are beyond frazzeled at this point.

    Side note: At week 3, we hadn't even seen an endo yet because of the wait. We were under the care of a CDE, who was great, but we felt until we met with the endo, we really couldn't move on fully.
  19. piratelight

    piratelight Approved members

    Nov 1, 2006
    UGH! Is all I can think of. You will figure out who you can talk to and who will at least try to understand. I will PM you.
  20. MikailasMom

    MikailasMom Approved members

    Dec 13, 2009
    Just at a year in here, still twirling and whirling....its become more of a graceful twirling and whirling instaed of complete chaos 24/7...but still whirling and twirling.

    My advice, for what its worth, is hang in there, it WILL be ok. The nature of the disease is maddening at best, but it does get better, more mangable. You WILL find a new normal for your family. Instead of being a huge ugly purple rhino sitting in the middle of your living room, it becomes a oddly placed table that you stub your toe on and trip over occasionally but you learn to work around it most times. ( as explained to us D camp).

    But, in all honesty if YOU feel that you may need a little extra help, there is NO SHAME in getting some help from a MD to help you through the adjustment period.

    Come here often, vent often, share your success and your failure. We all care and will support you in anyway we can :)

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