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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. 4monkeez

    4monkeez Approved members

    Aug 28, 2010
    Okay so I have to put this out there, I need an opinion of someone who gets it. I got the following e-mail from a new friend who doesn't know me that well...her son and my daughter were in preschool together last year, and we have only played a handful of times...she is great and I like her a lot, so she came over today with her son to "check on me" so read this:

    Okay, I just wanted to let you know: I'm worried about you. This is, indeed, a very stressful time - but it should be a point where you're starting to level out and instead I find that you're twirling and whirling into what seems to be a self-feeding eddy of stress and panic. You have had a lot on your plate for several weeks now and your support system, while wonderful, isn't terribly hands on right now (not that it really could be because of all the issues involved). I'm not in any way preaching to you, judging you or trying to tell you what to do but I want to highly recommend that you quickly make an appointment with your doctor to discuss options. You are an incredibly strong woman which can sometimes work against nature in this type of situation because you're trying to "handle" everything and not allowing yourself to acknowledge your overwhelming situation. Yes, you are highly competent, extremely intelligent, strong and vivacious. But you are not superwoman, no matter how many superhero movies you've watched. I hold you very dear and I'm afraid that if you don't find some way to help yourself over this immensely huge hurdle it's going to adversely affect you and your family. Whatever you may need from me, I'm there. But I do think you really need to invest some time with your doctor to see if there's some short-term options that can help you (and, thus, your kids) through this tough time. Please forgive me for saying so, but I want you to be happy, healthy and strong in all the right ways.

    All my love.

    So I'm pissed. WHO says not quite 3 weeks is enough to get over such a life changing event? YES I am stressed and anxiety filled, I just learned my son has a chronic disease that can be managed but changes his life majorly, I spend my day putting out fires, he's hungry - he's low - he's too high,he has keytones a stomach ache .... I just had to hand my 6 year olds life over to a school nurse who we barely know and although she is amazing...she is not his mommy and will she really notice what I would notice? Is she watching him like I do? OF COURSE NOT! She has 153 kids! I only have 4! He has been away from me at school for 4 days and he has had 3 lows (in the 60s) at school and several more at home...every time the phone rings and it's the school, my stomach ties up in knots....I don't want to NOT talk to my friends/family but I am to the point I feel like they just don't get it! someone just told me yesterday "be happy it's not MD" NO, REALLY!! Let me go thank my lucky stars my 6 year old has to have 3 injections and tons of finger sticks everyday, oh and he can't pig out on Halloween, etc...I get what they are saying but PLEASE!! Am I wrong? Should I be "over it" "moving on" ? I have come a long way,I am not crying at even saying the "D" word, I am able to tell the story without sobbing, I don't feel like I want to throw up everytime I eat a sweet, I am able to eat again...It is true, my girls are acting out and at times I don't have the energy to deal and I give in when I normally wouldn't..but I play with them and cloth and feed and bathe them! Oh and by the way, I get up to check BG at 2 am, we have no family here and I am exaughsted...did I mention I have 4 kids under 6??

    So sorry for the vent, but am I wrong do I need help or is this normal? Do I just smile and say everything is great? I need input!!!!

    Last edited: Sep 8, 2010
  2. momof3sons

    momof3sons Approved members

    Feb 8, 2008
    I have had to resign myself to the fact that people who don't live this life can't possibly understand it. I don't even try to explain. To make matters worse, many think they understand because most are acquainted with someone who has type 2. I can imagine you are exhausted, hurt, depressed, disappointed, and fearful. It would be unusual to feel differently so quickly after diagnosis. It is never easy, but it does get better. Hang in there and try to get some sleep. That always makes things better for me. This forum is very, very helpful.
  3. Nancy in VA

    Nancy in VA Approved members

    Jul 16, 2007
    Well, I do think its a huge adjustment and 3 weeks isn't enough - but --- that said

    People that I know well and value their opinion told me LATER how manic I came across in those weeks after Emma was diagnosed. I was in the middle of the tornado and couldn't see the damage around me from the tornado itself. I wish that someone had made me slow down and get some help because I was really in a bad place for quite a while because I felt like it was just me on my own.

    Managing diabetes is by all means a marathon and not a sprint. The first weeks feel like a sprint because there is so much emotion wrapped up in the diagnosis itself, followed by the need to learn so many new things and then deal with minute-by-minute situations - its absolutely overwhelming.

    I do think this is coming from her heart. I don't think she phrased it very compassionately but I do feel like that her message is that she's worried about you and wants to help you from going over the deep end (which is an absolute possibility). It took me about 6 months to realize how manic things were and took a step back to look at what was going on, and worked towards finding a calmer way to approach things because I seriously would have gone completely crazy if I continued at the pace I was, at the emotional level I was, for much longer. I did also find that my other kids were acting out because of how I was reacting to the situation. Things calmed down for the entire family and we were all able to think a bit clearer when I was able to "re-pace" myself for the marathon ahead.

    Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming!
  4. kiwikid

    kiwikid Approved members

    Dec 29, 2005
    I think you're doing great for 3 weeks in. If this friend really wants to help ask if she could cook a meal or 2 for you, or offer to look after the other kids while you take a break. I don't know what a Dr could offer right now that could help you apart from a sympathetic ear and this friend could give you that too... :cwds:

    The orange you posted in is really hard to read :cwds:
  5. SarahKelly

    SarahKelly Approved members

    Nov 14, 2009
    I agree with pp. Nobody gets it unless they have been there, truly...I don't know of any other condition that is like this - where it's treatable, yet can be life ending, too...
    that said my only spin on her email is that she cares for you. she didn't know what to say and tried her best. Allow yourself to view her email in a positive light, not judging or saying you should be over it but telling you that it's okay to let go and allow others in to help. I have determined from my experience that people do genuinely want to help they just don't know how.
    But again for me the in the past nine months since my son's dx the best help I've had is going to a monthly meeting of parents with children with diabetes. I've had people look me in the face and say, "yes, getting your children bathed, fed and clothed is a big deal right now. You're doing great and it's okay to grieve. It's okay to need time alone. It's okay."
    So, I'm here to tell you that it's okay, you're doing great...and you're not alone.
  6. virgo39

    virgo39 Approved members

    Jan 8, 2010
    Well, the part of her message that suggests that there is some particular point in time by which your responses ought to "level out" is both wrong and annoying, but giving her the benefit of some doubt, she seems to be saying that you seem extremely stressed and she's worried about you.

    Within a few weeks of DD's diagnosis, I saw my own doctor who prescribed anti-anxiety meds, which really helped me. Sounds to me that that is what she is suggesting ... perhaps not her place, but overall it struck me as coming from concern. Of course, you know her, so maybe it's not.
  7. KHM

    KHM Approved members

    Mar 24, 2010
    Three weeks isn't even close to enough time to get your feet back under you much less have things figured out and running smoothly. She's out of line and I'd be pissed, too. I would tell her to do something I can't post here.

    At three weeks, you're just beginning to understand how challenging this is (I'm sorry to say). I would not open another email from this woman for a while. An auto-reply message might be in order (e.g., "I'm out having a lobotomy; will be in touch when my skull heals; thanks for your concern...").

    Many T1 parents say that eventually a new sense of normalcy emerges and you settle into that. I think that's likely. I know at eight months out, we're better than we were at weeks. But there are still things we haven't figured out---how to balance the sacrifices all of the children make for Lindsay's health, how to give my husband and myself (and maybe the two of us together) breaks... it all takes time. And I'm not yet convinced we have a good plan for our diabetes management at school. This is no small deal.

    All those things considered, many people eventually do decide they need help coping in one way or another. These forums are one way to share your burden and frustration. Keep checking in with people you know are supportive and stay away from people you know are not.
  8. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    I think your friend meant well ... sigh. How rarely that works out :rolleyes:

    I think perhaps, let it go. Don't waste any of your precious energy writing a long reply or stewing about it. I know that I spun like a crazy top, fed by anxiety, grief, loneliness and stress for MONTHS, not weeks. Non-D folks just cannot possibly comprehend the magnitude of the dx.

    Send her a quick, "I appreciate your taking the time to write, but I'm afraid you don't fully grasp what is happening in my families life right now."

    It will be a huge help to have a good school nurse, and really, after a few more weeks of school you'll hopefully realize that you can begin to catch your breath and start to see the big picture more clearly. :cwds:
  9. meg9901

    meg9901 Approved members

    Oct 1, 2009
    I would feel incredibly stressed in your shoes as well, with consant needs and demands coming at me from all directions. Not to mention the grief and fear that I remember experiencing with the new diagnosis.

    I didn't have a single person step in to offer to "help". I'm not sure I would have wanted it. It was sort of a lonely path there for a while. But eventually I made my own connections. I build a good school nurse situation so I breathed easier when DD was at school. Got connected with JDRF at least enough to find some familiar faces I could see from time to time.

    It's hard. Give yourself credit for all that you've done so far!! My thought would be to think of one thing that you seriously think you COULD ask your friend to do for you. Something you would value and something she would do. Not watch your newly diagnosed son. But take a walk with you one day or take your 2-year old for a couple of hours. Whatever you think you would really appreciate. And let her in. Maybe her suggestion is off-base, but maybe it's just a foot in the door to a different kind of connection.
  10. fredntan2

    fredntan2 Approved members

    Apr 21, 2007
    after reading it the first time, I just think she's a crazy nut.

    but then reading it again and what Nancy says also makes sense too.
    It took me a whole year to get back to a new normal. I cried myself to sleep every night for 3 solid months. the first 6 months were the most difficult

    but I think I handled it well. as well as anyone can. D sucks.

    I think by finding us, venting helps a lot.
    I did after that first year get some antidepressants. I took them for a while, and they seemed to help me get through that difficult time.

    while her message is kind of annoying, she's kind of trying to reach out and tell you she knows you are going through a tough time. I guess her heart is in the right place, but part of me still thinks she's a nut job
  11. 4monkeez

    4monkeez Approved members

    Aug 28, 2010
    Thanks KMH! I am totally steeling that lobotomy idea! It felt good to laugh!

    I so appreciate all of you! I realize now venting to people who don't get it is a BAD idea...from now on I am "just fine" and I will figure out who I can talk to and clam up the rest of the time! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I am so happy I fould this forum :)
  12. chammond

    chammond Approved members

    Jan 5, 2009
    I agree that I think she was well meaning. In the beginning of my son's d dx's I felt like I was running in 15 different directions with no time to notice the effect it was having on my whole family. Honestly, even if I did notice there would have been very little to change that. I think it is difficult for people who have never had to deal with a similar situation to understand that there is little that can be done about the chaos that takes over in the beginning.

    As difficult as it is to have someone say this, it shows that they are seeing that you need help. After my son was dx'd everyone kept telling me how great we were doing, how lucky he was that we were taking such good care of him, and all those wonderful things. While it was very nice, it made me feel that if I was struggling I couldn't show it or ask for help, because that meant I wasn't as great as I should be. It took about 9 months before I hit a wall, and could not physically, mentally, or emotionally keep it up anymore. Maybe if someone had noticed how difficult a time I was having it may have helped. The letter was poorly written and came across as abrasive, but it is a way to show she does care.
  13. fredntan2

    fredntan2 Approved members

    Apr 21, 2007
    Oh yeah, the people on the outside don't speak "diabetes"
    I try not to vent to them. I just keep it simple/light.

    just let it out honey. we have been there.
  14. Sarah Maddie's Mom

    Sarah Maddie's Mom Approved members

    Sep 23, 2007
    Really, in hindsight, and it's something of a blur, it took me a year to regain my balance after dx.

    I also heard a lot of, "oh, your managing so well!" and I didn't have CWD back then. :(

    So, vent here, try to keep your own health and be patient. Don't look to anyone's time table but your own. :cwds:
  15. SeacoastMom

    SeacoastMom Approved members

    Apr 5, 2010
    I'm sorry that you had to deal with this so soon after diagnosis. It seems that people come out of the woodwork. Most of them are well intentioned, but unfortunately, most of them are uninformed. They truly believe that they understand and that they can offer you advice.

    It is painfully obvious that she doesn't understand when she mentions "leveling out". Being the parent of a diabetic child doesn't "level out". It becomes your daily reality after awhile and then it becomes a little easier. It does not become easy.

    I'm glad that you had a place to vent to other parents who do understand. The fact that you are still functioning after the first three weeks is a real accomplishment. Those first weeks and months are so hard. Hang in there.
  16. BrokenPancreas

    BrokenPancreas Banned

    Aug 9, 2009
    If I'm reading this right, she basically is implying that you need a shrink?

    If I were you, I would ask the whack job for a reference to her shrinkS that she has used.

    That will piss her off, and that will make you feel so good!:D

    Before I moved, the principal at dd school told me I needed to take "hot baths". She told me this more than once.

    This was a few days after dx mind you.

    Who knew that a hot bath could change everything? I didn't, and I'm so glad she gave me that wonderful advice.
  17. buggle

    buggle Approved members

    Mar 24, 2008
    I cried every day every time I was alone for the first few months. Having a child diagnosed with diabetes is overwhelming and terrifying. I don't think that anyone who hasn't lived through it can begin to understand how intense the management is to learn at first and how pretty much the entire burden is on the parents. It's so hard to make the decisions starting out and it's so scary and emotionally draining.

    We're 2.5 years in and it's very different now. We're confident almost all the time, though we still rarely get any sleep. My MIL and my SIL the doctor (resident now in pediatrics) think we totally over-manage. But they know nothing of this disease, so I just let it go. They don't get it either. Only other T1 parents do, which is why we all need each other so much. This forum is still important to me, but I completely depended on it early on for expert advice from other parents and for emotional support.

    I suppose that observing us when our kids are first diagnosed is sort of like watching a train wreck. And it's good that your new friend cares so much about you. But she won't get it and she'll probably keep worrying about you. So, try not to take it personally and think about how a month ago before this happened to you, it would appear from the outside. I've had a thick skin for a long time, but I've had to develop it even more since my kid got this rotten disease. I just let things slide right off me. And I know our family and friends worry about us sometimes, but we all just have to keep going and not let it drag us down.

    It'll get better. I promise. We've all been there and we know.
  18. shekov

    shekov Approved members

    Feb 22, 2008
    This is what I felt. If someone had said this to me after 3 weeks in I would have felt so deflated.

    What you need right now is support. You'll get it here if you don't find it elsewhere. :)

    I was a maniac after dx...testing constantly.,.. micromanaging numbers...I think that's part of the learning process.

    If YOU feel you are ovewhelmed and unable to cope or THOSE CLOSEST TO YOU notice a drastic change...then I'd see my Dr.

    It's very easy for someone outside of the D world to say you aren't dealing with things but we know how long this takes.

    It's not just a sick kid who can manage with a little insulin. It's a mourning of a life that will never be shat you expected or hoped it would be. That takes time. Give yourself a chance to grieve and regroup.
  19. Lee

    Lee Approved members

    Oct 5, 2006
    Honestly, since person is merely an acquaintance - not a good friend - just a semi friend - I would feel offended. Hell, even if she were my best friend in the world, I would be pissed.

    In all honesty - I would try very hard to type a civil reply that follows along these lines:

    Sorry - my family has just undergone an extremely traumatic event. Yes - in the non-Type 1 world, it is easy and normal to assume that our lives will soon be back to normal, and that by watching diet, exercising, and checking blood sugar once or twice a day, is really no big deal. However, that is the reality of a different disease - not the one we are facing.

    In reality, my child will need 'medicine' multiple times a day just to survive. It is hard to believe that as little as 90 years ago, this disease was an automatic death sentence. And unfortunately, it can still be if we are not diligent in monitoring blood sugar, exercise, stress, growth hormone, food, sleep, mood, etc. Sometimes, it feels like we have to do this every minute of every day!

    You say that I seem to be loosing it! But of course I am! How could I not! I am now not only facing learning the difficult process of treating this disease; but I am also mourning the loss of my healthy child who could run and play and eat and live carefree! I still have my child - but I no longer have the assumed assurance of her continued good health.

    So please, before you accuse me of loosing it, come walk an hour in my shoes - preferably at supper time. That way you can juggle cooking supper, timing a blood sugar test, figuring out when to give insulin based on the reading; measuring every bite she will take to figure out the exact carb count; deciding to round up or round down on the 1/2 unit of insulin - keeping in mind the level of activity and whether or not she has been running a little high or a little low for the last few nights after supper; drawing up the insulin; giving the shot to a screaming kid; feeling like crap as a mom because you just had to hurt your kid so she survives; and then trying to delay everyones meal because you didn't get the shot given in time - and you so want a normal supper. And then what will you do when she doesn't eat all of that oh so carefully measured rice you put on her plate?

    So next time, instead of telling me to hightail it to a doctor for some meds, maybe realize that I am in a really crappy place right now, and be my friend, and support me but don't criticize me. I will return to a new normal soon enough...

    Gee - do I project much???? I could still write this letter today! BTW - it took me three months to even feel like my world wasn't ending - cut yourself some slack.
  20. Midwestmomma

    Midwestmomma Approved members

    Jan 26, 2008
    My take, for what it is worth:

    I think that she is "trying" to be nice and caring...in her own way, she is not on your end of it..and doesn't see it through "D" eyes. In a way it was nice that she thought about sending you "somewhat" nice words. Like the others have said...the Non-D world just dont get it..and probably never will.

    It is good that you are where you are at for only 3 weeks into this, You are farther than I was at 3 weeks. I still cry at telling the diagnoses story...and probably always will. It will get easier...just takes time and getting used to it more...becomes second nature...kinda like riding a bike. And I still sneak foods once in a while, its not that he cant have them..they just cause havoc later with his BG.

    Another thing, and I dont know you, but if it does become to much for you, and if you have little help (I have me and hubby to do D care...that is it), maybe talking to your general doctor isnt such a bad idea.. I am a very "strong willed" mom, and in the beginning..i wouldnt let my husband help much...he wasn't doing it "my" way...which wasnt right in my eyes. After a while, and a very good friend setting me down and talking to me..I went to my doctor and got on meds. My doctors exact words were..." I know you think you can do it all, but when you are wore out, grouchy, and exhausted...you are no help to anyone. You have to let your husband help out...just because it isnt your way doesnt mean it is the wrong way!" And I listened to her recommendations, started taking my meds, and I am a better person to be around. I do NOT think eveyone that has a D kid needs meds for keeping their sanity...I just think it is an option for those of us that have a plate full to deal with before D was thrown on the top..

    Maybe just dont reply to her email now...and maybe 6 months down the road re-read it...and re-think of what she said...you make look at it in a whole new light.


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