21
Apr

Phrasing

I don't know if all MDs in my area have recently undergone some sort of fantastic training re: the importance of words and phrasing, or if I've just been lucky to see doctors who are extremely adept at choosing words that do not place blame on the patient. I've seen two different (and new-ish) doctors In the last week, both of whom were careful to separate me from my diabetes in some parts of our discussions.

I asked the second doctor some questions about things that may come up a few years down the line, and her reply was that because of "the diabetes" I would be considered high-risk, and would therefore be transferred to a different physician.

Nowhere in that statement did she make me feel as though any of that statement depended in any way on my management of my diabetes.

I know this could come off in several ways. I don't think I'm describing it very well, but what I'm hoping to say is that she made me feel like I would not be the reason why I would need to see a high-risk clinic...diabetes was. I know she certainly wasn't trying to say that it doesn't matter how hard I try to manage my sugars; rather, I think she was telling me that just by virtue of having diabetes I will need to see a specialist, and that is not my fault. It is not the result of any action or inaction on my part.

Not "because of "YOUR" diabetes. Not "because of YOUR" sugars. Not because of this disease tied to me that I drag around 24/7. Not because of me, or anything that I did, or anything I will ever do.

Not because of anything I can control.

That, I think, is what feels so liberating - in the face of all of the things that I can control, that I should control, knowing that this, I can't, and it is not my fault.

19
Dec

Diabetes and depression: 1

This is not hard to talk about.

I actually haven't had problems talking about it to family and coworkers. Friends, too, although I haven't told all of them. It gets tiring, having the same conversation over and over again.

It's difficult to write about it. I was a star in English class in high school. I studied sciences in university, so I didn't spend much time in languages or the arts or courses where I could improve upon my communication and literary skills. I had one mandatory English 101 class; but that's about it. Writing, to me, requires clearly presented and well-articulated thoughts and arguments. Since I was a child I've always loved to read, so writing, to me, is reserved for masters of the art. Writing is reserved for people who do it well and exhibit skills and expertise in communication.

 

I do not have these skills. I started blogging because writing, even if I did it terribly and without any measurable success, felt like it helped me to clear my head. I feel better about whatever mess is in my head when I sit down and map out thoughts and arguments.

 

I've been ignoring or avoiding writing and blogging lately. My head has felt like more of a mess than usual, and that mess is very difficult to sort out into manageable piles that can be dissected into coherent and meaningful posts.

 

I am trying to sort through that mess.

 

It started last summer. I recognized that many of the feelings that sent me to therapy in the first place were edging their way in to my psyche. I slept a lot, spent more "me" time just resting and relaxing and avoiding big group outings and when I did attend these big group events, I found them exhausting. I slowly lost feelings. I used to feel happy, excited, enthusiastic, and passionate. I felt angry, furious, frothy rage-filled wrath. I felt love. I felt a deep affection, a longing, and a devotion to people in my life who inspired these feelings. I felt tired, but a tired that was so deep in my bones that the exhaustion went right through me because I deserved the feeling. I felt life, and felt it so strongly and deeply because I truly felt like I had earned it. That...changed. It's impossible to say how or why, but slowly that slipped away from me.

 

I started revisiting my therapist in September. I had seen this particular therapist last year, and found her to be excellent. I could feel that something bad was going on, so early September I gave her a call. Her schedule was pretty full, but I was able to see her at the end of the month.

 

I think she could tell right away that I was struggling. Back when I first saw her she had helped me to work on balancing the demands of diabetes and everyday life. She helped me to work through those things, and helped me to figure out my life so I could feel like I could handle it.

In my sessions in October I received assignments like:  exercise. Walk the dog. Take those walks with the Boyfriend. TALK to my family about when I felt crummy.
I tried these things. I really did try.

By November, she encouraged me to visit my family doctor. She talked about me taking some time off to recover. My family doctor agreed.

I had some conversations with Boyfriend, and some of these worried me. I could tell he was worried. He knew that something was going on, something a little worse than just a temporary thing.  I hate worrying him. It breaks my heart to see him hurting and wondering whether his continued presence contributed to all of this.

 

My people wrote each other letters. My therapist wrote to my family doctor and recommended to him that I take some time off work. She also suggested that we consider medication. He agreed with her assessment, and started me on a course of antidepressants.

 

The first few days were rough. I've been having some significant issues with nausea, and the first three days of meds were the worse. There was a lot of vomiting.... like a lot. Soooo much puke. That's gotten better, but not significantly. I'm able to keep down food by dinner every day -- sometimes earlier! -- so it's still improving, but slowly.

 

It feels like I am still working through the diabetes burnout. The funeral this week didn't help. Time to myself has been good, I think, but still it has been a slow process.

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