Life Change with Diabetes

  Praying for a Miracle: Lauren Murphy

Lauren Murphy

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Adult Onset Diabetes at the age of 23, and my first emotion was total shock! Up to this point in my life I had been relatively healthy with minor illnesses; however, over the course of the previous months I noticed sudden weight loss, increased urination and a constant state of thirst and fatigue. Due to these lingering symptoms, my ob-gyn ran a full diagnostic work up only to discover that I had a blood sugar reading over 600, at which point I was admitted to the ER and further diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. As it would have it, the attending ER physician and triage nurse also had Type 1 diabetes and encouraged me to consider the option of insulin pump therapy as means of managing my diabetes. Within the first week of diagnosis my endocrinologist agreed that use of an insulin pump would be the most effective and flexible means of therapy, accommodating my very busy and active lifestyle.

The next few months posed many challenges physically, mentally and emotionally.  My faith along with the love of friends and family has helped to provide me with hope and strength.  Further, my husband, my wonderful diabetes educator (Claire Blum), as well as a brilliant endocrinologist (Dr. David Huffman) has helped me to approach this new chapter of my life with confidence and a sense of control in what appeared to be totally out of my control.  I am learning that life does go on with type 1 diabetes and in order to live successfully with the disease I must educate myself and be responsible for managing my own health. I have also learned the importance of paying attention to all the parts of me – mental, physical, spiritual and emotional on a daily basis. I must allow myself to make mistakes and never stop praying for a miracle.

Lauren works as the Marketing Director for Rehab South, a Physical Therapy Clinic in Chattanooga TN, and a part time Spin Instructor at the YMCA. Her background is in marketing, sales, and non profit work. Lauren obtained her Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. She was engaged to be married at the time of her diagnosis with Type 1 diabetes, and resides in Chattanooga with her husband Matt. Lauren’s interests include cooking, decorating, gardening, being outdoors, birds and nature, physical fitness, and above all, spending time with friends, family, and most of all, her husband!

 

 

Grieving Your Loss 

Receiving a diagnosis of diabetes is a loss, similar to the loss of a loved one or pet. It may signal the loss of expectations and plans. Grief is a natural response, and it involves the emotional suffering you feel when something you value and love is taken away.  The more significant the loss is felt, the more intense the grief... And even subtle loss can lead to grief.

In 1969, Psychiatrist, Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced what has become known as the “five stages of grief” based on her study of the feelings patients experience when facing terminal illness. The five stages are rarely experienced in the same way or in the same order for all individuals, and it is common to experience them in a cyclic manner at various times of life. Like the layers of an onion as they are peeled away. . . Each experience is similar, yet distinctly different.

Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
Anger:Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will ____.”
Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened.”

People with diabetes, along with their family, often experience these feelings at various times. Common symptoms include shock, disbelief, sadness, guilt, anger, and fear; or physical symptoms such as fatigue, difficulty sleeping, lack of interest in life, nausea, weight loss or weight gain, aches and pains, or depression.

When these feelings and symptoms are experienced, it is important to recognize them for what they are, without struggle to deny or change. Thoughts and feelings come and go, and so does the emotional experience of diabetes. The hormonal change which occurs during times of rapid blood glucose fluctuation also contributes to emotional distress. During these times it is best to avoid making decisions about life. If negative feelings persist or overwhelm you, it is important to talk with your Diabetes Care Team to find help in coping.  

 

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