Living with Type 2 Diabetes and Depression
Depression runs in my family for several generations and I’m no stranger to it. I finally talked with my doctor about it when I realized my thoughts were progressively getting darker and darker. Once upon a time there was a stigma surrounding depression but not any longer. In fact, it’s finally talked about more and more. Seems like since famed comedian Robin Williams committed suicide, society is more accepting and aware of depression.
My medication works well at keeping my depression controlled, for the most part. On occasion I do get into a “funk” and I need to withdraw within myself for a while. If my thoughts turn down a dark alley, I remind myself that it isn’t me, it’s the depression, and I find something that makes me happy to focus on.
One area in which the depression doesn’t help is with regard to weight loss and exercise. When I met my husband, Jeff, I weighed around 110 pounds. Have to admit that my figure was rockin’! But I kept losing weight and truth be told, I’m surprised I didn’t die from malnutrition considering I’d only eat a few pieces of toast once every 3-4 days and this went on for over a year.
I smoked cigarettes and drank soda. Lived off of nicotine and caffeine. Jeff was the only person to notice this and he made me start eating more than a few pieces of toast every few days. Also, I use to walk 3 miles every day – 1.5 miles to work and 1.5 miles home from work. At my job, I was on my feet all day so I definitely got in more than 10k steps 7 days a week.
Our lifestyles changed over the years and in March of 2008, Jeff and I both quit smoking cold turkey. It was also around this time that I started taking gen ed courses at the community college. Fast-forward several years and a few jobs later, now I find myself sitting at a desk most of the time. We eat pretty healthy but admittedly, neither of us exercises.
As a result, I’ve developed Type 2 Diabetes and at my last check-up, my doctor explained that the medication is no longer controlling my diabetes. My A1C is rising. I also have some kidney damage. As he and I discussed, I have to start exercising 30 minutes a day, 6 days a week, or I’m going to be in serious trouble at my next check-up in 3 months.
I really hate exercise. It hurts! I can start off and do really well for 2 – 3 days but then the muscle aches settle in and it really hurts! Like any normal human being, when something hurts, you stop doing it.
The depression doesn’t help at all, either. It’s difficult to get motivated, even after being told my kidney’s are being damaged and that I’m going to be in serious health trouble that will only get worse the longer I don’t do anything about it.
I won’t lie. There is a part of me that wants to die. I live with both physical and mental pain every day. I want it to be over with. But then there is that part of me that wants to live a long and happy life with Jeff; to travel, laugh, learn, and love.
The depression zaps the energy right out of me. I can wake up feeling on top of the world then in the next minute, I want to crawl into bed and sleep for a year.
My health journey will be a long one. I have 107 pounds to lose and I’m only going to drop the weight by exercising.