Learning to Live with Fear, Type 1 Diabetes & Fertility Treatments
Editor’s Note: This is the second story in Katie’s series “My Battle with IVF”
Fear of the unknown has always had a role in my life. I’ve struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. You can put me in an empty room and I’ll tell you 1,001 things that could go wrong. My journey with Type 1 diabetes and now infertility has only exacerbated this fear.
When I was first diagnosed nearly five years ago, I was sent home from the hospital with an armful of medication, a packet of information and told to watch how many carbs I eat, along with a list of complications if I failed to do so. Excuse me, what? I’m supposed to do what now? In an instant, my world was turned upside down. I distinctly remember my first week after being diagnosed and a teary phone call made to my mom while I was in the grocery store. “Mom, everything has carbs, what do I do?!”
Life living with Type 1 is now not quite as overwhelming, but the fear remains. Every time my Dexcom alarms with a high blood sugar, it’s hard for me not to picture the damage being done to my body. And as we undergo IVF treatment, I worry that every high or low blood sugar could affect my chances of becoming a mom.
The fear rears its ugly head and reminds me that there’s a chance — despite keeping my A1c low and managing my blood sugars — that I’ll still have to deal with complications later on in life.
And there’s a chance that despite daily monitoring appointments and hormone injections that my IVF treatment won’t work. I’m trying to use this fear to motivate myself, but sometimes it’s plain paralyzing.
So what do I do? Well, to be honest, sometimes it’s pout / cry / scream / repeat, but more often it’s to approach each day as a new start. If my blood sugar was acting like a runaway roller coaster yesterday, then there’s nothing I can do. But today, I can try to do better. If this cycle of IVF doesn’t work, then there’s always the next time, or the time after that.
My husband has been incredible throughout this experience with infertility and in my life, living with Type 1. He emphasizes that I need to stop focusing on why it won’t work, and instead focus on why it will. Sometimes it’s easier said than done, but he pushes me to remain positive. And who knows, maybe all of this worrying will be for nothing and a few years from now we’ll be living with a cure and a baby or two.
Tips for Surviving Type 1 and Fertility Treatments
- Take it one day at a time
- Focus on why it will work out for the best
- Surround yourself with supportive family, friends and medical professionals and don’t mind emails in the middle of the night from them
- Take it easy on yourself, you’re doing the best you can
Read Part I IVF and Type 1-A New Journey Begins, Part III First Cycle — What I never Imagined About IVF Treatment and Part IV The Waiting Game