Diabetes Mini-Burnout

Bit of a blog vacation happened there, sorry!
I’ve been having a bit of a diabetes mini-burnout and that’s related to everything diabetes, including blogging.
It’s all just seemed too hard lately, as though it’s only just dawning on me that it’s been 5 and a bit years of daily management.

I’m calling this a mini-burnout because it wasn’t horrific, or really long term. I’ve just had some difficulty keeping up my diabetes management lately. However it wasn’t obvious, and it took me a long time to work out that this was burnout.

I always thought that diabetes burnout was when you said enough’s enough and downed tools. I thought it meant you stopped checking, bolusing (taking insulin for food) and thinking about your diabetes. I was checking as often as usual (aka testing way too much) and I was bolusing for all my meals. I was even taking insulin corrections to bring down my high blood sugars. So naturally, I didn’t think it was happening to me.

However, I hadn’t contacted my specialist in months, despite the fact that my blood sugars were getting higher and higher. When this happens it’s really important to contact someone to help you adjust your insulin settings, because they need changing from time to time. I kept putting it off and making a bunch of excuses

“Oh it’s just because I’m stressed”
“Oh it’s because I got the flu and was on antibiotics” (Ironically I got the flu shot months ago. My immune system is so clever, it kills off its own beta cells but picks up weird flu strains!)
“Oh it’ll go down soon!”

I sort of gave up on it. I still kept over testing, and bolusing and correcting. But those things did absolutely nothing to help my high blood sugars because I needed to change the settings in my pump. I also stopped carb counting accurately. I’d guesstimate how many carbs were in everything.
“Cup of rice? 35g should do it!”
…. um no Bec that’s 54g.

“Cup of tea? That’s basically free food!”
Nope, milk + sugar= minimum 15g

This went on for a month or so until my sugar ended up at 22.5 while I was at uni, which is incredibly unproductive and made me want to curl into a ball and sleep for all eternity. Then that evening it went down to 4.5 which felt like a horrific low because that’s an 18 point jump which is just not ok!

Normal range= 4-7= normal human functioning
Roller-coasters= 4-22= hermit level functioning

I downloaded my charts to find that I hadn’t had a blood sugar in the 4-7 range for weeks. I contacted my endo the next day and the levels have been improving ever since (minus a low because insulin settings are really fiddly. This is why I get a doctor to do the maths for me)

So my little month hiatus from good diabetes care resulted in the following:
- I had zero energy
- I was really blah all the time
- I probably smelt really rotten-fruity all the time
- I had a really short attention span
- I had zero motivation to do anything besides watch questionable reality tv

Basically pre-diabetic all over again.

But as usual with my feel-good posts I did actually learn things.
1) Your endocrinologist is really amazing and no one is going to judge you for dodgy management. Of course they will help you improve it but if you acknowledge it and show you want to work harder, then they’re going to be nothing but helpful
2) You should tell people when you’re struggling with your diabetes instead of hiding it for a month
3) It’s ok to stuff up sometimes (still working on that one)
4) Having friends who have type 1 is amazing because you can just whinge about it and not have to explain terminology and feelings
5) Having friends who aren’t type 1 is equally amazing because they try really hard to help and understand. They also charge your blood sugar meter on their laptop in restaurants… yay friendship

Comments

  1. :) Been there done that recently! Hope your getting on top of it now. Glad to see you back.

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