Let’s be real, having diabetes can get pretty old. At least for me it can. Everyday I have to check my ginormous purse to make sure I have all of my in case of emergency supplies ie: juice, needles, extra vial of insulin, blood checker ect. Then there is remembering that lunch is in 30 minutes be sure to check your sugars correct (if needed) and bolus for lunch. Have a snack to avoid a low and more. Some days I would rather pretend not to have diabetes just to remember the good ol’ days before diabetes when life was a lot simpler.
You know what I’m talking about diabetes burnout. Diabetes burnout can be defined as that time in your life you just want to give your diabetes management the middle finger. I feel like most diabetics have been in this lovely phase of diabetes at least once, unless you are like me and this happens at least a few times a year. It’s really easy to get there. The first time diabetes burn out hit me I was a diabetic for about two months. I was tired of sticking myself with needles, drawing blood, and paying attention to what I was eating. I just wanted that cheeseburger right then and there, I didn’t want to have to check my sugars and wait accordingly. I liked to live on a whim, not schedule out my entire day. When my doctor tried scolding me(I’m being dramatic, I’m sure he wasn’t actually scolding me) about my numbers I looked him right in the eye and asked if he had diabetes, when he proceeded to tell me no, I scoffed “than don’t judge me this is time consuming and I have other/better things to do”. Have I mentioned diabetic mood swings? Because I am sure I was in one due to my diabetic burnout.
It’s inevitably going to happen to you unless you have the discipline of Jesus. I just want you to know more than anything you are not alone in this or the only person struggling with this. Here are some tips I found to help you avoid diabetes burnout:
1) Give yourself some grace: In many ways we are our worst enemy when it comes to our own management. We mess up, we get angry with ourselves, and then we enter the crazy cycle. Give yourself a break. We are not perfect and our bound to mess up here and there.
2) Stay positive: Again, we are our worst enemy. When we get down on ourselves it’s easy to stay in the negative. Have encouraging thoughts. Remind yourself that tomorrow is a new day and this one day is not going to determine if you’re going to lose a limb or not.
3) Vent to other diabetics, friends, family: My diabetes group is my saving grace. We always talk about how annoying our diabetes can be and talk about the dumb things we do and have nicknamed our bad days as riding the whip. It’s so nice having other people to talk about that know exactly how you feel. It helps me to feel like I’m not so alone in this.
4) Make a plan: Sometimes we have poor diabetes management due to lack of planning. Think about everything you have to do the following day and prep for it. Are you having an insane week at work? Pack a bunch of snacks that you can eat at your desk. New school/work schedule plan the week out to make the most of it. During the workweek I know I will eat breakfast around 5:30am, have a midmorning snack around 10am, eat lunch around 12:00pm, have an afternoon treat, then dinner around 5:30pm. With that in mind I have premeasured out meals/snacks so that I don’t need to think twice about how much I need to bolus for. If I change my mind on what I preplanned I make sure it is something in the same carb ratio or I have to adjust a little. It’s monotonous and obnoxious but it really helps.
Diabetes burnout is bound to happen, and when it does don’t hate yourself. Think through what triggered it and make a plan for the next time. And please, just know that you are not the only one experiencing this. I feel like diabetes is a little bit like being in a relationship, you are going to have your good days and your bad days, but at the end of the day you are the only one who can change it.