Saturday, November 28, 2015


I've read plenty about diabetes burnout. Blogs, books, doctor's pamphlets. It's understandable. Diabetes is there, every minute of every day. And it can often feel like it's between you and your life, every minute of every day. And when I thought about burnout and exhaustion, I pictured something big and well, something deserved. A breakdown after 5 years. A flameout when I am diagnosed with my first health complication.

Instead I got this--a slow but steady fizzle for the past 3-4 months. A "bare minimum" mentality after barely even a year of taking care of things. I went a little easy on things during summer break, and I kind of never got back into the routine of tightening things up. Of course I've still been taking insulin, and dosing, and checking my CGM. But my care has been reactionary--I frankly haven't wanted to do the "hard" part of predicting, and calculating, and adjusting, and well, sacrificing. I've been eating whatever I want, as much as I want, and having a "bolus and watch the CGM and take care of things depending on what happens there" mentality. My exercise schedule has been erratic, as well as my schedule in general. I've been letting myself go to bed high in order to avoid having to wake up during the night to treat a low. I haven't uploaded my data in months, let alone adjusted my basal insulin. Part of this has been because of life changes I've been going through, and the struggle of setting up a new routine. Part of this is because of me, and being tired and defiant and a little bit annoyed with diabetes constraints on my life. Part of this is me, feeling like a cowboy who's got this, thank you very much. All of it is a struggle, and embarrassing to admit. I don't feel wise right now, or calm, or collected, or proud. I have been feeling a little lost. I think this is also why I had trouble explaining my diabetes, as I recounted in the last post. I haven't been thinking, or talking much about it lately at all.

But then earlier this week I got a little gift. My CGM sensor (which had been hanging on for 4+ weeks....long enough that I was considering giving him a name) finally gave up the ghost. Right at bedtime. So I decided to wait to put in another sensor so I didn't have to wake up in 2 hours and calibrate. Then the next morning, I was in a rush so I decided to just put one in after work. I knew that day I would have to be extra careful with what I ate, so I was. I put more thought into my doses and timing. I drank more water and ate less snacks. And lo and behold, when I did prick and check, my numbers were just fine. They weren't great (think between 70-170) but they were good. They were relatively consistent. I felt fine. So I didn't put a sensor in when I got home. The next day, I went on a hike without a sensor for the first time in forever. And you know what? I did go low twice but I felt it coming, felt the face numbing and the anxiety, and I took care of it, but not too much care of it, and I honestly felt just fine. And when I checked my numbers they were okay.

So now it's day 5 without my sensor, and I've eaten the same breakfast every day and I feel fine. I've gotten back in the habit of checking first thing in the morning and two hours before bed and right before bed. I feel fine. I feel safe. I feel like I'm maybe back in the driver's seat somewhat, after careening along in the passenger's seat for a while.

It's not all the way. I still saw a BG of 300 last night after an over-treated low. But I took some insulin and when I woke up in the night to check I was 170 which is okay. I woke up this morning at 77 but I ate my breakfast and it's still okay. I still haven't uploaded my data and I'm sure that my next A1C will be higher than I'd prefer. But I have a doctor's appointment on the books at least, so that's good and that's okay.

That's as good as it gets right now, I think, and that's okay. 

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