Tuesday, June 18, 2013

My Diabetes Burnout

The hardest part about living with diabetes is finding and maintaining the give-a-crap. Have you ever done something so long...a job, a sport, a band...that you can't stand to do it anymore? I mean, by the time you've had the last of it, you just want to burn bridges, throw it in the garbage, or would rather die than do it again. Well, same thing here, except, if I do any of the first two, the third is the result. That reality catches up and causes a realization of just how big of an exaggeration "I'd rather die" is.

Type 1 diabetes means my body does not produce any insulin, which is a natural chemical produced in the pancreas that removes excess glucose from the body. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disorder; it is not caused by eating too much sugar or anything like that, nor is it curable or avoidable. I'm stuck with it. For life...or at least until a reasonable, affordable cure is discovered. Managing this disease takes a lot of attention and structure; doing it right includes frequent blood testing, meal planning, carb-counting, medical supply buying, dosing, stabbing, and that's just the common stuff. There is so much to learn, know, and remember. It's an endless cyclone of "do this" and "don't do that." It's no wonder a distracted, busy, self-destructive individual like me can burnout. Currently, I am doing quite well. But the burnout described above is something that comes and goes.

The burn out is not a thing where now and then I forget to do something, or I went through a rough patch and stopped altogether. It's much bigger and more extensive. I have turned off my insulin pump to make it stop telling me it is empty. I have canceled checkups. I have eaten whatever I want whenever I want. I have ignored my doctor many times. I have gone an entire year without testing my blood sugar even once. I have had an A1C of 10.5. I have experienced blood sugar readings of over 500 many times. Sometimes I wonder how I have survived this long.

For a diabetic, or person with diabetes (some people are super sensitive about which term is used), burnout leads to serious complications, including death. It is imperative that we find ways to maintain or regain motivation. To avoid diabetes burnout, I recommend spending some time on Diabetic Connect.


  1. Just remember those cute babies of yours need a daddy. Hang in there! I have watched family members go through the highs and lows of being type 1...Not fun, I am sorry.

  2. Thanks. I should have probably added that I'm in an upswing these days. Doing well with it this year.

  3. I for one am glad you are doing well right now. No mother could be more proud of her son than I am! I love your blog! You are an amazing guy...

  4. That's why I'm so glad I have you. Not having diabetes nearly as long as you, of course I don't understand how tiresome it will all become after years of repetition. But knowing that you will always understand exactly what I'm going through, plus some, I think that it will make it easier for me. It's easier to feel comforted by a supporter that actually does know what you're going through. Someone to give you a kick in the butt and tell you to "quit your griping and eat your mush". But will also hear out your frustrations and actually be able to say, "I understand" and really mean it. Maybe it will make those burn outs a little more bearable and help me be better and try harder. And I'm so grateful for that.
    And next time you have a burn out, you can always think about being a good example to me. Or I could just make you a good low carb meal to bring you happiness...love you Brother.