It occurred to me today than I am deep in the trenches of diabetes burnout. I’ve been feeling it creeping in over the last few months. I don’t know if it’s the 2 years I’ve been working SO hard on my A1c that did it? Maybe the slight A1c increase at my last endo appointment – the first in almost three years? Maybe it’s that I’ve been sick and my eating & exercise patterns and habits have been off for 6+ months. Maybe it’s because I’ve been having trouble finding patterns so that I can make corrections to avoid these lingering lows and crazy highs that require many SWAG and rage boluses.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been thinking a lot about how naive I was when I was diagnosed. How I thought diabetes was something that would be difficult at first but I’d learn to manage it effectively and lead a normal, albeit much more medically expensive, life. I’m struggling to come to terms with the fact that is not true.
In the early days of my diagnosis, I was also going through a divorce. In light of the emotional fallout I was experiencing, I didn’t really consider the weight of what was happening to my body. Yes, I learned as much as I could as fast as I could, but for some reason I still thought that the longer I had diabetes, the easier it would get.
I suppose in many ways, it has. I use a pump and a CGM now as opposed to 10+ daily fingersticks and 7 or more daily injections. I know how to maneuver through the medical system to get what I need in a timely manner. I’ve developed a network of in real life AND online friends who share my burdens, my struggles and my joys in my life diabetes in a way which few can understand.
But I’m struggling to come to grips with the fact that diabetes isn’t a war I can win*. I will never be victorious when it comes to this disease. I will serve as my own pancreas for the rest of my life without a single break or vacation. I will live in fear of a nighttime low which I don’t wake up from. I will forever be scared of the complications that may be in store for me down the road – even with good management.
I am learning though that diabetes can be a compromise. And it doesn’t sting so bad when you think of it that way. I think of diabetes as my enemy, but it’s a PART of me and we need to work together to stay healthy – even if that diabetes pipsqueak rarely lifts a finger to help with THAT!
But for now, I will sit in my admission: I’m experiencing diabetes burnout. Maybe it’s time to FINALLY pick up that book from Ginger (how lucky I am to call her an IRL friend – who is also serving as my mentor as I transition to gluten free living). I wasn’t ready to read when she gave it to me. I think I’m ready now. Until then, I know I’ve done the hard part. I’ll pick my head up, keep moving forward – and set some alarms on my phone to make me do more than 2 fingersticks a day!!
* I am not positive I’ll see a cure in my lifetime. In all honesty, I don’t even think I’m hopeful for it. But I am grateful for the technological advances that keep being released that continue to change and improve my diabetes management.