Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Honest About Burnout

So I spent a good bit of time dithering last night on whether or not I wanted to post about this.

This is not something I like to admit.  Or discuss.  Or really think about.

I've talked before about my battles with, as Kerri would say, wicked burnout.  I know I'm not the only one who struggles with this.  We all do.

I was doing ok.  Yes, my D care is far from perfect, but I feel like I've been making progress.

Until a couple nights ago.

It snuck up on me.  I never saw it coming.  Then WHAM, out of nowhere, burnout.  Slapped me upside the head and has been kicking my butt the last couple days.  I quick look at my CGM graph shows how little I evidently care.

I have spent most of the last 48-hours above 200.  And it's not my infusion set, or my insulin, or hormones, or any of that.  It's my fault.  There is nothing else to blame.

My old habits are rearing their ugly heads.  Two nights ago found me staying up way too late, sitting by myself on the couch, totally pigging out.  Here I go again.

Before I found the DOC, food was my coping mechanism of choice.  This is not a good thing when you have diabetes.  Sigh.

I thought I'd conquered this demon.  I thought I was done with all of this.  Apparently not.  Because that night, my CGM finally woke me up at 4am with a bg of 408.

408?  Seriously, Jess?  What the fructose is going on here?  Get it together!!!!

Yesterday didn't involve any 400s, but plenty of 200s and 300s.

I really didn't want to talk about any of this.  Because I am ashamed.

But I decided that being honest was more important.  Reading about the things other people struggle with helps me tremendously.  So I figured that maybe sharing this might be able to help someone else.

I still don't like talking about it.  And my endo appointment is in about three weeks, so I definitely need to get my act together!  I've been working really hard to get my A1c down, and I don't want to blow it now!

I am scared.  I never want to go back to that place where I was before the DOC.  Today, I am picking myself up off the floor, and am going to try it again.  I know I have my family and friends and all of you cheering me on.

I can beat this burnout.  Things are different now.  I have more support.  And the apathy isn't there.  I'm ashamed, and I'm scared, and I know this is a good thing because it means I actually give a crap.  I care.

I'm planning out my meals tomorrow, and I'm going to stick to it.  And I'm going to the gym after work.  The burnout and emotional eating is NOT going to get the best of me.  You can do it, Jess!!!


  1. No shame allowed. We all have those times and it's not easy to get out of them. So, yes, you can do it, Jess!!!

  2. you CAN do it! hang in there :)
    lately i've been feeling the burnout more from school than diabetes, but it's def been affecting my D-management. i feel like i don't have the time or brain power to focus on making D-related adjustments because i'm just trying to get my semester's work done. i'm supposed to go to see my CDE next week, but might put it off. stress stinks. you're not alone with the burnout!

  3. Not only the burnout, but the food issues.... yes.

    Just, yes.

    You can do this!

  4. Each day (or moment even) is a chance to try it again and do your best. We all have slip-ups and it's easy to fall back into old patterns, but it sounds like you are now more confident about beating the burnout. I've been going through some serious burnout myself. I need to to do the same thing--plan out meals and workout more. You can do it!

  5. Jeez...I think it is going around...Joe too. Just this morning while eating his toast - "I hate diabetes"..."Everything about it"...we weren't even doing any "D" care or nothin'...just outta the blue.


    You can do WILL do this. Sadly, none of us have a choice in this. So, we are in it together. I'll tug up your left boot strap, while you tug up the right girl...WOOT!

  6. Good luck Jess! I think I'm falling in the same boat, and we all do from time to time! You can do this with the help of the DOC! Life is easier with people who understand!

  7. Yes, it is going around... I'm also a constant snacker and frequently guilty of putting more food in my mouth without-bolusing - and NOT caring. Used to happen more often than it does not, probably just because of all of the DOC and writing and talking about it. Writing about it does help for me, keeps me accountable. So here's to conquering burnout quicker and more successfully, with the aid of the DOC! Go, Jess!

  8. Burnout sucks completely...but, paying attention (to CGM, BG averages, just doing/noticing BG #s) can often lead gently back into more actions to take care of ourselves. You can start slow, you don't have to do it all at once. We are all in the same boat, and understand what you're feeling. Take it easy on yourself. You're doing what you need to do, right now. You *can* do it.

  9. You CAN do this!

    And good for you for posting. Shame can't survive when you talk about the thing you're ashamed of (and find out you're not alone). Authenticity trumps all.

    Rock on, Jess

  10. Hi Jess, Happens to the best of us, I think the important thing is to recognize burnout for what it is, a temporary state that can be worked through, and it seems to me that you have started that process already....Great job, keep up the good work...

  11. Jess,

    We all hit stages of burnout, it's normal and, honestly, we should all expect it from time-to-time. I know I do and it helps me to post about it as well.

    Don't beat yourself up too much over it, you'll get back on track because you want to.


  12. i think the burnout is worse because other, (shall i liken it to a hobby? ergh, or other thing you spend alot of time doing) you can switch of, say a treadmill and leave it gather dust in the corner and revisit it when you feel 'up to it'. D is still there. Cut yourself some slack. You havent failed, you fell off the wagon for like, 1 night. you are human. please forgive yourself! this is tough work. (im a type 3, toddler son has D.)

  13. Hey Jess
    Not much to add that hasn't already been said. Burn out is terrible....but like you I do the food/eating thing to deal with it. I usually judge how I'm going with my overall management by the amount of bolus I'm "doing" - the higher the greater the burnout.
    Great to see a good vent. here's hoping for a better day "in the shelter of each other". (Yes I stole that line