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Diabetes burnout, anyone?

Discussion in 'Type 1 Diabetes' started by carlos fandango, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. carlos fandango

    carlos fandango Type 1 · Member

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    Hi all. This is my first post / thread on a diabetes forum, so please forgive me if I tread on toes / break rules / inadvertently do something wrong.

    Bit of background: I'm 43 and I've had T1 diabetes since I was 5. No major complications yet, although I have recently had (succesful) laser treatment for retinopathy.

    I've tried using a diabetes forum before (online ones and once, a 'real life' group), but (and I'm sure this will p1ss some of you off, for which I apologise) I've always ended up avoiding them because I just find them to be depressing. Many / most threads and posts seemed to be about horrible complications, so every time I visited a forum or read a post it just reminded me of how awful things can get. And I don't want to be reminded of that. The group i joined that met up in person just ended up being a morbid discussion about how awful it is to have diabetes. I didn't stay for long.

    So why have I joined this forum? Well, today I found out about something called diabetes burnout. I was searching online for terms like 'diabetes + depression', 'diabetes + stress' etc because, for some reason, I feel pretty close to cracking today. I like to kid myself that i cope really well with being diabetic, and in some ways that's true... but having read about 'diabetes burnout', I now realise that it describes how I feel and think about my condition perfectly. I'm sitting at my desk at work and I'm fighting back some tears because the descriptions of diabetes burnout so accurately reflect how I'm feeling.

    My friends, bless them, are all really amazing when it comes to being supportive and stuff. The problem is, i don't want to turn to them for support. I don't want to keep marking myself out as someone who is different, who is 'less able', who needs help, and who can't cope.

    And so I'm turning to you folk for two reasons - firstly, I'm relatively anonymous and so I don't feel quite so wretched having to admit that i can't cope. And secondly, well - if anyone's going to understand me, it's probably you lot. ;)

    Sorry, i don't have a specific question or anything, and this post is probably a bit rambling, unstructured and random, but that's pretty close to how i feel today.
     
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  2. himtoo

    himtoo Type 1 · Well-Known Member
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    Hi Carlos fandango -great name by the way

    Ok - in my humble opinion here is where you need to look for the ability to cope.

    I have attached a link to "the 5 stages of grieving"
    This was taught to me at diagnosis 42 years ago.
    although it is aimed at dealing with death the similarities are immense when one has a life long chronic illness such as D.
    have a read and see what you think -the main aim is to get to stage 5 as quickly as possible and remember it is cool to revisit this over and over.

    www.drchristinahibbert.com/dealing-with-grief/5-stages-of-grief/

    And yes I too have felt like you do - PM me if you want to talk.
     
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  3. novorapidboi26

    novorapidboi26 Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    welcome aboard mate,

    you will more than likely find people who feel the exact same as you do know and can give support.........:)
     
  4. SueKen

    SueKen Type 2 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Carlos,
    I'm type 2, and have only been so for about 18 months, but in my limited experience this forum has been great. There is loads of positive energy and encouragement, and the opportunity for virtual hugs when you are feeling rubbish. Yes there are also some posts about the less positive sides of diabetes, but for me they act as a motivation to keep on plugging away at this chronic condition that I will have for the rest of my life.
    So, have a big virtual hug from me.
    Sue
     
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  5. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Hi and welcome to the forum Carlos.

    Feel free to discuss things when your good and ready, there's a great support network here so you've come to the right place.
     
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  6. carlos fandango

    carlos fandango Type 1 · Member

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    novorapidboi26 - thanks, that's good to know.

    sue - virtual hugs are always welcome. thank you : )

    noblehead - thanks for the welcome.

    himtoo - thanks for the link. i understand why you posted it, but I'm not convinced it's a useful tool for me, personally. I don't have a problem in dealing with the fact that i have diabetes; i accepted it a long time ago. I think my problem is more like 'exhaustion' than anything else. I'm just, for want of a better word(s), 'burnt out'.

    It's so hard fighting against an invisible enemy; relentlessly putting in a ton of effort merely to keep the tide at bay. And knowing that even if you put the effort in, the tide could easily breach your defenses regardless. It's so easy to just let things slip, especially when the consequences of letting things slip aren't always immediately obvious. I've been taking my eye off the ball more and more over the last few years, which is very likely the cause of the retinopathy mentioned earlier. That diagnosis certainly made me up my game, but after the laser treatment,and a few subsequent check-ups that showed the treatment had been effective, I'm back to square one.

    The nicest thing anyone has ever said to me was said by a nurse last year. After my retinopathy had been diagnosed, she asked how well controlled my diabetes was. I said that it was basically pretty up and down. She didn't criticise. She didn't patronise. She simply said, 'yeah, it must be a nightmare'. And sometimes, that's all I need. A hug while being told this would be nice too, obviously ; ) But just the simple recognition that it really isn't easy, and it really can / does have a huge psychological impact, is just amazing. (Luckily they'd already finished shining bright lights in my eyes by that point, because I really couldn't stop myself from welling up).

    My parents, bless them, were very much of the opinion that one shouldn't feel sorry for oneself - you just get on with it, because feeling sorry for yourself doesn't get the job done. I think my friends are either a bit wary about mentioning my condition, or, more likely, don't want to appear patronizing or condescending. And I don't want to appear needy by asking them to recognize how difficult this condition is.

    So all of this leads me to having to deal with it all on my own. I don't feel I can turn to my family or friends, even though they are all lovely and well meaning. And most of the time, that's OK. But sometimes (and this is becoming more common), I get days like today, weeks like this week, and months like this month where i just want to curl into a ball and cry. Pathetic, I know. But true.

    Anyway. Sorry for the emotional splurge! Really needed to get that out, and this forum feels like it might be a relatively safe place to do that.
     
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  7. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

  8. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    Your far from pathetic and most of us can't relate to what you are saying, it isn't always easy talking to other people who don't have the condition themselves.

    Do you get much support from your diabetes care team Carlos?
     
  9. carlos fandango

    carlos fandango Type 1 · Member

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    Awesome article, thank you! I'll look into getting the book that's mentioned. It's weird, isn;t it? I've had diabetes for nearly 40 years, and it's only today that I've not only learnt that there's such a thing as diabetes burnout, but that there are resources available to help deal with it.

    Sorry if this isn't the right place to ask this, but is there any way to 'turn off' the bit at the bottom of people's posts which state their hba1c results, cholesterol levels, etc? I really hate to say this, and I'm sure some people find it really useful, but i find it incredibly depressing. It just serves to remind me how **** I am at being diabetic : /

    EDIT: it's ok, i've figured out to turn off other people's signatures now. ; )
     
    #9 carlos fandango, Feb 12, 2015 at 3:44 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2015
  10. carlos fandango

    carlos fandango Type 1 · Member

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    My diabetes care team seems to consist of seeing a consultant every 6 months who tells me i need to lower my hba1c, asks if I'm alright, pokes my feet and then says 'see you in 6 months'.
     
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  11. catherinecherub

    catherinecherub · Guest

  12. Robinredbreast

    Robinredbreast Type 1 · Oracle

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    Hello Carlos and a big welcome. This is a great forum for helpful advice and support, also some 'Looney tunes threads' which are fantastic.

    I know how it feels sometimes and this week, well, it's proving tough.

    Take care, with best wishes

    RRB
     
    #12 Robinredbreast, Feb 12, 2015 at 3:50 PM
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 12, 2015
  13. noblehead

    noblehead Type 1 · Guru
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    You should mention to your HCP's that you are struggling to cope with things and see what help they have to offer.
     
  14. VinnyJames

    VinnyJames Type 2 (in remission!) · Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Carlos,

    I could have written your post! That's exactly how I feel although I'm T2 diagnosed around 16 months ago.

    I no longer read posts from people who are really struggling as it depresses me too much. I feel really selfish about this so I often go to the newly diagnosed T2 section of the forum to offer what advice I can.

    Good luck!
     
  15. carlos fandango

    carlos fandango Type 1 · Member

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    Thanks again. Yes, I did a DAFNE course a few years ago and I'm considering going again - it was a real revelation in many ways, not least just in meeting other people with diabetes and realising that they share similar concerns / problems.

    I had no idea I was entitled to any kind of emotional or psychological support. That's amazing. Thank you!
     
  16. millysue

    millysue Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Carlo,
    I am type 2, found this site about 3 weeks ago.

    Last Saturday, could not sleep, checked into one of the forum s. What was being said was silly and so funny! Did it have anything to do with diabetes, no! But all have diabetes in one form or another.
    I had the best nights sleep for ages.

    I can say things to people here that I can not say to others face to face.
    Like I feel my husband is not helping me, he brings home donuts and says would I like one, and pick me up some jam at the shops.

    What I am trying to say, is this is a fantastic site. Lots of people will give you help, advice and above all support. And these people are also in the same boat. So come on in, grab an ore, and help row this blasted boat.;)
    Regards from silly sue
     
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  17. Juicyj

    Juicyj Type 1 · Moderator
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    I have just read your message and after having my annual eye screening, with dilated pupils I feel like crying !! And also hoping that my background retinopathŷ will disappear too !!

    I was diagnosed 3 years ago and have already been through the grieving process, I feel close to burnout at times now, however the pull of keeping myself stable keeps me motoring on.

    Whatever you do not beat yourself up you are not **** at this in fact your an expert so no one ever can manage you better than you if you get my drift, don't guage your results against anyone else, we are all unique and everyone has their own coping strategies to manage this, so for me it's walking with my dog and sometimes meditation when it gets bad, or even just a deep breath every once in awhile, or even a large glass of red !!

    Find what works for best for you, try all forms of relaxation, and then decide. Try to have fun in working this one out though and you will feel better, remember feeling burnt out is temporary ;)
     
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  18. millysue

    millysue Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Forgot. WELCOME !!!!
     
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  19. millysue

    millysue Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Yes LARGE glass of red, yes please! No red left, ok make it a white
     
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  20. hardymargaret

    hardymargaret Type 1 · Newbie

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    I struggled for years with coming to terms with how my diabetes made me feel both physically and mentally. Eventually when I asked for help I was put on a Daphne course and this helped me a great deal but led to me being off work for over a month as I realised just how depressed I felt. A future of constantly thinking about what I ate and how to manage my illness was not what I hoped for my future and I think I went through a sort of grieving process. After a couple of years of being ok I then began to have poor results with my hba1c due to having high readings most mornings above 20. My doctor advised me to get up through the night to check my levels for a couple of weeks it turned out that my readings were fine around 3am but went up after that. At my next/last chec kup I took a print out of my readings to my doctor and again asked for help and he changed my base insulin and hey presto success at last. I even see single figures some mornings. This has led me to try harder with my control and even though I sometimes feel very down and fed up its not so constant as it used to be. I feel that I have been on a long journey in coming to terms with my diabetes and wish that I had pushed for help a bit earlier but sometimes at my annual check up I always felt that I had failed once again to improve but I now feel that it was health care that I received that failed.
     
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