Within this blog post I will share some information about burnout itself and what I am going through at the minute.
What is burnout?
You can experience burnout with absolutely anything in life, relationships with others, your work, keeping active, to medical conditions, and so much more. The definition of burnout is:
Burn-out is a syndrome which is characterised by energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from the issue, and having negative feelings towards it
Burn-out can be extremely tough to push through and come out of the other side from. You can feel trapped, and that life can never get better. Burn-out especially in a medical sense, can feel impossible to escape from because you have to keep going, you cannot do anything different as there can be dire consequences to your health. There is no set timeframe for burn-out, it can be for one day or it can be for 5+ years, for me this is what makes it unbelievably tough to navigate your way through it.
You can feel completely helpless trying to keep up with life’s twists and turns when you are struggling to just get through the day. Everything just feels far too much, that you are failing, and the worst part is that there does not seem to be a light at the end of this horrible tunnel.
Diabetes and Burnout
Now all of my experience of burn-out has pretty much come from diabetes. As we all know, diabetes is like a second full-time job that you can never have a break from which unfortunately will come up and bite each of us at point! We all feel like we have had enough and cannot do any better.
Burnout can start from just struggling to get your blood sugars down one day or eating food such as pizza which has wrecked the sugars overnight. Or even you reduce you insulin levels and cannot get them to stay in range as they keep dropping. Each time the blood sugars are out of range, we have to alter plans which is fatiguing. This can feel so upsetting to have to cancel or alter plans due to a medical condition. You can just feel defeated that your diabetes is winning and anything you try does not work.
This is extremely dangerous in a medical sense because it can put you off trying to keep your blood sugars in range, which can cause high blood sugars which can lead to ketones à for more information on side effects of high blood sugars please check out: Information Pack for Newly Diagnosed Type 1 Diabetics
You can end up in serious conditions if you do not have the strength or energy to take your insulin, burnout is horrible and can be a scary experience. Sometimes to help you break out of a diabetes burnout you may need therapy, you may need to alter your routine – i.e., switching from an insulin pump to injections, let someone else take charge of managing your diabetes for a bit, or take everything back to basics. Sometimes tactics such as this can help to refresh your brain and help build up the motivation to exit this burnout.
My Current Burnout Experience
Now, I have suffered many burnout episodes over my 18 years as a diabetic, the worst episode lasting for about 8 years and ending up nearly killing myself through DKA levels à if you want to read more about this, please read: My Scariest DKA Experience
One of recent blog posts have shown that I have switched back to my injection pens as I have been struggling at the minute with my insulin pump. Now, I think if I had remained on my pump, I would be in a much worse situation that I am now. I find that when I enter a burnout, the last thing I want to be attached to is a tubed pump! I find changing the cannula and insulin vials can just be far too much effort and energy that it helps me to spiral more!
But even still being on my injection pens, I have struggled so much with my blood sugars, I have found it so difficult to get my blood sugars in range, they have just wanted to sit out of range and not come down for hours. Obviously, I inject far too much insulin and about 4 hours later I’ll got for a walk, and I will then have a monumental hypo! FUN!
The roller coaster that my blood sugars have taken me on recently has been crazy, I have felt very poorly and felt my personality adjust because of constant high blood sugars. It is not a nice feeling. Because of this, I have lost so much love in keeping myself well, I have lost all my motivation and life just feels incredibly tough at the minute managing my diabetes. Thinking about changing my Dexcom or taking my injections just feels far too much, something that I cannot manage to do.
I shared how I was feeling on my Instagram account, asking for tips on how to help myself and the responses that I received bought a tear to my eye. If you want to check the comments out, the post is below:
The amount of messages I received saying they felt exactly the same and how relieved people were that they knew others felt the same and they weren’t the only one. I have made some tweaks to my daily routine which is helping but I definitely have a long way to go until I feel like a human again!
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