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Diabetic Burnout


I am 53 years old, have two sons, and am married.  I have had Diabetes for the last 50 years, which has always been under very  good control. Last year I went to the Joslin Clinic for a week long clinic. I have always been fine with my Diabetes, but just recently, I find myself saying, "why do I bother with the 4 or 5 fingersticks a day, adjusting insulin, exercise and diet.  I have heard about Burnout, and think this is probably whats happening to me.  I don't know what to do about it.  I just feel like giving up.  Any ideas how to make this go away?

Thank you.
4 Responses
Avatar universal
Hello Lilyllama,
You took a good step in reaching out as a way to begin getting thru a period of burnout.  Sometimes, the holidays add additional stress so that things seem harder and sometimes futile.

For many of us long-timers, periodic of bouts of "why bother" bring us back to things we treasure in this life -- family, friends, volunteer work, careers, faith, etc.

How to get thru a bout of "why bother" often starts with a difficult but necessary step ... reaching out to others to either ask for support (as you have done) or to help others with their difficulties.  Given your awesome success over the past 50 years, I'd encourage you to look up the closest JDRF office where you can volunteer some time, and you'll quickly find folks can **SO** relate to the emotions & the struggles you're working thru.

Seems that a key to getting past our own troubles can be to put them into a different perspective -- one that causes us to be more grateful for the health we do enjoy, the technologies that have enabled us to "know our numbers," and the insulins that are purer & quick-acting or purer & long-acting as we need.

I hearya, Lilyllama (great name, by the way -- what's the story behind it?) -- that some days/weeks can be exhausting & discouraging.  Thankfully, most of the 50 years you've managed your care have been better than that -- and the years ahead can be quite terrific too.  I've come to realize that the emotional ups & downs are a normal part of living with a chronic illness -- particularly for those of us who refuse to allow diabetes to BE the center of our lives, and prefer instead to LIVE our lives while managing as well as we can -- one day at a time.

Best wishes for a light heart in 2007... and I hope you find good new pals thru JDRF.
Avatar universal
Hi JDRF-Team,

Thank you for the advise, atleast I'm not alone, but I knew I wasn't.  I just didn't know where to go.  My MD wants me to see a therapist, or like you suggested a support group. I looked up the closest JDRF Office, and it is about 1 1/2 to 2 hrs away from my home.  I know there is a program in Vermont, that I would like to go to.  The name of place is Green Mountain at Fox Run. It's connected to the Joslin Clinic. It runs for a week to 4 weeks.  Unfortunately the cost is approx. $1700.00 a week. (thats out for me) Two boys in College. I'm going to keep searching tho. If you know of any programs like this, please let me know.  I'm sure I'll be OK, I have never dwelled on my Diabetes. My lifestyle doesn't let me, nor would I let it. I think I'm just really surprised, all this time with Diabetes, and now I feel like this??  YUK.  If you have anymore advise, I would really like to hear it.  I felt like somebody else knew what I was going thru.  Thank you again.

P.S. I raise Llamas, and Lily is one of my Females. Probably my favorite lama, but I don't tell the rest of my herd, they might be jelous. (only kidding).
Avatar universal
Hi, there. I'm blue_eyes51988, I'm 18 yrs. old, a freshman in college, and I've had diabetes for the past 9 yrs. and have been on the pump for the last 4 yrs. You probably don't know who I am but I read you're question and I've gone through the exact same thing - feeling kinda depressed, just don't care anymore, feel like giving up - and it's not easy but the first step to feeling better is just talking to someone close to you or someone who has diabetes and understands what you're going through. I've been to the point were I just wanted to end my life because that seemed like the only way out of dealing with this nightmare of constantly checking my blood sugars, taking insulin, and managing all of the highs and lows along the way. I told my mom how I felt and she told me not to give up because sooner or later they're going to find a cure; it may not be tomorrow or for a good while after that but they'll find it. Just this past December, I was on the brink of insulin shock because I was stressed beyond my limits and I just didn't care anymore. I think what pushed me to that limit was having to stand by and watch my boyfriend, on the ground, having a seizure in a classroom and having his sociology instructor pull me aside and tell me what happened; after they had put him onto a stretcher, they took him in an ambulance to the hospital. Of course, I went to the hospital as soon as I could and when he saw the tears running down my face, he told me to come over to the bedside and when I did, he pulled me close to him and started crying; he was crying because he didn't want me to see him in that state. But I'm getting off track... I know how it feels and I don't want to experience that again. This probably sounds like some kind of pity letter but it's not, okay? I'm just saying that I know what you're experiencing because I've experienced it for myself and I was almost hospitalized for it. Coping with the thought of this never-ending cycle is the first and probably the hardest step to accomplish but just keep going; God never gives us more than we can handle. :)
Avatar universal
Hi there,
Y'know the feeling of wanting to "give up" does cycle thru us from time to time.  Depression is common among folks who, like us, deal with chronic diseases.

Be sure to mention these feelings to your doctor -- really!  Sometimes the feeling is the result of lousy control which affects our moods & emotions & makes it difficult for us to handle our lives.  As you pointed out with such kind compassion, talking to someone about the feelings can help us a LOT.

I know you're busy as a college student, friend, and family member.  Find an in-person person you can talk to who also has the capacity to help you.  At most colleges, there are counselor and if you're lucky enuf to be close to a branch of JDRF, you'll also find the chance to get AWEsome support from folks who know exactly what you're dealing with.

Good luck, and take care of you :-)
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