Sometimes, you don’t even realise that you’re burning out from diabetes until you’re at the tail end of it. You do what you need to get by the day, rinse and repeat. The biggest question is: how did I not realise that I was going through a diabetes burnout? And how long has this been going on? I failed to see the little things I was doing to cut corners with my diabetes management. Continue reading “Burnout Be Gone!”
Day 7 – Share three blog posts you’ve loved throughout the week.
I can’t believe we’re at day 7 and nearing the end of diabetes blog week! I’ve been collecting some blog posts that I really enjoyed throughout the week. I wish I had enough time to read more but with exam time nearing, things are getting a little bit hectic. And to only choose three blog posts to feature does my head in a bit, because there’s something I can relate to in every post (or look forward to) and I love reading about other’s experiences with diabetes in their lives. But from the limited posts I was able to catch up on this week, here are my three favourites I would like to share, in no particular order.
I was incredibly touched by the bond these two sisters have for each other. Our family don’t really discuss our feelings very often and it is very rare that we bring up the topic of my diabetes. But I know that the concern is there. I remember several times during band rehearsal, when my sister will come up to me asking if I felt okay cos I looked very pale, as that’s one of my hypo symptoms. Even though I came back with normal readings, I love the fact that she picked that up and asked. Or if I’m having a bad diabetes day with hypos and I may write something on facebook about it. My baby sister will get concerned and tell my mum (this was before she discovered facebook). So I love Kim’s post for the reflecting the family love that I have and how important being in that supportive environment is and having cuddles on cue is probably the best thing ever about living at home!
This was a very powerful post that struck a chord very close to home for me. Reading this made me want to give Georgie the biggest cuddle. I was diagnosed in my second year of uni and I very much remember my drive home from the GP after she told me I have diabetes. I felt the same way. I just wanted to drive somewhere. Anywhere. Be alone. I wanted to be anywhere but home because I knew mum was home and I just couldn’t tell her. Not yet. After a lot of tears, anger, frustration and questioning the universe, I finally ventured home and it even wasn’t after a few days that I plucked up the courage to tell her. The wave of emotions, shock, fear and realisation that you have diabetes is…indescribable. But overwhelming and draining are some words I would use. Thank you Georgie for sharing such a raw and emotional post about your diagnosis.
I have this to look forward to when I hopefully get started on a pump. Having seen those beasts of a cannula inserter, it actually freaked me out a bit. I’m sure over time you get used to it like you get used to the injections. But those cannula inserter sets look MASSIVE! Or as Ashleigh adequately describes it – like a pokeball. This memory reminded me of the time I learned how to test my own sugars. It took us a good few deep breaths before I was ready to push that clicker button to prick my finger. Surprisingly, it didn’t hurt as much as those damned disposable lancets that make you bleed forever. I loved the candid description she gave about trying to feel the cannula under her skin and I reckon I would do something similar!
Day 8: Animals
If diabetes were an animal what would it be? Possibly one of the most random questions I have been required to answer!
Perhaps diabetes would be a sly fox – smart and cunning. Diabetes has a way of reminding us of its presence when we least expect it. But there are times where having diabetes becomes a tad handy. Like, being more knowledgable than the average person and pulling that out if they ever annoy you. Or, diabetes camps. Enough said. I have met some amazing and inspiring people on camps (adults and kids alike!). I always look for the bright and funny (and fuzzy) side of things.
Day 9: Caregiving
I’m not a parent yet, but diabetes has added another dimension to starting a family that I could do without. I’m encouraged by friends who have successfully started a family while juggling diabetes. I don’t think I can begin to fathom what it will be as a parent with diabetes. The emotions, paranoia and constant thinking of whether I am doing the right thing for my child is enough to put me off starting a family. But seeing my best friend through her first pregnancy and meeting my beautiful little goddaughter and watching her grow has probably been one of the most heart-warming things I’ve experienced. I’m also comforted by the fact that there are people around me who have gone through pregnancy with diabetes. I’m sure I will have more than enough support to get me through anything.
Day 10: Wordless Wednesday
This week, we had to post a favourite picture of ourselves. This photo was taken over Easter at a family lunch at our favourite local cafe. I’m very close to my mum and I cherish her with all my heart. She’s my rock, support, best-friend and a general go-to person for everything. Her wealth of information in cooking and food astounds me and I hope to be as good a cook as her in the future.
So here’s my Wordless Wednesday.
Day 11: Favourites
This is a hard topic because I rarely have a long-time favourite for anything, let alone a health app or social network.
Currently, I’m missing my iBGStar App. It is so simple to use and sync and even easier to add notes to keep track of patterns. My endocrinologist can see my average readings at the tap of a button. Moreover, it’s colourful. Did I mention it syncs automatically once you connect the iBGStar meter to your iPhone/iPad? Too easy. I haven’t been using it of late, since my switch to the Freestyle Insulinx, which has an inbuilt bolus calculator. I’m yet to get into downloading data and having a good look through that, but at first glance, it looks pretty sweet too.
My favourite social network would have to be instagram for now. It brings out the inner photographer in me and I love the various filter effects and seeing other great photos out there. A picture is worth a thousand words and there’s no place like instagram and their many filters to showcase that.
Day 12: Hindsight
Looking back at the past 4 years and more of living with diabetes, I have certainly learned many lessons along the way.
The biggest thing I have taken away, which is very relevant to my studies at the moment, is how to be a better healthcare professional. I’m currently studying to be a dietitian and our lecturers have always warned us about the grey-ness of healthcare. There is hardly ever any black and white situations and we just have to cope with it. Being a patient or client, I have observed and learned from personal experience what it is like to be spoken to condescendingly by a doctor. But also what it’s like to have a very supportive doctor.
Doctors tend to forget that we, as patients, are still people. We had a great discussion of this on our OzDOC tweetchat earlier this week. OzDOC stands for the Australian Diabetes Online Community (#OzDOC on twitter), open to anyone and everyone. Each Tuesday night, we chat about various topics ranging from diabetes management tips to fun hypothetical things like ‘the first thing we would do if we were cured from diabetes’. So in this week’s topic, we spoke of how we would treat someone with diabetes, after having been on the receiving end of it. And the responses were very insightful and personal. If you are interested, you can read the transcript here (be warned though, we are a chatty bunch!).
During the chat, themes such as judgment and compassion came up frequently, reflecting things we face with almost on a daily basis. Particularly around diabetes and the general public. It instils fear and anger in me that if some health professionals treat us this condescending and ignorant way, what are they feeding back to the general public? On the flip side, it reminded me of why I want to become a health educator within the diabetes area. I want to change this perception that diabetes is bad and self-inflicted. I want people to recognise that small changes in life could decrease their risk of type 2 diabetes by a mile. I want to highlight the fact that diabetes isn’t always black and white.
So with every experience I go through as a person living with diabetes, as a client of various healthcare professionals and as a young adult living life, I aim to become the best dietitian I can be and show my fellow pancreatically challenged friends that having a compassionate and understanding healthcare professional is possible. People like us exist. I have had plenty of fantastic healthcare professionals but I’ve also had my share of rudeness and arrogance too. We just have to be brave, hang in there, and find them.