I’ve been going through a bit of a rough patch with my diabetes lately.
I’ve been using an insulin pump for six weeks now. I am loving it, and I do genuinely feel a greater sense of control compared to what I did on Multiple Daily Injections. I feel that I am putting far more effort into my diabetes than I did towards the end of my reign on injections, which is a good thing. I feel motivated to put that effort in, because that effort does produce both results and less stress.
Yet at the same time, the insulin pump has been one of the greatest challenges I have faced in the course of managing my diabetes. There are an endless number of variables I can program for with the pump. Fine tuning the pump settings has taken a great deal of time and incredible patience. With a job that entails physical activity, this workload is essentially doubled. As I’ve somewhat come round full circle in fine tuning my pump settings, I am finding that my basal insulin requirements need to be lowered further. I’m needing to go round the clock again with basal testing (urgh).
The occlusion I wrote about yesterday was the last straw. It set off a rollercoaster of emotions. Sadness, failure, anger and frustration. I’ve been snappy. I’ve been quiet. I felt very tempted to rip out the pump and take a break last weekend. The words fucking diabetes have often been on my breath. I’ve even wished my diabetes away, something I can honestly say rarely happens. Opting out of renovation work last weekend was a tough, but necessary call so that I could have some time alone.
My diabetes educator recently reminded me that sometimes we need to take a step back from diabetes. Not literally, of course. I guess more like trying to put it to the back of my mind, and bringing some of the non diabetes stuff to the forefront.
For me, a big part of dealing with this burnout has been taking a step away from social media. I’ve really just needed a break from reading and engaging myself in the the constant conversations about diabetes online. I’ve pulled out a book, and started reading again. I even finished it. (If you know me, you will know how much of an achievement this is). I made dinner on Thursday night. I’ve focussed my attention finding some different stuff to snack on. I’ve also been ducking out into the Winter sun when it makes an appearance, too.
At the moment I’m just trying to look at my diabetes day by day, and trying not to set unrealistic expectations in fine tuning my insulin pump. I’ve put a plan in place to move past that occlusion. I’m giving the centre of my stomach an indefinite break from insulin pump sites. I visited my doctor last week, and am subsequently applying bruise cream to the centre of my stomach to hopefully heal some of that scar tissue. I’m placing my pump sites on the outer edges of my stomach, and drawing dots in permanent marker to track my rotations. I’m also checking my pump sites when I get dressed each day for signs of bruising and bleeding.
This week, the bruises are finally starting to fade. And with it, I feel like some of that burnout cloud is beginning to clear, too.
Frank, I use four sites in rotation one every 15 days. I use both sides and my lower back on both sides. i never use my stomach since i had two nasty spots. I hope you get to feeling better and like being back on track.
I referred your blog to the TUDiabetes.org blog page for the week of June 27, 2016.
Take it from an old veteran, take time out from the DOC, i have found at times to have become quite distressed with what i have read. Remember behind the pump, the diabetes you are human and take all the time out you need my friend. Sending you positive vibes,
Ugh, I hate that you’re having a rough patch. I wish insulin pumps magically took that all away!! But it sounds like you have the right idea, in taking a step back. I hope it helps you feel refreshed and ready to go again!