I’ve been quiet about my diabetes recently. When the rest of my life crowds in, a busy time, the amount of head time I have to spend on thinking about diabetes declines. So I am in the middle of a busy time of my life, especially at work, where we have been going through major organisational change.
That is one of the issues about diabetes, it is relentless and you never get a day off. So I am living with the consequences of my lack of attention over the last few months, my blood glucose of late has been higher than I would like and I feel much more tired than usual. It’s a vicious circle and pushes me towards avoidance of a HbA1c assessment and any conversation with anyone about it really (you have no idea how much I have had to push myself to write this down). I really don’t want to hear the bad news from the DSN about an elevated HbA1c.
Although not written about extensively some commentators refer to something called ‘diabetes burnout ‘a term given to the state of disillusion, frustration and submission to the condition of diabetes. When people reach this place they ignore their diabetes, I assume in an effort to find some respite for the unremitting responsibility and thinking that diabetes places upon an individual. I can understand this as diabetes is there for every second of every day and doesn’t just affect me when I eat but affects almost everything; I have to test my blood glucose before driving my car, going to bed, every meal, any exercise, any stress, travelling – actually almost anything that is just part of living.
People with diabetes in my experience don’t usually want sympathy – it’s more of an understanding and forgiveness for those days when it just seems like it’s too much to cope with. Non-patronising encouragement works well for me and focussing on things that are good. I dread a discussion about a ‘poor’ HbA1c which feels more akin to a school report where I know I didn’t revise.
We know that people with diabetes are much more likely to suffer from depression but this paper also highlights that we know less about diabetes and anxiety and the impact on well-being. It urges nurses working with people with diabetes to be aware of the psychological impact of diabetes. It’s worth a read.
If you have diabetes or care for someone with diabetes and you feel you may be depressed there is useful information on the Diabetes UK site here:
I tweeted that I was feeling fed up about my continuously (or so it feels) too high blood glucose readings and I was told I was having a ‘POMPOM’ day (I know it wasn’t meant in a bad way :0) for the person who tweeted it!). I hadn’t heard the description ‘POMPOM’ before and can find no information about it on the web but apparently it comes from the Expert Patient Programme and stands for ‘Poor Old Me, Poor Old Me!’. I have to say I did have a bit of a reaction as sometimes I think I just want diabetes to ‘sling it’s hook’ and give me a day off – I am only human after all! I’m not sure POMPOM is a useful description of how it feels those days when I honestly don’t want to be bothered as I have far too many other things going on.
So – I’m fine – I know I’m resilient but I must get back my concentration and do some exercise. That’s my action plan!