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The Importance of Being Honest.

It's not all THESE.I have been writing on this blog about life with diabetes for five and a half years, and I am always proud to share the successes.  But it's easy to share the good stuff.  It felt good to tell everyone about being pregnant, and having really solid A1Cs throughout my pregnancy.  It felt good to keep those numbers steady while I was breastfeeding.  I felt like I was in control, at least to a certain extent.  And I felt proud to share that control.

But the past three months haven't felt good in any diabetes-related way.  I don't feel like I'm in control of my diabetes.  Honestly, I don't feel like I'm in control of anything.  And I'm not proud to share this.  I'm embarrassed and feeling sloppy and burnt out and a little sad.

Last week, I was at Joslin for an appointment with my endocrinologist.  She and I reviewed my blood sugars, of which there were few.  

"I'm not testing as much as I'd like to be.  Sometimes, I'm taking a fasting number and then not checking again until early afternoon.  I'm down to like four times a day.  And I'm not going to lie - I wrote these numbers down this morning while sitting in the waiting room.  I also made that one up," I said, pointing to a number on the sheet that represented a "before bed" test, but was actually a "before bed" from a completely different day.

She looked at my pathetic logbook and made some notes in her computer system while I purged my diabetic guilt.

"I did great while I was pregnant, didn't I?  And then while I was breastfeeding?  It seems like when it mattered for my daughter, I was able to put her first and make my health a priority.  But now, I'm in wicked burn out.  I don't CARE about a shred of this crap.  I don't want to test.  I am going through the motions in changing my Dexcom sensor and my pump sites.  I'm just ... pffft about the whole mess.  Is that normal for women after they have a baby, after all the hyper-intensive management?"

We talked for a while about how extreme the focus is on diabetes management while pregnant.  And how being checked on every week makes for a higher level of accountability, and as a result, a higher level of attention to diabetes.  How can things go off the track when you're being monitored so closely?

"It's very common for women to feel burnt out after they have the baby, especially if they were also breastfeeding.  That's more than a year of very intense management.  But what can we do to help you make changes for the better?"

The labwork technician came in to take my A1C.  While we waited for the results, my doctor checked my feet and my weight.  "You're two pounds away from your pre-pregnancy weight - nice job!" she said.

"I'll take the small victories," I replied, and the phone rang.

"Yes, okay, thank you," my endo said on the phone, and then set it back on the receiver.  "Your A1C came back at 8.6%."  She didn't make a face.  She didn't show any emotion at all - no judgment.  She just waited for my response.

"Whoa, that's much higher than I thought it would be.  I figured it would be up there, but not that high.  I haven't have that high of an A1C since college."  I felt completely deflated.  And like a crappy advocate.  And a crappy diabetic.  And knowing I wasn't in the best health to care for my daughter made me feel like a crappy mom.  "That's a pretty shitty number for me, especially where I was at for the last year and a half.  But I'm so spent and so burnt out on this diabetes garbage that I can't even muster up a big pity party or a bunch of tears.  I'm just like 'whatever.'  Yay apathy?"

She and I worked out a very small plan for change, including returning to see my certified diabetes educator in three months.  And my goals for the next three months are to test more and to try and iron out my overnight basal rates.  (Because I'm still in the "what the hell happened" mode of post-pregnancy, trying to find the right insulin goals for my still-adjusting body.) 

Apathy is good at times, because it keeps you from crying over a number you can't change in an instant.  Apathy helps you keep the feelings of self-loathing, guilt, and distress at bay.  But it also keeps you from feeling like you can make change because you just plain don't care anymore.  I can't change my A1C overnight, and I can't remove diabetes from my life equation, but I need to care again.  Even though I don't have a baby growing in my belly to keep my head in the game, I still need to take care of her.  And taking care of her means taking care of myself. 

So I left the appointment feeling something.  I'm not sure what, but at least I felt something.  I felt like I was ready to try again, and ready to stop ignoring a disease that affects every moment of my day.  And I left feeling slightly empowered, because like Chris told me over the phone when I called to tell him my new A1C, "Now you know where we're starting from.  And now you can make changes that bring you to better health.  We'll do this together."

And it felt good to actually feel something, instead of this emotional health void I've been in for the last 12 weeks or so.

I wish I had successes to share.  I'd love to end 2010 with the same feeling of inspiration I felt at the end of 2009, where I knew my world was changing.  But now, I have to understand that while everything changed, so much still hasn't.  My family has grown, my job has changed, and my home is different, but diabetes hasn't changed.  I need to reign it back in and make it more of a part of the background noise instead of assigning it to its own set of surround sound speakers. 

It feels good to share the triumphs, sure.  But I think this online community is just as important in helping us handle our tougher times.  This is an honest life with diabetes, not one that's all rainbows and unicorns

And that's that.  Thanks for letting me vent, you guys. 

Comments

Being honest is good. And I can only imagine how hard it must be to keep up the mirco managment after BSparl arrived. You are so busy w/ her on top of the diabetes burn out.
As for being a good advocate, by being honest you are being the best advocate of all. By being honest it helps those going through similar things to feel like they can relate to you. And that's the best part of all.

You have shown me that these times when we feel down or upset is when we need each other more than ever.

Chris is right, as you know, that at least you know where you are and can make your moves accordingly.

You are still an inspiration to me even with an A1C of 15! I don't think being burned out makes you a bad advocate, it just makes you human. And that is just the kind of person I want standing up for me.

I can't tell you what it's like to be a mom with diabetes but I can say what it's like to be a mom. And I think we all go through this in some way - probably not as "in your face" as having the accountability of a crap a1c - but in many ways once you have that baby your focus of life shifts from you to the baby. It's the way it's supposed to happen. Otherwise, we'd all walk around and selfishly never think first about our kids. The trick for all of us, is finding the balance - how to stay happy and healthy for you and how to stay happy and healthy for your children. Somewhere along the line they will mesh in some way. You'll find it. :)

(((hugs)))...I know the juggling act all too well...I remember those days with the babies and trying to take care of me too...it is still hard to do even with them older now just in a different way...it's a tough road some days...you have your restart point and even in our weakest moments we always grow a little bit stronger...You will never be in any way a disappoint to the DOC! You're amazing! xoxo

My last A1c was 8.6% as well. My next appointment is on Monday, January 3 (nothing like ringing in the New Year with an endo appointment!) and I don't think my A1c will have gone down very much. I'm sort of a "sometimes" diabetic - I sometimes test when I should, I sometimes take my Metformin, I sometimes exercise.

I also appreciate that you shared this. I know that it must have been hard and that you probably feel pressure to be perfect or at least really good. So I appreciate that you are as honest about this as you are about everything else diabetes.

Hugs, Kerri: and welcome to the world of caring more about your child than you do about yourself. This is Mommy-ism at it's best. We will do ANYTHING for our child -- if BSparl needed you to walk over burning coals while doing a blood sugar check while at the same time juggling three pumps and a CGM meter just to make her gurgle a happy sound, you'd do it. But we moms lose track of doing ANYTHING for ourselves too. I know . . . I've not taken great care of myself (not diabetes . . you know i don't have it) but my girls have had everything they've needed all their lives. Finding the balance . . . that's the trick. And remember that old mantra: It's not a sprint. It's a marathon.

The truth will set you free, right? And, honesty is the best policy, right? And, there's always tomorrow, right?

The truth is ALWAYS appreciated and is often the best tool for education.

Thank you for being brave and putting yourself out there to paint the WHOLE picture of T1 diabetes.

This mom of a CWD is grateful for your honesty.

First off, I think people are comforted by your candor. It is a lot of pressure to manage this condition 24/7/365...hour-to-hour, meal-to-meal, activity-to-activity. I think most moms are burnt out from just the pregnancy and nursing bit...and then to throw "d" in the pic...well no wonder you are apathetic. Glad you have a starting point and a partner that has got your back!

We must be on the same page a little...even though I am a type 3...I have been slacking on a basal assessment for Joe...I haven't done one for like a freakin' year. The kid is always active, always doing something and getting in the basal assessment hasn't been convenient. Well it is cold, windy, and snowing here in VT today...so guess what we are doing?...movies and a basal assessment. I have had to bribe him with mac and cheese and ice cream to get him to to make it this far. Wish us luck!

XOXO to you Kerri! Thanks for the honesty.

You know I'm there with you, for different reasons entirely, but you know.

I started working out again last week. Not a whole lot, but with hopes I can stick to a regular schedule. And testing, which I hadn't done in weeks.

thank you for sharing this with us - i can totally relate - i am also a new mom and pwd (my beautiful daughter is a little over 4 months now) and it's just impossible sometimes to find the time to do what needs to be done...i've been thinking about starting to wear my Dexcom again so that i will know where i'm at even if i'm not testing as often as i was before and during pregnancy...you are doing a great job and i'm sure you will get back on track...thank you for inspiring us and also for sharing your not-so-proud-moments (that we can all relate to) and of course thank you for sharing those adorable pictures of your little princess with us!!

It's not easy for any of us to share when things aren't the way we'd like them. But we are all human and have all been in similar situations. So you're definitely not alone! I'm so glad that you have such a supportive husband to help you through this rough patch. And I hope that 2011 brings you in the right direction of feeling better. All around.

Thanks for the post and honesty Kerri. I have two kids under 4, a husband in Afghanistan and I am an RN CDE. I feel guilty for my high HbA1c and the fact that I am not in better control but I am in the same place as you with the apathy. Once you have kids, your priorities change and it's easy to say you should stay healthy for your kids but harder to do when you are taking care of their every needs. Take it one day at a time and celebrate the small victories. You can get back in control! And don't be afraid to share your emotions with your support people - they need to know how you are feeling! Best of luck!

Kerri...I can't tell you how much this post means to me. I was completely freaked out before Sugar's endo appointment last month. I was sure I had failed her in some way, because I know I've been distracted.

I hear stories of other A1c's in the 6's and 5's...and I feel as if I must be doing something wrong -- thanks to your honesty here, I find reassurance that it's just part of the journey...and there's always hope for renewal.

Seriously, Kerri. Thank you. You'll never know how much.

Kerri, I know how the first year of motherhood makes a woman want to immerse herself in all that is her child. That’s how it is supposed to be. That is what is natural. What isn’t natural is having to do all that managing diabetes to a 6.4 A1c entails. You are doing everything you can to help that incredible little girl get the best start in life she can have. Right now it is your instinct to make her come first. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Things will level off in the months (and years) ahead and you will find your motivation and energy to once again reign in those blood sugars. So you had an 8.6! You’re human and you are doing two of the hardest jobs in the world: being a mom and being a person with type 1 diabetes. You are still an amazing role model and a fantastic mom! ((HUGS))

First time commenter here. I was diagnosed with Type 2 in Sept. mere weeks before my wedding. It has been a struggle to get used to testing, tracking carbs, etc. My wife has been a big support for me, but there have been days I've just not tested and eaten right. Your blog has been very helpful in trying to come to terms and learn more about diabetes.

I've not posted on here before but just wanted to say I'm in the same boat.

My son was born a month after BSparl. My blood sugars were excellent during my 7 months of pregnancy (yeah -- he came 2 months early) with A1cs hovering right at 5.5% the entire time.

Excellent for his first 4 months out of the womb....and then I returned to work. They've been out of control ever since. I test 2 times per day (compared to 10-12 during pregnancy).

My next endo appt is in Feb. I've set a goal to test 6 times per day AND to better manage my basal rates AND to accurately take insulin based on carbs (instead of randomly deciding that I'll do X amount of bolus) AND to lose the extra weight AND to feel better about myself because I've done all of the above.

It's definitely hard work but we have to do it for our babies (and our families).

Thanks for the reminder and openness. I appreciate it.

Best of luck to you!

We all have had the hba1c wake up call. But it sounds like you are owning up to it and making changes to get better control. I had a bad hba1c 4 months ago and my last one a month ago was back to my normal 6.2. Sometimes the peaks are there to help us get back to the valleys. And your doctor sounds awesome, I once had a diabetic educator yell at me for 30 minutes for someone elses hba1c which was 10, I didn't even get an apology she just shrugged it off. So you have a good doctor and a plan for progressive change sounds like you get back to normal control.

I made a very similar post on my blog around the same time in my life -- it's like PPD for people with diabetes or something. You just. don't. care. at some point. Totally normal.

I was at the joslin last week - expecting a ridiculously high A1c because I'm wiped out. out of balance 300's followed by 40's. I am traveling too much for work, away from my husband and the work is challenging. so diabetes take a back seat I am eating at New York's finest this is my compensation. But I know the apathy. I've been checking but only to see just how high I am or low. My Endo was his ever steady self. no judgement. My A1c came back 7.1. it's been slowly creeping up but that number didn't matter what matter was feeling out of control and blah about it. I think - theory only - but when we are feeling blah and we are met with "it happens, you know how to course correct" getting back on the horse is more palatable. I was hoping he would tell me I couldn't travel and instead he said I had to figure it out what ever that means to me. The truth is it's constant and the pendulum swings go too intense one way and we bound back to the other. The difficulty is in the middle. Here's to being worth the attention to course correct.

Why check blood sugar even 4x per day when you have a Dexcom? The important thing then is to check the Dexcom. And why right down the blood sugar numbers when you could just upload your Dexcom data?
Or did I miss something and you're not wearing the Dexcom anymore?
I think it's important when you're feeling burnt out to eliminate the least important diabetes things first. And that includes logging for sure!

Kerri,
Thanks for your honesty :-)

I'm not a new mom but I am a type 1 who has slacked off in my diabetes care the past few months. I have an endo appt coming up in two weeks and I've been dreading it because I know my A1c is going to be higher than I would like it to be.

Friends and family always ask "how's your diabetes" and it's easy to share the good news or just say "fine". It's not so easy to be honest, so thanks again for sharing. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

Kerri take good care - there isn't a harder time than after your little kid is born, when ALL your basals have changed, your other ratios, the way you eat or don't eat, the way you are wiped, the way you process insulin. I know BSparl and CSparl will be excited to help you get back to where you want to be and that you'll get there too - all of us want you to and need you to. I have felt exactly like this and this is where I always wish, for me, that high blood glucose were a little bit painful - something that could reposition us to take the time we need to take. Here is wishing you, and all of us, equal parts peace, acceptance, and motivation.

I like reading this side of things, because I feel less alone knowing I'm not the only one feeling these things. Having said that, I hope that you can get out of the burnout cycle. I am fairly certain, knowing the kind of tenacity you possess, that you'll be back in gear in no time. Until then, know that we're here for you, whether you need to vent your frustrations or celebrate your achievements.

I got bashed the other day by email for having a 5.3% A1c and I tried to explain that a big part of that A1c is being home all day. I can't go out of the house during the day by myself because I've got twins and because there is no extra money lol. The point is...Kerri, you are like full throttle. You are posting all over the place (quality posting) and you have a newborn, and you still make sure to go to your doctor visits, and you take the time to keep working, traveling for your work, traveling with your hubby in support of his work, and somehow finding the time to take the cutest pics of your baby girl and I just want to say that if I was doing all that, I'd have a much harder time with glucose numbers. Don't be so hard on yourself. Many non-diabetics don't accomplish as much as you do. And the apathy thing is in my opinion, a survival tactic we all have kick in from time to time. If I don't get this way several times a year I walk around a teary blubbering mess. Honestly, the more I do, the busier I am, the harder time I have with diabetes. I just hope you give yourself big kudos for doing so much so well. Something always falls through the cracks a little when we're busy. Once again, you sound like you're turning your focus again towards your blood sugar numbers. It's what I should be doing too because this past week all I wanna do is delete diabetes out of my life. Here is the diabetes guilt syndrome at work again. Don't let it win! And thanks for echoing so many of our thoughts/feelings/fears

You're not a bad anything, Kerri. You're human. You are ALLOWED to not be perfect. In fact, most of us would prefer that. No one needs a roll model that's perfect.

As for being a good advocate, I think this makes you an even better one than you were before. Even though you were pretty darn good before.

Don't you always say that most non-diabetics just don't get how serious diabetes is? That sometimes we make it look far too easy to manage than it really is? So now you're just showing everyone that there is truth in that.

Diabetes is a pain in the butt (and fingers, and abdomen, and...)! There are literally 100 diabetes related things we have to do daily. That's bound to lead to burn-out.

So cut yourself some slack on this one. We give you permission to go easy on yourself in the blame/guilt department. And with people like Chris & SuperG (and BSparl!) in your corner, you'll be back on the right track in no time.

And even though this is already far too long, I wanted to add that I've learned more about how to be a better diabetic & advocate by reading your blog than I ever did from any doctor. Thanks!

Hun, well done for admitting that you don't care right now. Remember my blogs last week? - I'm there too right now. It takes a lot to admit it.

Totally know how you're feeling. But don't worry, you can get there. We all get burnt out sometimes =]

I know how much work goes into managing my sons diabetes. I know how much work goes into being a new mom/mom. I admire that you can do both how you do. I feel like im in a circus act most days. Yyoure human. We all are. Not perfect by any means.....

Hang in there, Kerri! The hormonal fluctuations will die down, and your mood will lift, and you'll be back to yourself soon.
We all have fluctuations, and rough times. I think the goal is to put one foot in front of the other -- if you can get even one thing under control, the others will follow. Anyone in a long-term job (diabetes IS a job!) has periods of burn-out, but the goal is to get through them and come out the other side. I'm hoping for the best for you!
Natalie ._c-

You are the BEST kind of advocate, Kerri, because you are honest and make us all know that we're not alone in our struggles and challenging times. By talking about it honestly and openly, we can also help to be your cheering squad as you work toward your goals. We're pulling for you, Kerri!!!! Big hugs!

Thanks for posting!

I had my wake-up call this spring/summer. I had 2 lows that I have no recollection of (i.e. woke up in the ER), followed by an A1C of 8.4, officially being dxed as hypo-unaware, etc.... while trying to balance teaching full-time while changing careers (involving taking intense science classes and shadowing medical professionals). My primary (who "I don't have as good a handle on the diabetes stuff as you do") and I developed a plan to get me back on track while I was out on workman's comp (for something not diabetes related).

At Thanksgiving, I was happy to get an A1C of 7.0. It takes a lot of time and energy to get numbers that great!

You can do it! We're all here cheering you on!

Remember that video ninjabetic did a while back when he said something about going down so you can see the light or something along those lines? This post somehow made me think of it....

And irony is that my control has been less than stellar too the past few months, in my case not b/c of burnout but b/c of stress, but at the end of the day, we always can pick up the lessons and start again tomorrow. Remember the optimistic hamster? ;)

Here is a BIG HUG, Amiga!

I so appreciate your honesty. Life with diabetes is definitely not all rainbows and unicorns!! Thanks for being real.

Just wanted to chime in with my own virtual (((hugs))) and echo all the people who've said not to beat yourself up. What you are doing is hard. Don't expect perfection; if you need to slack off for a bit... it happens. Things will improve, but don't feel too guilty if you aren't jumping right back in there... to extend the marathon metaphor, if you have a stitch in your side, it OK to walk instead of run for a bit...

With a 2 1/2 year-old, I have definitely had the 'I just don't care' feelings. Motherhood is amazing, exhausting and demanding and the truth is it's easy for diabetes to get lost in the shuffle. I just sent my husband and little boy off to see grandparents while I stay home for a week and try to get my health and life back on track. Not an easy thing to do, but I needed it!

Thanks for being honest. Makes us all feel like we're not alone when we feel these same things!

Kerri, you are an excellent advocate because you are real and honest. You give me comfort and help me understand that the ups and downs I go through aren't failures, but part of the journey of this riduculous disease. We are all works in progress and it's nice to hear you talk about the same challenges that I face. We can only do the best we can do at any given time. And NO ONE is able to give 100% all the time.

Hang in there. You will turn it around. And we'll all be here to share the excitement of that news with you! :)

Kerri,

I've been reading your blog daily for a while now and I've always appreciated your honesty and perspective on life with Type One. I'm also a type one and I'm going through the "I don't care about this disease right now". Thanks for making me feel like I'm not alone and I'm not the only one going through it!

Kerri-
I hear you! I just finished up nursing school, and during those 4 semesters, nursing school was my life, and my day to day D care definitely did lack some. Not horrendously, but it was definitely not what it should have been because of all the stresses, etc. that are nursing school. But - guess what?! Fresh year, fresh start. That's the way I'm looking at it. I don't make new year resolutions, but I do definitely think about one thing in particular to try to do better that year. This year, 2011, getting my diabetes life back together.

Oh I so appreciate your honesty my dear friend Kerri! You are human, a new Mom and juggling about 7 things at once. Welcome to Mommyhood right?! You will get back on track, and feel better about the whole situation. I have faith that you will. I want to tell you thank you for sharing what life is really like, without the unicorns that fart glitter and all :0)

It actually helps me reading this because I feel the exact same way (except I don't have a baby). Thanks for always being so honest Kerri, it really does help us that are reading you! Keep your head up!

It's true Kerri you will have to decide to make the change, no one can make you test your blood. I try and do it 5 times a day and I do not have a dexcom. But I don't snack and I have adjusted my basal rates and insulin to carb ratios that make it so my blood sugars are usually good. My hba1c has been holding steady at 7.9 and now 7.6. The past few weeks with so much food and sugar available, has gotten me off track. But you are right take care of yourself for your child's sake. Thats what I do, and even when my kids are screaming I test, or change sites. Imagine that they are screaming like that because they want to be with you at that moment, imagine how sad they would be if you were gone?? Anyway we all go through our ups and downs literally but you will get through it.

I think you are an inspiration! One day I will send my daughter to this site to read your blog posts and be inspired. I remember the first years of motherhood and I could barely think straight and I didn't have diabetes to contend with. I know it is hard. Keep your head up. I for one think you are doing beautifully!

The only thing that keeps me testing regularly is the fact that I feel like crapola if my bloodsugar is not in normal range. I think when I was a young diabetic my body could handle the feeling of high bloodsugars, now I feel absolutely awful. That is the only thing that keeps me testing every two hours as I have felt burned out for years.

I was reading a book called "Angry Fat Girls" about a woman who lost over 100 pounds and then gained it all back. She was feeling pretty miserable about it all until she read an email that said "If you had not gained weight again, I would not be alive today."

You never know what is going to really touch someone and by simply being honest about your story, you could be saving someone's life or sanity or both.

I am currently trying to lower my A1c to 6 (you can probably guess why) and I was feeling pretty rotten about the whole thing one day and then I read a post about how your sugar had accidentally shot up to 300 and man, did I feel better.

"There is a crack in everything... that is how the light gets in." - Leonard Cohen

I actually started reading your blog because my A1C went up 1.4 points in 3 months and all I kept thinking, "Her life is just as crazy, if not crazier, than mine. If she can do it, so can I." Even knowing that you're not perfect, you're still an inspiration and a beacon of hope. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

Thank you guys, so, so much. Your words are more appreciated than you can even imagine. (( hugs )) to every one of you.

First of all.... Back to prepregnancy weight? That is not a small feat! That is awesome!!!

I totally agree with Michelle and Moira. Being a Mom means you put your child first- even to your own detriment. It just does. That's why since Sweetpea's dx I've barely exercised and gained.... Well, let's not talk about it!

You'll get there. You will. You'll figure it out. Because that DARLING child relies on you, looks up to you, and loves you more than words! You'll do it for her... And you!

Girl, you made me tear up a bit... I am also in a burnout phase and it just plain sucks.

Thanks for posting this, it makes me feel less alone in all this

Hang in there Kerri, it will all settle down again. I know this because 1) you have a child and husband who love you and 2) it's what we do

Truth and reality..you haz it.

excellent post. (as usual) :)

Nobody can keep a positive spin on a chronic disease every day.

Give yourself a break. You will have better days.

I also experienced a similar withdrawal from my Diabetes. At the beginning of the year I got my first pump. I tested multiple time during the day, counted every single carb, downloaded by pump to my carelink and was able to achieve a 6.5 for the first time in my diabetes live of 38 years. But as the months pasted I slipped away into diabetes burnout and my a1c moved upward.

I knew before the a1c was done that I had not maintained or improved. I was concerned that my added mechanical addition (my pump) was not going to eliminate my constant care of diabetes. I realized that only I can manage it. One day at a time. One test at time.

I found that if my meter was tucked away in my purse, I was less likely to test. So now it sits on the counter, on my desk on the bathroom sink. I put it in front of my face.

I was impressed with your Dr. plan/approach to get things in line for you.

Kerri, everyday you encourage us to take care of ourselves with your blogs and stories that you share. Now it is our turn to say Kerri...put yourself as priority #1.

Kerri, you've been doing great and losing the baby weight is a great thing! I'm also a type 1 that goes to Joslin. I've only had it for 3 years but a few appointments ago, my A1C was really good, but my weight and blood pressure where up. My doc put me on BP meds and that sort of set me off. I stopped caring so much, since I had been trying so hard and I still needed BP meds after only 3 years of D. Emotionally I was a mess and I mentioned that to my doc. She suggested that I see someone from the Joslin Mental Health unit. They understand the burnout that comes from this disease and you can talk about A1Cs, carb counting without having to explain it to someone else. I'm still feeling burned out, some days more than others, but I've been trying to think of the things that my therapist has me focus on and that helps. They are also not drug pushers, I've been just doing talk therapy. I totally recommend giving them a call.

Hi Kerri,
It was so refreshing to read this today. It is nice to read your honesty and openess about dealing with this beast and the fact that you show your humaness in all of this. Yes, it is good to know someone else is going through similar things regarding testing, etc. You made my day.

Kerri, give yourself big pats that 8.6% is your highest A1C in years, that's awesome. As Chris says, now you can work on changes to improve things -- something I'm also struggling with.

I hope you have an awesome 2011 with improving A1Cs and lots of fun with that cute BSparl.

Thanks for the honesty. Like you, I take the disappointment in a few ways. Your reflection reminds me that every day is a fresh new day. So, with that in mind, I think I'll buy some fish and salad fixings for a healthy supper for a change. Making little healthier choices each day can have a huge impact on the big picture.
Thanks again for sharing.
We're not going anywhere without you.

Kerri: Thanks for the honesty. We all have been there, now or in the past, and most definitely will be again. Burnout is natural. I can only imagine what it must be like post-pregnancy when you spend so much time focusing and fine-tuning... We all need to shut down mentally in some ways at times. No shame in that. To me, it does also make me feel less worthy, but I try not to let it weigh me down or last too long. The DOC helps me get back on the bandwagon much quicker than I used to... You'll get there! Good luck in the meantime!

Being honest and real and sharing your "not so greats" along with your successes is exactly why you are an awesome advocate. This disease is draining and exhausting and burn-out and a bit of slippage will happen. But I know you will banish the burn-out and get back on track, one small step at a time. And I'll be right there with you - because if we're really being honest, my management has slipped quite a bit over the past month too. So let's make a fresh start together!!

Being honest is a great first step in taking control back! I also have experienced post-pregnancy burnout and also "no-reason-at-all-just-hate-diabetes" burnout. It happens to the best of us! Hugs and sympathy your way- you have an awesome support system at home and online- we love you!

Thank you for sharing all you do. I too kinda just let my diabetes fall to the way side after having my baby in april. There is so much to do and so little time to do it in when you have a new baby that it is too easy to put my self last. I know where you are coming from, and you make me feel better about my daily struggles as a mom and a diabetic. You inspire me to be a better diabetic and a better diabetic mommy. Thank you. Stay strong.

Kerri-- I really wish we were friends. I'm a 39 yr old type-1 who had a baby last year. He just turned one. :) Diabetes is just such an f-ing drag. I'm over it! I agree with everyone who says sharing the tough times makes you a fabulous advocate. Keep at it.

My theme for 2011 is SMALLER. Smaller numbers on the scale, smaller blood sugar numbers... smaller quantities of carbs.

P.S. the fact that you're to your pre-pregnancy weight is AMAZING.

Being a new mom is hard enough without throwing diabetes into the mix.

I did everything I had to do prepping for pregnancy and throughout and even giving my go at breastfeeding. But the thing is that it's just really hard as a new mom to take care of yourself with all the demands that the baby places on you.

I still haven't lost the baby weight because I have no energy/time/motivation to work out or eat my best...and my son is 3 1/2! I'm not so sure I can really call it "baby weight" at this point. So I'm tipping my hat to your for being so close to your pre-baby weight.

Don't be hard on yourself. Just move forward from here.

And coincidentally, we had an awesome A1c bringing it down 0.9 and then at our last visit it was exactly where we started. I was so deflated. Our kind endo didn't even tell us the number, she just went about the appointment, asked questions, made suggestions. I had to specifically ask for the # and she said that was why we needed those changes. Ugh!

And it really does help to hear from you that it isn't all sunshine and roses because we all have our ups and downs with diabetes.

Hang in there. (Insert motivational poster of kitten hanging from a branch.)

Leave 2010 on a high note? Just look at the little one besides you and you will see what 2010's high note was!

Hang in there kid! It sucks to be a diabetic but amazing to be a parent. Think of her whenever you feel down. It gets easier to juggle everything as time goes by and I, for one, am sure you can get back in control. If you did it during pregnancy, you can do it as a parent.

I'm pretty new to the DOC, but it doesn't sound like there are rules about only including perfect folks w/ low A1C's. We're all here in the Type 1 boat too, paddling away, and we all get tired of having to do it. Totally normal. Coming down off of a year+ of baby-prep and mama-prep, post-giving-birth, then baby-care/parenting/maintenance, and it's no surprise that it all just got to be a little too much. That's okay--it happens to all of us at some point! Some days it feels like my brain just cannot hold one more piece of information.

Give yourself permission to take a little time off with no guilt, then come back with some tiny goals. If you're testing 4x day now (which, BTW, is so much better than the 2x/day I barely eeked out for my teens and twenties! yay, you!), ask yourself if you can do 5x/day for a little while. Then just add on a little to each baby step. Don't feel like you have to do it all at once.

You can do this! I love to read your blog b/c we've had a ton of similar experiences, t1d and otherwise. I've had crazy awful burnout before. You can get through it. And obviously, you're an honest person with a huge heart, who takes risks to share her stories even when the possibility of crazy d-police commenting all over the place is always there in the background. whatever you choose to share on the blog, know that it will be read with understanding, love, and compassion by the 99% of us who are not d-police and who know what you're going through--because that's what we all need to get thru this D-nuttiness. We've got your back. xoxo

Ok so this is really dorky, but there's a really famous graph from the DCCT trial. Its shows complications related to a1c, this is how we got the "7%" number. the difference between 7 and 8 really isn't that much, especially over a 3 month period.

Its ok! Just get back on the horse:)

The graph is the 3rd one on the page.
http://diabetesmanager.pbworks.com/w/page/17680318/The-Management-of-Type-1-Diabetes-

After fifty years my a1c is 7.5, give or take a .1 or .2. Health care people, god bless them, just don't get it. It is WORK to keep that number down 365 days. The big "D" is always present, it is not like a cold that runs it's course.
As you approach thirty years with type I, you will get your fifty year medal because you have the determination to get there and you will be of that rare group that makes seventy-five.
In 1980,after twenty years, I thought that this is getting old and then I got my first BG meter and the improvements began to happen. So keep doing what you are doing because you have many great years ahead with babyS.

Kerri, you are not a bad advocate, a bad diabetic, or a bad person. You are Kerri, and we love Kerri.

I think it is especially important for us to be honest like this. THIS is real life with diabetes folks. We are not always going to have a pretty picture to paint; diabetes is ugly! No amount of glitter or rainbows can hide all of that ugly all of the time. Thank you for being brave and being honest. We need that side of you too. (hugs!)

Kerri,
You are an Animas girl. Why aren't you using the EZmanager upload thing? And you're a computer girl...I don't get it! I plug in the Dexcom and Ping (less often than I should, by far) - and all my numbers are there for me to generate a report, print out, and (usually) be angry at in about 5 minutes.

Have you logged electronically before and lost accountability? That happens to me, but I still prefer the e-logbook.

Kerri,Thank you so much for your honesty. I think that by your honesty, you make the best advocate. There was a time in my 26.5 yrs of "D" where i thought that i was the only one that had it and that if there were ppl out there with D, they weren't "normal" like me. Thanks for putting a face to "normal" ppl with D.

So many comments! I haven't read them, but I'm sure they are full of support and mine will get lost. :)

Nevertheless...

No one can be great all the time and holy schmoley, 8.6 may not be what you've been, but it's not awful either and if it gave you a break well then it's pretty darn awesome.

As I read about how your management was different with your daughter involved, it makes me think of something I think about often - as Caleb takes over his management, will it be different? I know it will be, but I feel like I owe it to him to do the best I can every day. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't do the same for myself. It would be different, I believe. So I can very much relate how the priority changed a little for you.
What's most important is where you go from here. How great your Joslin team and Chris are to support you without judging bc there is nothing to judge. You are doing amazingly as you end this year. Perhaps different than last, but still amazing.

Thank you for this post Kerri! It takes a lot of strength to be honest and it is more helpful to the rest of us out here than you will ever know. The best news is that by putting this out there you must be losing some of that apathetic feeling - just by saying it "out loud" shows that you are ready to get back on that horse (or unicorn as the case may be). Thank you again - big hug!

Hang in there! I am a big believer that you can do everything..but you cannot do it all at once! Give something else up to make more time for yourself. You already have multiple jobs....how much can one person do? You need to replenish....

And good for you for even getting blood drawn! Sometimes we have to celebrate the small victories - like actually making and endo appointment. My endo recommended a one year break from intensive diabetes management (AIC of around 7%) after each of my kids, and I can honestly say without that, I may not have had more than one. I don't think I logged any numbers unless the youngest was over 10 months old, and I was sleeping 2 nights out of 7. It seems to me that we recognize restrictive, relentless dieting as a psychologically unhealthy way to live, and that one chocolate can be mentally healthy. In the same way, I regard short term higher blood sugars the "indulge" after 1+ year of intensive surveillance. You've earned your burnout. Enjoy and don't bother feeling guilty!

The reason that your blog was the one I kept going back to, and what inspired me to write my own blog the way I do, is your honesty!

Besides, if someone is reading your blog from a diabetes standpoint, they don't want to only see the good stuff, they want to know that they're not alone in their struggles with this condition. Thats one of the reasons you started your blog, to find others and know you weren't alone in what you were going through. Don't forget that! :)

Well I'm a little late and probably won't say much that everyone else hasn't already, but I just want you to know how much your blog means to me! I really struggle with a lot of the perfection issues that you do and just want everything to be controlled all the time...and then I go through phases where I just don't want to care and would rather throw my damn pump out the window! I'm getting ready to embark on my own pregnancy journey and going back and re-reading everything that you went through in getting ready for BSparl has helped me so much! I am so excited to know that someone with Type I can have a healthy pregnancy and some of the same feelings about the disease as I do. Even though you are kicking your butt right now for your A1C, I'm so proud of you for all that you have accomplished and I know that you will get it back under control. As they say, this disease is a marathon, not a race!

Being a new mom is hard and having diabetes is hard. Thanks for sharing this.

Kerri-
Hang in! I can relate to what you're talking about completely... I'm not a mom, but I've had type 1 for the past 10 years. Lately, I've been feeling the same way...My sugars have been out of whack & I know I need to get back into checking after meals & staying in touch w/ my dr more... We can all do this together..That's the only way we can do this. The support and understanding is here for you always :)
There's a book "Diabetes Burnout." I forget who it's by.. but an awesome book!
Wishing you better days ahead..
(I'd love to share a writing w/ u that I recently wrote... "10 years")

Thank you for sharing honestly. All of us go through the same feels, whether Type 1, Type 2, or gestational, regardless how long we've had diabetes. Your words will help others know that they're not alone. I'm known for my toddler temper tantrums wanting to be done with diabetes. Like you, I also have a wonderfully supportive husband. With their help, we can do this! Happy New Year, Kerri!

You have absolutely NOT failed as an advocate. You by no means have to have perfect diabetes control to be an advocate. In fact, I think you make a better advocate by having the occasional 8.6% A1C! In my book, that makes you human, not a failure. If you told us you had a 6.0 A1C all the time (when NOT preggers) I'd 1. think you were lying or 2. be insanely jealous of your obvious superwoman powers that allow you to have such perfect blood sugars while working a lot and raising a daughter. WTF mate? Seriously, this only makes me respect you more (not that I respected you any less?) and encourages me that a rise in A1C is NOT the end of the world and it happens to EVERYONE. Happy New Year, Kerri!

Found your blog a few months ago, and I'm totally coming out of lurkdom for this post. :) I've been T1 for 21 years now. I was diagnosed when I was 10. I just had my second baby in May and I'm RIGHT there with you. Although my A1C is respectable, it's a product of waaaaay too many highs and waaaaay too many lows. And there are days when I only test BGs to calibrate the CGMS when it yells at me. I know this is like the zillionth comment (and you may even miss it) but thought I'd offer that encouragement of someone else knowing exactly what you're going through. It will get better and you (we!) will care again. Hang in there, and happy new year!

Kerri --
Thank you for sharing honestly with the world the challenges that T1's face. You will get past this rough patch! A new baby is a life changer, and honestly 8.6 right after a baby is understandable. You'll be back on track in no time.

Thank you for NOT sugar coating your life with diabetes. You are the real deal...promise us you will stay that way no matter who wants to sponsor your blog, have you in commercials etc. Ok?

I love this piece. You are good and wonderful and better than that and more! I am left wondering...if our 1st A1C is happening next week, do I need to brace myself for a hideous number? Is it ever a double-digit number? Sheee it.

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