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Diabetes Burnout.

I've been slogging through some diabetes burnout over the last few months, but I'm starting to feel much better.  Things aren't perfect (Are they ever? Answer: Nope), but I've finally reached that point where I'm completely tuned in, rejecting guilt, and feeling like I'm on my way back to better diabetes control.  It's as much an emotional thing as it is a physiological one, and this video is about crawling out of the (primordial, most likely caramel-flavored) diabetes burnout sludge. 

Small steps are what move me forward best.  What helps you start stepping out of diabetes burnout moments?


I think most of us go through cycles of burnout and recovery from burnout. Loved the video! Better IS better.

Good for you for getting out of the sludge! Remember that understanding what the data means is the root to patient empowerment!

Having lived with T1, for almost 43 years, has been the roller coaster journey to knowing more about myself, then ever wanted to know! :) But the reward in that is that it is very hard to knock me down for long.

Knowing how to support yourself and knowing when to concede that your diabetes education is lacking, and taking action, and knowing when to push back against advise that is questionable is all part of the richness of this life's experience. For every day that you try, the reward is spending the rest of the day with birdie. God gave you a great incentive to never give up and a reminder control is all within your reach.

Keep up the good work!

And one more thing Kerri, with diabetes, everyday is baby steps, some forwards, some backwards. You don't want to stand still! :)

Great video. It is nice to know others have the same stuggles as I do. I go though cycles of "being on the wagon" and "of the wagon." It seems like it is several months each time. I have always tested my blood sugar, but I am getting more highs now. I always try to win the war but I may lose the battle along the way.

My mantra: the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.

And for me, one bite at a time is me giving myself the talk to just shut up and test already. I swear, if I tested as much as I thought about how much I don't want to test, I would do like 50 tests a day, lol.

Kerri, I so needed to hear this today. Thank you for the encouragement!


P.S. Erin- How many carbs do you usually calculate for eating the elephant?

Thanks for this post!! I needed that video right now :) I'm preparing for pregnancy (and keeping the tightest control I have ever had) which comes with lots of frustrations and struggles with lows, to top it off when I was out this weekend I got one of those "ohhh, should you be doing that if your diabetic??" comments, I played it cool but came home and cried. I knew the person had no right to judge and that I have to control my guilt, but just couldn't help it. Good to know we all have those days. Thanks, I'm a new and avid reader of your blog.

36 years with T1! I have gone through burnout many times over the years, sometimes for long periods. Working hard on self management is actually less work than being burned out and guilt tripping yourself. I must agree with the other post. Additional education is the first step in getting focused and climbing out of the morass. Seeing your CDE or reading a Diabetes book, or following blogs is very helpful for me. I think the motivational/psycological aspects of T1 is the most important aspect of self management. Regardless of the technologies we now have, they are not very useful without the will to use them! Thanks Carrie! Great post

I really needed that. Thank you so much. You are so right and it's so good to hear you came out of it too.

Thank you so much for taking the time to record your thoughts. I have been in a diabetes funk lately like 5 years and I finally realized I need to get with the program. I am getting back to using my CGM and starting to excercize. It all just seems like so much. I think the most frustrating thing is when I don't check often I know that if my numbers are bad it is my own fault for not checking. But when I do check like 6 times a day and they are high I just get mad. My doctor told me that Diabetes is not a sprint but a marathon. I am on the right track to getting back on the right track. It may take a while but I need to remember to be patient.

Very well said Kerri! ... riding the coaster and continuing to fight the good fight... ((HUGS))

Thanks Kerri for the video, it made my day! I've been suffering with Diabetes Burn Out for sometime. Let's just call it DBO... And sometimes get through the day without crying.
Anyway, this made me smile. Just keep swimming!

Having JUST moved to Colorado Springs on Wednesday, I am watching Edward swing all over the place...from the change in altitude, to drinking enough water to stay hydrated, to sinus issues...he's really struggling to get back to where he feels well again...right now, it's been way too much of a roller coaster..maybe he will catch a break today...

I recently just came out of burnout myself Kerri so I can relate to most of what you said here. You are right in saying that you need to be emotionally ready to take on your Diabetes and to do this thing. It's an acceptance that you need to arrive at so that you can do what you need to do. We can do this.

Your blog was fantastic. I guess I am in diabetic burn out. But for me, I don't stop trying. I just keep getting overwhelmed with fear. Fear that I may not have good sights for my infusion sets. They seem to keep crapping out after one day. I fear the cost involved with all the tests, supplies and insurance. I fear complications after 23 years of T1. It ALL seems more scary right now. I just want to get it right. And I am scared what the future holds. Yet I am grateful for all the support/encouragement from my husband and the DOC. Maybe the word that describes what I am feeling is "Sticker Shock"

I think the worst part of diabetes for me is not the disease itself, but the people who criticize EVERY time I check my bg. I am in nursing school, so all of my fellow students think they know what is best for me, and it drives me crazy! They will look over my shoulder when I check and say, "Oh, wow, that is a high bg, what did you do?" and I will say, "I ate lunch!" Unfortunately, those who don't deal with D on a daily basis have no idea how difficult and temperamental it is and all of the factors that affect it. It is so nice to get online and see that other people feel the same way as me!

sometimes you just have to say, "I HATE DIABETES!! I HATE IT!! I HATE IT!!" and then you move on. What can you do?

thanks for the constant encouragement and for contributing so many inspiring stories to your blog over the years.

Better is better... I like that! They mental aspects have always seemed to be tougher for me than the physical ones. It seems to happen to us all now and again and I'm glad there are more of us discussing that side of things now.

Better IS better! Especially if it involves caramel!

Thank you so much for the video! I've been in burnout for like...YEARS. Literal years. And now I'm starting to feel complications but now I'm just too scared to test my bg because if I don't, then I can continue to live in denial. The realization that I have to deal with way out of whack blood sugars is TOO MUCH. Now I just need to know how to face that fear and get over it. Any suggestions? I need to start taking bites out of my elephant.
P.S. The comment about how many carbs is an elephant is hilarious!

Yup -- count me in for being burned out as well. It's aweful. It's like this huge juggling act -- ALL. THE. TIME. There are no breaks! I, too, had the best control when I was pregnant. A1C's of 5.5, etc (now it's over 9.. YIKES) I go to all my appointments, test 6 times a day, try to eat healthy (not always possible with a 3 year old who won't eat veggies or meat!)

Thank you for this video, Kerri. It's just what I needed to hear. And will be listening to again and again whenever I need a 'push'.

I had a hard time after each pregnancy. Life with more people to take care of is more complicated! It takes time to adjust to the extra responsiblities. You have to figure out how to add more with the same 24 hours.

After my second child, my employment went from half time to full time, my husband's employment increased (time) AND he went to school full time in the evenings. Can you say STRESS! probably my highest A1C in my entire time with D. Anyway, it does get easier, you adjust... and I'm HAPPY for you, for being able to come out of it.

Zoe and I just watched this and she was all, "Wow, she's cool".

That's the highest compliment you can receive from an 11 year old tween.

Also, I just recovered from a bought of caretaker burnout, is that a thing? I feel like a total douche for even saying it.


diabetes burnout sludge. i love that description. totally appropriate.

i'm glad you're finding your way out. oh, have i been there.

my emotional eating is like sludge too. or maybe quicksand. something sticky. and i am doing my best to get unstuck. and let go of the guilt.

thanks for sharing.

Thank you Kerri. My little girl is a few months younger than yours and i'm struggling with exactly the same thing. Thank you for this timely post. If you don't mind, i'm going to try to hop on your baby steps bandwagon. Sometimes we forget that we aren't all alone in this. Thanks for the reminder!

Thanks for this, Kerri - your message overall and just your personality and attitude take this to a place that is even more helpful for us. You said a lot of great stuff, but I really took notice of the points you made in "establishing a routine" by testing first thing in the morning or whatever. I've found that by adopting and falling into a routine, can often take over and make it not seem so much work in doing that D-Management and it can trump that burnout. Because it just is what it is, and it needs to be done. That's where I'm trying to get back to now, getting bast the emotional aspects of D and life and moving to a place I'm more comfortable with. Thanks for posting this, my friend.

Thanks for posting this, Kerri! Having just hit diaversary no. 25, I am feeling like, "WHEN IS THIS GOING TO END? HAVEN'T I PAID MY DUES?!?!?! BUuuuuhgggghghghghghghghh." Better IS better, and there are days that just repeating that can keep you going.

You always post just what I need to hear just when I need to hear it. Love that about you.

Second...I always think of that burnout sludge much like the stairs the chick runs up in Nightmare on Elm Street that turn to marshmallow goo as she's trying to get away. No one else? Just me? Okay then...

THANK YOU for this video!! Have had T1 for over 35 years & yep, WE ALL go through this cycle of great control & not-so-great control. Making both the medical powers that be AND family members that SOMEtimes, no matter HOW HARD we try, nothing that is diabetes will go right & nothing is as simple as it seems. Now, if I could just get all of the above mentioned people to watch... :) Hang in there & keep up the awesome work!!

Burnout: Happens with ANY chronic disease that requires more than a pill in the morning to deal with.

As for me and my blood sugar control, I, too, go in cycles. I'll go from eating healthy and constantly and consistently to eating breakfast and dinner and, if I'm lucky, snacks in-between (and NONE of those snacks are healthy). I'm on the upswing now from a bad bout of burnout, where I was having migraines every day because I just wasn't eating right. I was testing upwards of eight times per day, but it still didn't stop the lows...

And having multiple conditions totally doesn't help the whole burnout thing--for me, asthma is a problem with burnout (though not as much as the hypoglycemia), and the food allergy is a BIG deal with burnout. That, though, puts my life at an immediate and severe risk, so I try to get out of that as fast as I can.

And when those conditions interfere with each other? Forget about it! Burnout all around! Nothing like not being able to breathe and seeing highs I'm not supposed to have and not doing anything about any of it to make you feel like you're taking care of yourself!

But you're right, Kerri. Better IS better. I have to remember that one the next time I dream of cookies made with full sugar and white flour...

Glad you're better! I'm stepping out of a little diabetes burnout myself and have to do baby steps as well. For me that means testing EVERY time before I eat - no matter how small the snack seems to be - and logging, because it helps me to keep track of things, to keep acountable and to reflect.

Amen sister!

What's been helping me cope with
D-rollercoaster is "The Book of Better" by Chuck Eichten. Also sometimes I just close my eyes and imagine how I would be feeling if I didn't have Diabetes: A feel of ease, confidence and limitlessness always washes over me and I wonder, how can I keep this feeling even though I DO have Diabetes?

thanks for your honesty.

I am looking for help. I have been a type 1 for 22 years. Ive had a hell of several years-work numerous hours and feel that I cant stop. Last year, I was visiting my terminal Mother and fell and broke my ankle-plate screw everything. I was bedridden for 5 weeks and despite being self employed could not work. Then, I advanced to 12 weeks of walking with walker, cane ect. Wonderful-I was unable to exercise and gained 30 pounds.I had to put my tax money in my business to stay a float so you guessed it needed to make a payment plan with IRS. Also, have two kids in college. Mom still terminal and suffering with being sick-slow growing cancer but she is sick daily. Now, the problem-I am so burned out with my illness-everytime I test i see failure. I hate my disease-never had a funk like this-I feel I need a life coach-I seem to forgotten-and I do not know where to start. Ive avoided the doctor-I promised Id make an appt on Monday (doctor is my friend and laid the law down last week when she called me). I just dont know where to start-how to balance life trauma with my illness-never been this bad-help anyone with ideas?

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