I am 21 years old and a graduate nurse. I was diagnosed with type one diabetes ten years ago. For the first six years my blood sugars were perfect, with an A1C never higher than 7. I was always afraid of what would happen to me if I had high blood sugars. Well, these last few years I’ve been slacking on my carb counting and bolusing (via insulin pump). I’m no longer afraid of the effects of high blood sugar. I’m just tired and burnt out. I no longer have a care about watching my sugars or what I eat. My last two A1cs have been “unreadable” or over 14. And I don’t care. I feel like my depression has something to do with it. I’ve recently been put on Zoloft, hopefully that will help… anyways I’m writing this to ask for some advice to get me back on track or find some motivation… thank you!
What do you like to do for fun? What do you enjoy?
You might need a big change to get yourself out of this slump. A CGM is a pretty inspiring tool. Seeing your graph and figuring out ways to make it better is very rewarding. You might want to think about going low carb, it will almost eliminate those awful spikes that you get with pretty much any carby food. That alone will bring down your A1C. Was there something that occurred to make you feel like the work wasn’t worth it to keep your BG’s in check (too much stress during nursing school or family issues)?
Reward yourself every time you do something with your diabetes. It doesn’t have to be something expensive but giving yourself a treat will get you more wiling to do the work.
Personally, I’m still afraid of the effects of high blood sugar and I’ve had diabetes for 26 years. I want to be healthy and live a life without complications. I’ve recently made some changes that got my A1C from an 8.9 down to 6.7. You can do it too and you may have to tell yourself that every time you need to do something to take care of yourself.
DO NOT let depression beat you. It is prone to lie in wait for you not feeling your pro-active self and then turns your life grey and joyless. If the tablets you have do not work, please go back to your doctor and tell him.
Keep on keeping on…
Oooh, thats a tough one. Sometimes I find that taking care of other people leaves me with less motivation/energy/drive to take care of myself. It can add to burn out, for sure. There is definitely a limit to my emotional energy for that stuff, which has become clearer to me in my thirties.
Are you still in graduate school? I definitely have a harder time taking care of BG when I’m in school. The demands on my time are just insurmountable.
I have multiple chronic illness and I have friends with depression. Its my opinion that depression is a whole other chronic illness on its own, in addition to diabetes. In the past, the order that I addressed my illnesses played a big role in my success in dealing with them. Perhaps, its just time to work on the depression. After some success with that, maybe the diabetes will just ‘fall into line.’ You seem to have instincts leading you in that direction.
Good job recognising and problem solving multiple illnesses. Often that is exponentially more difficult than dealing with one illness because illnesses intertwine with one another and can increase the negative effects of one another. Multiple illnesses can form a snakepit that is difficult to unravel. Sometimes its not clear which illness is really the source of the problem.
Your young still. It just takes time and life experience and a bunch of work/tenacity/resilience to find solutions to complex problems. I was doing much more poorly at figuring things out at your age. I lacked emotional resources and time for dealing with this stuff. I lacked perspective about how many years of work and how much experience with illness was required in order to really wrap my hands around the problems.
You sound like an insightful 21 year old. I feel certain you will figure this out. You have a good head start. Don’t give up. In another decade, you will be an incredible nurse because you will have lots of understanding about what it takes to solve the problems that put people into the hospital. People like you make for really empathetic, brilliant healthcare providers and incredible people.
Depression, diabetes, and being a student can all feel impossible on their own. Combined, they become a whole new level of exhaustion and frustration. The hardest part, in my experience, is the cycle of depression leading to poor diabetes management, and then high blood sugars making depression symptoms worse.
One thing that I’ve found helpful when depression is making diabetes management extremely difficult was to pick just one thing to focus on and commit to doing it no matter what. For awhile, that was doing a site change once a week (even though I normally do it twice a week). Even if I didn’t bolus for things, ate like crap, etc., I committed to doing that. A site change made very little difference in my overall health, but it was a first step in taking better care of myself. It also helped to take the pressure off of doing ‘all the things.’ As I started to feel a little better, I added on other tasks like bolusing properly for breakfast. Maybe a small step like this would help you feel better about your management?
You’ve already done a huge service to yourself by seeking professional help and asking others for support. The fact that you’ve had great control in the past and are looking for support in a time when you’re struggling shows that you have the motivation and tools to get better as your mental health improves.
Depression isn’t forever, and you’re not alone. I hope the medication helps and you start feeling better soon!
Im in a similar situation, you just gotta go back on track but one thing at a time, like for the next 2 week all you have to do is make sure your bg dont go over 20. Just do that, after 2 week start counting your carbs and fix a roof for it, like not over 50g a meal… And make sure to reward yourself, keep a journal where you can right and put sticker for every good bg, or every day you do without going over 20… so you can see your progress… Find someone who will do it with you… 2 weeks ago my father called me to see my bg, i was at 16 (over 300 I think) and he was angry at me, but since then I have to send him my graph (he buyed me a freestyle libre 4 month ago) every morning and before going to bed, and honestly my bg didnt go over 20 since then and im doing my best, but one thing at a time.