What do YOU do?

When you are tired of all this sticking, poking, checking in, testing, measuring, writing down, keeping track, exercising, etc. What do you do when you just need to take a break and say to heck with it for a day, 48 hours (not forever, not even a week)? What do you do when you don't want to hear about diabetes for 24- 48 hours? Seriously, I've been hit hard by the "I don't care bug" and as much as I want to, and know I have to, it just seems that when people tell me how controlled I am, how good I am at keeping track, exercising, I want to scream and say NO I AM NOT! Don't tell me that, cause I am living with this forever, and I don't want to right now" Now don't panic, I am still doing what I have to do, but it's a bare minimal....for me it's an ALL or NOTHING lifestyle, So I know I have to get back in the saddle and go all the way, but I just don't want to....guess I need a kick in the behind (kindly of course) but a kick.***Have you ever heard of having an A!C of 6.5 and not being able to access CDE's help or nutritionist's help? I called today, because I was told that my insurance offers a once a year visit with these people...and well, that's only if I was above a 6.5 A1C....I would think they would want to work with anyone who was interested in being healthier....go figure,. Let the kicking begin ---- remember nicely and with respect. Thanks

I don't take breaks. Ever. I am perhaps a bit ADD and always up to something, even if it's sitting on my butt and reading a book. I don't get any help from anyone, except you guys, and my A1C is 5.2, although I started a new doc recently who has a promisingly larger clinic that seems to have quite an array of people to chat with. I like you guys more.

I don't take breaks either, I'm pretty anal - a1c is 5.4. I do try to let up on the trying to figure out what went wrong thing though, it can make me nuts!

I saw my endo yesterday, and asked about an unexplainable high I'd had. He said once you've gone through the usual - bad set, stress, illness - if you can't figure it out in 10 seconds just fix it and move on. Think I'll try it ;)

My goal is to remember the '10 second rule' more often! I also find I get more info/support here than from any medical professional (and mine are really good). They sometimes say they learn from me.

Glad you posted! Plese keep us posted as well.

Mmm. I, also, never take serious breaks. I've never tried to access a CDE's help. I studied intensively on my own for a year and then found the DOC, especially TuD. And though it took me several years, I did eventually find a wonderfully supportive Dr.

Seven years into controlling thru lo-carb and exercise, I don't miss any of my old ways of eating, but that doesn't mean I don't hate this scourge a lot of the time---the constant vigilance, of course, especially as arthritis makes it harder for the exercise portion of control.

I have created "treat windows" that provide relief: after every A1c I make a lunch out of a big bowl of greasy, very buttery pop corn, for instance. And I learned to bake with nut flours and stevia for holiday times.

It's a biggie to figure out, but you can do it. Venting here where we totally "Get It" is a valid and vital part of that process....Do, indeed, keep us posted!.....

so I do not have diabetes, but my son does and I am an exercise physiologist that works with motivating people to make healthy choices. I absolutely agree with you that if you are feeling overwhelmed ( not everyone runs into this) this is your body and a short 'vacation' is appropriate. I took a vacation when we were on vaca with my son and did not do my usual log which was good because vacation food isn't all that good for his bs as you know but all the hiking helped, anyways just omitting this step for a week was somewhat liberating for me! so back off a bit, obviously like you said do the basics but try to forget you have diabetes between boluses, I think a lot of times my son lives like this and it helps him a lot. But don't forget to get back on the horse, when you think of eating healthy and exercising as positive self care it becomes easier to integrate it without much thought, kind of like brushing your teeth and getting dressed in the morning. I love that analogy you wouldn't leave the house naked it probably takes us a good 1/2 hour to get ready in the morning with self care, a workout can be just 1/2 hour! anyways I ramble you are not alone with needing a 'vacation' take it as a time to lightened up and reevaluate your routines, really enjoy the parts of your life that you love, invite in some gratitude. as for the CDE issue, so ridiculous how insurance companies can make such absurd decisions! I would say if you hovering around 6.5 you are doing great and making good decisions but it should be part of your diabetes team plan to see a nutritionist or CDE once a year if you choose! best wishes, amy

I'm a DIABETIC,

The bete's is part of my life, it's like breathing, like peeing, it's the first thing I think about when I get up (what will the number be)???...There is no break...just a few hours without insulin and I'm in big trouble, the consequences far out weigh the fun factor of slacking off, losing focus, the "beating" is just not worth it, I gave up long ago, My life includes diabetes, just like the freckles on my face , it's part of my life, I don't lay around wishing for a cure BOO HOOO....

My BG is never stable for long and there is no natural rhythm to my BG control, every breath, every movement, every meal, every emotion, even a change in weather has a impact, "good or bad every action has a reaction".

Life is tough..Diabetes = do or die... "wheres the choice is that...I'm still here... so I'm still winning"

I have been in a similar place for the last month or so. I am VERY OCD about the diabetes, but I have really gotten overwhelmed and down in the dumps about everything lately. It just becomes more than I want to bear.

SO, what do I do? I become more OCD about it. I can download all information from my pump, so charting isn't really necessary. BUT I have been creating charts and graphs and meals, and averages--just added notes about my mood.. Additionally, I decided I needed a tune up, so I worked really hard and got myself into the Joslin DO IT program in November. AND I found a new endo after my last one told me an A1C of 5.8 was just too low.

I like the phrase: "when the going gets tough, the tough get going."

I want to make a suggestion of what works for me which is neither "taking a vacation" or just slugging along in miserable mode. I keep doing what I always do, charting, counting, computing (though one suggestion is a pump because it handles lots of that, as well as no shots). But I do two things:

One: I sort of put all that on "autopilot" and just do it automatically without putting much emotional attention on it. Kind of what jrtpup says about a high. Like I woke up with a 198 this morning and rather than waking up my sleepy mind with a loud "WTF!" I briefly thought over what I ate last night, realized I've been forgetting my bedtime test fairly often and need to remember, yellow markered the number (at the end of three weeks, a page of numbers, I'll consider if there are too many yellow marks and I need to change something) did a correction shot, and went on with my morning.

So with my D on autopilot, doing what needs to be done I do the second important thing: Live my life! Usually, for me, feelings of burn-out come when there is too much D (and too much emotional attention paid to it) and too little other good stuff. As someone with an eating disorder who is also a foodie, I find it a requirement to always enjoy my food and always find new cookbooks and recipes I might like that are still D friendly. But I also make it a point to notice for example, how beautiful the fall leaves are in the woods around me, to take photographs when I see beauty. To call up a friend and suggest an outing. To engage in shopping therapy. To enjoy my life outside of D!

It always works for me to do these two things together. My Diabetes stays happy and I stay happy too!

I took a short break, that turned into another short break, that turned into a series of short breaks, then longer breaks, that eventually turned into complete and utter disregard, then I paid the price.

I'm not saying that everybody is going to slide down that slippery slope, but I sure did. Now, I just have too many reminders that I never really had a break from diabetes, I only thought I did. The only things I took a break from are the things that keep a merciless and relentless destructive force from having free reign.

This is a reply to all who wrote about this....as usual I didn't explain very well, that a vacation for me, is eating more fruit...summer fruits...ones a little higher in sugar than say carrots or brocolli. Means swimming three days in stead of five, means taking my meds (all 14 of them) daily, but not beating myself up if I am an hour late. Yes I am highly educated in MY diabetes, I know MY body and when something is wrong it tells me, when I need a short break, it tells me to slack off slightly, but not give up. I had a grandmother who died of diabetes non-compliance. She never took a pill, she never watched what she ate, never did an ounce of exercise except for chasing after 4 kids. I watched her die second by second for a year.....and I won't forget it. But since I already have four major emotional things going on, sometimes I have to slack off a bit and say, take care, make healthy choices for me, and give yourself a break. Does that clear things up? I hope?

Well, I might work out five days a week to improve on one aspect or another for my actual physical training, but I may not require 5 days to keep my BG under reasonable control. I may test 12 times a day on Monday because my BGs may be a bit out of whack, but maybe testing 6 times a day on Wednesday is all I need. I might eat 300g of carbs on one day because I'm doing a lot of stuff, then drop down to 100g the next day, but I'll always adjust my insulin dosing accordingly.

Heck, last night I had chicken and waffles for dinner, but I used every dosing manipulation from the bag of tricks I collected over 28 years of being T1. My BG never went over 140 or dropped below 70, so I definitely treated myself without having to take a break.

Really, I wouldn't consider any of that taking a break from treatment or even taking a break from maintaining the best control possible. I think of it more as knowing limits.

Deciding to eat half a bag of Nacho Cheese flavored Doritos? That's "taking a break" because it's way outside any reasonable limit for maintaining my BG.

If there is anything I do take a break with, it's logging every single fingerstick I do. When I'm trying to see trends to change dosing, or whatever, I log everything. Sometimes, however, if it looks like I have stable BGs, I don't bother logging everything, or sometimes even anything. I make sure to have sufficient data ready for my Endo visit, but, otherwise, logging data get really tiresome if nothing notable is going on..

I think if you're not running high all the time etc. it's ok to let things slide a little I wouldn't stop testing completely or taking your meds/insulin of course. But otherwise yes we need a break sometimes. Diet-wise too, let yourself eat a little more or whatever here and there. I have been relaxing a bit on things and I feel better. I expect my next a1c to be higher since it was very low last time, as long as it is 6 and under I think I will be ok with it although I may try to go a little lower. The problem is no matter how careful I am, my bg still goes all over the place a lot of the time and I refuse to drive myself crazy by becoming too anal about everything, weighing every piece of food etc. I still want to enjoy whatever I have left of my life and I can't do it being anal retentive all the time.. I have enough to worry about with lows, going to sleep etc. That is crazy that that isn't available to you with a lower/higher not sure which it was a1c. I also was told by my endo my a1c was too low to participate in some research programs- I thought that was unfair.

I believe that in order to not allow diabetes to take over your life and you live for those finger pokes, for what you don't feel you can eat, or exercise like a athlete in training is definitely allowing diabetes to take over your life...and you are living for diabetes. Can't do it, won't do it. I take very good care of myself, and enjoy my life to it's fullest with or without diabetes. A week or even two of not being so vigilant and still keeping track is living as normally as a diabetic can. If you feel in order to be in control, you must be what I would call hypervigilant about everything, please do it....it's what keeps you going. If you do need to take that break and relax slightly, to feel good about you and your diabetes, do it. But for all of us, we can't be judging each other's methods of treatment...no one needs that.

Kate, my best advice, which probably isn't too helpful, is put energy into getting a pump and a CGM. At least a CGM.

Those two devices will greatly simplify managing your diabetes, making it much less of a burden.

Things that (can) get much better with a pump and CGM:

  • Way less record-keeping (in fact, I don't manually keep any; my pump and CGM records are more detailed and extensive than anything I ever did on my own)
  • Automatic variation in basal insulin delivery == better control
  • Bolus calcs -- pump does it for you, all you have to do is count carbs.
  • Far fewer fingersticks (CGM)
  • much more discreet, socially compatible insulin administration
  • Much less worry about highs and lows
I'm sure others will add to this list.

Diabetes can be overwhelming, as we all know. The problem is, we can't hit the pause button. If the "chore" of it, and the interference with your quality of life is a problem, make sure you're using every tool available to relieve this stress.

I think about how I felt before the poking, proding, etc, and then, it no longer bothers me.

as always, love your attitude zoe! great advice. I hope you are well. xo amy

I love the autopilot analogy. It's there but it's *just* there. For me, having other things to do whether it's running or reading or listening to music or whatever. Just staring at Lake Michigan on vacation for a couple of days was enough. Come to think of it, I generally have music going if I'm awake. Lately, I'm trying "shuffle" instead of being fussy about playlists and hearing a lot of songs that I like but that I haven't heard for a while as I'm always cultivating "favorites." It helps me stay pretty happy too, 29 years into a ghastly disease.

Thanks, Amy, right back at you!

I'm currently on a "break". I'm feeling well so I'm assuming that my bg is fine & dandy. I haven't tested & exercised for a few days now,& I've been rewarding myself with "treats" (limited amount though)almost everyday. I don't intend to go on with this for a long period of time though, for I'll be having my A1c determined this December & I don't want it to be high.

Kate: I hear you and your comments have much validity.

Today after a long journey through the dark Tunnel of hades; I now am on a side with less stress.

Sorting out mess starting with testing - which forced me to get to 30 strips a day for a couple of months to stop nasty liver dumps and learn what was going on.
Then a cgms for a year and a half as well as solving a ridiculous dawn phen that required me each and every day to walk 2.0 miles to walk off the excess glucose
to get back to sub 140.

Along the way Doctor provided some strategies to stop BG going sub 100 to stop nasty liver dumps as well as stringing met doses at night.

Eating and and diet were nasty until got a reasonable handle on.

Today after pancreas/islets came back on job, liver stopped being so nasty and I am still on my 1200 calorie diet, min diet 300 calories at breakfast and lunch and I am now off the cgms, and test 3 to 4 times a day - midnight and am fasting to watch DawnPhen and sleeping BG and once after dinner (2.5 hours) to dose insulin .

This mess has finally settled down but the road was hades getting there and learning all the idiosynchronies of ones body going on. Worse than running a manual steam engine locomotive where there at least 2 - one as fireman and one as engineer.

Yes cgms extremely expensive - test strips plus sensors and hardware but one really gets a good picture watching all the footwork the body and the glucose digestive process go through. What's not funny is that the pancreas is not all that accurate even when running right and the liver is parked behind all this ruckus ready to dump in extra glucose from its buffer whenever the other processes shoot under or miss guess the amount of insulin required.

I really wish the feds-FDA would get out of the regulatory mess and facilitate getting cgms mass manufactured and costs down to a couple of $ 100 dollars. Having a neat gas gauge like this really helps dramatically.

In the middle of this fight it is exactly ( and worse) as you describe and one wonders of this mess will relent!