Monday, August 29, 2011

Type 2 Burnout: Wendy's Story

Wendy Pederson was one of the first people to contact me with a post after I announced the "Your Voice" project. Wendy is a facebook friend of mine, found through the legions of other D-friends we have in common.

She has a lot of d-related things going on in her life, but shared with me about her husband who refuses to sleep if she's had an alcohol beverage as he's afraid her sugars will drop too low in her sleep. And her chinchilla who sits & stares at her if she's too high or low (diabetic alert chinchilla?!?!)  She is also fighting to try to get a CGM which her insurance won't cover because she's a T-2, even though she's on insulin.

Wendy shares some of her frustrations with diabetes here. She can be found on her (little used, in her words) Twitter account @thewired1.

I’m currently T-2, insulin dependent. I’m frustrated, and dealing with my own dia-burnout at the moment.

I’m a 4th generation diabetic. My father was T-2 and in my memory at least, was reasonably controlled with oral meds. He passed 16 years ago from injuries in car accident. I do not remember my grandfather—he fell into a diabetic coma in during dental surgery when I was just a month old in 1973. My great-grandfather lost a leg to the D-monster sometime in the 20’s-30’s; it was gone before my father was born and he died in the 50’s.

I was diagnosed in March 2004. At once I felt both panicked, and relieved. There was a reason I was so tired after eating, so thirsty all the time, taking even longer to heal than normal and having recurrent ‘female’ infections! I clung to the memory of my dad taking his pills and being relatively ok, though he only followed his diet when my mother was with him. My boyfriend took it all in stride. After all, his brother had been diagnosed T-1 just a few years before so he “knew it all!” even though his brother lived out of state and had for years before being diagnosed.

The oral meds did not work for me. Insulin was a lot easier to deal with and kept me in far better control. I married the boyfriend in July 2005 and had bariatric surgery in December 2006. I had what I thought was my last insulin shot on December 3rd, 2006 and surgery on December 4th.

I’ve now been back on insulin for over a year. My weight is back up to near pre-surgery levels. My blood sugars are OK, and I’m trying to let “OK” be enough for now. I’m so sick of trying to keep on top of everything, and to have everyone think it’s easy, or no big deal, or this or that or… or… or…

My Diabetic Educator is also one who talks as if someone can be perfect when it comes to diabetes. “If you count your carbs right and adjust for activity, you should never go low and your highs should be minimal,” she says. “There’s no such thing as an unexplained blood sugar reading” is another so-called gem. I’ve looked at her and asked her to explain how I can go low 5-6 hours after eating when I know I under-treated. Or how I can be at 70 (which is low for me) and shaky, nauseous, and treating the low only to have it drop even LOWER for the next hour as I keep treating with juice boxes every 15 minutes. Until I finally tell myself ‘screw it’ & reach for a Snickers bar.

I try hard, so very hard, to not let diabetes define who I am. It seems the harder I try, the worse the burnout gets.

Anyone else have that sensation?

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