I’m officially burnt out, not from my 4.5 decades of diabetes but from the relentlessly pathetic public awareness campaigns. I give up*, you just have to laugh otherwise you’d cry or lapse into depression. The dust has just settled on National Diabetes Week in Australia and each year just seems to get worse.
Who could possibly think that DNSW’s Standing on One Leg event was a responsible, constructive way of doing ANYTHING for diabetes let alone being an appropriate way of tackling preventable amputations? Seriously, do they put some PR interns with no knowledge of healthy psychology, fear appeals or diabetes in a room and tell them to come up with an idea in 10 minutes and then run with the most ridiculous one? Certainly seems so. Continue reading →
I was doing some research about burnout and stumbled upon some wise words from a very naughty diabetic (he maintains a top-secret identity as Llambo but he knows who he is) from a strange virtual land that existed long, long ago.
Anyway I read this list and realised I didn’t have burnout haha, I’m maybe just a bit singed around the edges. How about you? Where do you sit on the burnout spectrum? Not a spark in sight, a pile of ashes or somewhere in between?
If laughter really is the best medicine (except for insulin of course) here’s a possible antidote to burnout.
Top 7 Ways to Recognise if You Have Diabetes Burnout
7. You go to order test strips but they’re no longer on the NDSS form.
6. You have a donut, go to bolus, but realise that instead of bolusing, you’re changing TV channels.
5.You stop enjoying Halle Berry in “Catwoman”. Mmmm Lycra
4. You are out driving and whilst stopped at a red light this guy pulls up next to you with the top down on his new Porsche. You have no idea who it is. That was your endocrinologist.
3. Somebody asks if you are type 1 or type 2 and you can’t remember.
2. You own 5 Novopens (including that ridiculous multi-coloured one) but you can’t find any of them.
And the #1 way to recognise that you have Diabetes Burnout is….drumroll purleeez
1. You finally make an appointment to see an endo, and they tell you that they found a cure 5 years ago. Bugga.
Seriously (or not if you like), do you have ideas about beating burnout or just surviving it? I’d love to hear them.
I attended the consumer outreach day of the ADS-ADEA 2014 scientific conference last week and it was during the session on hypos that I realised that the intersection of scientific “evidence”, clinical expertise and the lived experience of diabetes is a total train wreck.
ADS-ADEA 2014 are to be commended for dipping their toes into the murky waters of consumer involvement in scientific sessions, bans on pharmaceutical companies (who are the major source of sponsorship for such conferences) and affordable and meaningful involvement of people with diabetes in conferences that talk about rather than with them. Most countries fail to accommodate consumers at all. There is much to be done to integrate consumers into these conferences and we’re not there yet, but credit where it is due, the 2014 ADS-ADEA was a really encouraging start.
So back to the train wreck….
The first part of the morning session on hypos was a presentation on the effects of hypos on the brain. There was good data from studies to show that severe hypos are neurotoxic and particularly so to the developing brain. The most injurious thing to the brain of somebody under 6 is severe hypos combined with hyperglyceamia. Hmmmm, this was extremely depressing listening for me who was diagnosed at the age of 16 months, but the science was clear. During question time, it was asked how you would talk about this with your patients and the response was “With great caution, these effects (on the brains of those who’ve suffered severe hypos and hypers) aren’t obvious in everyday life/interactions.” It’s too late for me, my brain might have been injured but I guess I’ve been able to hide it pretty well. I did, however, feel for the parents in the room who are faced with the daily battle of achieving optimal a1cs and avoiding hypos. I honestly believe I would make the decision to run my diabetic child’s sugars a little higher in order to avoid hypoglyceamia after listening to that evidence-based presentation. Continue reading →
“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you”
Diabetes doesn’t explain everything about me, but it does explain some things (at least my insulin pump and occasional frantic binges on glucose). My experiences growing up with diabetes and living with it now has shaped me, I’m not sure how exactly, but every experience goes into making you who you are and diabetes is a part of me-believe me it’s the part I’d most like to ditch but until that can happen I accept that it is part of what makes “me” me and I accept it. Continue reading →
Kate’s post last week got me thinking about why I persevere with paying a lot of money to see an endo (see my reasons below) and I got a sense of deja vu. Way back in the day when we were younger and brasher I recall having similar conversations and I dug out an anecdote of a visit to the endo sent to me in the early 90s by a D friend that seemed to sum up how he and many of us felt-enjoy, I still get a good laugh out of this….
Today I trotted off to see my endo. I’ve been pumping for about 6 months and have not had the need to see anyone since than but the main reason I went was to get my fitness to drive form filled out.
I rock up and he asks me who I’ve been seeing since I started pumping and he’s not at all happy with my answer. I told him that I’ve met with several pumpers here in Adelaide and in Melbourne and have received all the information I’ve required. That as a result of that I’m feeling content and confident with my treatment. I was quite furious at his blatant disregard and lack of interest in a peer education and support strategy especially seeing that there exists no adequate medical support for pumps in SA.
“I would like you to go and see Ms Latoya Jackson, the new educator down at the Shithole Royal Hospital” he says in his smug endo manner. Continue reading →
The sunlight dapples the autumn leaves outside the window and whale song gently drifts around me. I am lying on a massage table, and a track-suit clad man is kneading the soles of my feet, part of my five day “Pamper Package” at a health retreat. Unfortunately as I should be lapsing into a calm and meditative state I can feel my muscles tensing as I grow increasingly irritated.
As a type 1 diabetic for over forty years, I figure I know the limitations and failings of western medicine better than most. Continue reading →
–The incidence of Type 1 diabetes is higher in those of higher socio-economic status. So the higher your family’s income, education and occupational status, the more likely you are to develop type 1 diabetes.
–The prevalence of type 1 diabetes is much higher in white people than other ethnic groups.
–The earliest record of diabetes is found in the Ebers papyrus and dates back to 1500BC. It contains recipes for potions that remove the urine that runs too frequently. I do wonder if they included cinnamon or okra 🙂
–Thank heavens for ketostix! Diagnosing diabetes in the ancient world would be up there with “world’s worst jobs”, ancient doctors would taste urine from suspected sufferers to determine if it was sweet.
–A recent University of Pittsburgh study showed that those diagnosed with type 1 diabetes after the age of 8 years had lower levels of brain activity later in life than those diagnosed before the age of 8 years.
–A clear distinction between type 1 and type 2 diabetes first appeared in The Lancet in 1938, in an article by Sir Harold Himsworth titled ““Diabetes mellitus: its differentiation into insulin-sensitive and insulin-insensitive types”.
Do you know any other interesting/weird/little known facts about diabetes? Please let us know by sharing a comment.
On our Facebook page over the weekend, we worked up an A to Z of things that make your blood sugars go up. We ended up with a great, often funny, list which is rather different from what most of us were told at diagnosis…
Hypo Hangovers or Hormones
Quince jam or Quinoa
Yelling or Yummy sweet foods of any description
Zabaglione or WiZZ FiZZ