Let’s Get Real with Diabetes

Diabetes professionals, manufactures and medical supply companies will tell you there is a right way and a wrong way to do many things related to diabetes. Easier said then done and most of us have our own way of doing things. Some times this advise makes sense and other times I swear the recommendations are a way for the companies to make more money.

Changing you lancet after each finger stick

This is never going to happen. Period. Point blank. Do people realize how often we test daily? Not to mention how expensive supplies are!

Using a different syringe for each injection

For me personally this one doesn’t happen either. I use each of my syringes 2 times before it lands in the sharps container. Someone people swear it takes quite a few more uses before the needle ‘wears out’ or becomes jagged. After 2 uses mine don’t seem as sharp (doesn’t pierce the skin easily or is painful) so that’s what I go by.

A new reservoir/cartridge for each infusion set 

Heck NO! I use those things until the ‘o ring’ starts to fall off or the lubrication inside the reservoir wears out and my pump doesn’t prime correctly or won’t remain primed.

Changing infusion sites every 3 days 

I’ll admit I should be a little better with this. During the cooler months my sites last longer so if I don’t notice absorption issues, I’ll keep it in until the adhesive begins to peel on the sides. Infusion sets are a supply that I tend to hoard due to how expensive they are. I need things to last as long as they can!

Wiping off excess blood from finger after testing 

Kinda of gross but…yes… I’ve been known to use my tongue to get off the excess blood. Typing that sentence out makes me feel ashamed. LOL!

Keeping expired supplies as back up 

I always hold on to a few expired things in case of an emergency such as key tone urine test strips and my glucogon pen (in case something goes wrong with the other). I feel like with these things in particular having something is better than nothing.

Replacing Dexcom Sensor After 7 Days

According to the manual, the sensor should be replaced every 7 days. I have always kept mine in longer. As long as the readings are still accurate and the site isn’t bothering me, I leave it in. 14 days is the longest I’ve ever gone. The thing was holding on by practically nothing and I was concerned about site infection if left in for much longer.

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Diabetes Burnout

After 1o years of living with diabetes I thought I had heard every diabetic phrase until recently. I was finally able to put a name to how I’ve been feeling lately… I was experiencing ‘Diabetes Burnout’. Since hearing about this I’ve been doing some reading online and have discovered how common this phenomenon is and that I am NOT alone.

Diabetes Burnout is a state in which patients grow tired of managing their disease and then simply ignore  it for a period of time, or worse, forever. The endless attention that diabetes requires can get exhausting! There are many obstacles that can get in the way of good self care and they can lead to burnout if you’re not careful. I just started reading the book seen below and it has been very informative so far. If you’ve been dealing with diabetes for some time or love someone who has, I definitely recommend reading the book.

For me personally, my burnout phase began after being sick for 9 weeks starting back in November (upper respiratory infection that turned into pneumonia and an ear infection). No mater what I did, what I ate, how much insulin I took I was constantly battling high blood sugars. I thought, what’s the point in testing when I know my blood sugar is high? The frustration of feeling like no matter what I did, I was fighting a loosing battle really started getting the best of me. Let’s face it, diabetes sucks and sometimes it feels like it’s sucking the life out of you. It’s something that’s always there- looming no matter what. Whether you’re having the best day ever or the worst, you have to manage your diabetes- 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year without a single day off. Talk about overwhelming!

The way I’m feeling is still a work in progress but I can tell you some things I’ve learned already:

Take one day at a time. This journey is a marathon, not a sprint. Focus on the day in front of you, don’t beat yourself up about the past.