There are some gloomy days in life of a person with diabetes, when we are absolutely exhausted and want to go back to our life, before diabetes happened to us. It is usually known as ‘Diabetes Burnout’.
I’m writing this blog on behalf of all my fellow T1Ds, knowing the fact that each one of us have or had these days in our lives, when we wish we had at least a day without diabetes even when we do not let our family members know this. I’m sure of this because I’ve seen many people around without any deficiency, still complaining about their lives and having tough times dealing with it.
To start with, I’ll say ‘Life is not all sunshine and rainbows’ and so is with Type 1 Diabetes, although we always try and manage our Type 1 Lives like a pro, still there are days when we don’t want to do finger pricks, carb counting, follow ups at midnight, boluses after every meal etc. We also want a life as easy as other people without diabetes.
There are countless days when I had this burnout in my life, but talking about the recent experience is of much importance.
As all of us are very well aware of the grave situation, our country is facing due to Covid 19 pandemic this year, we are in the Lockdown phase in our city at this time and still clueless as to when is this going to end.
Locked up in home with all the family members is more of fun at this time and obviously, the time for more of cooking, eating and binge watching.
This happened to me during last weekend, when none of us had any work from home, online classes etc and we were just being couch potato for whole day, watching TV. By evening, when we had our supper, my cousin brought another lot of snacks and I was like so much blown away with the situation that, I hogged up half of the packet of wafers and I was so stubborn like a kid at that time, that I didn’t even bother to scan my blood glucose levels or even bolus for those extra calories, as I was so much into my TV show and was hardly interested in getting up and take my shot. Eventually, when I checked my levels before dinner at 8 pm, it was like a nightmare, my BGs were as high as 300 mg/dl. I obviously took correction for this, but now I was so much full of frustration that I repeated same thing the another day and foolishly thought that ‘what if I don’t bolus for this little snack, nobody else does, so why should I’. Obviously, this was momentarily as always and again I was back to my mind exercises with my diabetes.
This is the time when we all are living in a very cozy environment, being lazy like never before and doing nothing but eating for sure. So, this makes lives of T1Ds very difficult to cope up with others, especially the Type 1 kids.
I’m saying this, when I had already spent 27 years with Type 1 Diabetes and I’m not at all hesitant to say this that I still get burnout on some days.
This makes me go back to my childhood days, when my journey started as a 6 years old kid and it was very disheartening for my parents to make me understand about my diabetes. My heart goes out to all the Type 1 kids and their parents, as making a kid understand what to eat and what not eat is very difficult. They always have a question in mind ‘Why I can’t eat this when my siblings, friends and cousins can?’, especially during these times, when everyone is at home and you can’t relish the foods, that others can.
What should we do?
For a person like me, who has spent 27 years with diabetes, knows how harmful this burnout situation is for our diabetes and even if it is there, its for a shorter period of time, as good as a cheat meal day. As far as type 1 kids are concerned, here comes the role of your doctor and parents.
- First of all, counseling by your doctor makes children think of their diabetes, as parents are mostly taken for granted.
- Role of parents in the life of a Type 1 kid is as comparable to God. Now, making a kid understand about diabetes is one thing everybody knows, but executing the protocols like diet regime, insulin shots, keeping an eye on hypos is yet another challenge for kids.
Starting one type of meal for everyone in the family, is one healthy habit which doesn’t need an effort and doesn’t put mental pressure on child.
- One cheat meal day per month should be planned for the child, under the doctor’s supervision, so that the child can relish whatever he wants and won’t cause burnout.
- Sweets with low carbs is one healthy option, on some days.
- Stevia is a plant based natural sweetener which can be used to sweeten the home made delicacies.