Burnout? No, I don’t suffer from diabetes burnout.
Whenever possible, I try to break things down into simple rather than complex paradigms (actual paradigms, not the Medtronic kind). I won’t tell you that I’ve never felt the effects of the constant testing, injecting, carb counting-ness of life with this chronic condition. But for quite a while now, I’ve had the “Can’t do anything about it, might as well make the best of it” mentality.
I’m pretty good at glossing things over, making them appear to be less than they are. I’m also very good at making things appear to be more than they are from time to time, but that’s usually by mistake. Not by design. But lately, when it comes to me and diabetes, I just do what I have to do, and get through my day. As long as things are going well, nothing seems to bother me.
But something the other day made me think about that assessment.
It was Wednesday night. I came home, feeling fine. I fed the dog and cat, and ate dinner. I knew I needed to do an infusion site change. I cleaned up the kitchen, took out the trash… the usual. I read my e-mail. Listened to the Pandora for a while. Then, at about 8:45, fifteen minutes before the #DSMA Twitter chat, I finally got everything out and started my site change.
I remember thinking, as I started the process with 1.9 units remaining in my reservoir (I know there were more units than that, but that’s another subject for another day), how often I need to do a site change right before #DSMA. Also, how I always seem to have 1.9 units or less showing on my display when I actually do a site change.
That’s when it hit me. Doing my site changes like this really seems to be less about squeezing out the last drops of insulin from my reservoir, and more about the fact that I don’t want to change my site. Ever.
I thought this was happening because I’ve just been living in the moment a lot more in the last few years, enjoying the good things in my life when they happen, and doing the things I need to do only when I need to do them. But this is more than that. I see that now. When I realized what I was doing, I just got this feeling… you know? It was a subtle, yet effective reminder that I know I can’t hide how I feel about it. It almost felt like I got caught telling a big fat lie. Some D-tasks are just more than I want to deal with, so I don’t deal with them until I absolutely have to.
So what do I do now? Go on a pump vacation? I don’t think so. I think that would just allow me to create a new problem somewhere else. Instead, I’ll think about it a bit and then try to do a few things to make the site changes simpler, easier. Maybe pre-fill the reservoirs. Get my infusion sets and other paraphernalia out of my dungeon of a basement and onto the main floor, where I usually perform the change. I don’t know if that would work, but you have to start somewhere, right? Taking a few steps out of the process might speed things up and make them feel less like punishment.
It’s a strange thing when you think you’re handling something well, then you’re confronted with the reality that you’re really not. You’re just ignoring it well. The fact is, I could have a lot worse things to deal with. I need to stay calm and persevere. And get some perspective. And really: If it didn’t bother me to perform a set change every few days, maybe I wouldn’t be as interested in making things better for future generations of People With Diabetes. I’ll take being a proactive Person With Diabetes over a complacent Person With Diabetes any day of the week.