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Theresa Newell

Diabetes Burnout: Breaking It into Little Pieces

August 16, 2011 by David Edelman

Diabetes is harder than a marathon. Marathons end, but diabetes keeps coming, from morning until night and onto morning again. The endless counting, the highs and lows, the constant interruptions: they take a toll on your body and soul. Is it a surprise that burnout is frequent?

One of the goals of the Workshop for Better Blood Sugars, our inaugural course in Diabetes Daily University, is to share a diabetes management approach that doesn’t cause burnout. It is a way to move beyond constantly correcting highs and lows in a search for equilibrium. It’s the antidote to collecting a large amount of information that never seems to makes things easier. It’s a way to manage diabetes that isn’t overwhelming, exhausting, and dispiriting.

One of the foundations of this approach is “using your best to fix the rest”. It’s about focusing on the parts of your day that are working and expanding them. Instead of fixing highs and lows (who can figure out what caused them after the fact?), focus on expanding the periods of your day that are stable and predictable. This approach leverages the one (small) silver lining of the diabetes marathon: you don’t need to work on everything at once. Diabetes will still be there tomorrow, so it’s okay to take a step back figure out how to manage your favorite breakfasts before you move on to lunch and beyond.

Breaking diabetes up into little pieces isn’t a magic bullet. It requires a lot of detective work. (The course includes many great case studies of detective work done by real people that Dr. Paul Rosman has helped.) But it’s relaxing compared to tackling every piece at once.

How does this approach resonate with you? Do you feel the need to tackle everything at once or do you have strategies for breaking diabetes up into manageable pieces?

Category: Manage Diabetes

About the Author

Theresa was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes Fall 2009.

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