Travelbetic.

Im Back! Let’s Talk Internet & Diabetes Burnout

If you follow this blog at all, you have probably noticed my absence from the web over the past few weeks. Aside from a social post here and there I have lacked motivation to share my experiences with you despite my epic adventures as of late. This lack of motivation is partly due to my recent bout of diabetes burnout. Since coming to terms with my diagnosis and really buckling down on my health two years ago this has been my first serious spell of burnout. My job as a bartender and recent travel leaves no room for routine in my life, making T1D management challenging. I grew increasingly fed up with trying to do everything right and still having crazy blood sugars. I grew tired of restricting my diet so I returned to some of my pre-diabetes eating habits and lacked the motivation to exercise. I found myself feeling lethargic and lower than I have felt in awhile. Until two days ago when I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and to take a deep look at this low point and find a lesson to be learned. Diabetes is an intense full time job with no benefits or rewards. With T1D, feeling overwhelmed by our situation is understandable but I want to be stronger than this disease, I want to use my situation as a source of inspiration for others facing hurdles in this life.

“Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional.” -Roger Crawford

Coupled with the diabetes burnout was a bit of internet burnout as well. As I became increasingly fed up with T1D and began to push blood sugar management to the back of my mind I lost site of the reason I started Travelbetic in the first place. After weeks of high blood sugars I couldn’t bring myself to try and inspire other T1Ds when I couldn’t even keep my own sugars in range. Aside from that, who is even reading this stuff anyway? With an unfathomable amount of digital content on the web is anyone actually taking the time to read my ramblings or watch my videos?

Looking back on the last six months of my blogging habits I question some of my actions. Are all the hashtags, paid ads and retweets really contributing to my goal of inspiring others? I feel that I have let the modern ways of the web infiltrate my original motivation behind Travelbetic. Ive let it shape my writing and my voice and that bums me out.

Aside from the hope of helping others, this blog also helps me tremendously. Travelbetic keeps me on track. It holds me accountable for my health and my actions. It’s no wonder I began to feel burnt out by diabetes when I was feeling burnt out by blogging and the internet as a whole. But my vision for Travelbetic has returned and so has my passionate motivation to seize the day and conquer the daily challenges of T1D.

To stay true to my readers is to stay true to myself so from here on out I promise Travelbetic will be a raw glimpse into my journeys, struggles and triumphs, true to the purpose of hopefully inspiring you to conquer the struggles in your own life and live to the fullest extent of your being. No the site may not follow a strict post schedule or you may not see me on social media quite as much, but I promise everything under the Travelbetic brand will be genuine and serve to inspire, motivate and with any luck, bring together a few diabetics who love to challenge themselves and get out into this big wide world despite any obstacle.

So what lessons did I learn from this bout of internet and diabetes burnout?

  • To own my voice and keep it pure from false motivations and to share my experiences no matter who or how many are reading. If I touch one person I have succeeded.
  • Taking a break from an idea and expectations is healthy. A break from blogging, from sharing. A break from my self expectations of my diabetes care. Theres no such thing as perfect. We can do everything right all of the time and our sugars can still play games, we have diabetes, it’s just the way it is.
  • To focus more on the way I feel rather than what the meter reads. Blood glucose meters can be as off as 20%-40% anyway, but more importantly, the way I feel is ultimately the most accurate test of my health. If a number is off I can correct it rather easily but if I feel off, be it from a low BG or recent neglect in care, something needs to change.
  • Think small. Take change one step at a time. For me the first step was exercising again, then buckling down on my meal choices and remembering to bolus pre-meal.
  • Talk about it. Opening up about my burnout symptoms helped me gain perspective and refocus on getting everything back under control.

 

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.” -Bernice Johnson Reagon

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7 thoughts on “Im Back! Let’s Talk Internet & Diabetes Burnout

  1. Rachel

    My ten year old girl is on the road to the good life with T1D and I need every method of motivation and inspiration to help her get to her own normal. She’s already a very enthusiastic and positive little kiddo, but adding your blogs to her information will just make things even brighter. I am thankful for you! You remind me a lot of my brother who just likes to really get out there! I have a feeling he would go your route if he were a fellow T1D. He’s visiting us for the first time since my daughter was hospitalized (Oct, 2016), and we have some camping, fishing, and hiking arranged as well as discovering trails in the area here where I’m raising my kiddo. I appreciate your sharing about the lifetime National Park passes for T1Ds! That will set us up for some rad adventures! I’m just now seeing your blog and I have a feeling it will be bookmarked for us ;). Thank you!

    1. Travelbetic Post author

      Hi Rachel! Glad I can help brighten your kiddos perspective. T1D can seem like such a burden when diagnosed but it will make your daughter stronger than you could imagine. She will be inspiring those around in her no time, if she isnt already! Let me know if there is ever anything I can do for you guys

  2. Jeremy, T1D traveler

    I’ve been using an app called DiabetesKit (review here: http://www.70-130.com/diabetes/iphone-diabetes-apps-reviews-diabetes-kit-vs-glucose-buddy/) Has problems but can export into a CSV file; that’s how I do it.

    But if you’re going to be on a CGM that’s easier. Please let us know how it goes – I don’t want to wear one but I’m secretly fascinated by them. And you’re taking the plunge!

    I’m planning on a long car trip around the US next year so I’m looking forward to yours, the good and the bad about sitting in a car all day. There’s a routine to get used to…!

  3. Jeremy, T1D traveler

    One other thing – on my site I post my monthly BG reports, with stats and charts and analysis, etc. Probably not so interesting for other people in general, but knowing I am going to do this hopefully inspires people to do something similar (watch their BGs) and also makes me behave more and really try to do better. More than I might without it.

    Here’s an example: http://www.70-130.com/diabetes/july-blood-sugar-stats-good-numbers/ That was a good month but I post them even when they’re bad.

    Whatever works! I say.

    1. Travelbetic Post author

      Thanks for the kind words Jeremy!

      Unfortunately routine isnt a word that fits into my lifestyle. My sleep schedule changes every day depending on whether I work the day or night shift. But that all ends soon when I hit the road for a cross country road trip. Very much looking forward to setting my own rules and schedule and being the master of my own life once again.

      Ah yes I have thought about posting my numbers but I can’t figure out a simple way to export my data from my meter and I am much too lazy to do it manually haha. I will be starting on a CGM again soon so I will be able to share that data. Hoping that watching my trends constantly will motivate me to be less complacent and also keep highs and lows from slowing down an adventure.

      To the good fight!

  4. Jeremy, T1D traveler

    Nice article – I can relate. The web is full of stuff, and some of the ugliest and dumbest stuff seems to be the most popular. I think for us diabetes bloggers, continuing to be honest and simple is best. Even if it feels we get pushed aside by the sensationalistic and fast-moving mainstream, as you say if we can reach even a small audience and inspire them (and each other) it’s clearly worth it.

    Hope the betes burnout is a thing of the past. It does take constant focus. The good thing is that you can (finally) get into a routine where things seem to be fairly stable. For me sleep is a big part of it, as is having *generally* stable BGs. Both of those seem to be big factors besides the regular food, exercise, insulin, etc.

    Your honesty in blogging about diabetes is commendable and inspiring. Looking forward to more!