My name is Caleb I’m 19 going into my 2nd year of college. I’ve been a T1D for a while it will be 9 years in October. I’ve been suffering from diabetic burnout. Just getting tired of it all and Im in need of support and guidance from anyone who can relate to what I’m going through. I don’t know any diabetics in my age range and my other friends, as great as they are, just can not comprehend what I deal with. I just feel embarrassed being a diabetic. I’ve been asked by people if I’m a drug addict because they’ve seen me do insulin shots. If anyone has any advice, comforting words, or wants to complain alongside me as a new friend I’d really appreciate it.
My name is Sarah, and although I’m 36, I have been living since I was 4 with T1D, so maybe I can tell you what I have lived in my 32 years as diabetic.
I know how you feel but maybe because is the only kind of life that I have met, I carry with it, and yes, I know that some times it’s not easy at all.
Firstly, I think is more about how do you feel about being diabetic and sharing your life with others, more than what the ‘impolite and rough-spoken’ people tell you.
Don’t let nobody push you down because you’re diabetic. Diabetes doesn’t stops your life, and I speak by experience that we are who limit our lives.
Always, when I’m metting someone new (maybe not the first minute but as soon as I consider it appropriate), or I’m starting in a new school (I’m going to start again the uni on October) or I’m in a new job, I make them aware of my condition, not because I’m ill (I’m quite well controlled) but because it’s safe for me that if they know what’s going on, they can help me in case I need it.
Whoever doesn’t accept you the way you are , let them go, and keep with you the good ones. If someone is rude telling you things like if you’re drug addict, give your best face with a smile and tell them that you’re diabetic and addicted to life… nothing to hide or feel embarrassed.
Years ago when I was using pens, I was trying to hide when doing my injections but with the time it was like… if they have a question, they can do it and I will explain. Now I’m on insulin pump and the same, I was trying to hide it, but do you know what? Those things no longer have that big effect on me, no more. If someone sees my pump, what it’s easy because I place it on my trousers pocket, and they ask, I explain it, and people amazes about how the technology can improve our lives, you would be surprised they way the people reacts when you’re confident and open about it.
I remember when I was 19 or 20 I was so tired being diabetic (as I can see maybe that’s the age we feel that way) always with the insulin, with doctors, blood tests… One day I didn’t appear for my doctor’s appointment and without telling nothing to nobody I took a sabbatic year of my diabetes. I was no so well controlled but I still kept doing my prick tests and my injections, but nobody was controlling me except me. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea, but I was annoyed of being under control of everyone except myself. After that year I came back stronger and I started to look better after my diabetes, of my life. Please, don’t misunderstand me, don’t do it. I already was 15-20 years diabetic, so more or less I knew what I was doing. I just want you to understand that before or after, all of us arrive to that point of tiredness, and you’re moment is now, so think of you and forget about what the rest says or think and enjoy your life.
I have had different relationships and boyfriends. I’m married 13 years ago. I have a son of 8 (completely healthy). I have had my own business. I travel as much as I can. I play sports. And now I’m living in another country with a different language and as I told you, I’m about to start the university again…
You’re not your diabetes, you can do everything you wish, but you have to be confident and live with your diabetes as part of your life and not as the problem of it. And if someone doesn’t like it, don’t give them the power or control to make you feel bad, because there is nothing bad in being diabetic.
Every time someone treats me like they feel sad for me because of being diabetic, I always answer the same: diabetes is annoying but thankfully doesn’t affect my goals in life and always there will be someone on a worst situation than me or with a more difficult life because of an illness, so I’m happy with my life. Of course I would prefer not being diabetic, but isn’t the end of my world.
So please, I do apologise for so long answer, but there’s nothing bad with you, and if anyone makes you feel the opposite, show them your back and go to the next step with a smile.
Caleb keep strong, live your life and look after yourself. Remember that you’re not alone, you always will have your family, your good friends… and us. Love yourself with all your things and everything will be better
Hey Caleb! I’m Emma! I’m 20 and going into my third year of college. I was diagnosed at 14 and I really struggled my first year of college. I just wanted to feel normal and fit in. I didn’t want to have to check my blood sugar and give insulin in the dining hall and I didn’t want all these new people I was meeting to think differently of me. As I’m sure you know quite well, even in college people still ask the dumb questions like “oh so you have the good kind?” or “how do you have diabetes, you aren’t fat?” it’s honestly so annoying but what I’ve learned so far from my college experience is that the friends you do end up making, the ones that stick with you for the rest of your four years don’t think of you differently and they truly do want to understand what you go through so they can support you. I think that’s what has been most helpful for me is finding that support group (even though they aren’t diabetics) just that I can feel comfortable with and have by my side so when some one does ask if I’m a drug addict, they can stand up for me and set them straight. So maybe even though your friends don’t completely understand what you go through they can be there for you in a different way. Anyways, I completely understand the burnout and I want you to know that you aren’t the only one that feels this way. A lot of colleges have diabetes support groups, it may be something to look into if you haven’t already. I couldn’t find one at my school but I’ve heard good things about them at other schools. As far as being embarrassed about your diabetes, I totally feel that. I think for me I feel embarrassed when someone doesn’t understand and they see me eating sugar and ask me if I can have that. When that happens, I just remind myself that it’s their lack of knowledge and my opportunity to educate them so this doesn’t happen again to another T1D. Something one of my doctors told me once that has really stuck with me is that diabetes doesn’t make me different, it makes me unique and unique is cool because normal is so over rated. I hope something I have said sticks with you and helps you as you go into your second year of college! Just remember you’re not alone!
Hi Caleb! It’s me again. Haha
I think it’s fair to say that every diabetic goes through phases of burnout. I know I’ve had my fair share. I know in my previous reply that I mentioned the College Diabetes Network, and I want to give other links to you that they provide.
Here is one on dealing with diabetes and burnout: https://collegediabetesnetwork.org/content/burnout
If you like animals at all, you’ll think this link is great. They have really adorable and funny videos of dogs and other animals, as well as resources listed at the bottom of the page.
Another page I’ll point you towards is the Campus Chapters page: https://collegediabetesnetwork.org/content/campus-chapters
Here you can see if your campus has a CDN chapter so you can get together with other people with diabetes who “get it.”
Again, I hope this helps!