Let’s be honest with each other- we’re all friends here, right? (Well some of us at least.) But anyways- let’s be honest!
I’d be willing to place a large bet that most people with diabetes have had an endocrinologist appointment with diabetes burnout (hey- could be another specialist even- hey… maybe it’s not diabetes but something else? Maybe it’s the logistics of it! WHO KNOWS- but you get what I’m saying!)
Next. I’m also sure some of us have canceled or rescheduled those appointments and not because we are sick or something came up- but because of the burnout or fear of shame. I decided not to say valid reasons… because burnout is still a valid reason- mental health?
I know I have done BOTH of those things. Several times. When I was kid and couldn’t cancel the appointment, I’d fake it the entire appointment. There’s a saying about being an adult and scheduling your own appointments… but… I embraced it!
Since the first time I really experienced diabetes burnout (I let it all add up- I wouldn’t recommend it), I’ve had burnout a time or two after that. But some things have been different. I’ve changed. I’ve learned. I’m in a different situation. I’m wiser… well maybe not that one. I’ve grown up… definitely not that one!
I look at mental health differently. I have better health insurance and access to more providers to pick from. (Plus so much more).
For me, the clear sign I have burnout? My desire to cancel appointments.
Something I learned? I’m less likely to do it when I have a good relationship with my healthcare providers. That makes a world of difference.
If I don’t cancel or reschedule, I still have endo anxiety as I make my trek to the appointment. I start filling with dread the evening before, and it continues until I word vomit to my doctor (who… thank goodness- takes it in stride). If I don’t cancel, I’m trying to figure out how to make the best of my appointment. How do I be honest? I’ve lied when it comes to healthcare for as long as I can remember- from not checking, to randomly filling out the BG logs, to not being honest with how I was feeling, the works. How do I not crumble when the feelings come to the surface?
I always wonder why bother with an appointment after or during burnout? Is it a waste if I’m burned out? But keeping up with your healthcare including appointments is important- and not necessarily just for the refills. Sometimes… for me… the appointment is the very thing to help me start getting out of burnout.
So this is what I try to do (and have learned to do) to get the most out of my endocrinologist appointments even with diabetes burnout along for the ride:
- I let myself feel burned out. I breathe. I acknowledge it so I can work through it and not hide during the appointment. If I don’t admit it to myself, how can I say it out loud?
- Write out what questions you have and what you want to talk about beforehand. That way I don’t lose what’s on my mind- I tend to do that anyways… but if there are emotions- it can allllll go out the window.
- I try to walk to my appointment and have it first thing in the am. Walking is great self-care and helps with my dawn phenomenon. Added bonus? I’m not thinking about the appointment all day.
- Be okay if there aren’t patterns to analyze. Most likely, if I’ve been in burnout… there probably aren’t a whole lot of patterns to explore. Which for some reason I turn into a failure but that isn’t the case. I need to remind myself of that.
- Ask to hear the a1c at the end of the appointment if possible. That way you don’t go to another planet or slip down the rabbit hole and miss out on making the most of the appointment. I had never experienced this before until my current endo- at first it felt so strange- but now- it’s the way to go for me!
- Pick one thing at a time to work on. I tend to go a million miles a minute and want to do it all. I pick at every little thing with my management and how I’d like to improve. Lists can be very helpful and manageable. So if there is something to work on- I try to work with my doctor to select one thing to start with.
- Be ready for whatever happens during the appointment. The a1c results, the pattern, your own judgements, etc.
- Be honest with yourself and during the appointment.
- Ask for help if you need it. You might need more than some tips or time- you might need therapy. Ask for help to take those steps if necessary.
But before all of that- I have to have a good relationship with my provider. You want to feel comfortable with them and not shamed by them. For me… If I don’t… when the burnout is in full swing, and I get that email, text, or call reminding me of my appointment, I VERY often cancel.
It’s HARD to not cancel your endo appt if you have diabetes burnout. I’m not going to say it’s a bad thing to do so either- but it’s important to reschedule it! Hell, it’s hard to get of burnout- event to admit you’re in it! Add the stress of doctor appointments… it can be hard to get the most of it.
9 Tips For Making the Most of Your Endo Appt with Diabetes Burnout
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