Friday Five

5NumberFiveInCircleHope everyone is enjoyed their short week! It was pretty busy now that I am back in school (my fourth semester), so I thought I would do a little update bullet point style.

  • As I just mentioned, I have started my fourth semester in grad school (in case you are new, I’m getting my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy). My classes this semester all have insanely long titles: Ethical Issues and Professional Practices in Marriage and Family Therapy, Advanced Application of Relational Theory, Assessment of Children, Couples and Family, and Therapy with Couples and Intimate Partners. I’m also taking two one-credit classes, Professional Issues and Orientation (I transferred between the Counseling & Psych program and the MFT program, so I’m a little late taking this) and Special Topics: Medical Family Therapy.
  • Medical Family Therapy is, as you can probably guess, what I’m really interested in doing as a professional but it is proving really difficult to pursue as a graduate student. There aren’t any internships in the area that really focus on counseling people with medical conditions, and most of the education is at the doctoral or post-doc level. Which means if I really want to get specific, I will probably need a PhD. The jury is still out on whether or not I will actually do that.
    • People ask all the time when I’ll be done. The answer? I don’t know. Probably sometime in 2017, as that’s probably when I’ll finish my internship. But I will be done with classwork next summer.
  • I have put in a call to Dexcom to get the new G5 system. Unfortunately when I followed up I found out that they had my old New York endocrinologist on file, which is probably why I hadn’t heard anything yet. But I corrected that so hopefully I should be getting the system soon. Has anyone else received it?!
  • I was hoping that it would arrive by the time I run the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon (on October 4!!) but I don’t think that’s going to happen. I have been doing a lot of testing on my training runs and I think I have more or less figured out how to run long distances without dying. I’ll share some of what I’ve learned in an upcoming blog post (yes, I will try to blog more than once a month!)
  • And finally: GOOD LUCK to all of the Riding On Insulin athletes who are tackling freaking IRONMAN Wisconsin this Sunday! There are 70 people participating, and over half have type 1 diabetes, including one my best friends and a DOC favorite, Caroline. Crazy awesome!! I wish I could be there this weekend (kinda sad since it’s only 4 hours away in Madison), but I know everyone will rock it! Can’t wait to read all the stories!

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Diabetus Overwhelmus

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burnout-90345_640It’s no secret that I have been writing about diabetes, in one way or another, for a long time. About half my life, actually. And I’ve had the disease itself for about three-quarters of my life. That’s a lot of time centered around one not-so-great aspect of my otherwise very full and happy existence.

Diabetes social media, whether that blogging or Facebook or Twitter, has always been just one aspect of what I do to stay involved in the community. My biggest contribution, I think, is the freelance writing that I’ve done for different publications. I’ve written for my own websites and I’ve written for other websites and publications, but they have by-and-large been about others: other people, other organizations, other insulin pumps, technology, cure research, what have you. Occasionally a personal essay may make its rounds, but the diabetes writing that I really enjoy has nothing to do with me.

And I like it that way. Personally, I don’t find my diabetes to be very interesting. Sure, I could write about how my low blood sugar this morning thwarted my training run because I had a limited amount of time before class. Sure, I could write about the screaming high blood sugar I had because I wasn’t paying attention to how many delicious chocolate chip cookies from the Minnesota State Fair I was actually eating. Sure, I could write about a variety of other situations that happen on a near-daily basis that I’ms sure could give plenty of fodder for this blog but you know what? It’s boring. (To me.) I have never been able to sustain a five day a week posting schedule because I don’t find it terribly interesting, and if I don’t find it interesting, it’s going to be difficult to convey it in a way that is interesting for other people.

So I don’t do it.

I think has really helped me not burn out from diabetes social media, because I don’t place any kind of expectations on what kind of volume or what kind of stories I’m going to churn out for the masses (that would be you guys). When I do find something interesting to share, then I’m really grateful that I have a place to do it, and I’m even more grateful that I have readers who are willing to stick with me even though I’m not entirely dependable for new material.

I go through waves on other social media platforms. Sometimes I’m really engaged with Facebook groups and Twitter chats, things like that. And other times, I want to focus on the other interests of my life. For instance, I’m reading a lot of running blogs right now because, hello, running a marathon in five weeks!

In general it’s important to be a well-rounded individual and not feel like you have to be solely dedicated to just one aspect of your life. People should be free to come and go as they need the help and the guidance. Personally, I’m doing pretty well emotionally with living with a chronic illness, but I know that I always get a little depressed and mopey about it when January comes around and I’m facing down another diaversary. That’s when having the social support is really crucial for me, and luckily I know that it will be there.

I’ve been noticing a few more people these days posting (even before this Diabetes Burnout Day) that they didn’t really want to blog about diabetes and they were taking a break. Or some people just took a break without saying anything. Or the frequency of their posting has, like me, slowed down. But those were also the people that I have known the longest. Meanwhile I know that there have been dozens of newer blogs who have been writing with great fervor. I think that’s exactly the way it should be.

It’s a circle of life of sorts. Those who started a long time ago will need a break, and the new guys will take over for awhile, and then they’ll get tired. And so on and so forth. Because nobody can sustain the same thing endlessly, especially when it’s something as frustrating and irritating as diabetes. Living diabetes is tiring enough, but making it a hobby? That’s really hard. Remember to diversify. Give yourself a break. Just like diabetes, we’ll still be here.