The other day felt like a long day. And every time I went to prick my finger to test my blood sugar, I found myself thinking, “Seriously? I’m gonna have to do this for the rest of my life? I don’t know if I can even stand to do this one more time today let alone for the rest of my godforsaken life.”
Sometimes I’ll throw in a very audible, “Ughh,” or cringe or growl. Whatever feels right in that moment when I’m sick and tired of this daily chore that never ends.
It’s not like going to school where you have to work really hard, put in the time, and then eventually you’re done for a little while and you’ve earned an entire summer or at least a couple weeks of vacation. (Or even graduation! Can you imagine graduating from diabetes?)
No way. In diabetes, you have to work really hard, put in the time, and at the end of the day—and every day that follows—you have to do it again and again and again. The harder you work doesn’t mean you’ll suddenly acquire a bunch of vacation days where you don’t have to do anything. Where you can just sit back and relax and forget about your diabetes as easily as your email inbox at work.
Again and again and again.
To expect that of a person is pure insanity. To expect that we can take on that kind o responsibility—that endless demand of your energy and attention—is cruel and unusual. Even in parenting, you can hire a babysitter for a few hours. Even the President gets vacation time now and then.
It simply isn’t logical to expect a person to deal with this day in and day out without mistakes, without desperately needing a break, without crumbling at some point for any given length of time.
That’s why we have a right to feel burned out. Why we have a right to experience several days or weeks where our blood sugars are more out of range than usual, where we skip checking our blood sugar just because we can’t stand to see one more number telling us how imperfect we are that day.
I don’t know about you, but there are days when that simple act of pricking my finger feels so monumental. Like if I had to do it just one more time that day, I might melt into a puddle on that floor.
And those are the days when I remind myself to breathe. I remind myself that I am human—not a robot. I remind myself that it’s okay to be sick of it sometimes. To dread it sometimes. To hate it sometimes.
I remind myself it’s okay to feel burned out. That I even deserve to feel burned out. And I remind myself that when I’m ready, whether it’s in an hour, or tomorrow, or next month, I’ll get back on track. When I’m ready.