Did you know that if you exactly measure your carbohydrate content, dose your insulin accordingly, take into account the exercise you are doing and consider your stress levels your BGL will always be 5.5mmol/l?

Seriously. That’s what we’re to believe if we read ‘the diabetes rule books’.

And when you manage to do all this and your HbA1c remains steady at 6.9 per cent, you will not develop complications. The diabetes gods promise this. (Actually, between you and me, I think they’d be the diabetes demons, but let’s move on.)

I love that there are so many diabetes rules. Because I like rules. I’m a little nerdy-nerd in real life, so give me a rule book and I’ll not only follow it, but memorise it and hand out detentions to anyone who needs to smarten up or dares step outside the school without their blazer on. Ahem….sorry. We’re talking about diabetes.

If there was such a thing as a diabetes monitor, I’d be it. Because I’d have all the rules memorised – as well as the sub-rules and special rules, and I’d be following them to the letter. Or the number. Whatever!

So, imagine my constant disbelief that although I do play by the rules – sometimes brain-numbingly so – and yet when I scroll through my BGL meter, the results are not one 5.5mmol/l after another. How is it that even though I know I counted the carbs right in my lunch and know I entered my BGL correctly into my pump that I, for some reason, am 19.3mmol/l. Right now.

And riddle me this. How is it that one person with diabetes who has always had an HbA1c sitting around 10 per cent is living complications free, when another whose HbA1c has never been above 7 per cent is now going through laser surgery to treat retinopathy?

The thing about rule books is that they work when the game is simple, straightforward and doesn’t have variables. Diabetes is all about the variables.

And yet, when I ‘break’ the rules (see: current BGL 19.3mmol/l) it is me who feels like I’m off to the principal’s office to write ‘I will be nice to diabetes’ one hundred times.

So, I’ve decided that I’m turning things around. I am sick of feeling bad because, even though I followed the rules, diabetes is not playing by them.  I am tired of apologising to myself and my body when I am following the rules, but still end up having horrible lows  and I am stopping – STOPPING – feeling responsible and guilty when I don’t want to play anymore and am feeling completely and utterly burnt out.

Burn out is creeping into my life and I’m getting better and better at identifying it early. Right now, even though I really am playing by the rules, my diabetes is making up things as it goes along. And I can’t seem to work out what to do. Actually, I can’t be bothered working out what to do.

So, here and now I am acknowledging that diabetes sucks more than usual. I am saying ‘I’m not coping right now’ and I am saying ‘I’m beyond pissed that despite my best efforts I’m getting crap results’.

I’m not throwing in the towel. But I’m changing the game. I’m rewriting the rules. And I’m the one handing out detentions, so, diabetes, you’d better bloody well smarten up!

Need some information about diabetes burnout? Have a look at the Behavioural Diabetes Institute’s website here.

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