“Dealing with Diabetes Burnout” by Ginger Vieira

I started reading this book by the wonderful Ginger Vieira earlier today.  I’m only on page 31, but I’m already sitting here in tears.  I am not a person who asks for help – never have been.  I have always been one who does everything her self, and hates to feel like I can’t do what I need to on my own.

I feel so alone.  I feel alone living in Indiana far from all my friends and family, I feel alone in the diabetes world, I feel alone.  I lost 2 aunts to diabetes far too young.  One was in her 40s, and the other in her early 50s.  Because of that and being the only diabetic left in the family, I have a hard time talking to anyone in my family about diabetes.  My friends here in Indiana are mainly work friends, and I don’t want to bring that drama to my work friends.

I’m scared.  Having those 2 aunts die so young of diabetes or diabetes-related things scares the ever living heck out of me.  People reply with their annoying platitudes such as “the technology is so much better now”; “but you take care of yourself”, etc.  I don’t care – it still scares me to think of what the future may or may not hold for me.

I need someone to talk to, but I can’t talk to someone I may be seeing in real life.  Does that make sense?  I need to connect with some people who “get it” but that I don’t have to fear judgement from or fear seeing them in public.  I need a bit of anonymity with my emotions, fears, etc.  Kind of odd that I’m posting this all on here, but I guess I need to feel like I’m being heard by people who understand, without having to see and REALLY connect with them.  Really connecting is hard.

So my dream is to be a CDE.  If I have these moments where I feel like I emotionally and mentally can’t handle my own diabetes, how will I be able to help other people handle their diabetes?  I feel like I NEED to be a CDE, but SHOULD I be one?

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So it’s been almost a year since I last wrote a post on here.  Unfortunately, nothing much has changed.  I am still living in Indiana, working on the mother / baby unit at a local hospital.

I have had a couple interviews for endocrine clinic / office / diabetes jobs, but nothing played out.

One of the interviews went super well, but they were looking for more an endocrine nurse for hormone therapies, growth hormones, testosterone injections than for a diabetes nurse, and the manager felt that I wouldn’t be happy in that position not being very involved with diabetes care – BOO!

I have been getting more involved with a local Adults with Type 1 group here in Indy, and that’s great, but I’m still having a hard time not feeling so defeated about NOTHING happening with the diabetes jobs thing.

I have started another blog that essentially will be my “Part-Time Caregivers’ Guide to Kids with Type 1 Diabetes”.  This way, I get it OUT THERE, it’s FREE, and there’s the potential for an interactive element to it where people can comment, ask questions, etc. instead of something printed on paper where you can’t ask questions and get a response back.

This blog is in its infancy right now, and hopefully in the next week or so I will really get it going.  For now, it’s an intro. and not much more since most of the files I need to upload are on my computer at home, and I’m not there at the moment.

Anyway, the new blog is: http://www.caregiversguidetotype1diabetes.wordpress.com

Please feel free to share this with people you know that night have a use for it, and as always, comments, recommendations, questions, edits are very welcome.

Stay tuned… more to come!

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I had a couple weird dreams earlier tonight.  The first was that I got 2 certified letters from 2 of the diabetes clinics I sent my guide to, and they both were praising me for my efforts, passions, and they both offered me jobs!  HA!  If only that dream were real.

The other dream, far more realistic, but no idea where it came from was that I went to a TCBY store and they had Nutella frozen yogurt.  A very delightful dream until I realized that I have never actually seen Nutella frozen yogurt.

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2 Weeks

Today marks 2 weeks since I sent out those packets I mentioned in my last post.  I know they were all received that following day or the day after that, but I have yet to receive any responses back.  I’m getting anxious: did they read my letter and guide? did they just laugh at how poorly written it is?  are they thinking about if they’re interested or not?  will I ever hear anything back from any of them?

I put myself out there for my dream, and to not hear ANYTHING yet… well, it’s hard to be patient.  It’s ONLY been 2 weeks, I might still hear back, yet also I might not.  I will absolutely be sad if I don’t hear anything back from anyone.  Any response,even if it’s a no thank you would be great because that means someone would have at least read about my idea.

No other news beyond that, work has been INSANE this month with a serious baby boom at my hospital.  TONS of babies being born, and LOTS of twins this month too!  I have been very busy with work, sleep, work, maybe eat something, work, oh, and maybe some more sleep before another night of work…

I am still searching for diabetes jobs mainly in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana – might be time to consider broadening my search to the whole midwest.

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Jumping In

I posted a week or so ago about this guide that I wrote for families with diabetes.

I just took a HUGE leap of faith, and mailed out packets with a cover letter describing the guide and my connection to diabetes, a presentation bound copy of the guide, and my resume to EIGHT (8!!) pediatric diabetes / endocrine clinics in northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin (Oh, and 1 in Indiana).

My hope is that at the very least, I get some “thank you for your passion and idea, but we’re not interested” notes back; in the middle, maybe I can work with some of these people to get this guide out there where it can be used; and best case scenario, I get a job out of this kind of professional cold-calling of diabetes clinics.

I am so passionate about wanting to share my adventures and experiences with diabetes as well as my LOVE of caring for people and connecting with people.  I want to do ANYTHING I can to make living with this disease a little less… well, crappy.  Let’s be frank here: diabetes is NOT an easy disease to live with.  You can do everything “right” and still have numbers that aren’t.  You can follow a “diabetic diet” and still gain or lose more weight than is ideal. You can exercise to be more healthy overall, and have the opposite effect because exercise can cause CRAZY blood sugars.

Having lived with diabetes for almost 20 years, and having worked in the medical field in various capacities for 7 years, I want to bring it all together and do whatever I can to connect with families facing diabetes day in and day out, and bring hope to them.

My parents and I went to a well known Chinese Bistro chain restaurant this past weekend while they were in town, and my fortune said “Your future is bright and filled with happiness”.  Does that mean now, or do I have to also exercise some patience here and hold tight a little longer than I’d like?

Even if nothing REAL comes of this kind of outreach, well… no, no negative thoughts!  Something good will come out of this, even if it’s a small something good and positive!

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Caregivers Guide

A few years back, a friend of mine was interviewing for a nanny position for a family that included a young girl with diabetes.  She came to me looking for resources and information about how to care for a child with type 1 on an insulin pump.  I looked all over the internet, but most of the resources were either way too basic (education about the disease and nothing about really living with it or caring for it) or far too extensive and intimidating geared more towards parents.

I set out to write a guide geared towards those “part-time caregivers” such as teachers, grandparents, relatives, baby-sitters, parents of friends, etc. where there would be all the basic every-day living kinds of situations as well as basic trouble-shooting for those inevitable “what-if” moments, but not too exhaustive and overwhelming.

I have written a few rough drafts of this guide and would to have it edited, refined, and available to those families that could surely benefit from something like this, but I am clueless about how to get it “out there”.

I remember growing up with diabetes, my parents RARELY went out for adult time because they were afraid of leaving me with just any baby-sitter or relative.  I was a “complicated” kid to care for given my medical needs because of diabetes.  I am not a parent of a child with diabetes, but I can certainly imagine how scary it would be to leave your child with someone who doesn’t know much if anything about diabetes.  This guide solves that problem.

So dear readers, how do I get this out there where it can be used?

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A potential new connection

I just applied to be a volunteer at a local children’s hospital.  No, this wouldn’t count towards CDE hours even if I were to work with kids with diabetes, but it might provide me with some connections to be hired on in a professional capacity somewhere, somehow…

This shouldn’t be so dang hard!  I have the whole CDE package PLUS some, except that I can’t get the actual certification… I have lived diabetes, I have used multiple different pumps throughout my diabetes “career”, I am a nurse, I have worked with adults, kids, pregnant mommies with gestational diabetes, infant of diabetic mothers, type 1, type 2, oral medications, insulins, carbohydrate counting, newly diagnosed people, etc.  What else could they want?!  Oh yeah… the actual stinkin’ certification in hand on hire.

I will not give up no matter how often I feel defeated by the process and the circles you have to go through.  This WILL happen in my career sometime, somehow, I’m just not sure how.

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