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Combating Diabetes Burnout with Grassroots Peer Support

We’ve all been there. When you are so full of managing diabetes that even the most basic logging of values is too much. When diabetes burnout strikes, even measuring your BG can be too much. When you grow weary of diabetes, you easily prioritize everything above it. It’s totally understandable and I, for one, have been there many times. Usually when I’m there, I try to take part in my diabetes association’s peer support activities. When I’m with my fellow diabetics, I remember that diabetes is not all bad. It has brought joy and new friends into my life as well. And that makes diabetes easier to bear.

But sometimes it’s not possible to attend such activities and draw strength from my diabetic companions. How does one upkeep logging routine when the skies keep crashing down and there are no live meets happening? Well, online groups work great! There are a lot of Facebook and other discussion groups that can really empower a diabetic. But another option is grassroots peer support.

When you meet other diabetics in real life or online, you rarely go very deep into your diabetes management routines. You discuss your feelings and often talk about everything but diabetes and it still makes it easier to cope with diabetes stress. Grassroots peer support is about sharing your every BG value, carb intake, boluses and exercises with other diabetics. Everything you would normally log to your diabetes app, gets shared with one or two of your diabetic friends, parents or even your doctor!

That’s the best thing about the Dottli app. When I have been on a blood glucose rollercoaster for a day, nothing cheers me up better than my diabetic friends’ encouraging words in our Dottli chat. It’s like those popular IM apps, but with diabetes information mixed in. I get notifications when someone says something (I can turn off notifications for value log entries). And it’s always “nice” to see others have their share of those rollercoaster days too! 🙂 It reminds me no one is perfect when it comes to managing type 1 diabetes.

This grassroots peer support is a nice addition to live meetings and Facebook group channels. Those mediums can’t provide this kind of support and I’m so glad I have this thing. It makes logging values and managing diabetes almost fun! 🙂

– Miika Rautiainen
One of the diabetics at Dottli