Tuesday, February 26, 2013

You Know Me

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness week.  This is a topic close to my heart.

If you know me at all, you know that I have food issues.  I have for a long time.  Binge eating is my demon.  The thing I battle.  Thankfully, with treatment, I have made great progress.  Things are going pretty well overall.

But still.  My food issues are there.  Lingering.  Waiting.  Ready to pounce when I'm feeling weak.

I've not been diagnosed with an eating disorder.  My therapist thinks my binging is caused by anxiety and depression.  But I'm sure I meet some of the criteria for an eating disorder.  And had I not sought help when I did, I don't know where I would be.

Kim wrote an incredible post about diabetes and food.  I completely agree with everything she said.  Diabetes messes up our relationship with food.  Totally and completely.  Food becomes a loaded topic.  It's no longer just food.

I am so happy that the overwhelming approach nowadays appears to be to let kids with Type 1 eat what they want and bolus for it.  Like Kim said, when I was a kid, there was a long list of food I wasn't allowed to eat.  Having forbidden foods like that is not a good thing.  And I know it did long term damage to my relationship with food.

Sometimes I feel like my binging completely rules my life.  That food holds this tremendous power over me.  That I have no control over my own body.  But I know this isn't true.  Thankfully, I have an amazing therapist, and incredibly supportive family and friends to lean on.  They remind me that I can do this, and that I am never alone.

Please take a minute to read this post from some members of Diabetes Advocates.  Having any type of diabetes increases your risk of developing an eating disorder.  But there are things we can do.  Lee Ann has some fantastic advice about talking about food and eating disorders.  For me, talking about my binge eating helps.  It frees me of the secrecy and shame.

If you struggle with food issues or think you might have an eating disorder, please TALK to someone.  The National Eating Disorders Association can direct you to places to find help.  You are not alone.  I know the shame.  I know the guilt.  I know how it feels to be completely powerless.

You may have heard the saying "depression lies."  So do food issues and eating disorders.  There is hope.  There is help.  Please talk to someone.

The theme for #NEDAwareness this year is Everyone Knows Somebody.  You know me.  Please help spread the word.  Spread the hope.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Can You Even Imagine?

Remember when you or your child was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes?  I don't remember that much, but I do remember getting my very first insulin injection from the nurse.  I'm pretty sure I cried.

But what if you lived in a place where insulin was hard to find.  Or your family just plain could not afford it.  Period.  Can you even imagine?

Unfortunately, this is the reality for many families all over the world.  People DIE due to lack of access to insulin.  It's 2013, and people are still DYING because of this!

Some fantastic people in the DOC want to DO SOMETHING about this!  Here's Kerri's explanation:

"We want to help the Life for a Child program, sponsored by the International Diabetes Federation, which aims to take 'contributions from donors [to] go to established diabetes centers enabling them to provide the ongoing clinical care and diabetes education these children need to stay alive.'  Our idea was to take the typical 'dozen roses,' so popular on Valentine’s Day, and save just one rose to spare the life of a child. 'Spare a Rose, Save a Child' is simple:  buy one less rose this Valentine’s Day and share the value of that flower with a child with diabetes in the developing world.  Your loved one at home still gets flowers, and you both show some love to someone who needs it."

I love this idea.

One less rose.  Or one less latte.  Or one less froyo run (ahem, me).  It doesn't take much to make a difference.  You can donate here.

And help us spread the word!  From February 10th-16th, tell everyone you can!  If you tweet about it, please use the hashtag #sparearose.

You can save the life of a child with Type 1 Diabetes.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Sneaky Test Strips

We all know that test strips have an amazing ability to work their way into every nook and cranny.  You would think I could no longer be surprised at where I find them.

I was cleaning our guest room, and looked down to see this:

At first glance, this may not seem surprising.  But that is a One Touch Ultra test strip.  I switched to the One Touch Verio meter more than six months ago.  So I haven't used any Ultra strips in quite some time.

Those sneaky test strips never cease to amaze me.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


I hate talking about complications.  Just hearing the word is enough to make my blood start to boil.  When it comes to dealing with different aspects of living with diabetes, complications is the thing that gets under my skin the most.

Having a reasonable conversation about diabetes complications is nearly impossible for me.  I instantly get angry yet feel like bursting into tears simultaneously.  Defensive? Oversensitive?  Definitely.  I've walked out on sessions about complications at more than one diabetes event.  And it's not the presenter's fault.  It's my issue.

I know what the possible complications of diabetes are.  There's a whole litany.  I know that the best way to prevent complications is to keep my diabetes under "control."  Whatever the hell that means. (My dislike of the word "control" is a topic for another post).

And so I try.  I try to keep my blood sugars in range as much as possible.  I try to keep my A1c in the target range.  But hot damn, it's hard.  When people say, "All you have to do is keep your diabetes in control" they make it sound so easy.  But it's not.

Throw my depression, anxiety, and binge eating in there, and things get even more difficult.  I'm trying.  I'm doing the best that I can.  And I hope to God it's enough.

Complications happen.  Period.  Yes, there is much we can do to try and avoid them.  But sometimes they just happen.  Just because someone has some complications doesn't mean they haven't been doing their absolute best to avoid them.

I was 12 years old when my kidneys started spilling microalbumin.  I'd only had diabetes for two years, and already had a complication.  And I can guarantee you my mom and I were doing our best to keep my blood sugars in check.  I wasn't "out of control."  I was 12 years old!!!  And had to start seeing a nephrologist on top of all my other doctors.

Thankfully, my kidneys are fine.  But I started on an ACE inhibitor when I was 12, and I'll be on it for the rest of my life to prevent more microalbumin spillage and to protect my kidneys.

So you want to talk about complications?  Fine.  I know that for some people, talking about complications and prevention gives them hope.  And I wish I was that way too.  But I'm not.

I'll talk about complications, but don't promise me that "controlling" my diabetes will prevent all of them.  Yes, it doesn't really impact my daily life, but it's still a complication.  And it's not my fault. 

There are others, like Celine, George, and Stacey, who have been brave enough to share their stories and stuggles with complications.  When you live with diabetes for decades, shit happens.  We do our best, and sometimes complications happen anyway.  Please don't judge us based on that.  A little empathy and understanding go a long way.