Diabetes No More
If you didn’t take the time to read the “about me” page, can I suggest that you might want to read it now. Basically, it is about my short trip to the land of diabetes. If I had known then what I know now, I would have gotten that wake up call about eight years ago when diagnosed with prediabetes. I had no idea that becoming prediabetic meant that I was on my way to becoming diabetic. My doctor didn’t say a single word to me. At most he could have said “you need to lose weight”!
I am not even going to try and pin this on that doctor but at the time he told me, I was in a nursing home with cellulitis in both of my legs. Cellulitis shows as large ulcer looking openings on the leg; they are infected and must be carefully cared for, kept clean, and dressed every day. I don’t need to go into great detail but I was a mess and just fifty years old.
I don’t know what it was caused by but the only thing happening in my life at that time was a great deal of stress brought on by the typical thing in a single woman’s life; a man.
Prediabetes was quite another thing. I could have chopped it right out of my life if I had been told by my doctor exactly what it was going to mean to me later in my life if I didn’t take care of it right away. When this doctor told me that I was prediabetic, that was all that he said. I did say, “so what does that mean”? But he skipped over the question and began talking to a nurse standing there about the care of my legs. I thought, “it must not be too important then”.
My Road To Weight Gain
Before 1980, the claim is that only one person out of seven was fat (obese is a kinder, gentler word for it but I believe in calling it what it is). For decades, those numbers stayed pretty much the same. Things didn’t change as quickly back then for folks as they have been since then (1990). The words fat and diet, and saturated fat all kind of played into the same theme. The doctors kept telling us that we were eating too much saturated fats and that by doing so, we were going to “clog our arteries”. If we wanted to remain skinny and healthy (the two went hand in hand, in order to be healthy we had to be skinny, ha), we had to stop eating so much fat(s). In other words we had to quit eating butter and red meat. You could go on and on here, painting a picture of chicken and salad because that is basically what was left in the end for us to eat.
In 1976 I had graduated with a grade point of 4.0 but I was also well on the super highway to becoming addicted to many things. I had already begun smoking.
During my younger life as a chubby child, my mother made all kinds of good things to eat and they were always at my disposal. She was a great cook. Our meals were always on the healthy side, well rounded as the saying goes. But from a young age, I was predestined to loving sweet things.
For my highschool graduation party, my boyfriend supplied the cocaine and booze. We didn’t break any of it out until after the family had left, which didn’t take long. I was already living away from home with my boyfriend; my mother kicked me out two years previously for using birth control pills. (a little more history)
Do You Remember?
The Food Pyramid
These were the days when the FDA was promoting the food pyramid; today that food pyramid is actually the bigger part of our diabetes epidemic. This was also the time of my life when I first thought that I must be fat. I was a young girl with woman curves and wanted the body of Twiggy. I hated my large breasts and worse, I was only 5’2″. This is also when I discovered dieting. My first diet was the Atkins diet; he basically demonized the FDA and the food pyramid.
Atkins pushed the idea that our bodies needed fats to burn for fuel but we didn’t need the carbohydrates that were being pushed on us so much by the pyramid. The biggest section of the food pyramid was reserved for grains, breads, and cereals; which we essentially shouldn’t be putting into our bodies at all, according to Atkins, at that time.
With Atkins, I sure as heck lost a ton of weight. Although he believed that our bodies needed to be in ketosis in order to lose weight. This meant that we ate very little or no veges and no fruit on this diet. This was extremely hard on the kidneys. I loved it though and thought, “whatever works”.
Sure enough though, when I got done dieting I was back to eating all of the carbs I could get my hands on. Breads, cereals, cookies, cakes, pie, ice cream, potatoes with sour cream and butter, pancakes, and french toast. I even began drinking alcohol daily. I was having anxiety attacks that left me in a sort of paralyzed state; unable to talk or move, unable to sleep or eat. I lost so much weight that none of my clothes fit me but I just gained it all back.
This was an extremely tough time for me. I am pretty sure it was more of a mental break down/melt down. My world had really fallen apart at about the age of 16. My mother hated me. She treated me as if we were in competition with each other. My father left her but at the same time he left my brother and me too. We never saw him after he left unless we went to see him; he had a new girlfriend with three children younger than us.
Living on your own during teenage years with no extra income from mom or dad is tough. I don’t care how tough I thought I was or how independent I thought I was. Even though I managed to hold down two separate jobs and my boyfriend was working full time; we managed to pay the rent and half purchase/half steal groceries. His parents helped us a whole lot; mine didn’t care.
I was young and lonely, disconnected from my family, feeling sad, fat and unloved. Definitely quiet, shy, (everyone said I was really pretty, well my mother never ever said that to me). I was extremely talented and played a beautiful piano, but I didn’t have much on the self esteem side. Somewhere between the ages of 13 and 26, I learned what an opiate was and learned that I felt so much better when I took more than one.
Addiction was my first disease; Diabetes came much later
“The greatest mistake you can make in life is to continually be afraid you will make one.” – Elbert Hubbard
Moving forward in my life, after two children, two cesarean section births (1983 & 1990), a hysterectomy (1993), thyroidectomy (2005), gall bladder removal (2014), all of the up and down, yo-yo, crash, and chronic dieting I put myself through, putting on pounds and then taking them off only to put on more pounds the next time around; it killed my metabolism. Destroyed it.
All of this got me mixed up with opiates (pain pills for every thing including my periods, a lower back pain, a pain in my hip, a pain in my knee or my neck). Then I used my pain pill addiction and added alcohol to that. Later when the pain pills didn’t work anymore or it was getting too expensive (I found a way to get the very best online from other countries), I opted to try heroin. I know, I know, it’s a bad bad setup. Very addicting and I didn’t know why until I tried it. I was hooked the very first time.
It didn’t matter, as long as I didn’t have to feel any of the pain. Physical or mental. By now I had completely reprogrammed my brain into thinking I had to feed it dopamine; I never gave it a chance to come by it naturally.
I recall after years of her own years of alcohol abuse, my mother looking at me with disgust in her eyes and written all over her face because I was so loaded on heroin. My true thoughts at that moment were “good, now you know how this feels and at least I’m not passed out and pissed all over myself because I couldn’t get up to go to the bathroom”.
So much anger, so much hate and disgust but worst of all, so much hurt. Years of not having a mother or a parent. I recall waking up just looking for my mother but having to accept a father in her place, and that was up until he left. Then I was alone. I turned to whatever it was that could ease my pain; physical pain, or mental pain was all eased with addiction to any substance that made me feel better.
My point with all of this is that my diabetes began somewhere back when I was about 13; I just didn’t know it. I never really learned to eat properly and I never recognized that a mentally healthy body, was a healthy happy body, physically. How could I know this? Our family never spoke.
Many people today eat from different places in their heart or head. Some from distinct abnormal childhoods, some from abusive relationships, some from self doubt or lack of self esteem. Whatever the case, now I am diabetic.
But today I choose to live my life from the very fullest point and moving up from there. There have been times when standing in front of a mirror I tell myself “I am a good person, I love my God as I love myself. He made me great, He made me deserving, He promised me anything and everything as long as I ask Him, He will give it to me (if it is His will) and I trust that it is always His will for me to live well, happy, healthy, and comfortably.
I’m in a place today where I am managing my addictions. I’m practicing a life of growing, self love, appreciation of others, and I get help from a group for my depression. If I weren’t in this place today, I could not get healthy and overcome my diabetes. I would probably die a much younger me.
My goal in life today is to get off all off all medications. When I reach my goals, the only pill I should have to keep taking is the one for my thyroid.
So whether you are coming from the same place as me or from a more normal state of life, we have one thing in common. At least if you are diabetic, we do. We can walk through this together and you can have my thoughts and ideas on this subject and probably many others. And you can share your thoughts and hopes with me.
I hope you allow me to share with you some of my knowledge about this disease as I am learning it and how so many millions of people happen to get it too.
Thank you for coming by again today. Love yourself and give yourself a chance to become a real living, breathing, beautiful life! This will come from a place of acceptance. A place that only you can find within yourself. Claim it, hold it tight, and then pay it forward by sharing it with others. We all need to heal, one way or another.