Marie Dysli lives in Switzerland. She is young, beautiful, diabetic, and miserable. Last week, she emailed me her story, asking me to share it with the D-community. “I hope this will help other diabetics and make them feel less monster-like, as I thought I was by combining diabetes, depression and eating disorder,” she writes. Prepare yourself for some alarming honesty:
I’m twenty-one years old and was diagnosed with diabetes type 1 thirteen years ago. My first reaction was “why me?” and a few years later I thought I was used to it and had therefore accepted it. In fact, I had neither. The truth is I denied this great handicap that is diabetes. I wanted to be like the others, eat the same things, do the same things without thinking “how am I feeling? Did I inject enough insulin? Or too much? Shouldn’t have had eaten this or that?” etc. My mother was always behind my back asking for my glycaemia or wanting to give me advice on what I should inject, saying all the time that, without her I “couldn’t do it properly.”
Ten or so years later, my
at least seven-year-old depression has reached a dramatic low point, my HbA1c
is at 14.1%, I’ve got a serious eating disorder for years (I have, as long as I
can remember, always had an anorexic mind. Now I practice self-induced vomiting
several times a day for about 7 months, have lost 15kg (which is a good thing.
And want to lose 15 more, which may not be medically a good thing), and my only
complications are genital warts and HPV (human
papillomavirus, condyloma acuminata). “Only”, because my eyesight is
good at 200%, I haven’t got any feet problems, nor neuropathy or any other nice
gift any diabetic is expected to have, especially with a such unbalanced
diabetes as mine. Of course, the addition depression, eating disorder and
hyperglycaemia equals exhaustion, difficulty to sleep and concentrate,
pessimism, etc. I climb stairs and walk more slowly than elderly people, the
mere little walk tires me and the thought
of many other thing tires and discourages me. But I can’t complain, can I?
Everything is my fault, except diabetes of course, and I’m lucky not to have
I am the perfect example
of the denial, rebellious diabetic, refusing the handicap, whose parents,
trying to help, helped too much. In two weeks time, I’ll be hospitalized for
two or three weeks, first to lower my dramatically high haemoglobin level, and
to work on my depression and eating disorder. But I don’t think there is any
use of doing that if, as a diabetic, I am doomed to have complications, even if
my glycaemia and haemoglobin level are perfect. I have been lucky until now,
but am I going to be lucky all my life? I do not know what to think. My fear of
being taken for a type 2 diabetic, even if my BMI is normal, increases my fear
of putting on weight. Should I enjoy my eyesight while I can? Run a marathon
while I still have my feet? Should I stop fearing the worse and trust my luck?
The only thing I know is: diabetes is a far more greater handicap than I
thought. Living with it is harder than I thought. The only certitude with the
disease are complications. How is it possible to live with that on our shoulders?
In my opinion the answer is yet to be found.
She has promised to keep us posted on how the hospitalization helps her.