News and Updates
April 08, 2015
The Lingering Shadow: Life after an Eating Disorder
Written by Amy Gabbert
"There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed." - Ernest Hemingway
I’m at the optometrist clinic where I work as a technician about to get my eyes examined. I go into my own chart and input my health history; I don’t want my co-workers to see it all, even though I did purposely omit my psychiatric history. I put in the latest information about my A1c and most recent blood sugar (high, of course. It seems to be a universal law that when you’re going to the doctor and you know they’ll ask what your last blood sugar was, it’s going to be high and you'll be subjected to a lecture). My co-worker comes in to check my vision and complete the work-up before I see the doctor. I’m nervous about her seeing my diabetes information. She doesn't notice the A1c and breezes over the work-up. The doctor then comes in and skims over my chart. My stomach turns. I hate to think what she thinks about me, about my lack of control over my disease, my high A1c. She doesn't say anything, just completes the exam. After she’s through, my co-worker goes over some charting information I’m not familiar with. She talks about never clicking “uncontrolled” for diabetic patients, “even when they’re A1c is like, eight,” obviously a number she finds deplorable. I say, “an A1c of eight isn’t terrible,” to which she replies, “well, what’s yours?” She scrolls up to look at what I reported and I say, “Oh, let’s not,” and she closes my chart and says, “well, technically I was the technician who worked with you so I can look at your chart whenever I want.” I know she’s joking, but it doesn't stop me from feeling paranoid and fearful.
I'm a private person. I don't divulge intimate details to many. Even the people closest to me typically have to work to get me to open up. One of the personal topics I am most reluctant to reveal is my experience with an eating disorder. Only my immediate family and a handful of friends know about my struggles. There can be awkward questions from people unaware of my illness about what I was doing when I was sick with an eating disorder. I wasn't in college, I didn't have a job; treatment was a full-time occupation for me at the time. I've gotten quite good at glossing over those years and stretching the truth so I can avoid talking about my struggles. I also dodge the questions about my diabetes complications; people seem incredulous that I'm so young and have such health problems.
Even though I am careful about what I disclose to people, I worry that everyone knows about my eating disorder. Sometimes I think I'm being too transparent when I talk about mental illness or weight discrimination (in a general way, of course, as not to implicate myself) and everyone knows about my eating disorder. When I think about people finding out my secret past with an eating disorder, I am paralyzed with fear and anxiety. I practice what I would say if I was ever put in an awkward situation where someone unexpectedly brought that up. I have thought of responses to every situation imaginable. [continue reading]
March 25, 2015
Type One Diabetes and Counter Regulatory Hormones
Say what? That's what we said too, but after reading this article we had to share it with our community! If you've ever had hours of unexplained highs or feel like lately your CGM is showing a major roller-coaster ride on a daily basis you may find some of the answers to your questions in this helpful read!
March 19, 2015
Relapse Prevention Plan
This Relapse Prevention Plan allows you to create your own unique tool to use when things get rocky; and let's be honest, recovery is full of rocks!
March 10, 2015
Eating Disorders Affect the Body, Mind, and Brain
Many articles about eating disorders focus on weight and appearance rather than the physical, emotional, and social consequences of these devastating illnesses. This article from the Huffington Post talks briefly about the ways the brain can be affected when someone has an active eating disorder and why it's important to change the way we talk about eating disorders. You can also check out the full discussion Huff Post Live hosted in which participants delve deeper into the ways eating disorders can affect the sufferer both socially and physically.
March 02, 2015
Check out the latest episodes from T1TV: ED-DMT1
T1TV recently added it's first segment on diabetes and eating disorders (ED-DMT1). We would love for you to watch, share, and sign up on the T1TV homepage to get updates every time a new video is added!
February 22, 2015
Eating Disorder Awareness Week!
Monday February 23rd marks the start of National Eating Disorder Awareness week! We Are Diabetes has partnered with NEDA and many other trusted organizations to spread awareness, and the message of hope via social media through the entire week. There are plenty of free resources from NEDA available for you to personally get involved in this special week. Our favorite is the "how to host a scale smashing" downloadable guide!
We Are Diabetes Founder and Executive Director Asha Brown will be spreading awareness this Tuesday February 23rd during her Live Interview with Emily Coles at the Diabetes Hands Foundation at 1pm (PT). We hope to see you there!
February 15, 2015
Dr. Jody's Consulting Service
Dr. Jody Stanislaw ND is a Naturopathic Physician and an expert in healthy living. She has helped hundreds of people live happier and healthier lives, using proven natural methods. Dr. Jody works with her clients via phone or Skype so is accessible to anyone, anywhere who is interested in working with her. She offers a variety of different programs and services including her Lifestyle Transformation Program.
The Lifestyle Transformation Program is Dr. Jody’s most popular offering given the extraordinary results experienced by patients that enroll in this life-changing program. Over 3 months, a participant will enjoy weekly calls with Dr. Jody in which she will support an individual in taking small baby steps each week in four foundational areas: nutrition, sleep, exercise and emotional well-being. Time is also spent on diabetes management. This program is entirely individualized based on what areas an individual desires the most support in. By the end, a participant will not only have made huge strides in each foundational area, but will have adopted new healthy habits that naturally fit into a daily routine.
Click here to sign up for a free 15 minute consult with Dr. Jody to see if her services would be a good fit for you.
February 11, 2015
We Are Diabetes has been busy with a new project that we are finally ready to share! T1TV is a collaborative effort with our partnering organization Juvenile Diabetes No Limits Foundation, and 3rd Planet Media in Minneapolis, MN.
T1TV is an independent voice on living with T1D. Programs are intended to inform, educate and inspire. Check out our T1TV promo here to learn more about T1TV (we promise you will be entertained). T1TV will be presenting all original programming (available several times per month). Some programs will be presented in a mini-series manner, since programs are meant to be short and easy to take in any time of day. We already have some great programs ready for you to watch, and many more are coming. Be sure to sign up for email notifications so you can be informed when a new video is available!
February 02, 2015
Hunger: An Adventurous Journey of Finding Peace Within By Dr. Jody Stanislaw
In this true story, every exhilarating chapter gives you the feel of being right there next to Dr. Jody during her many and varied adventures throughout her year in Thailand, such as when she made the shocking realization of how unhappy many of her wealthy clients were; to when in her hunger for improving her own health she only ingested water for a week, leaving her with anything but improved health; to her exciting trip to Bangkok to meet with a team of stem cell scientists who promised they could fulfill her lifelong hunger to be cured of juvenile diabetes…and many more thrilling stories.
Throughout the book, Jody exposes her lifelong insatiable hunger for peace and wellness. Displaying courageous vulnerability, she exposes her own personal trials and tribulations, and infuses every chapter with the life lessons she discovered for how to overcome them.
January 29, 2015
Diabetes, Eating Disorders, and Isolation
During my first inpatient stay in an eating disorder treatment center, a fellow patient once remarked, “It makes me mad that I'm working so hard for my eating disorder and you don't have to.” She considered her eating disorder symptoms more difficult to maintain compared to my use of underdosing my insulin injections.
In my experience, I felt isolated from other eating disorder patients because of my use of insulin omission as an eating disorder symptom. My physical health problems were different. My food behaviors were different. I felt like a fraud. Everyone around me had a “real” eating disorder and I was just a lazy person who couldn't manage their chronic illness.
I felt connected to my eating disordered peers when we'd talk about the intense thoughts and feelings that often accompany an eating disorder. I'd relate to their feelings of shame, guilt, and inadequacy. Though feelings of camaraderie among other eating disorder patients did emerge, I still couldn't shake the idea that my eating disorder was less of a “real” eating disorder because of my use of insulin manipulation as an eating disorder symptom. It took me years to truly believe I had an eating disorder and that I deserved to be in treatment.
To those who feel like their eating disorder doesn't count: it does. You deserve treatment whether you've had an eating disorder for a month or for ten years; whether you purge or binge or starve or manipulate your insulin dosages. Your experience matters and your symptoms, whatever they may be, merit treatment for an eating disorder.
Do others have similar experiences? How did you overcome feeling like your eating disorder didn't count?
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