I´ve been diagnosed whit diabetes type 1 since I was 10 years old and I´d like to say that it was easy to accept but the truth is that it was such a long journey.
Most of the people think that having diabetes is as easy as just don’t eat sugar and do exercise but only the person who lives whit it knows exactly the daily struggle whit blood sugar and all the consequences of it, like headache, feeling tired all the time, feeling hungry and anxious also, sometimes see blurry, drink a lot of water and can´t quench the thirst, besides of all that trying to have a life as normal as is possible.
Maybe for others, it wasn’t that difficult as it was for me. During many years I was angry and depressed and didn’t want to accept my diagnosis. I didn’t take care of myself and didn’t leave my loved ones either. I used to ate all the things that the doctor said ´can´t eat so I gained a lot of weight and felt more and more depressed. So since I ate all that sugary food, my visits to the hospital for diabetic ketoacidosis reached almost one per year and I began to notice that every time I was discharged I came to my house in addition to being exhausted but a little thinner. So I deliberately started to get my blood sugar out of control in order to keep losing weight.
My obsession with losing weight became such that I developed a phobia about injecting insulin, and I only did it when my blood sugar was so high that it was causing ketoacidosis, so I injected a huge amount of insulin to lower my levels just enough that you don’t need to go to a hospital. I’d recover a bit and skip my insulin doses again.
After many years (almost 10) of hurting myself in this way and thanks to the help of specialists and the support of my family, I discovered that what I did is called diabulimia and it is an eating disorder that only affects type 1 diabetics. Recognizing and accepting this was difficult but at the same time comforting and relieving because it took a lot of guilt off of me, stop blaming me for so many years of irresponsible lack of control because it was my mind that was also sick and put my obsession to lose weight above about my health and control of my diabetes.
Unfortunately, I could not get rid of the consequences so today I live with diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy, I even lost an eye already, but without a doubt, I believe that all this that I experienced has taught me and has made me mature and not only accept my diabetes as an ally but also It has given me the tools to be able to transmit knowledge and share my experience as a diabetes educator and as a dentist specializing in patients with this disease precisely. So I could say that diabetes has given me much more than it has taken from me and I am seriously grateful
My name is Paulina Barba and I’m from Aguascalientes, Mexico. II have had diabetes type 1 since I was 10 years old and now I’m 30 so its been 20 long years of this journey of personal growth and incredible (and not so much) experiences