An Ex Diabetic NSV 10 years in the making (LONG story but has a photo!)

YepItsKriss
YepItsKriss Posts: 732 Member
edited November 2017 in Success Stories
I got officially diagnosed with diabetes when i was 14 and I am 31 now so that was many many years ago.

I had a few hurdles over those years in regards to my diabetes management.
Being that age when diagnosed meant that my mother was basically the captain of that ship, she stopped cooking for me by the age of 12 and she sent me to the diabetic classes alone and unfortunately she does not learn new things very easily. So the food choices and the portions ultimately did not change in that area and back then my diabetes was at a diet controlled stage.

Unknown to me at the time but at a very young age i developed a binge eating disorder problem.
Despite the fact that my mother no longer cooked for me she was still very controlling about certain aspects of the food in the house, more so in regards to the time that i ate. So within the times i did manage to consume vary large amounts of food i just had to make sure that it was done at typical breakfast, lunch and supper times on the clock and do so quietly and secretly if she was sleeping so she would not scream at me from the bedroom for making noise.

At 17 my mother and i were at each others throats constantly, She no longer had that control over me by getting mad because i was now not intimidated by her anymore. Eventually tho after 2 years of running away to a friends place constantly those friends moved to another province, when my birthday passed i had enough money to pack up on a bus and go out there myself, she was sitting on the couch when i walked by and i said "Have a nice life" and she didn't turn around or even acknowledge me and off i went.

for 10 months i lived with those people and i ballooned up to my heaviest weight of 300 pounds. I didn't work. I sat around all day in front of the computer and we ate nothing but pasta and pizza and fried chicken and junk food and soda. Not only was it a bad environment for my weight but it was just a bad environment in general. After a psychologist deemed it unfit for me to return there she had the police take me to a youth shelter downtown.

For 2 years and 2 months i jumped from shelter to shelter due to a 42 night stay rule that they had. Sometimes i slept in bathroom stalls at the mall or on top of rooftops of local businesses that you could climb up onto. Food was more controlled at that time, shelters had designated meal times and they had enough food for 1 serving and I was also a lot more active, i walked a lot, Dance Dance revolution was huge at the time and i dropped to 218 pounds.

By the time I was 20 i think i was getting fed up with the lifestyle, my mother agreed to let me come back and stay if i got a job. I quickly got a job once i moved back and she had me pay $600 a month for staying at her place. I was there for a few months saving up for getting my first apartment but since i was now paying for my own food my lifestyle reverted to sitting in front of the computer again and drinking regular pop and eating a lot of high calorie food. Weight went back up to 250 pounds.

One day when i woke up i had these two small red dots on my legs, looked like a spider had bitten me. I ignored it for a while until they started getting bigger and not going away, so the doctor after trying topical cream sent me to a dermatologist. At the time i think she was a bit unsure of what to make of them, she cut one out of the back of my leg after freezing the area and stitched me back up. Oddly though the dot just came right back once my leg healed.

I don't remember the name of the skin condition.. I remember her writing it down for me but it has escaped me over the years, but it was something that accompanies diabetes. I of course had escalated from diet controlled to taking metformin and gliclazide but wasn't getting any better control with my sugars. We tried injected them with steroids but they were very painful and having a needle stuck in them over and over just made them worse and they bled very badly.
the steroids were not really an option that typically worked anyway, before we had started with it she told me that they don't always respond well to the treatment especially if the person still has diabetes.

By 21 and had been living on my own for a little while, having 100% complete control and privacy opened a new door for my binge eating disorder which at the time was still not diagnosed. I was spending $600 a month just on food and was barely able to make it to the end of the month without borrowing some money for more food until payday came. Every last dollar i had was spent on high calorie foods at the grocery store or on take out. I was eating about 5000-6000 calories per day and lived a very inactive lifestyle to boot. My weight again shot up to 300 pounds.

I was in and out of a lot of different odd jobs for 4 years, all of which ended up letting me go for certain reasons or i had to leave because my weight limited my ability to work, I did housekeeping at a hotel and most nights because of sweating my thighs would develop welts where skin touched and i would go home waddling like i was riding a horse all day and be unable to walk for at least 2-3 days. I also developed some very painful blisters that were filled with puss and blood that took days to pop and also left me unable to walk for some time.

at 25 i got a job at a nursing home working in the kitchen. Having more versatility in uniform options cut down on the problem with the welts and stuff because i could buy different fabrics for my scrubs. It was also 12 hours of non stop walking. I dropped back down to 252 pounds. I had also abandoned my medications simply because i was still spending all my money on food and picked food over spending money on pills.

After a time of being there and getting comfortable in my surroundings being around food all the time ultimately ended up adding onto the problem from both my diabetes stand point and my binge eating disorder (Still not diagnosed) 3 meals per day, 2 desserts and 2 mid meal snacks meant that i had access to food outside of my own food now. And while you would think that it would of helped my budget more it didn't. I ate whatever did not get served to the clients at the nursing home, when i dished out 24 meals and 24 desserts, anything left in the pans i ate it. There was cookies, pudding and snacks under the cupboards for 24/7 availability, I ate tons of them. Being fired from my job didn't even scare me enough to not eat it. Then.. I would go home and make more food, order take out.

The skin condition on my legs over these years had expanded. The two tiny dots i once had were now the length of my index and middle finger in both directions, I had developed a second one on the back of my opposite leg the size of a two dollar Canadian coin. (so about 3-4cm or 1.1 inches) and then i had developed a 3rd one back on the same leg as the big one but on the other side of the leg slightly smaller then the second on the other leg.

I am not sure how to convert Canadian diabetic blood sugar levels to american conversions but.. by this time my blood sugars were sky high. Normal sugar levels for a diabetic should be between 4 and 7 and around 10, 2 hours after eating. Mine were consistently between 25 and 30. Having blood sugar levels that high did not help this skin condition at all, in fact if i got a cold or sick these lesions would open up with big gaping holes in the middle and would weep puss, they were extremely painful, if i accidentally caught them on something like a grocery bag they would bleed or bruise. The cat sometimes got her claws in it, at one point i ended up with a staph infection. After being hooked up to IV for quicker medication distribution I got my upteenth lecture about getting my diabetes under control.

When i had gotten to a point where i needed to have my gull bladder removed my doctor also decided that it was time to put me on insulin. We started off with slow acting insulin first however it wasn't really doing any good. I was off work for a month and was eating and eating and only sitting and sitting. Once i hit the max amount of 60 units per injection on the slow acting pen we decided to add fast acting insulin. Once i got this into my hands, i went the wrong way with it. Instead of being responsible with it to get my sugars down my brain said "Hey, now you can eat tons of carbs with no issues"... and the cookies followed... i started eating 8-10 cookies after every meal and would inject 30-40 units of fast acting insulin each time. My weight went back up to 300 again. By the time i had gotten back to work the 12 hour shifts were a killer, i could hardly stand for long periods of time because my back hurt, i had to sit alot, shifts ended at 7pm and i would still be there until 8:30.

A co-worker then introduced me to this app she found. It was myfitnesspal. She wasn't a big girl, she was 135 or 140 pounds but she wanted to lose maybe 5 or so. And she decided to try and have a little competition with me and someone else for money to lose some unwanted pounds.

So we all started, I was the only one to really stick with it for a while and i dropped 70 pounds. Unfortunately the combination of my binge eating disorder (still not diagnosed) rearing its ugly head constantly and it now being Christmas and being on units with boxes and boxes and boxes of sweets, cookies and treats took its toll and i fell off.

Put some weight back on. About 22 pounds. Once again i had given up on my diabetic medications. The insulin, despite having a good medical plan that paid 80% of the costs was still too expensive for me, the amount of insulin i was taking was unreal.. 130 fast a day and 60 slow. When i was taking it i didn't even bother to count the carbs anymore, I just dialed the pen to whatever and injected it. Most times it was fine, but since not ALL my meals were carb packed i did end up going through some lows, Waking up with cold sweats, shaky legs, and the only reaction to that is EAT. Of course i did not follow the protocol for bringing sugars back up.. Fast acting carb, wait 10 min, test, and repeat if needed. Nope.. I just opened the fridge and cupboards and ate like there was a conveyor belt in front of my mouth, and within maybe 20 min i could put away several boxes of juice a couple huge sandwiches and an entire box of crackers.

The result was that it just shot my blood sugars back up again and i would just go take more insulin and then go back to bed. There was times where I would get a bit scared, I knew that my sugars at the number they were at could put me into a coma, I was at a max risk of serious complications and sometimes i thought i was starting to develop diabetic neuropathy in my toes. I tried getting a new doctor 2-3 times. But the results of those doctors was always the same, take your insulin, take your insulin. I would break down and go get some.. but a box was only 1500 units.. so they were only lasting me 12 days. Eventually because the money for food again outweighed my fear, i stopped buying the insulin.

Over time as you get older, things you thought you understood when you were younger usually end up becoming more clear.

Granted i spent my entire life dancing with depression. I was on and off medications that i never stuck with either for it.
"I am an emotional eater" I would say... but when i got older, i started to question it. "Am i...?" -- Every single day is the same, no matter what happens, no matter how happy i am or busy i am, its the same.. i eat thousands and thousands of calories and always want more, i can never just order a pizza, it had to be 3. Not one big mac meal, it had to be 3 of those and super sized and come with a chocolate shake.. I was always thinking of ways to make anything "more" with what i had available or the money i had to spend and I wasn't happy until every penny was spent and then i was unhappy cause i didn't have a penny left.

One day i went into work and a co worker of mine told me that she was talking to her family doctor and although they werent taking new patients he agreed to take me on anyway after she told him my story. I could of peed my pants because this was the doctors office i had longed to get into. My weight was back up to 300 pounds at this time and before my first appointment with him i had made a journey of self discovery that my eating was out of control, if we could control my eating the diabetes would fix itself. After my first appointment with him, i knew that i would have to wait a bit for him to get to know me before we dived in. Blood work came back with an A1C of 11.7% and he wanted to send me to a diabetic endocrinologist.

I went to see her, she did all the usual tests for circulation and blood pressure and all that but i already knew what i wanted, i wanted control of my eating, however that was a bit out of her area of expertise as her only suggestion was take your insulin and go for a 10 min walk, at least then you wont be eating. Logically that advice sounds good but I have been around myself for at the time was 28 years. I knew that no matter how many hours i spent out of the house I would just make up for lost time when i got home. Frustrated with that appointment i never did return but i did have my heart set strongly on hypnosis. My family doctor then referred me to someone who did it for free through our healthcare.

Now.. I just want to point out that now at 31 i do not actually believe hypnosis worked. Well.. at least not in the way i believed it did back then. I went to this doctor he did a 51 min hypnosis session, recorded on my cellphone at the same time so that i could continue to listen to it at home, in my opinion with hypnosis now.. this technique only works if you are really open to the power of suggestion, that is why it works on some and not on others. At that time I was so ready for this because i believed THIS is what was going to do it, I think that was the power of suggestion door i opened. Its like when someone lies over and over and eventually they believe the lie and forget what the actual truth was.

The hypnosis was strict, lots of foods were not allowed. Sadly since i am some what of a picky eater the foods not allowed were the foods i normally ate. But i was convinced this session had changed me, i wrote on facebook about it.

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I made due with what options i felt i had left. The doctor never gave me a calorie goal however so i rejoined MFP. Every day for 60 days or so i ate pretty much the same thing over and over and over... But it did stop me from eating at work, it did keep my portions within calorie goal and i didn't buy take out or anything like that so it did have a positive impact. So i did lose weight. I can't recall how much though. Before the end of those 60 days though i was starting to get stressed out with it all, struggling to not get sick of what i was eating. I called the hypnosis doctor and after venting about feeling like i didn't have options and wondering if i could start branching out more he didn't say anything to my question and asked me if the recording came out okay on my phone and if i was getting enough sleep. Frustrated with him, i hung up and took 2 months off work for stress leave.

I didn't know it at the time but those struggles were probably due to my eating disorder, i was trying so hard to make my brain go one way and it was bound and determined to go the other way. Breaking free of those restrictions from the hypnosis did give me that second boost to keep going with positive behaviors. I disconnected from everyone and from facebook and focused on myself, i ate good, i did a work out video on youtube every day and by Aug 14th i had decided i was ready to return to work again and i reconnected to facebook and posted my first selfie.

People immediately noticed a huge difference, I was still a big girl and had a long way to go but the weight i had taken off in just those few months was noticeable. I had some mental struggles a long the way.. like all new people on a weight loss journey considering my first time when i lost 70 pounds i didn't learn anything then, i stressed over a lot.. the scale, the number being in the red, how many calories was in everything to the exact, I didn't feel comfortable unless i had everything mathematically weighed out and portioned to a T and i had 2 deep freezers now of food in containers because it symbolized control.

The family doctor put me back on insulin now because i was no longer spending hundreds of dollars on eating i could afford to pay for it now. As my weight went down, so did my blood sugar levels, i documented the numbers daily and would adjust as needed. Despite tracking this information it turns out my body had other plans, I woke up one morning after putting a roast in the slow cooker over night, as i stood in the kitchen, weighing it and bagging it into portions, i felt ill.. i remember texting someone "I don't know if im feeling sick because im sick or if this is just a moment".. eventually i said "I better go lay down for a min".. i walked out of the kitchen and besides the sound of my head cracking off my computer desk in the living room that is all i remember. I woke up feeling tired at first.. my first reaction was to go back to sleep but when i moved my hand and felt carpet confusion set in and i said "I dont think im supposed to be here" so i decided to get up. I called 911 to have them come check me out but everything was normal. I decided to let them take me to the hospital, the doctor thought maybe it was a new med i was recently put on so he told me to stop.

No more then a few days later I was carrying groceries up 4 flights of stairs (No elevator) it was a late at night trip since the store is open 24 hours. I just got the bags inside my apartment door when i felt light headed again and quickly went to my bed to sit down.. all the sudden i went blind. Freaked out because this had never happened before i went to call 911 on my phone and realized the touch screen was useless, my vision was a white blur and the light from the phone was all i could see. So i stumbled out into the hallway and knocked on 3 neighbors doors but no one answered. Eventually my vision did return and i called 911 myself. They again checked me but nothing was abnormal. I opted not to go to the hospital again since it is $150 to ride in the ambulance and i just did that days before.

I made the conclusion that i should stop taking my insulin. Once i did that the problems stopped. My blood sugars had improved dramatically, I had lost tons of weight, was far from goal still but my a1c was in the perfect range.

As i was getting closer to goal i feel like the glue and tunnel vision i had towards a task started to drift and my brain stated to go the other way again. I had relied on hypnosis curing me of that problem that it didn't even occur to me that it was just a form of therapy that was only being supported by a driven desire of mine to lose the weight and that after the task was done i would of needed to support that therapy in a new method.





Replies

  • jamespatten3576
    jamespatten3576 Posts: 71 Member
    Interesting story. I was diagnose with type 2 about 6 years ago, runs in the family. My dad's got it and it's messing with him pretty bad. It's the main reason I refuse to go on any maintenance medications. I'll either get in under control with diet and exercise or I won't. It's encouraging when I read about someone getting control of it. I'm a bit more curious about what got better and what didn't. Like with your lesions, I've never gotten any open sores but I do have dark spots on my shins and every time I walk into something it takes forever for the scratches to heal on my legs. I have numbness in my left foot that I'm hoping will improve when I get things under control. Anyways any information you can share about what got better and what didn't would be super appreciated and "none of your business" is a perfectly acceptable answer.
  • jamespatten3576
    jamespatten3576 Posts: 71 Member
    Thank you for the information.
  • RodaRose
    RodaRose Posts: 9,574 Member
    You are strong. Wishing you continued wellness. <3:mrgreen:<3
  • dsboohead
    dsboohead Posts: 1,900 Member
    Your story as well as message was honest and untarnished. The circumstances of your youth were not your fault but today you are here to speak of it and it is valuable and powerful....thankyou.
  • pinelopi22
    pinelopi22 Posts: 18 Member
    Thanks so much for sharing your story. Kudos to you for taking charge of your own health. I also really love your point about motivation verses determination and hope to apply it for myself. ❤️
  • dsboohead
    dsboohead Posts: 1,900 Member
    Ps.....have you ever thought of being a writer? You are valuable!
  • Seattleovercast
    Seattleovercast Posts: 23 Member
    Thank you for sharing your story! You have inspired me to seek help with my binge episodes.
  • fleapowder
    fleapowder Posts: 23 Member
    Wow loved that story!
  • Ainadan
    Ainadan Posts: 158 Member
    Great story! You should consider sending it somewhere to see if you can get it published in a magazine or newspaper. You are a very enthralling writer.
  • cheryldumais
    cheryldumais Posts: 1,931 Member
    Wow! what an amazing story and journey. Congratulations on your success. It took a great deal of courage to share that story and I am certain there will be people who are helped by your honesty. By the way the improvement in your legs is quite amazing.
  • 2011rocket3touring
    2011rocket3touring Posts: 1,346 Member
    Whoa. Read the entire thing. Wow.
    I've been using some self hypnosis stuff recently. I view it more as a "nudge" in a particular direction.
  • aliciaaw
    aliciaaw Posts: 180 Member
    What a story you have! I happy for you that you found the help you need.
  • HellYeahItsKriss
    HellYeahItsKriss Posts: 906 Member
    Thanks everyone! Sorry for the delayed replies