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RE: [IP] diabetes awareness

Well put Jan.
Your story is definitely an inspiration.
I am a type I who was diagnosed about 19 years
ago at age 4.  I am now 23 and weigh about 160lbs.
Although this isn't necessarily "heavy", I do get
looks from people when I tell them I am diabetic.
Many have asked me how much weight I have lost since
being diagnosed and how much more I have to go. :(

However the one that drove me nuts, was about 5 years
ago I went to see my endo who I had been seeing for 
about a year.  I was 18 and my A1Cs hadn't been great
for a while, I think at this appt. it was 12.3 or something.
He told me I needed to loose weight because the combination
of the 12.3 A1C and my weight was just asking to be put in
a coffin.  Mortified I left.  I knew better then to let this
guy make me feel bad, but I decided that loosing the weight
couldn't be a bad idea.  So that summer I watched everything
I put in my mouth, I exercised, and the end result was much
better bgs and a 20lb loss over 3 months.  I went back and at
this appt my A1C was 8.5 (big improvement) and I weighed 145.
I was so proud of myself.  When I walked in the endo made an
all out attack on me over the dangers of loosing weight using
DKA and that I was endangering myself...I was furious with him.
Obviously this was the last appt I had with him.  I have never,
knock on wood, experienced DKA and I would never use that for
weight loss.  But how could this guy think I was using that if
my A1C dropped from 12.3 to 8.5? 

This whole experience changed me and my style of care.  First for the
worse and now for the better.  But that is another story.

-- Sherry

-----Original Message-----
From: email @ redacted [mailto:email @ redacted]
Sent: Friday, November 19, 1999 11:08 AM
To: email @ redacted
Subject: Re: [IP] diabetes awareness

In a message dated 11/17/99 5:11:26 PM US Eastern Standard Time, 
email @ redacted writes:

<< He's had to start exercising and
 eating differently but he's trying to keep his numbers where they should be
 and even losing weight.  That was all good.  HOWEVER, the title of the
 article was "One Candy Bar away from a Coma"  And this fellow on the front
 page was very heavy!  >>

I dunno. I went to the paper's Web site and read the article, in which it 
said he was *told* he was "one candy bar away from a coma." It was actually
very good article and amazingly accurate. It also noted that he had lost 
weight. Perhaps the entire article should have been printed instead of just 
the headline.

And, ya know, I'm "very heavy" too! Should that have prevented me from being

interviewed Wednesday by a TV news crew about the symptoms of DM, pumping
about how much better I feel since I've been in good control? Or do you
I should have told them to find a skinny DM-er -- even if that person
know much about the disease?  :-)

Interestingly, the TV people called me because I was recommended to them by 
the hospital and by the local endocrinologist who reallize that, *despite my

weight*, I have a great deal of knowledge about diabetes -- through a lot of

education. I think, too, that among the better health care professionals,
initial emphasis is becoming more on controlling (or managing) diabetes, 
rather than yelling at the patients to lose weight. Amazingly, once you get 
your BGs in a decent range, you feel more like exercising and eating right.

I remember when my BGs were running high all the time, I was just 
s-o-o-o-o-o-o hungry! (I'm type 2, BTW.) And so tired, I'd fall asleep as 
soon as I sat down. There was a time I was afraid to drive far because I 
feared falling asleep. The problem is that, unlike type 1s, who don't make 
insulin, my body was. In fact, it was probably making too much insulin. But,

because my cell receptors didn't work properly, the sugar couldn't get into 
my cells. My BGs were high, my insulin output was high, my body was telling 
me it was starving and I was feeding it -- and I gained weight.

It was such a relief to *finally* get to a place where the empahsis was on 
gaining control." (By then, I think I was into beta-cell "poop-out.") The 
most amazing thing happened: My energy came back, I felt like riding my bike

again and the pounds started coming off -- slowly, but coming off. (Now if I

could just stop the deadline stress eating!!!! LOL)

I don't believe that being overweight makes me a bad person. Nor do I
that it should exclude me from publicly addressing the importance of 
education, DM management and methods of control. Perhaps somebody will see 
the spot -- and read that article -- and be given hope that *despite their 
weight* they, too, can begin to tame the "Diabeastie."

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