From Bronx, New York, USA:
My goddaughter was diagnosed with Type 1 at age 9. She is now almost 21. She monitors herself (refuses to be monitored any longer). Has been hospitalized with ketones more than once. Eats sweets galore. Hides wrappers. Gets up in the middle of the night to eat. Totally refuses to listen to anyone or to go to any kind of doctors, psychologists, etc. She drinks orange juice, milk, whatever, then dilutes everything so nobody will know what she's up to. But we all know. The situation is totally impossible! Will not even listen to wonderful caring doctors who've advised her in the past.
What on earth is left to do besides praying? Please, please, help: We also think she may be throwing up after eating because she spends a very long time in the bathroom sometimes. She is extremely concerned about her weight and how she looks. Never reveals her diabetic condition to anyone if possible. What should we do?
It sounds as if there are a couple of things going on here. It could be that you are dealing with a eating disorder like bulimia, where an individual purges after eating (either with induced vomiting or laxatives).
More generally, my first response is that this young woman sounds like she is very upset over having to deal with diabetes at all. Her secretive behavior is indicative of an emotional concern. Do you have access to a psychologist or counselor, who is skilled in dealing with chronic illness in young persons? That would be my first approach. If not, can your doctor recommend someone that this young woman might trust?
Diabetes can impact a person's self esteem and self concept. I strongly advise psychological assistance in such a situation.
Original posting 24 Jun 1998
Posted to Behavior
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