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From Texas, USA:

This is a cry for help. I'm 13 years old, and I think I might be dying because of my diabetes. My mom stopped helping me control my disease when I was 11 because she thought I was mature enough to handle it myself, but she was wrong. I stopped doing my shots, I am skipping blood sugar checks, and I have no diet control. I've been in the hospital a number of times because of DKA [diabetic ketoacidosis]. It's because of my being a little overweight. I wanted to be skinny so I found out that if you skip shots, you do get skinny or at least until you take another one.

Anyway, I just read an article about this. Diabulimia is what it's called. I will be 14 in another month, nd my little sister has already started puberty. Well I have too, but not as far as I should be. In that article it says that in extreme forms, you get liver enlargement and lack of puberty development. That sounds all too familiar. When I read that, I started bawling, knowing that is happening to me. Meanwhile, my mom is unaware of my hurting lower back where my kidneys are.

Please help me! I don't want to die young! I want to start all over again, like when I was first diagnosed. I want to start dieting, exercising, and taking my shots regularly. I am begging you not to ignore this letter. I really want help, but I'm going to need motivation, and inspiration to help. I know it has to start inside me then to my mom. Please, I don't want to die!


How brave you are to call out for help! You have just learned one of the most important things about living with diabetes -- no one can do it alone. By letting us know that you are feeling overwhelmed, you just took the most difficult and most important step in turning your life around. Although I am not a physician, I feel pretty sure that no matter how poorly controlled your diabetes has been this past year, once you get back on track, you'll be okay. You are not dying.

The first thing you need to do now, is talk to someone on your diabetes team. Which member of the team do you trust the most? Or, which person did you like the most when you were hospitalized? Call that person and talk about how frightened you are, and that you want help. If you can't think of anyone from the medical side, then go to your school counselor's office and ask for help there. Remember, no one can handle all of the responsibilities of diabetes care alone. Let those who can help you know that you need it.

Finally, you may wish to show your mom the letter you wrote to us, and my response. I'll bet she'll be very supportive and helpful to you, and she will be sure to take on some of the diabetes tasks that you've been trying to do alone (testing blood sugars, writing them down, drawing up insulin, administering the shots, monitoring food, etc.).

Continue to be brave, and ask for help from your medical team, your school counselor, and your mom. Things will get much better for you.


Original posting 30 Nov 2000
Posted to Behavior


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