This week we are featuring the inspiring story of OmniPod wearer Suzi Vietti. Suzi has lived with diabetes for 50 years, overcoming numerous obstacles on her way to become, among other things, the First Female Powered Parachute Sport Pilot, as well as one of the coolest 63-year-old grandmothers on the planet. To check out part one, click here. Come back later this week for the final installment of Suzi’s story. If you’d like to make a comment or share your story, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
In part one of my story, I discussed my diagnosis and early experiences with diabetes. I had some amazing highs and some tragic lows, such as the death of my middle child, which continued to torture me. Combined with my fanaticism of my blood sugars, weight, A1Cs, exercise, as well as all of the depression created during my childhood, I slowly slipped into the grip of bulimia. I was busy exercising to maintain my weight, however, I began exercising when it was ill advised and had extreme lows. Of course none of this was shared with my family. I felt this would prove that I was a bad person, because I couldn’t get my diabetes under control. After one particularly bad reaction, we all determined our family was in trouble, in a crisis actually. The group of people I loved so much and was so proud of…I was jeopardizing their lives.
I went into in-patient treatment for my eating disorder. I maintained I did not make myself vomit so how could I have bulimia? But I was told that the extreme exercise I was doing was considered purging and I was hospitalized for four weeks. As time rolled on, I ended up being hospitalized two more times before I got a handle on it. In retrospect, I will add that I have found that eating disorders can be fairly common in people with diabetes. The extreme attention paid to the numbers of weight, insulin units, calories, carbs, fats, A1Cs, blood sugar values and other test numbers can definitely play a role in this. Then add in a troubled childhood, depression and guilt, and it becomes a volatile mixture just waiting to blow.
Continuing to Fight On
During this passage of time, I became interested in running. But it seemed I had NO idea how to handle my blood sugars during this time. But I tried to do it, managing to the best of my abilities. This became my pattern and I watched my numbers vociferously to avoid hypoglycemia attacks. Continue reading