A letter from the pancreatically challenged to the fully working bodied person

Does it annoy you when people who are totally fully well and working trash their bodies? It does me. My husband is 49 years old yet he stills carries on like an idiot drinking to passing out almost when he gets with the footy mates, especially when they win the Grand Final like last night….coz that sooooo matters. They didn’t even know who won the election. It got me mad. I wrote a letter. From me, to the person who has a body that totally works:

Dear person who has a fully working body

please don’t taunt me with your stories about how far you ran last week (while I also run it is spattered with BGL checks mid stream, glucose grabs, wearing a bum bag with all my supplies in which hampers my style and the run is often cut short due to my levels)

please don’t tell me how hung over you are and let me see your wrecked body (all through your own doing) as you stagger out of bed after a big night (I am trying to stay as healthy as I can because my body is already partly screwed)

please don’t sit there mindlessly shoving food down your throat (a family size block) as I count every 1 gram of carb and try to work out how my insulin to carb ratio is going to pan out

please don’t repeat the story about how magical your water birth was and how you did it all pain relief free, while I knew I would have a high risk pregnancy and held my breath for 37 and a half weeks until they cut me open to pull my precious babies out safely from my “diabetic environment” (true label said to me as I was about to have my last baby)

please don’t whinge about how much the shots hurt when you went overseas (I estimated how many injections I have so far had in my lifetime today to be around 63,875)

please don’t tell me you understand.You don’t.

please look at me like you would anyone else, but know, that I am not like anyone else. I am like me.

And I have diabetes.

And I am awesome.

And You have a fully working body.

PLEASE don’t trash it but  – if you do decide to keep on doing so, pass me your pancreas. I could do with one



  1. Diana Steele on September 8, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I am with you on this all the way, Helen.

    Then there’s the many who look at us and judge us because of how we look when we’re overweight. My food habits were not good before having kids yet maintained a healthy weight. I didn’t pile on weight till I experienced a serious illness that was not picked up till years after I had the acute stage of it. My pancreas is stuffed not because I ate sugary and fatty foods, nor because I drank too much alcohol – in fact, before becoming a diabetic I had cut most of those foods out of my diet. It took me years to lose weight after having my 3rd child (I’d jumped to 115 kgs but after 22 years of diet change and attempting to stay on track with exercise I’d been down to 85 kgs – which has crept up 10 kgs since being on insulin these past 6 – 12 months). In 1987 I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia, I didn’t become a diabetic until 1997. I’d made radical changes to my diet in 1987 that put me on track to better nutrition, yet still my sugar levels still kept on rising gradually.

    The media portrayal of how we become diabetic is totally misleading. I am sure there have been enough studies to show that other medical conditions can trigger off diabetes. In fact, presently, my daughter has IBS, and part of her treatment is metformin. Not because she IS diabetic, but so as to slow down any possible chance of her becoming diabetic. Considering she already experiences hypoglycemia and that there is a strong genetic influence in my family for diabetes, I’m hope the prevention does it’s job – but who is to say.

    Just my splurge. I’m still struggling with my sugar levels – and even though I know I need to increase my exercise (I mostly go for long walks) there is no guarantee for me that this will help to control my sugars in the long term.

    Having food allergies have not helped my plight. Especially when some of the foods I’ve been recommended to eat are my allergy foods. I’m allergic to dairy products, any and all pork based products and have to seriously limit my bread intake as bread make me bloat up (so already that does out nearly every kind of junk food you can think of).

    • Helen-Edwards on September 9, 2013 at 2:35 pm

      thanks for sharing your journey Diana, very very hard – sounds like you have done a remarkable job of managing all the complexities

  2. kathleen emslie on September 10, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    hey helen and diana
    I too have the same experiences and find “medical people to be the worst” my lung capacity is around 20%, hubby and I have revolutionised our life how when and what we eat, but still we get “comments” at least i know in my heart i do the best I can each day and that is all that that is needed.
    I know the truth of what i do and don’t do and why, and it sets me free and keeps me sane
    kathleen emslie

    • Helen-Edwards on September 12, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      thanks so much for sharing Kathleen, that must be very hard to manage. I think you do become the expert in your own health. I love how you say it sets you free xx