*Most of this is word for word from a twitter babble from this morning but I have added more information as it came to me. You can follow my twitter for diabetes and lots of other garbage @Endo_Gremlin
Something that has been on my mind a while just got pointed out to me again. Talking about weight in front of children. It should not happen. It causes trauma. That is proven. It absolutely traumatised me. As a child with diabetes I was subjected to being weighed at every clinic appointment. Technically I still am but I refuse to be weighed given the trauma it causes me and how it triggers panic attacks and my body dysmorphia.
As a child my weight was taken in a side corridor surrounded my green walls and stick on cartoon characters and then stated to me in a clinic room and put on a plotted graph. Children did not get the privacy and dignity afforded to adults at clinic. Given weight is a huge subject of bullying in children this is appalling. I hope it has changed. I don’t know any kids with diabetes or parents of kids with diabetes to check though. Anyway, back to my horrors. This graph had a line on it that showed where my weight was expected to be. For my age. It didn’t account for my height as far as I remember. So from a young age (6) it was constantly drilled into me that I had either hit or missed weight targets. I was ok, too thin or fat. As a child. How is that acceptable?
I still have nightmares of the white paper within a green folder being slid across the table with the graph on it and the pen hovering over where my weight was. Too low. Too high. Pen tips tapping the graph. Hums and awws while looking at the graph. Developing a fear of a Doctor so bad I refused to be seen by her and would wait an extra hour to see another. I had ketoacidosis as a child and was clearly deeply mentally disturbed by my diabetes but where did my Doctor get to put that star on the graph? What was my HBA1C? Could I be tucked into the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ patient folder. That is what it felt like.
I was told to gain weight but given the choice of whether to see a dietician which looking back was a bad idea. I feel a dietician should have been present when they started the weight discussion if they had it at all. Perhaps then I would have had a healthier relationship with food. Instead I just ate crap and then went above the line and wondered why they were now so angry with me. I was now above the line? I did what they wanted? I avoided all the terrible complications they said would happen if I was an underweight diabetic? All confronting me with my weight did was create paranoia. I went against my mum and ate when I shouldn’t have because I feared what would happen if I was underweight. I mean I took the insulin and it didn’t impact my HBA1C so…what did they want from me? Only to find the stigma and anger of my Doctors was worse when I was then deemed ‘overweight’. The thing is; I was only ever a size 12 for years. I had a big heavy chest. I’ve weighed them. I carry a stone on my tatas alone. But the BMI!
I now have body dysmorphia. I AM big now. I’m fat. I know and accept this. My diabetes is stable like this. But sometimes I see a far smaller lady in the mirror and sometimes I see a far larger person. I feel sick when I see mirrors.
I have disordered eating. I have a terrible relationship with food. I cannot take on a diet without becoming obsessed and anxious and breaking down. And it all started with showing a child a graph about their weight. Something I should never have seen. Show the parent. Not a child. Never a child.