Flashback to my diagnosis date which centered on the doom and gloom of my new life with Type 1 diabetes. I recall a lofty list of what I “should or should not” do in order to live a healthy life without complications. I listened and followed the rules for the most part, but rotating my injection sites didn’t seem to stick. It was just easier to give my injections in my thighs because I was usually sitting on the toilet. No brainer, right?
I hadn’t noticed any side effects of diabetes on my body until about the 5th grade. I was laying on the gymnasium floor before class and couldn’t help but notice my thighs felt like rocks. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but they had an unfamiliar hump. This realization consumed me and I began to fester. We’re all insecure about our bodies at this stage in our lives, but in addition to wanting bigger boobs, now I have to deal with humps on my thighs. I was super pissed and knew diabetes was to blame.
You can see in this photo the hump on my thigh from injections.
Even though I was angry with this diabetes deformity, it didn’t keep me from wearing shorts. I wanted to fit in and short shorts were the fashion trend in the early 90’s. I just pretended my “larger” thighs looked athletic. It wasn’t until around my freshmen year of college that my ego chimed in. My body was changing and the humps now resembled cellulite – every woman’s worst nightmare! I wouldn’t be caught dead in a pair of shorts or anything above the knee. I unfortunately cared what other people thought and didn’t want my diabetes divots and dents to be mistaken for cellulite.
I’m not proud of how I treated my body or mind set in those years, but finally at age 40, I’ve let it go. I choose to forgive myself for not switching my injection sites and for allowing my ego to play such a role. I’ve learned to love my body exactly as it is – divots, dents and all.
Anyone else out there have diabetes related body image issues? It’s such a freeing feeling to finally love myself – I hope you will do the same.