Posted by Pattie on 9/22/2007 10:30:00 AM

New Diagnosis

Well, nothing like a crisis to get me writing again.

I have been feeling worse and worse physically for about 5 weeks. I'll spare the gory details, but at first I thought it might be fungi or allergies. Then I thought I might have a small UTI. Then Wednesday all hell broke loose with me having abdomenal pain, lower back pain and needing to go to the bathroom every hour. I don't mean having the urge. I mean dumping gallons a day. (Okay, one gory detail.) I went to the doctor yesterday and the news I didn't want to hear came. I have a kidney infection brought on by diabetes.

I was shocked. Other than a couple of cousins, diabetes does not run in my family (and btw, fatness does run in my family). Then the news got worse. Diabetes, it turns out, can be related to lupus. So can a kidney infection.

I've been fooling myself about lupus. I handle the pain well. I had a rhythm going. I believe I had it under control.

Now this.

I am still in shock.

Of course, the diet pamphlets and the "lose weight" rhetoric is all throughout the literature the doctor gave me. The doctor was great. (Actually I think she was a PA) No blaming me. No diet talk. No weight loss talk. She gave me meds for the infection, for blood sugar and for high blood pressure. But she also handed me a thick copy of a booklet that is full of such things. Counting carbs. I just want to scream. I spent a life time regulating everything I ate, counting every morsal and its components. It was crazy-making and it took me years to stop doing so. It took me years to have a normal(?) relationship with food. For the past 5 years, I've ate when I was hungry and stopped when I was full and lost all guilt feelings about food and my body.

It all rushed back in yesterday. Of course, I'm weak from the infection and just tired from the whole business, so what am I going to do?

This is why fat hatred is so insidious. It complicates this. Lupus is a disease. Diabetes is a disease. They require care and curatives and coping. All of those things would be easier if fat hatred didn't exist. But the context and meaning of body image, restricting food and blame make this a moment in which I have to stand against the tide. Frankly, I don't have the strength. Oh yeah, and I'm sure the stress is oh, so helpful (she said sarcastically).

This has been a bad year. No doubt about it. I'm tired now. I'll write more later. The one thing I do know is that I must be public with this struggle. I must write about it. It is the only way I can stay sane.