“When I look at food, I don’t see food. I see sugar — in the form of carbohydrates — plotted on a multidimensional graph with proteins and fat and serving sizes and sickness and exercise and times of day.
I didn’t always do this. Before I received the diagnosis that I had Type 1 diabetes, I saw food as food, and ate it as such — simply, casually, with no real thought attached.
The winter of my senior year of college, after a bad cold and painful breakup, I began eating more — not to cope, but to feel full. I was hungry, always hungry. Hungry and thirsty and tired, piling my tray in the dining hall with pasta, cheese, dessert, getting up in the middle of the night to slurp water from my dorm’s bathroom faucet.
I gorged myself and yet my pants were looser, my arms thinner, my stomach flatter. One afternoon I threw it all up, convinced I had food poisoning. My stomach eventually settled, but my mind did not. The world swirled. I couldn’t stand without stumbling. On Feb. 17, 2001, I entered the hospital, and since that day, food has never been the same.”
What started as a writing exercise turned into an essay about Type 1 diabetes for the New York Times’ Well blog. It’s my attempt to capture what it’s truly like to live with this disease.