Last week someone declared it to be National Invisible Chronic Illness Week. (I wonder if there will be Hallmark cards?)
Unless you see me testing my blood sugar, fiddling with the buttons on my insulin pump, or if we are good friends, changing my infusion set, you probably wouldn't know I have a chronic disease. You would be more likely to mistake me for being really drunk than realize I was having a low blood sugar. You would probably assume my insulin pump was some weird lame-looking mp3 player. You would think I had a bit of gas and was chasing it with Tums rather than know that I was gobbling up glucose tablets to treat a low blood sugar.
So, I'm a bit late, but here's my 30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know:
1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2007
3. But I had symptoms since: five or six months prior
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: um, all of it
5. Most people assume: That I'm so in control that my disease isn't really a problem.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Leaving bed.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Does this count?
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My insulin pump.
9. The hardest part about nights are: Eating a brownie too late at night which forces me to wake up at 3am to check my blood sugar.
10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins: I take a multivitamin, that's it.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Wish I could fix this with herbs.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Can't I just pick "no illness?"
13. Regarding working and career: I work a lot, and sometimes wish I had more of a career.
14. People would be surprised to know: I consider myself extremely lucky, health-wise.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: Being judged.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Shove 2 inch long needles into the softest part of my stomach!
17. The commercials about my illness: Annoy the crap out of me since 99% of them have to do with Type 2 diabetes, which is only ever referred to as "diabetes" leaving some people to worry when they see me eating cake. Brimley is awesome, though.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Wearing bikinis without any tubing coming out of me.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: Eating without thinking.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Counting carbs! I'm better than a teenage anorexic at estimating carb and calorie counts.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Walk, no, skip, no, DANCE around naked eating cake.
22. My illness has taught me: I'm much stronger than I thought.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: Can you eat that?
24. But I love it when people: Understand.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Keep on keepin' on
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Don't worry, you're in control.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: How normal being "abnormal" can feel.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Visit.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I've got one.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Grateful you care.