Did you know that this week is Invisible Illness Week? I didn’t either until this blog post came across my reader. Thanks Rose! I used to love filling out the old email surveys way back in the day, so why not? Here’s an easy chance to learn a little more about me and my diabetes. Don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz at the end.
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: 1998, 4 days after my 18th birthday!
3. But I had symptoms since: Not long before diagnosis. Maybe a month before? I lost weight (Yay!) and was peeing a lot (Non-yay when there wasn’t a bathroom on my floor in the dorms!) but I didn’t think anything of it.
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Testing my blood sugar, injecting insulin/wearing a pump, and carrying all the crap ever around – wherever I go.
5. Most people assume: That diabetes is just having to test my BG and taking insulin before meals. I don’t think people realize how serious it is and how I am constantly aware of what my BG is/how my body feels/how my actions affect my numbers.
Or, that my foot is going to fall off.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Giving up cereal. My BG hates it. No matter how I try to bolus. I miss you Cocoa Puffs.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Grey’s Anatomy. I’m one of the 4 people who still watch it.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My Dexcom CGM. Seriously my most favorite Diabetes device ever! I credit it for helping me get my a1c down to 6.8 and I always say I’ll give up my pump before I give up my Dexcom. It has given me a sense of security and much more awareness of my diabetes.
9. The hardest part about nights are: Deciding if I need a snack before bed. Seriously. Food is hard.
10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins: 2 Pills – Sythroid and Vitamin. I’m usually on Vytorin but my doc took me off of it in preparation for baby making. Also, continuous insulin via the pump.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Think they have their place. Although, with T1D there really aren’t any alternatives to insulin. But I think there is nothing wrong with seeking out a natural treatment for more common ailments like the common cold if that’s what you choose.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Invisible. I don’t like my diabetes being made a huge deal of and I imagine if I had a visible illness I would feel uncomfortable much more often.
13. Regarding working and career: I’ve been working in some capacity of another since before my diagnosis. I don’t think that Diabetes has affected my ability to get and keep a job. I’ve really only missed maybe 3 or 4 days of work because of wonky blood sugars. In 14 years, that’s not too bad. I do feel guilty sometimes for having to miss time for doctor’s appointments, but I supposed that is what PTO is for!
14. People would be surprised to know: We really don’t want to hear stories about how your best friend’s cat has diabetes, or that your uncle “died from diabetes” or that your former boss’s mother’s sister lost her foot because she was diabetic. Really. Not helpful.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: My reality isn’t really “new” but back in college, the toughest thing to accept was that this is permanent. At least for the next 5-7 years until there’s a cure, right?
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: I got nothing. Ask me again in a year or so and hopefully my answer will be “Have a baby.”
17. The commercials about my illness: Annoy me.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Eating without thought. I miss not having to test, figure out my insulin, not having to wonder how this meal/snack will make me feel in the next 15 minutes, hour, 3 hours, etc.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: One piece bathing suits and low cut dresses. Female pumpers will understand. Oh, and cereal. And money. Diabetes is expensive, yo.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Blogging. This is a really new hobby!
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: Eat all the pasta without a worry in the world.
22. My illness has taught me: A lot of stuff.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: See number 14.
24. But I love it when people: Ask questions and actually listen when I explain what I live with, my pump and CGM, etc.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: Tomorrow will be a better day.
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Diabetes is a pain in the ass, there’s no sense sugar coating it (Pun intended). But it is manageable and even though it seems like you are being inundated with information right now, in just a short amount of time, all of this will become second nature. You can do this. And if you feel like you can’t there are tons of people both online and in real life who are happy to support you, answer your questions, or listen if you need to vent.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: That even though there are people around for support, it can be very isolating. That’s why I am so grateful for the DOC and IRL D-friends I have. They “get it”.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: My college roommate took me to the hospital and sat with me for hours in the ER on what was a pretty useless ER visit (Something I could/should have handled on my own, another blog for another day). Also, my husband does nice things all the time – getting my meter for me, checking my CGM receiver when he thinks I’m not looking, grabbing me some juice, starting dinner when he’s not hungry yet so I can eat/won’t go low, etc. I’ll keep him.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: My blog isn’t so invisible, so why not?
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Happy and hopeful that you weren’t terribly bored.
Have a great weekend, everyone!