Sunday, September 18, 2011

30 Things About My Invisible Illness

Better late than never. Last week was Invisible Illness Week, and several people on the Diabetic Online Community have been doing these posts helping people to be aware of the Invisible Illness they or they along with their children live with. After reading several, I decided I would do one, I think I will revisit this in 6 months or so to see if any of my answers change.

1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2/2/2011

3. But I had symptoms since: 2010 several months before diagnosis

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: There are so many, but I think the biggest is giving myself a shot before every meal and at bedtime.

5. Most people assume: I have Type 2 because of my age 49

6. The hardest part about mornings are: Mornings are fine, especially now that my basal insulin is set at a good dose. In the beginning when I was taking too much insulin, I was frantic to eat breakfast before I went low.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: If I had to pick one I would say House.

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My meter, and If you can call them gadgets, syringes. There I called them gadgets.

9. The hardest part about nights are: I worry a little about undetected lows, however I don't take a lot of insulin, and I eat carbs before I go to bed. I actually kind of charish nights because when I'm sleeping is the only time my mind is free and at peace from all the numbers going on in my head, you know blood sugars, carb counts etc.

10. Each day I take 1 pills & 0 vitamins: I take a thyroid pill, don't think I mentioned I had Graves Disease and had radiation treatment 15 years ago. I take a cholesterol pill, an iron supplement, a mult-vitamin, a low dose asprin, and 4 insulin injections per day.

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Pray. Other than that I eat healthy well balanced meals the majority of the time and take insulin shots. I think that's pretty much all I can do.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Vanity tells me invisible.

13. Regarding working and career: My previous position was eliminated and the last week I was supposed to work was the week I wound up in ICU, did I mention I went into DKA . We have decided that I will not work for now.

14. People would be surprised to know: that giving yourself a shot isn't that difficult, you do what you have to do to live.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: That it is reality, that I'm not going to wake up from this nightmare, and have God say JK, here's your life back.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: I never thought I could give myself a shot, but again, you do what you have to do to live.

17. The commercials about my illness: I don't pay much attention to them anymore. I can't get the free cookbooks because I have insurance, I use the meter that is prescribed for me and paid for by my insurance.

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Just eating without any thought other than "What do I want". Instead of, "What do I want, how many carbs, what's my blood sugar, how much insulin do I need, will this spike my blood sugar through the roof " yada, yada, yada. Oh yeah, don't forget the shot!!!

19. It was really hard to have to give up: White rice, it is one of those foods that sends my blood sugar through the roof, but also one that I really like.

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: I have started walking more, is that a hobby. I have some hobbies I haven't done a lot since my diagnosis, like reading and sewing, if I sit still for any extended amount of time my blood sugar rises.

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: I feel normal, it's being normal, that's the question. I would love a day of eating without all the rigamaroll I described in #18.

22. My illness has taught me: How many carbs are in foods, if that is really important to anyone besides a diabetic. How a pancreas is supposed to work, and how to try to be one. On the downer side, it has taught me that I'm not as tough as I thought I was. I know, I know you have to be a strong person to live with a chronic condition, I just still have momments when I cry about my lost life.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: "It's just diabetes, it's not cancer". It's "my" cancer, that is slowly going to kill me if I don't do everything I can to control my blood sugars, and it still will probably kill me. My mortality hits me square in the face everytime I have a low blood sugar.

24. But I love it when people: Ask me "how are your blood sugars today?" To ask me how I am, well I'm fine, but it's all about my blood sugar #'s that's specific to my condition, so it feels like they are actually interested. I also love it when people just listen to me, without getting that blank look on their faces. This condition consumes my whole being and I know I talk about it a lot.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: You Can Do This.

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: learn and read everything you can about how your pancreas used to work, and how you now have to be the pancreas, the sooner you do that the better.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: How all consuming it is. Also, learning about how foods affect my blood sugar, obviously I never gave that any thought before. Also, how eating well balanced meals actually keeps the weight off, I know, who would have thunk it. I have dieted most my life. DKA took off 20 pounds I've been trying to lose forever, but I'm finding that by eating well balanced meals, lower glycemic indexed foods most of the time it hasn't been too difficult to keep it off. (Knock on wood)

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: I went low on a walk one time, my husband was with me, so he went and got the car so I wouldn't have to sit there on the curb for 15 minutes waiting for my blood sugar to come up. Oh, he does have pretty good hugs too.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: Well, I am little late, but lots of others are doing it, and I thought it would be good for me to put my feelings and thoughts down this way, maybe I will revisit in a few months to see if my answers would be the same.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: You care.

If you would like to read more of these posts go to these sites, Bab's Blog, Ninjabetic, Six Until Me, Our Diabetic Life, Beta Buddies If I missed any, I'm sorry I just haven't read them yet. Leave me a comment and I will read them.

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