Wednesday 21 September 2011

"30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know"

I'm really excited to be participating in "Invisible Illness Awareness Week" for the first time. And while my responses are a week late (doh!), the process has been not only thought provoking and reflective, but cathartic.

1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes. My son has type 1 diabetes, but our family lives with it each and every day.
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: Dylan was diagnosed November 21st, 2005, at the age of 4.
3. But I had symptoms since: About a week prior to diagnosis.
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Letting go of doing all of the diabetes care myself, and realizing that Dyl is responsible enough to start doing some of his own care. 
5. Most people assume: That we have Dyl's diabetes "under control" (man do I hate that phrase. There is nothing controllable about type 1 diabetes).
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Everything. Mornings are crazy in our house; diabetes simply adds an extra element to the madness.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: House M.D. Love his sense of humor.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: Dyl's insulin pump. I never want to go back to syringes.
9. The hardest part about nights are: The worry. Need I say more? Every D parent knows EXACTLY what I mean...
10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins. Just insulin; lots and lots of insulin.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I:  Would try anything for a cure.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose:
Invisible, I think. That's a tough question and I have mixed feelings on both sides.
13. Regarding working and career: I work on call (teacher) so that my schedule can be flexible.
14. People would be surprised to know: That it DOES get easier.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: The unpredictability. That one day everything can seem ok, and the next day diabetes kicks you in the butt.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: N/a. We have never let diabetes prevent Dylan from doing anything, and we never will.
17. The commercials about my illness: What commericals? They're all for type 2 diabetes...
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: Leaving the house without all of the extra supplies.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: n/a, see #16.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: cycling to raise awareness and funds for type 1 diabetes. 
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: n/a, see #16. This is our "normal".
22. My illness has taught me: That life is the most precious gift we are ever given and needs to be cherished as such.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: oh boy, don't get me started, there are too many things people say about D that bug me...
24. But I love it when people: Understand what we're going through.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: "Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away."
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: You can do this and you are not alone.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: That we have never let diabetes define us, or stand in our way.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Listen.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I am passionate about spreading awareness about type 1 diabetes and will never give up until a cure is found.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Grateful. Not alone. Understood.

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