Invincible Illness Week: It’s a Thing

Apparently. Hey – I’ve been kind of dry on blogging inspiration so I’ll take a prompt every now and then. Plus – these surveys are a good way to kill time. 🙂

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes (and possibly, Trigeminal neuralgia.)

2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 1982, shortly after my first birthday. (TN is still not quite confirmed.)

3. But I had symptoms since: I have no idea. I was barely a year old. I assume my parents weren’t really sure why their daughter was super sick and going through diapers like crazy, so – multiple trips to the hospital ensued.

4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: I’ve had it all my life, essentially, but I’ve changed treatment options multiple times. So going on a pump was probably the biggest adjustment after being on shots for 26-ish years. (And getting used to being connected to something 24/7.)

5. Most people assume: That I’m in great control because their grandma “always run high” or “that I have bad diabetes” because I’m on insulin all the time (there’s a good kind???) Or that if I’m moody, then I MUST need to eat something because I’m low. (I’m not allowed to be pissed off ever?)

6. The hardest part about mornings are: Waking up with a random-ass high or low blood for no reason can totally ruin your day.

7. My favorite medical TV show is: I used to watch House until it got weird. I watched ER and Chicago Hope a long time ago as well.

8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My pump and CGM combo. I have a love/hate relationship with it, but I’m dreading the day I may have to switch insurance providers and will no longer have the luxury of CGM coverage. (Which is why it took me so long to get it in the first place.)

9. The hardest part about nights are: Going to sleep with a high BG… or having a late dinner with a high fat content that you know will hit you later long after you’ve gone to sleep. The whole “do I over-bolus and risk crashing vs. waiting it out” debate may as well just keep me up all night.

10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins: I used to be on a cocktail of pills and vitamins for no reason, IMHO. But now it’s just the insulin and Nuerontin when I feel my headaches coming back. (And a daily multi… most of the time.)

11. Regarding alternative treatments I: don’t really explore them, unless they are to alleviate symptoms. There aren’t alternative, non-chemical subs for insulin. But – for pain relief, I’ve saught out acupuncture and massage therapy. And I’ve found some interesting cold remedies on Pineterest.

12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Invisible. Though – that has it’s downfalls as well. Especially when hypoglycemia symptoms double as alcohol intoxication symptoms.

13. Regarding working and career: I try to keep it discrete and rely on myself a lot. However, it depends on the job. If the day involves a lot of activity and stress, I’m asked more often if I need to eat or take care of myself. But desk work is a bit different. I’ve also been asked to not give my shots in public at events, which was really annoying (and a bathroom is a much safer place!?). (The same boss that criticized me for doing so was over the moon when I got a pump.)

14. People would be surprised to know: That I don’t like a gift of sugar free candy. The laxative effect and strange insulin math I need to do to adjust for consuming it is so not worth it. I know you are trying to be thoughtful… but please, just get me the real stuff.

15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: Diabetes has actually been my only reality.

16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Dance. But the illness wasn’t exactly a factor in that equation. Eventually, I’d also like to “be a mom.”

17. The commercials about my illness: are often fast-forwarded. (I rarely watch TV live.)

18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: I can’t really tell you… I was too young to really miss anything about a diabetes-free life.

19. It was really hard to have to give up: Once I started pumping – I gave up pants without pockets get really annoyed when I can’t find them when out shopping. I also don’t wear dresses and skirts that often anymore. The last time I tried to stick my pump in with “the girls,” I broke it. So…

20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: …everything?

21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: I’d probably enjoy my food more as food rather than a quadratic equation.

22. My illness has taught me: about being a responsible human being. However, it’s also taught me to be neurotic and it showcases my TYPE A+++ personality (TM – someone awesome) quite well.

23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: Wow – it must be really hard to be a diabetic. I can’t even imagine…

24. But I love it when people: Try to understand it to the best of their ability and when I feel like I can have an open conversation with a non-PWD.

25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: It could be worse…

26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: It sucks and it’s an adjustment. But – you’ll do yourself no favors if you pretend it doesn’t exist.

27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: How open my IRL friends were to learning about it. A number of them follow the blog on their own accord.

28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Ballroom teacher has delayed lessons, cancelled lessons last minute, or stopped them without docking time until I got back on my feet again, figuratively. It’s minor in the grand scheme of things, but his time is valuable as well and accommodations don’t always have to be made. But they are.

29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: Why lie? I needed a blog prompt.

30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: delighted! Happy Friday!

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