This week is, as a lot of other d-bloggers have posted, Invisible Illness Week. So, since others were making their posts, I decided to work on one myself.
Diabetes is invisible to anyone that doesn’t have it or to anyone who isn’t a caretaker of a diabetic (i.e., a parent, spouse, family). After sitting down and trying to think of what a “normal” person would see if they were to see me on any given day, I thought it would be interesting to cross reference it to what is going on with what’s really happening:
A low to you looks like several different things. I am (a) tired (b) mad at anything that makes a sound because I just want to be a pain in the butt, (c) on a serious food binge, (d) drunk, (e) confused because I must have just had a brain fart, or (f) completely normal.
This is how I feel: I am (a) dizzy, (b) panicked because I don’t know how fast my glucose is dropping, (c) confused and frustrated because I can’t do the math in my head to calculate how much glucose I need to bring up my low without over correcting and going too high, (d) unable to see correctly because now my vision is either going gray peripherally or directly in front of me, (e) weird inside, and any sound tends to be amplified and it makes me feel as if everything is closing in on me, or (f)upset, mad, and teary-eyed because of how the low really just takes everything out of me and makes me feel like I am sick, and at times, worthless.
A high to you looks like a few things too. I am (a) lazy, (b) ill-mannered, (c) drinking lots of water because I am trying to drink more water and not soda, or (d) normal.
A high makes me feel (a) VERY thirsty, (b) VERY tired, (c) very irritable, (d) sick, (e) worried because I cannot get my glucose down within range, and sometimes I feel (f) normal as if I weren’t high.
So, if you look at it from the “what you see is what you get” standpoint with diabetes, you never get what you see. You get a friend, husband, wife, mom, daughter, son, or coworker that is like you, but a little different. You get someone who has trouble with glucose levels that can make them do weird things and act some wacky ways some times, of which they have no control over at the current moment. You have someone who is day in and day out fighting to stay alive and sane throughout the madness of the disease. The only difference is, you cannot see it. It’s invisible to you. Not because the outward signals and signs don’t present themselves, but they present themselves in a way that could be misinterpreted or not noticed at all.
I am a daughter, wife, coworker, sister, and mom to 2 cats. I am a singer, pianist, choir director, photographer, insurance agent, computer and iPhone junkie. I am also a person with diabetes. If you are someone close to me, you know this already. But if you are not, you may never know unless you are told because on the outside I look normal. I look healthy. But I am not.