Friday, September 16, 2011

Invisible Illness Week

This week is Invisible Illness Week. I want to share more about my disease with my readers. Sometimes it can affect me in a way that no one else knows. Somehow, diabetes makes me into the person I am today.  
1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 2007
3. But I had symptoms since: 2006-2007; not quite sure when it was 'triggered'.
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Living 21 years of my life eating whatever and whenever I want; and suddenly, that changed.  I now have to count every carb I eat, and take insulin for it.
5. Most people assume: I had something to do with this happening to me; no, it was in my genes and something in the environment triggered it.  I didn't eat too many sweets, I exercised all the time, and I was not at all overweight.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: If I'm low--and I HAVE to eat some sugar to bring me back up. Especially if I'm in a hurry.  It's annoying to have to eat and wait until I feel better to actually get my day started.  It delays everything!
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Medically related?? Hmm, Nip/Tuck.  I don't watch many medical tv shows. Although, I did enjoy watching 'The Biggest Race' with the Type 1 Diabetic on it.  It shows me I can do anything!
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: literally? My insulin pump. But I do love my iPhone, too. :)
9. The hardest part about nights are: When I have a high or low blood sugar, and as much as I DON'T want to get up--or how tired I am-- I have to take care of it.
10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins: Lots and of course, insulin.  Couldn't live without it.  Literally.
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Well, I definitely think mental and emotional health is important.  I don't take any other alternative medicines (since there's not much of a choice other than insulin!); but, I do write, take yoga, and cuddle with my cat.  Those things help my emotional well-being.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: Invisible; I am such a private person...I like being able to choose who I share my personal information with.
13. Regarding working and career: It's tough being a teacher and diabetic.  Although, working with the little ones does help--because it's never awkward when I pull out fruit snacks in front of them.  They're always excited to see what kind of snack I have. However, I am always afraid of being judged in the workplace.
14. People would be surprised to know: That I get extremely frustrated with this disease; I don't show it to the public though.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: That this is my life.  In order to live a long, healthy life--I have to test my blood sugar, count my carbs, take my insulin, exercise, and go to the doctor on a regular basis.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: travel throughout foreign countries; give myself needles.
17. The commercials about my illness: make me remember that I'm not alone.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: eating tons of carbs, and not having to worry how it will affect me.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: I don't really have to "give up" anything.  But, I do have to eat carbs in moderation.  So, it was hard to give up eating a huge bowl of ice cream or tons of candy all at once.  Also, I thought I'd NEVER get use to diet soda.  Oh, how that has changed.
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: yoga/meditating & blogging.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: eat a lot of junk food, exercise all day [to whatever intensity I wanted], and wear a dress [without having to worry what I'll attach my pump to!]
22. My illness has taught me: What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: Are you sure you can eat that? YES I CAN!
24. But I love it when people: acknowledge that it is a tough disease and that it takes a lot of work to stay healthy.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: 1. "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." 2. "You don't know what being strong is until it's the only option." 
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: Join the online community-it's amazing the friends you will make and learn from.  
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: You have to fight even harder for your rights.  Whether it be medical coverage or whatever, it always seems a little bit more difficult.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: Be right by my side; literally feed me sugar because I am too low to even do it; make sure I'm still breathing and ok at night [Love you husband!].
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: I think everyone is fighting a battle that needs to be shared with the world.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: thankful that you care enough to know more about me and my disease. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Diabetes Art Day

Today is Diabetes Art Day.  My piece of art, which is titled, "My Life Line," represents feelings, people, and beliefs I have in regards to diabetes.  It is all connected together [with used testing strips] and linked to my heart.  See if you can read every word on the map of my crazy diabetic life.