30 Things (in advance of Invisible Illness Week)

National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week will be held September 14-20, 2009.  It includes a FREE virtual conference, with four speakers per day presenting on subjects such as marriage and chronic illness, finding health insurance with a pre-existing condition, and finding a career in spite of illness.   To prepare, Lisa has asked those interested to participate in a meme about our invisible illnesses.  While I usually talk diabetes elsewhere, I decided to do this meme here, to show my general audience my thoughts about having type 2 diabetes.

30 Things About My Invisible Illness You May Not Know

1. The illness I live with is:  Type 2 diabetes
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year:  2005
3. But I had symptoms since:  2001, when I first started getting screened
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is:  exercising regularly
5. Most people assume:  I must be lazy if I didn’t take care of myself enough to avoid type 2 diabetes
6. The hardest part about mornings are:  dawn phenomenon – I must limit my carbohydrate intake ( 7. My favorite medical TV show is:  Grey’s Anatomy
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is:  blood glucose meter
9. The hardest part about nights are:  getting enough sleep 
10. Each day I take __ pills & vitamins. (No comments, please)  four, but none for diabetes
11. Regarding alternative treatments I:  love massages for stress relief and have thought about acupuncture.  
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose:  invisible – it can stay invisible if I choose, depending on the situation
13. Regarding working and career:  It’s hard to balance work and life and stress, especially when stress causes blood sugars and blood pressure to rise – both things not recommended for those with diabetes
14. People would be surprised to know:  what foods I should avoid or limit
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been:  eating differently
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was:  participate in a 2-day, 39.3 mile charity walk.  (I only walked about ~28 miles, but was proud of myself for doing it for breast cancer research and treatment.)
17. The commercials about my illness:   only show the pricy new treatments like Januvia and Byetta for type 2 diabetes, not the traditional ones of metformin and insulin that have fewer side effects
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is:  having French toast sprinkled with powdered sugar and drenched in syrup for breakfast
19. It was really hard to have to give up:  cranberry juice – any juice spikes my blood sugar too high
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is:  diabetes advocacy – in fact, I’d like to make it more than a hobby…
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would:  not change a thing.  the things I changed to tame my diabetes also tame my tendency towards anxiety and depression.
22. My illness has taught me:  that I can be an athlete after all.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is:  ”You can’t/shouldn’t eat that!”  Sorry, but actually, I get to choose how I use my carbs each day and it may just be that cheesecake/cookie/pizza, thank you very much.  
24. But I love it when people:  tell me about new ways to exercise.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is:  ”You cannot find peace by avoiding life.”  - Virginia Woolf
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them:  You may need to change everything you’ve ever known – food choices, beginning to exercise, and changing jobs to reduce stress – but once blood sugar is under control, you may feel the best you’ve ever felt in your life.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is:  how much I’ve grown as a person.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was:   made me laugh.  hard.  very hard.  
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because:  there are so many of us out there who are willing to inform about the realities of having invisible chronic illness.
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel:  informative and honest.

Posted on September 1, 2009, in Diabetes, Meme. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Great list, Rachel!

  2. CALpumper aka Crystal

    Wonderful list. I just may do one of my own. I was reading your answers and figuring out what mine would be. Thank you for sharing.


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