Abby has her list of 30 Things for Invisible Illness Week. (And she cracks me up, because she wrote, "I used to do things like this all the time in high school, on a silly online journal I had. They were usually about my favorite flip flops and what i was eating at the moment. This is like a grown up version :)" in the notes with this post. She's so right - this is like MASH for diabetes.)
1. The illness I live with is: Type 1 Diabetes
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: 1998
3. But I had symptoms since: Less than a month before, my mom was a wicked smart nurse
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: Resisting Lucky Charms every morning. Okay, so I’m still adjusting at 23.
5. Most people assume: Well, I’m not sure what they assume – I think most people probably just don’t know much about it rather than make assumptions. I’d like to think that anyway.
6. The hardest part about mornings are: Getting out of my cloud-like bed. It’s awesome.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: Oh man it’s hard to pick a favorite. I love Grey’s and Private Practice and House. I also really like all the strange ones on TLC and Discovery. I’m a nerd/nurse.
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: My meter. And pump. And lately my Dexcom but I think I could live without that if I had to.
9. The hardest part about nights are: Staying asleep, but I attribute that none to diabetes. I am a really light sleeper.
10. Each day I take 1 pills & 0 vitamins: Why no comments? That’s mean. I also take a bunch of insulin all day err day. I’d love if I could make it 2 pills and no insulin : )
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: Know that there are none for T1D. Only insulin. Although, I suppose you could consider injections as an alternative to pumping? I’m down with MDI.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: I love that I can hide diabetes until I’m ready to talk about it. Although I don’t think any illnesses are entirely invisible.
13. Regarding working and career: I’d really like someone to hire me as a nurse, preferably sooner than later. Seriously, though, I’m entering a field that is very accommodating to diabetes, because everyone knows about it.
14. People would be surprised to know: Having an A1C under 7.0 doesn’t mean that I’ve got all the answers.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: This reality isn’t new, it’s almost a teenager!
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: Well we moved to Boston together, which was fun. It didn’t help much with the moving process though. I think it should be kicked out of the apartment.
17. The commercials about my illness: Sometimes make me laugh (Wilford) but usually frustrate me to no end (all meter companies).
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: It was so long ago I really don’t remember anything else.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: My dreams of becoming a commercial pilot? I don’t think I gave up anything, fortunately. Except maybe my Lucky Charms addiction (See: Question 4).
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: Knitting. Also totally not diabetes related.
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: I think I feel pretty normal. If I could have one day without lows and highs I would probably just go outside and play and eat a ton of weird food and not even think about how many carbs are in it.
22. My illness has taught me: How many carbs are in everything. And also to be accepting and interested in people’s differences. And world peace.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: “What can you eat?” I know it shouldn’t, I know they’re just being concerned and helpful… It just gets me sometimes.
24. But I love it when people: Ask questions and then genuinely listen to the answers. And remember what I tell them. Or ask more questions. This is probably why I want to become a Diabetes Educator.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: I’m not sure I have one, but knowing that there are very young children out there going through the same thing, as well as 50-year Joslin medalists with Type 1 – they both motivate me to care for myself. (Bananarama)
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: I promise, promise, promise that it gets easier and more comfortable. Diabetes is just something that is changing your life, not ruining it.
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: How much healthier I am than I would be without diabetes. I eat foods that are good to my blood sugar – which are usually better foods.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: One time I had ketones and was throwing up and my friend brought me a Vitamin Water and a bagel for when I felt better. It was awesome.
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: Kerri did it, so I did too. She finds the coolest stuff! [Editor's note: You are the best, Abby. Here, I got you this small, gray cat as a present!]
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: Important. Not me individually, but people with diabetes in general.