Our Unseen Disease

This basically turned into a rant, but I hope someone enjoys.

“The Unseen Disease”

We live with a disease that does have a name, but many people just want to ignore it. Maybe it reminds them of a lost family member or reminds them that good health is not always a guarantee, that we humans are human. It does not show on the outside, except once in a great while, and oftentimes even our families forget or never know what it’s truly like. The media occasionally mentions us, but never truly explains, leaving everyone to make their assumptions and listen to what their friends have stated. The government does not want to help us, with medicine and daily care, but then they point their finger and tell us that we weren’t compliant and how much money that costs their already corrupt system. Daily life is a challenge, never knowing what to expect. Always the worry of how to pay for this disease and all that it brings. The ones you think would understand are the ones who stand first to judge so many of us keep it secret. Secret so that we can get a job; secret so that you don’t have to listen to people call you lazy for not “curing” yourself. Secret so the squeamish don’t have to see, don’t have to know, even though they are the ones watching. People say that watching it makes others tolerant and brave, but it’s a daily, no, multiple- time a day process for us and yet they don’t call us brave. What do they have to be tolerant of? Did we offend them in some way? Are we monsters or some strange thing from outer space? We have a secret strength. We have to in order to survive; the nights of no sleep and everyday having to keep up with everything. We’re still people, you don’t see a wheel chair, an artificial limb or any other evidence of the struggles we maintain, but it’s still there. People want us to be “normal” but this is our normal; wondering about blood sugars, how something is going to affect us, how we can work around a crazy schedule, etc. We aren’t going to be normal, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t live, that we can’t make a difference and play our part. If you don’t want Diabetes to be a disease (heaven forbid if we call it that), why, when you find out about it, do you act like I have one foot in the grave? It’s unseen because we have to fit everyone’s role of “normal” and we strive to fit that mold so much sometimes that we keep our mouths shut and feel crazy that we somehow never will fit in, but this is one person tired of being silent, tired of trying to fit the mold.

Really enjoyed reading this. I often feel like such a failure for not being able to achieve " normal " all the time. Even the closest people in the world have no idea how much of my thinking goes into this. As AR said its just as much work when we don't look after it. As I have gotten older I take less nonsense from people, if somebody were to insult me about being D, I would, well I've no idea what I would do, probably throw jellybeans at them.

On a recent vacation to a warm climate, I enjoyed a swim in the hotel pool while my hypoglycemia alert dog patiently watched me from the pool's edge. Drawn by the dog, an attractive woman sidled over to my dog and started petting him. I swam over to where my dog was and introduced myself as the dog's owner. The woman was curious why I needed a service dog. She could see that I was not sight impaired. I told her that I have diabetes and that the dog gives me a warning when my sugar drops too low.

Her response? "Oh, is that all?" The inference she made, I deduced, was that diabetes is not of the same disability importance as blindness. I responded, "You know, insulin can and does kill!" She then backpedaled quickly and paid more attention to my dog than me.

Maybe I inartfully handled her question but her obvious ignorance is symptomatic of a larger societal ignorance about diabetes. I guess we all just need to handle this problem one person at a time!

We could shoot them one at a time or throw jellybeans at them.

I love the jellybean idea. Sometimes you wish you could take the inconsiderate people and make them live what we do for about a week, although you couldn't really copy the bg swings very well. I agree, Terry about societies ignorance. The only real time you hear someone "know" about diabetes is when cousin so and so lost a leg or aunt so and so had to go on dialysis. I see no problem with how you handled the situation when she was so rude, but I'm pretty opinionated and outgoing at times so that may just be me (I blame it on too much coffee).

I would have given her a "lecture" about touching the dog...its a good thing Im not permitted to carry a tazer lol

Well said Brianna.