Thursday, September 16, 2010


This post was inspired by National Invisible Chronic Illness Week.

If you were to watch a group of children playing on the playground, you would probably never know which one checks her blood sugar 10+ times a day unless you look very closely at her freckled finger tips. As you watch the joy and laughter of these children playing, you would never guess that one of them has a life expectancy that is 15 years shorter than the rest. You might notice that cute little fanny pack or belt that one of them is wearing and though you might never give it a second thought, the reality is that with in that pouch lies her life line, her insulin pump that gives her a tiny drop of insulin every four minutes and that is what keeps her alive and well. As the children eat their lunch you see how carefree they are to eat what they feel like eating while one of them knows that all of her carbs must be eaten or she may get very sick. One of them, though you'd never know it by looking at her had to visit the nurse right before lunch to check her blood sugar and get her insulin so she could eat her lunch.

If you were to see her mom you might notice the bags under her eyes or the tired look she has and assume that her toddler is teething again or her four kids keep her busy. While that is true what you don't see is that she is up checking blood sugars around the clock and the constant worry is what is really wearing on her.

Do I want this illness to be seen and pitied? I don't want or need pity and while I would love for others to understand, I know if I am doing my job correctly that this illness will go unnoticed and be virtually invisible by the rest of the world. That as others look at my daughter playing and having fun that none would be the wiser to the battle that rages inside of her body as her immune system violently attacks and murders her insulin producing beta cells. I will do my best to keep the possible complications at bay and help her live as full a life as possible. Yes, if I am doing my job correctly you would never know unless told that my daughter has T1D.


  1. I don't want my daughter to ever be judged by the fact that she has T1D, and the fact that she wears a pump and you don't see what she goes through on a daily basis helps that. But I do want people to know how devastating this condition is, and how hard it is on our children. Grace is challenged every day, and just because others don't see it doesn't mean it isn't there.

    As I'm trying to raise money for our second JDRF walk, I think people are fooled by the "invisiblity" of T1D. Last year people were moved by her diagnosis and generously gave to our cause. This year it's been more dificult. Grace looks fine, is as active as ever, and people don't see what's raging inside her body. I think to have an invisible chronic illness is to have it alone.

  2. Heidi...thank you for this post. I did not know how/when/if I really wanted to tackle it this week. I am in a bit of a funk as Joe's 4th year since diagnosis will be marked on this Saturday. You are doing an outstanding job by all of your children as their mother and you rock the beta cell house with your pancreas skills girl. (((HUGS)))

  3. GREAT JOB GIRL!!! This is a beautiful post :)

  4. Beautiful post by a beautiful mama.

    Love you so much my dear friend.

    You are an inspiration.

  5. Wonderful post friend. ((HUGS)) to you!

  6. This was a beautiful post! Loved it!!!