Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Invisible Illness Week

Look at that beautiful girl!  She looks like every other kid on the first day of a new school year standing by the door, anxiously waiting to meet her new classmates and teacher.  There are some things that you don't know about this girl unless you really know her and that is how it should be. 

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 very 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 comment:

  1. Great Post! That is one thing that bothers me all the time. That it is an invisible yet serious illness.