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  1. Monday, 21 September 2009

    Come Tuesday, I'm doing a carbohydrate-counting course. So, in the lead up to that, I'm having to keep a food diary. I hate doing it. I don't like recording everything I eat. That's that really.

    Had a horribly confusing hypo earlier. I had no warning signs that I usually have, and I was down in the low 2's. I did 4 tests, all of which confirmed this, but since I wasn't shaking, I came to the conclusion that my meter was broken, and that the logical conclusion was to try and get some control solution tomorrow. Makes perfect sense, obviously.

  2. Making yourself visible

    Wednesday, 16 September 2009

    It's no secret (since I've mentioned it on here before), that I like reading Kerri Sparling's blog, Six Until Me. And over there, Kerri is blogging, like so many people out there in the online community, for Invisible Illness Awareness Week. Now, I've been wanting to do my part, and raise my voice, but what to say has been hard to come up with. And I think Kerri said it best, when she pointed out that, if you were to look at me, or take a picture, you wouldn't think there was anything wrong with me. You'd have to look hard.

    So, because it might be hard to see, here are my signs.

    I wear a medical ID bracelet. (And yes, that picture is actually the stock photo off the website for my actual bracelet) As they go, it's actually rather nice. I was totally resistant to getting one at all, because I didn't want to 'flaunt' my diabetes. I wanted it to be invisible. But, I could hear in the tone of my Mum's voice, and sometimes from the things she flat-out said to me, that she was worried about me going hypo somewhere on my way home from a late night rehearsal of from stewarding, so on, so on. So it was mainly to appease her that I bought it. It's not so bad, I suppose.

    If you look at the sides of my fingertips, they're covered in tiny marks from testing. This, I really hate. And laughably, as I just finished writing that sentence, my meter starts bleeping at me, telling me to test. 3.2mmol (58 mg/dl). Bring on the apple juice. I thought I'd felt a little shaky. But there you go. That's the point. I'm sat in the room with my flatmate, and because I'm not at the stage where my shaking is more than an inward feeling or slight tremor of my hands, there is absolutely no way of telling that there's anything wrong. Even knowing me, and knowing my diabetes the best out of my friends and family, there's really no way he could tell.

    Recently, I've been trying to compose facebook messages to two friends of mine. One who I'm close with despite having not known her that long, and then another who I lived with and was super close with at university. The first I don't see often because she's over in America. The other, I haven't seen in nearly three years. Now, when they ask you 'what's new with you?', what am I supposed to say? Diabetes is obviously my big news, but how do you drop it into casual conversation? With people I haven't spoken to in a while, like a lot of my old uni friends, it's turning into my rather big elephant in the corner. And bless these friends, they're not ignoring the elephant, for their part, they don't even know that it's there. I can't do a big facebook announcement. I'm not going to call them all individually and tell them, I'm not going to email them just to tell them these things. It's not what you do.

    I went to see doctors, and went in and out of hospital without mentioning this to a lot of my friends. My circle of friends who I see daily through work, and my friend Nick and his partner (who I am unbelievably close to, but lives the other end of the country. So we stay in touch mostly by phone, facebook and now Skype) were the only people who I told. In heading up for 5 months, I've only made one facebook status update relating to diabetes. And even then it was vague. I'm not ashamed of this. I haven't done anything wrong. But why would my friends on facebook care about my HbA1c, when I'm hypo, etc, etc?

    This last weekend, I took part in a fundraising event with my work. It was a 24-hour Improthon, where there was non-stop improvised theatre for 24 hours. I did 13 out of those 24 hours, from 4am-5pm. I took injections whilst I was there, I tested my BS, I treated a hypo (dammit!). I had a few odd looks from some other people taking part. Mainly because some of these were people that I had either taught as a youth theatre leader, or had otherwise known for years. And they'd never seen me do these things before.

    But how do I bring it up?

    If they ask me a question, I'll answer, but how do you make something that is completely invisible, visible?

    Well, diabetes is a chronic illness with currently no cure. I guess I've got time to try and figure it out.

    And as a move forward, I may just make a facebook status to let people know that I'm blogging for Invisible Illness Week. Maybe some of them are just as invisible, and would like to be seen. Who knows?