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Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

Diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 1980. I recognize the incredible mental struggle of living with diabetes. I hope to share my struggles, my successes, and everything in between.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Invisible & Invincible

Diabetes is, for the most part, an invisible condition. Unless you spend a bit of time with me, you may never know that I walk the never ending tightrope of blood glucose management.

Even if you do spend a bit of time with me, you have to pay close attention to notice the seemingly little tasks that make up parts of my day. Checking my blood sugar, manipulating my pump - those are pretty much the only things that you can see from the outside. And like any seasoned veteran, I am good at being discrete when I want to be.

Even when not making a conscious effort at discreteness, these tasks are done quickly. A BG result in less than 10 seconds, a bolus in a matter of a few presses of well known buttons.

Except for extreme situations, where things spiral out of control, I am able to keep it all under wraps. I have not needed help with a high or low blood sugar for many years. And unlike other conditions, where the person struggles physically with symptoms, diabetes does not manifest in external signs for a very long time - possibly not at all, ever.

But this does not mean that I do not struggle a great deal with the management. It’s just all inside. On the outside people see me as a strong, independent, successful person with few worries. But on the inside I am fighting for every second of decent blood sugars, constantly wary of diabetes invading and interrupting whatever activity I am doing, or planning on doing.

It’s like taking shifts on guard duty - except your shift never ends. There is no one to take over for you.

It all weighs on my heavily at times, and eats up more than it’s fair share of my energy. I am tired. Not in a physical sense, and almost not even in a mental sense. As ada said “Tired to my soul”.

As I look out the window. The sun is bright and happy. It looks inviting. Makes me want to be outside. But I step out of the door and am hammered by the sharp cold sting of the wind.
Looks are deceiving. Just as if you were to step into the world of diabetes. Something that many of us make look easy - but living life on a tightrope gets old quickly.


12 Comments:

Blogger Vivian said...

How very honest. Thank you.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Nicole P said...

This is an amazing post, Scott and I agree so much with so much of it. Thank you for posting it. And thank you, once again, for reminding me that there are others who really really get it.

8:14 PM  
Blogger Johnboy said...

Great insights, Scott. I like the guard duty analogy.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Minnesota Nice said...

Yup....sigh. (I just love it when someone says "you don't look sick to me".)

9:03 AM  
Blogger Shannon said...

Excellent description of what it's like.

10:09 AM  
Blogger George said...

Perfect dude. So right on.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Jayne said...

Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. Thank you so much...so great when the burden is shared. It is wonderful to not be alone in the experience.

7:32 PM  
Blogger Bernard said...

Scott

Thanks for expressing so well what it's all like. And welcome back, it's good to hear from you!

6:45 AM  
Blogger AmyT said...

Scott, you said it so well -- again!

Thank you.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Hang in there buddy.

The never-ending tightrope analogy is perfect. Hopefully you/we can think of the OC as our safety-net.

7:02 AM  
Blogger Kendra said...

All I can say is: word.

9:25 AM  
Anonymous Karen said...

Ditto, but for me with those fluctuations of bgs, I can sure feel like crapola on the inside (physically) and still look fine on the outside. :(

Karen

7:46 PM  

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