What is it like to live with an invisible illness? Diabetes is an invisible illness that makes sure to make it's presence known. From the highs all the way down to the lows. The best way to describe life with an invisible illness is a "roller coaster". The definition of roller coaster is:
An action, event, or experience marked by abrupt, extreme changes in circumstance, quality, or behavior. That in part explains some aspect of Diabetes. But in addition to the "extreme changes" you have the 24/7/365 Fear, Frustration, Anger, Sadness, The feeling of being emotionally and physically drained, and sleep deprivation . Life with an invisible illness such as D, is in one word "Demanding".
Have you ever sat back and heard about another's illness, or home situation and thought, I could never do that, I could never be that strong. Well when something such as D enters into your life, into your child's life, you have no other choice then to be strong, throwing in the towel is NOT an option. I know by this point all of this can sound scary, and the blunt truth is that it is. Diabetes is very scary, life with diabetes is scary. Because even though things may seem fine on the outside, and things are cooperating on the inside, it can change in the blink of an eye. The fear of death is far too great with Diabetes, and far too real with the loss of a precious 15 year old girl in her sleep just two days ago. What one that lives with, and one that cares for someone with an invisible illness has to decide is that fear worth being miserable for the rest of your life? To me even though the fear will always be there, it was not worth it. I may be in fear daily that something will go wrong, but I don't let that fear control me. The one thing D has brought into the picture was to learn to cherish life NOW! Cherish every moment you have and be thankful for those small miracles. I know I am thankful every morning when I hear Clifford waking up in bed! I fear the night time, I stress and worry over the night time, but there is a fine line when I tell myself enough is enough. I cannot let the fear and stress control me because I would be miserable, we would all be miserable.
Clifford is well aware what happens if he drops to low from past experience with unconsciousness and seizures. But I've tried to instill in him that D is not going to control him. We are going to do our best to control D, and keep it at bay. He is only 7 years old, he should be worrying about school, tests, sports, and dare I say girls! He should not be worrying about waking up in his bed the next morning! I make sure to put him to bed at night, give him kisses and hugs, and let him know I'll be keeping an eye on him overnight and not to worry. The sense of security it brings to him is heart warming. I couldn't protect my son from D damaging and taking over his body, but I will do my best to protect him now from it so he can live the normal healthy life.
In ending there is another word associated with Diabetes, and that is HOPE!