Invisible Illness Week for 2009 was around my birthday. So, in September. This was before I was diagnosed with my own, so I am posting it now, rather than wait until close to my birthday again.
1. The illness I live with is: Hypoglycemia. For those of you who don't know what this is, it's the opposite of diabetes. so, where a diabetics blood sugar goes up when they eat sugar, mine will spike up but then drop terribly low.
2. I was diagnosed with it in the year: November of 2009
3. But I had symptoms since: Probably January of 2009. Not totally and 100% sure. There are many symptoms of hypoglycemia, many of which can just be attributed to other things. Such as fatigue and ringing of ears. It wasn't until I nearly passed out at the gym in September 2009 and almost passed out at a robotics competition in November 2009 that we did the blood work to figure out what was wrong.
4. The biggest adjustment I’ve had to make is: my diet. I can no longer have sugar or anything high in sugar. So, I can't have my favorite fruit (apple) or any fruit for that matter because of the natural sugar in it. I also can't have most desserts, unless they happen to be sugar free. Plus, I have to eat every 2 hours or so, where as everybody else can go 4-5 hours without eating.
5. Most people assume: that I don't know what I'm talking about when I say I can't eat sugar. They think that eating straight up sugar when I'm having a low will bring it back up and keep it high ish. Which is nowhere near correct.
6. The hardest part about mornings is: making sure that each day when I leave for school or wherever I'm going that day, that I have enough food to make it through the day.
7. My favorite medical TV show is: House
8. A gadget I couldn’t live without is: my glucometer
9. The hardest part about nights is: nothing actually. At night, I am able to go to sleep and my body doesn't require as much glycogen to operate as it does during the day.
10. Each day I take 0 pills & vitamins. (No comments, please) There is no medication that will make my blood sugar stay where it needs to in order for me to function "normally"
11. Regarding alternative treatments I: don't know of any other than controlling my diet.
12. If I had to choose between an invisible illness or visible I would choose: invisible. I don't like people to pity me, and if I had a visible illness, I know people would pity me.
13. Regarding working and career: I know my limitations. I can't overwork myself. If I do, then my blood sugar drops and I have to work harder to get it back to normal.
14. People would be surprised to know: that many people who say they are hypoglycemic are either (a) not telling the truth or (b) being told that by their doctor when it's not true. So because of that, many doctors will not diagnose this illness because they are not sure whether the patient really does have hypoglycemia.
15. The hardest thing to accept about my new reality has been: that I will have it for the rest of my life. And that at some point, it might switch to diabetes. I cannot prevent it from switching, nor can I "grow out of it". Another thing that is hard to accept is that I can't do the things I used to do. I can't go to the gym without eating something. I can't leave the house without having something to eat with me.
16. Something I never thought I could do with my illness that I did was: run the mile this year in gym class without feeling like I was going to pass out. I did eat a turkey sandwich right before I ran the mile, but I did it. I walked a small portion of it. and it only took me 10 minutes and 16 seconds.
17. The commercials about my illness: don't really exist. I've never seen one ever.
18. Something I really miss doing since I was diagnosed is: eating a big slice of cake. and eating caramel sauce. So pretty much I miss eating the sugar.
19. It was really hard to have to give up: sugar cold turkey. I did it tho. It was--and still is--pretty hard sometimes not to eat a candy bar
20. A new hobby I have taken up since my diagnosis is: actually looking for healthy foods I can eat. that and searching out sugar free things. lol
21. If I could have one day of feeling normal again I would: probably continue on with the way I have been. to me, a day when I don't have a low makes me feel "normal" again. Those days happen frequently, so most days I feel "normal". I still have to carry on each day the way I have been in order to not slip back into sugar eating mode
22. My illness has taught me: that sometimes you just have to take each day as it comes and plan things out according to what is best for my health.
23. Want to know a secret? One thing people say that gets under my skin is: "You don't need to eat all the time. You're fine!" or "Sam, you really should gain weight. Then your sugar will even itself out"
24. But I love it when people: think about me by getting me sugar free treats or just care when I have a low.
25. My favorite motto, scripture, quote that gets me through tough times is: actually reading text messages from my boyfriend that I have saved on my phone. the basic message behind each one is that he loves me, but the way he says it changes with each text I have saved. so it's actually more of the reassurance that he loves me that gets me through the tough times.
26. When someone is diagnosed I’d like to tell them: to look on the bright side of every situation. Life will throw you some curve balls along the way, but you can make it through each and every one
27. Something that has surprised me about living with an illness is: how time really does matter. especially when it is a matter of life or death. it really makes a difference whether someone is on time or how long you might be in traffic for.
28. The nicest thing someone did for me when I wasn’t feeling well was: tell everyone else what was going on and what I needed in order to feel better (my boyfriend did this on Friday when we were on our way home from a Gifted and Talented trip to Washington D.C.)
29. I’m involved with Invisible Illness Week because: Pst....I actually wasn't involved in it haha I just wanted everyone to be aware of what it is that I deal with on a daily basis. that and I wasn't able to participate in Invisible Illness Week since I hadn't yet been diagnosed
30. The fact that you read this list makes me feel: like you do care about what I deal with on a daily basis and what my family and really close friends have to go through. I didn't go into major details about my illness, but just the basic things are tiring to me, and especially those who take care of me.