I AM NOT UNRELIABLE
Updated: Apr 14, 2019
“You’re really unreliable”. Three words a close friend said to me last year that led to tears streaming down my face as I lay in a heap on my couch. I had to cancel plans for that night, despite being dressed and having my hair done and make-up on. In midst of getting ready I had started to feel shaky and felt a feeling of impending doom, the only way I can really describe how low blood sugar feels, and sure enough, 25 minutes later my blood sugar was still teetering dangerously low and had not come up despite 3 juice boxes.
I live with Type 1 diabetes, Celiac Disease, Thyroid Disease, Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, Asthma, and Hypertension. I was only 10 years old when my body started this autoimmune attack on itself and almost 2 decades later, has yet to let up. Out of all these invisible diseases, the one that I find hardest to live with is Type 1 Diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes takes over every single moment of every single day. There are no vacations, no time off, not even when I’m sleeping which is the most dangerous time of all. Every single meal is a math equation, factoring in how many carbs I’m eating, my current blood sugar, my target blood sugar, my stress level, what I plan to do after eating and how long after. There is no such thing as being spontaneous anymore either, even choosing to go shopping at the mall without planning in advance can send my blood sugar spiralling dangerously low one day or sky high another. I am always thinking about the complications that accompany this unpredictable and at times, often unmanageable, disease. I feel like I am slowly drowning and do not know how much longer I can bear the weight of looking healthy on the outside and keeping up that appearance while knowing I’m dying on the inside and there is nothing I can do to stop it.
Coping with chronic illnesses is hard, simply put. On one hand, well meaning acquaintances send me messages from time to time, “If you think positive, it can drastically impact your health and even cure you”. No. It can’t. I promise. On the other hand, societies like LUMEN are a breath of fresh air and remind me that I am not alone and there are many others out there fighting, and winning, their battle with their invisible illnesses through empowerment and community. I am not unreliable, my body is.