Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Invisible Disease

Diabetes is such an invisible disease.   One look at Matthew and you see a healthy, average kid.  He's thriving.  He runs around like a healthy child should.  He's playing soccer.  Life appears to be normal.

Which is a blessing. 


It's great for Matthew because he doesn't seem "different" and people don't look at him sideways.

But the invisibility means that people don't see the seriousness of diabetes.  They don't realize how often we have to make him bleed to check his sugar.  The counting carbs.  The weighing and measuring every single meal.  Battling highs.  Middle of the night checks.  The frustration Matthew feels when he's low at school and has to stop to check his sugar. 

(Which, by the way, he didn't yesterday.  Even though he felt low.  His teacher sometimes asks what his number is in front of the whole class and he hates that.  Of course, her heart is in the right place, but he hates it.  So he didn't check.  Great.  No worries though, we have a plan.)
Okay, back on topic.

The truth is.....Matthew isn't your average kid.  Every day he (and all those other kids with D) deals with one of the worst diseases you could possibly have.  It never ends.  There is no break whatsoever.

So.....This is what concerns me about that.  How can money be raised for a cure....or better tools to help with this disease......when people don't know what diabetes is really like for our kids?

They think this is easy.  They think this is no big deal. 

I didn't think it was a big deal until it happened to us.  I thought if you had diabetes, you had to have shots and you couldn't eat sugar. 

Until you live it, you have no idea.


Valerie said...

It's of my friends was diagnosed as a sophomore in college and I remember thinking, "that sucks" but I really didn't know much about it and how HARD it is. Oddly enough I was diagnosed the very next year during our junior year. Unfortunately a lot of people don't care about something until it happens to them, which makes sense since it's hard to care about and advocate for every single issue out there. I also think about how I must look to others--on the outside I look healthy, I'm a normal weight, etc. But on the inside I could be shaky or exhausted or mentally defeated. That's kind of a good lesson for never really know what's going on with someone until you ask or they open up and tell you!

Amy said...

Yes, yes and another yes. On one hand I am so happy Ellie looks like every other kid so she isn't treated differently. On the other hand I want people to treat her differently because she has a life threatening disease!!

I also empathize with the 'serious' or 'not' factor. The mental image of the old people on the commercials saying they just need to take their pills and eat right . . . . if only so for our little ones.


So glad we have the DOC so we always have a place to go where people know what we are living.

Karen said...

It is hard. I hate having to constantly monitor what I'm putting in my mouth...planning...getting low....feeling sick when I'm high.
My sister tells me that I got this disease because God knew I was strong and could handle it. I try to think of it that way and show people that, yeah it's difficult, but I can live a normal life.
I completely agree that, until you live the D life, you have know idea what it's like. I try to make it look easy...but at times it's exhausting!

Shannon said...

It is true that people really have no idea. D families make it look easy. Even after the hospital stays we had, people were perplexed about why our son would need that type of care.
Karen....I do believe God is with you and will help you, but I do NOT believe that he gave this to you. I just can never believe that.