Tuesday, August 16, 2011

behind a scarf

for years i hid the fact that i was Diabetic.  i was in Gr. 7 when dx'd.  the kids in my class knew, but they didn't.  i didn't really bother to inform them either.  i was in hospital for 2 weeks, and i came back, and it seemed to them that nothing had really changed.  it seemed to them that i still ate the same foods, and played the same sports, and did the same stuff they were doing.  and so i let them think that. 

i didn't tell them about the needle every morning before coming to school.  i didn't tell them about the urine testing, the visits to the doctor.  the things that could go wrong, somewhere in the distant future.

i went to high school, and again i kept my "little secret" pretty well.  some of my friends new, but others didn't.  most of my teachers didn't know.  i'm sure the office staff knew, and the school nurse, but  that was about it.  during the first years, i was lucky.  i didn't really suffer any low's.  and the few i did were at home.

i met my husband to be when i was 16.  he accepted my diabetes, although he never really understood the ins and outs.  while we were dating, he learned what to look for in a low, but that's about it.

i got my first job, and i don't remember telling anyone there that i was Diabetic.  i'm sure i must have, but i certainly didn't publish it.  life just happened and Diabetes just happened to be a part of it.

the years go by, and my family and close friends always asked "how's your blood sugar?"  and i would say "oh, its fine"   my parent's and sister, of course, understood a little better than the average person, but i had been "taking care" of myself for most of my diabetic life.  my husband could spot a low way before i could.   my childen knew how to dial 911 before they knew their own phone number.

i keep it hidden.  a secret little part of me that  rears it's ugly head occaissionaly.  a low during a school play, quickly taken care of with a juice box.  the time i was driving with my youngest in the car.  a taxi noticed my irratic driving, and between him and another taxi, they got my car slowed down, called the police (they thought i was drunk with a child in my car!), and then the ambulance arrived.

in january, i had open heart surgery (triple bypass).  since then my outlook has shifted a little. 
in march i was dressing to go out with family for dinner.  it was my dad's 70th birthday. we were going to a restaurant. my scar was quite visible.  my husband asked if i was going to wear a scarf. he thought i would be embarrassed if people saw it and gave me funny looks.

it was then that i realized that i had nothing to hide.  i had survived OPEN HEART SURGERY!!  i was going to live my life, and if my scar bothered people, then too bad for them!!  that was my proof that i had survived!!

i also realized that i had been hiding my Diabetes behind a scarf for almost 37 years! 

i recently starting using an Insulin Pump.  i don't hide it.  it's there for anyone to see (most of the time!), and if anyone asks, i tell them what it is.  if they have questions about Diabetes, i inform them.

on september 1st, i am going to get a tattoo.  it will be my medic alert.  on the inside of my right wrist.  it will look something like this ~ ~
with the words T1 at the top and Diabetic wrapped around the bottom.

for me it will represent my coming full circle in accepting this disease, and being proud to have lived almost 37 years with it.  of not hiding it behind a scarf anymore!







1 comment:

  1. That? Is completely awesome!!! I know exactly what you mean about hiding it - I hid diabetes for so so long. My closest friends didn't know. We'd go away for weekends and I'd hide in the bathroom to take my insulin. I finally told everyone a few years before I started my blog.

    Good for you, removing the scarf!!! Your attitude is amazing and so are you!