Happy Tuesday everybody! So, I’ve been mentally preparing for this post for a while, and it will without a doubt be my most vulnerable post to date. Nevertheless, I’m excited to share this one. I’m not quite sure how to “ease in” to this one, so I think I’m just going to start with the pictures of tonight’s topic… Having an invisible disease/illness!
When I was 15, I wouldn’t even consider an insulin pump. I didn’t like the idea of constantly wearing something on my body, but I also didn’t like taking 4+ injections a day (so I didn’t).. and so if you’ve already been following, you know why I have these scars on my stomach. But for first time readers, or incase you have forgotten.. let me refresh your memory really quick (to read more about it, check out “My Story” at the bottom of this page)! I didn’t take my injections like I should have.. I took them off and on, when I wanted for nearly 6 years and struggled with diabulimia, and DKA twice (once was almost fatal) before getting the Omnipod insulin pump. I put my body through a lot. I had developed gastroparesis and was in the hospital so much, I had to take the next step and get an interra pacemaker put in my stomach (those are the scars you see, and that bulge on the side under the horizontal line is where the Interra pacemaker is)!
A few months after surgery, I added my Dexcom continuous glucose monitor to the bunch. Leaving me with one internal, and two external devices on and in my body. This was probably my biggest fear at 15 when I was newly diagnosed.. but you know what? Today, I’m proud of my scars, both from the surgery and all the ones the insulin pump site changes leave. Scars of any kind, no matter how big or small, always tell a story. Be proud of your scars! Embrace those scars, it’s what I’m learning to do.
Diabetes is an invisible disease. Many who don’t have it, don’t know what we deal with behind closed doors, or how hard we fight with this disease every single day.
I know what it’s like to live in fear of what others think will think. I know what it’s like to be asked if my insulin pump is a tracking device, or a nicotine patch (I mean.. really? No, just no) . I know the struggle of feeling embarrassed by diabetes because of how society as a whole jokes about it. I know the ignorant comments people make about it, and I used to hide behind my diabetes for all of these reasons and many more. It got the best of me for years, and I’m just being honest with you.
As you can see.. I’ve finally overcome that fear. I’m owning my type 1 diabetes, as well as my scars and “battle wounds” along the way. I’m proud of them. I wouldn’t be who I am without them, or my type 1. I’m writing this post because whether you take shots, or have an insulin pump, or CGM, and no matter WHERE you are wearing it.. YOU are a fighter. A warrior. You are strong, you are brave, and you are perfect exactly the way you are. The disease may be invisible, but you my fellow diabuddies, are far from it. So don’t hide from it! Embrace your diabetes. Love yourself, love your scars, show your pumps, show CGMs, spread awareness.. don’t let the cruel jokes get you down. There’s a whole bunch of us out here who know JUST what you’re going through.
As for my scars, they’re my favorite story to tell. Why? Because they got me just where I need to be. Where I’m supposed to be. They might not be the most beautiful picture to all eyes out there, but I wouldn’t change a thing about them. I love my life, and everything about it. The highs and lows might feel awful sometimes, but thankfully tomorrow is always a new day, and we have great technology to help us.. until we are cured! My scars and “tough times” have made me a more caring person, they’ve given me a bigger heart, they’ve made me more appreciative of the little things in life, and they’ve certainly inspired me to share my story in hopes it helps even just one of you struggling out there with the same things I struggled with. I challenge you to show your pump, or scars, or CGM, pricked too many times fingers, or insulin injection scars.. whatever it may be. Own it. Love it, love yourself, and love your diabetes because as we all know it needs the extra attention! 😉
“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” Charles R. Swindoll
Stay hopeful, friends. ❤ The Hopeful Diabetic