I am participating in Wego Health’s National Health Blog Post Month. I decided to use one of the bonus prompts today, “Invisible Illness vs. Visible Illness, Pros & Cons.” I am also participating in Mike Durbin of My Diabetic Heart, Diabetes Blessings Week. I am going to attempt to turn the Wego Health prompts into Diabetes Blessings!
Diabetes is an invisible illness because unless a stranger sees you testing your blood sugar or taking insulin, they won’t know by looking at you that you have diabetes and the things that you have to do on a daily basis.
Neuropathy has affected my balance and I also have drop foot so I use a walker. When a stranger sees me, they know something is wrong. Amazingly, most people ask, “knee or hip?”
Although there are obviously some cons to having an invisible illness, I prefer that over the visible illness. Prior to my having to use a walker, I was able to walk down the street or into a meeting without anyone knowing anything was wrong. Now I get questioned all the time because of my walker. Everyone wants to know why I am using a walker or I hear about when they had their knee surgery and had to use one. Unfortunately, mine is most likely permanent (I say most likely because the delusional optimist in me hasn’t given up hope that my neuropathy will be reversed!).
The first time I changed jobs after being diagnosed with diabetes, my new boss freaked when he found out I was diabetic. After that, I kept it a secret at work. I wanted to be judged on my abilities to perform the job and not have to worry about someone’s misconceptions about what kind of employee I would be because of being diabetic. Although I am no longer working, it would be very hard to hide the fact that I use a walker and would have to answer questions about that.
My Diabetes Blessing? I was able to keep my diabetes invisible and not have it interfere with getting a job or doing my job.
Please visit Wego Health’s National Health Blog Post Month Facebook page to read other activist’s posts. Also visit My Diabetic Heart’s Diabetic Blessings Week page to check out other Blessings posts.