This is a repost from my contribution to Invisible Illness Awareness week from last year.
"Open Your Eyes. Its There."
I have been struggling for a few days with what to write for Invisible Illness Awareness Week. Why? Well, cause I feel like I have to "defend" how serious my sons illness is everyday of my life. I wasn't too sure how writing about it would help. Now I feel inspired, so here I go.
Diabetes is a disease that knows very well how to camouflage itself, but if you really CARE to look you can see it.
You can see it in my sons blistered fingers.
You can see it in the blood drops all over his pants.
You can see it in the rings under his parents eyes from lack of sleep since diagnosis.
You can see it in the bag that they carry with them that is clearly not a pocketbook.
You can see it in the worry in their faces every time their son says "mooooom", in that voice that just tells SOMETHING IS WRONG.
You can see it in the little spots all over his tummy from injections, and infusion sites.
OK well some people are blind to the obvious huh? Lets try is this way.
You can actually hear it too.
Listen for the mother or father who wants so desperately to tell you how their son had a low that caused some memory loss, and how they wept in their rooms quietly as he slept.
Listen for how the youngest sibling feels left out because he isn't getting "presents" from people in shapes of insulin pumps, and other LIFE SAVING devices.
Listen to how the parent whispers in their sons ear at the BBQ "OK, just remember your tabs are in your pocket and I am right here".
Listen to the quiet vibration of the the device attached to this innocent child, while it's delivering LIFE SAVING medicine in the tiniest of doses.
Listen how the phone calls from the schools seem to be never ending.
You get the point. It's there. Just because you want to pretend it's not doesn't make it any less.
My son is 7 years old. He is a type 1 diabetic, since 10/21/08. He didn't cause this, neither did we. His body attacked itself and now his parents must act as his vital organ to keep him alive. He NEEDS insulin to LIVE. Just like you do. There's fear of complications, comas, seizures and dare I say even death. It's real. The faster you see it, embrace it and support us, the easier all of our lives will be.
To all my PWDs, CWDs, D moms, D dads, and other caretakers.
I SEE YOU. I HEAR YOU.
WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER.