Monday, 16 February 2015


I'd felt a bit funny during my last hour of work, but a blood sugar check told me I was at 5.2mmol/l. I still felt odd before I left so I checked again, and clocked in at 4.9. I went to the shop to grab a snack and then made my way home as normal.

It was when I got to the train station and I was fumbing around with my ticket that I realised something still wasn't right. I managed to get onto the platform, and I whipped out my meter yet again.


"Fuck," I thought.

One look at this number, and every hypo symptom hit me with full force: I was shaky, sweaty, my heartbeat was racing, my lips were tingling, and rummaging for food suddenly seemed difficult.

It was the kind of low where, if I were with family or friends, I would have told them, for my safety and comfort. The whole "I'm low, and although I probably won't pass out [passing out is a hypo symtom that I am lucky enough not to have experienced], I need you to know that I feel like I might" spiel. But I was travelling alone (on my very short commute home from work), panicking. It got to a point that I wondered why people weren't looking at me weirdly, because I felt like I stuck out like a sore thumb. But no one seemed to have even noticed.

That's when I caught site of my reflection.

I did not look the way I felt, and it reminded me just how invisible this disease is.

Sometimes, I like that. I like that diabetes is something I can disclose as and when I want to.

Other times, I wish it wasn't. Like when I'm on a train, feeling like I might pass out, and not looking like there's anything wrong with me. 

The hypo passed, as it always does. I calmed down, and got home safely, thinking a little too much about this whole diabetes thing.

This disease, on occassion, terrifies me. It's not something I often openly admit because I worry that if I think about it too much, the weight of diabetes will become too much. Instead, I keep those fears locked away in a little box in my head, and try not focus on them. Fear has never been a great motivator for me, and, also, doing so often leaves me in a frame of mind I don't like being in.

But what has stuck with me was how "normal" I looked. That's scared me. Because the way I felt was not conveyed by my physical appearance. There are measures I take to make me feel safer. For instance, I disclose my diabetes. And I have the ICE App on my iPhone, stating that I'm type one diabetic, but you wouldn't necessarily think to look at a person's phone. 

What one might look for is a medic alert bracelet. Of course I own one...and wear one...or perhaps I've been meaning to buy one for a number of months (read: years) now. 

(Feel free to tell me off, I most definitely deserve it!)

I have now, however, ordered one (see picture above), and it should arrive within the next few days. I don't know how I've managed to go so long without one, and I am so lucky that I haven't found myself in a situation that required me to have one, but enough is enough. I've finally had that wake up call that has made me buy one, and buy one now.

I hope I never need it, but being reminded of, and terrified by, how invisible diabetes really is, I'd much rather wear one than not.

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