Monday, 25 January 2016

Advocacy Guilt.

It was brought to my attention yesterday that January is Thyroid Awareness Month. (Well, in the US it is, anyway, but it doesn't change this post, nonetheless).

I had no idea.

Self care for my diabetes is so involved: I check my blood sugar, I wear an insulin pump, I count my carbs and dose insulin accordingly, I adjust my medication for exercise, stress and other emotions. I meticulously count the gulps of juice when I'm low to avoid over treating, and I do everything in my power not to rage bolus when my blood sugar is high and my insulin doesn't seem to be touching it (but I know it eventually will).

My family, friends and colleagues know I have type one diabetes. And to those that don't, I wear a medic alert bracelet, alerting them to the fact I have a health condition of some kind.

Self care for my underactive thyroid involves taking a tablet at 8.30am everyday.

That's it. My family, my closest friends and my boss know that I have an underactive thyroid. My family and closest friends, because I spoke to them about where I was at before I started thyroid medication. My boss, because I was at work when I got the diagnosis, and I had a little pity party.

I don't think about my thyroid and what it doesn't do in the same way I do my pancreas, and what it doesn't do (but I so badly want it to do). My lack of thyroid action doesn't impact my life in the same way my lack of pancreas action does. For the most part, diabetes peppers the background of my day, and my underactive thyroid I don't even consider an issue, as I just take my medication as prescribed, and that's it.

I wonder how different it would I only have an underactive thyroid, and no diabetes. Would I still consider it a "nothing issue" or do I just think of it like that because I'm comparing it to something that, in my opinion, is much more involved?

Would I be writing about my underactive thyroid in the same way I do my diabetes?

Who knows. I'll never know.

The point is, I feel somewhat guilty, as if I should be as eager to advocate about my "other health condition"' just like I am when it comes to my diabetes. But I'm just not into it. Maybe because I don't know enough about it? Or maybe, like I've said, compared to my diabetes, I don't even consider it an "issue"?

I don't know. But because it is Thyroid Awareness Month (and I still have a few days until February), I am going to research some blogs, and learn from those that are sharing their stories online like I am. (I'll also see if there's UK based awareness campaign for thyroid-related problems, and probably watch from the sidelines. I feel participating may be somewhat out of my comfort-zone, unlike talking diabetes online, which is my norm. We'll see!)

Because, whatever chronic condition(s) we live with, although we are not defined by it (them), it (they) does (do) help explain us (last line credit to SUM's tag line).

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