Tuesday, September 15, 2009

What do you see?

Take a look at me.  Tell me, what do you see?

You may see my brown eyes, looking lovingly at my husband - or perhaps looking at him with some aggravation, depending on the day.

You may see my hands, holding five double-pointed needles with some thin yarn snaking through my fingers as I knit on the sock that dangles from the end.

You may see my clothes, the new dark-wash jeans I got on sale a few weeks ago - and perhaps you'll see a few cat hairs clinging to the legs.

You may see my purse, the huge tan leather bag that could probably stash said cat comfortably if I were inclined to bring her along.

You may see my shoes, the cute brown pumps that are surprisingly comfortable.

You may see my snack, probably a big cup of coffee and maybe a scone.

Now look again.  This time, instead of telling me what you see, let me tell you what you don't see.

When you look at my brown eyes, you don't see the two leaky blood vessels diabetes has caused - which my eye doctor must check every six months.

When you look at my knitting hands, you don't see how calloused and scarred the pads of my fingers are from the dozens of finger sticks diabetes requires each day to keep my blood sugar in line.

When you look at my new jeans, you don't see the small pocket I've sewn into the waistband to hold the insulin pump I need to wear all of the time to treat diabetes - nor do you see the Continuous Glucose Monitor stuck to my lower back.

When you look at my huge purse, you don't see that it isn't a hidden kitty that makes it bulge so - it's all of the diabetes supplies I must lug around.  The blood glucose machine, the spare infusion set, reservoir and battery, the emergency syringe and bottle of insulin, the fast acting carbs to ward off lows.

When you look at my pretty shoes, you don't see the risk of diabetes complications threatening my feet that I must check for each night.

When you look at my yummy snack, you don't see the wheels turning in my mind - trying to estimate just how many carbs are in that scone and how much buttery fat that will slow down my absorption of those carbs so I can attempt to punch the correct dosage on my insulin pump.

This week is National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week.  When you look at me, chances are you can't tell that I live with a chronic illness.  You can't see that it fills every day with a million details and victories and failures.  You can't see that it touches everything I do - and everything I am. But look a bit closer . . . . deep into my eyes . . . . and you just might see how desperately I am STILL hoping for a cure.


  1. Beautiful and wonderful post. Well said Karen.

    Hope you are feeling better!

  2. This is EXCELLENT! So brilliantly written. I love it!

  3. BEAUTIFUL POST. As are you.
    Kelly K

  4. Really amazing take on the theme, Karen! Thank you for writing it.

  5. Karen,

    Beautiful post and so true. Most of the time we don't see beyond those outside layers.

    And thanks so much for commenting on my poem.

    :) Allison

  6. ...beautiful...just beautiful...

  7. Amazing post.
    As the mother of a type 1 teenager, I cried...
    I, too, desperately seek a cure!

  8. Beautiful post, Karen. Love this.

  9. I'm still hoping for a cure too, we all are!! Great post!


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