I have diabetes, but you can’t see it. Diabetes is present in every moment of my life; it’s ever in my mind, but you don’t know that. It never occurred to me, when I was first diagnosed, to hide my condition as some people do. In fact, I still don’t hide it (duh, I write a blog about it.) I tend to “wear it proudly” in a way since I’ve decided to be the best example of what type 2 diabetes can look like to the best of my ability. I’m far from perfect but I try to convey the fact that even though I have diabetes, it doesn’t have me.
I have thyroid cancer. I had a partial thyroidectomy several years ago and the cancer was discovered after surgery. The surgeon was just as surprised as I was! Now I have this lovely scar across my throat and I can no longer donate blood and anyone who notices that scar can see that I’ve had that surgery. I’m lucky that my doctor and I have found just the right balance of thyroid medication (up to this point) and I don’t really have any ill effects from only having ½ a thyroid. My thyroid cancer doesn’t bother me, even though it is more apparent than my diabetes. My diabetes can bug the shit out of me, but it’s invisible.
So which is worse? Diabetes, by far. You see, I have to deal with my diabetes throughout my day. I can’t ignore it (well, I could but that would be stupid). Every time I eat, I have to think about diabetes. Not only that, when I eat, anyone who knows I have diabetes might be passing judgment on my choices and/or commenting on whether or not I should eat that. Every time I exercise I need to be aware of how that might affect my diabetes. Day in and day out I have to deal with my diabetes and can ignore that thyroid thing. The funny thing is that I’ve had people comment on my thyroid surgery with things like: “Wow, that’s awful! Cancer? Really? What do you have to do about it? The scar isn’t so bad. I’m sorry that you’ve had to deal with that.” My thyroid surgery and cancer get a lot more attention than they deserve. Diabetes doesn’t. No one really cares about my diabetes other than: “Gee that’s too bad but all you have to do is stop eating sugar, right? I heard that you can just lose weight and it will go away! Don’t you just take a pill for that?”