When compared to some diseases, diabetes is considered to be an "invisible" chronic illness. Invisible because, outwardly, you can't tell someone has diabetes just by looking at them.
I, on the other hand, tend to disagree.
Diabetes has left me scarred. My body is covered in bruises, welts, scabs, and purple blotches similarly shaped to my infusion set. Blood testing has left calluses and little black spots on my finger tips. They bleed with a simple squeeze. Where I once wore a continuous glucose monitor, darkened rectangles are left behind on my skin.
My life source is visibly worn on my hip. Everyone can hear my bionic whirring and clicking as insulin is delivered. Today, as I bolused insulin, those nearby could see me wince and hear me inhale sharply as the cannula burned beneath my skin. In public, people stare - and occasionally gasp - as I draw blood from a finger or inject insulin with a syringe.
My diabetes is always there. Always with me. While diabetes, the disease itself, may not be seen, there is nothing about my affliction that is hidden. My body is permanently altered. Battered, scarred, and ugly. By diabetes.
Invisible illness? No. My diabetes is out there, for all the world to see.
"It has been said 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone." ~Rose Kennedy