Why am I asking that question? Are my days filled with so much thrill and excitement that I just have to tell someone? No, not at all.
Instead my daily communication with a few folks consists of this: the early morning “I’m awake” text. Now, we’ve heard that people on Twitter don’t care what you ate for breakfast, so why would I bore you with this simple fact? Let me explain by telling you a story…
Japanese ER – Not the Place You Want to Wake Up
Once upon a time (and by that, I mean from 2002 to 2004) I lived alone in a rural village in Japan where I was teaching English as a second language in public schools. Long story short: One night I went to bed without checking my blood glucose, and woke up at 6:00pm the next day in a hospital. Surrounded by health care professionals speaking Japanese (which I was still learning), I thought I was having a really pathetic dream. Slowly I began to realize what was going on and pieced together the puzzle: my blood sugar had dropped so low that I’d gone into a hypoglycemic coma.
It’s not a cheerful story, but one that I learned from and hope you can learn from, too. First of all, if you are on insulin or other medications that can cause hypoglycemia, check your blood glucose often!
Secondly, I learned that it’s important to have some sort of check-up system going on between friends and family to work as a safety net of sorts, especially while living alone.
I’ll Have My People Call… My People
My safety net system consists of friends, family and smartphones. Every morning I text a friend who lives near me and who has a spare key to my apartment. My sister lives 650 miles away, yet when she makes a point to send me an instant message every morning just to check in. Both my sister and my neighbor have phone lists for each other as well as other friends and even coworkers.
I do this both for myself and for my family. I can only imagine what a shock it was for them when I had to call and explain what had happened on the other side of the Pacific Ocean.
This is a part of my life. Does it seem strange to report the fact that I woke up each day? Sure, but I appreciate the support these people give me. I’m proud to say that I haven’t needed to use this system since it was put in place. I don’t see it as living in fear of what my diabetes can do to me, but instead, I see it as a unique benefit that makes me a little more thankful for each day. And thankful for the people who take the time to think of me each day.
Safety Net Appreciation Day!?
So what’s your safety network? Do you have friends or neighbors who participate in your diabetes management in one way or another? Give them a shout-out and thank them for something they’d probably do regardless of your diabetes.
While you’re at it, you can ask them to support diabetes another way by joining the movement to Stop Diabetes® this month. During October, Diet V8 Splash is donating $5 to the American Diabetes Association for each new person who joins at stopdiabetes.com (up to $50,000). And maybe someday we won’t have to have as much to write home about.