Is Every Day Something to Write Home About?

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.

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17 Responses to Is Every Day Something to Write Home About?

  1. Mark Harmel says:

    I’ll read what you’re eating for breakfast any day now.

    In case you care – I eat yogurt, and a Luna bar with coffee while reading the NY and LA Times.

    • Jean Gust says:

      I check my blood sugars twice a day, morning and at night. The amount of insulin I take is based off of a scale given to me by my doctor. Lately it seems I have no appetite to eat alot. I’m trying to loose weight for a number of reasons, too many to list right now. I sometimes have problems with a low blood sugar. I know exactly when this happens and thank God that it bothers me so that I don’t go into a coma. Once I’m faced with the low blood sugar I take steps to bring it back up generally with a banana and a glass of milk. Sometimes it takes a small snack size candy bar to do it. I’m trying to stay away from diet soda because I have heard that it can make you gain weight but I was wondering if you use Crystal Light in water does anyone know if that would give you the same effect.

  2. Mary Fairweather Dexter says:

    Bagel mit and coffee with milk.

  3. D.J. Ross says:

    Around what A1C level is insulin recommended over oral medication? I bounce between 7.5 and 8.5.

    Don

  4. I am the parent of a teenager(17) who has been dealing with her diabetes since she was 12. She did everything that she was supposed to, in the beginning, but now she has become so lax with it that I fear that when she does get out on her own and continues this behavior that she will not be around for me to enjoy. I only wish that she would let me be more involved in helping her get into a healthy routine. She has been placed in the hospital already twice this year for ketoneacidocis. When she leaves the house, she doesn’t even take her glucometer with her. She has 2 that link to her pump, the original 2 that she was given when diagnosed, and 2 minis, but she refuses to follow the guidelines, that she knows so well, to maintain a healthy lifestyle. She wants to keep her “business” to herself. This really does scare me and I feel as if there should be someway of getting her to realize that I care enough to get in her “business”. If she knew that I had posted this, she would be very upset at me. I do love her so very much and only want what’s best for her.

  5. i have diabetis and i’m overweight. i’ve been taking metformin about two and a half years and i’ve been using a meter for about six months. the doctors say i’m doing pretty good. i’ve been checking my sugar twice a day, once when i get up and later after i eat and go out and ride my bike. i eat alot of veggies whole grains, lean meat and no junk. i drink sobe o calories. i never heard anything bad about it. my doctor said something about crystal light but i havn’t tried it yet.

  6. Briley says:

    I had a morning where I didn’t wake up for work because of a severe low. I try to check as soon as I wake up, along with every few hours throughout the day, and especially when I am driving. But I call my mother almost every morning on my way to work, and my roommate is one of my best friends so we usually mumble to each other in the morning, so she always knows when I’m alive. It’s good to have people who care & help when needed, but it’s a much better day when I don’t need them.

  7. Justin says:

    i have mornings i cant wake up ill sleep for 13 hours and when i check i’m still kinda high after fasting well like 300’s does high sugar levels cause the heavy long sleeping as well??

    • Dayle says:

      Justin,
      From what I know, hyperglycemia (high blood glucose levels) can cause fatigue, which I guess might make it hard to get up. Might be interesting to know if your blood glucose levels are that high through the night, or if perhaps your blood glucose dropped low, then rebounded to be that high, or your basal insulin is just wearing off.

      Obviously I’m not a medical expert, so I urge you to talk with your health care team. Might do some detective work, too, and set your alarm clock for different times through the night to wake up and check your blood glucose.

      Diabetes is complicated stuff. Wishing you good health!

  8. Robin says:

    My husband knows exactly what to do should I not wake up. Thankfully that has never happened. He also knows by sounds and certain movements that I make if I am dropping in my sleep. The CGM also helps with the beeps it makes 🙂

  9. Maureen says:

    I have a double whammy. Type I diabetic for 40 years with decreased sensitivity to hypoglycemia. I live alone and work from home so no one knows if I don’t show up for work. Thankfully, my boyfriend texts me every morning. So I am thankful every day that I wake up and that I have someone in my life who checks on me. 🙂

  10. Caroline says:

    I was diagnosed with Diabetes, 2 years ago, I test my blood sugar 5 to 6 times a day. I take over 6 shots a day,and for the most part have it under as good as control as I can. I have lost over 90 lbs, that certainly helped. And while i am sure I will always have this problem, I found my best avenue to controlling it is insulin, I use one unit or 12 grams of carbs per unit I am eating plus a scale, so my amount varies widely. I take a long lasting insulin during the night to keep me from falling to rapidly, it works for 24 hours. Keeping a record of what you actually eat all day is the only way to
    really keep track, it is amazing the days we go way over what we should eat, just thought I would share.

  11. Teresa says:

    After reading this, I was reminded of living in France. I stayed in a dorm and the staff were a little scared by the diabetes. So I had the door closest to the desk person (who was up all night) and he would knock on my door every morning at 6 a.m. “Mamoiselle, ca va?” If I didn’t respond right away, he would use his keys to come in. Someitimes I was sleeping soundly, but wasn’t low. Annoying, but it worked. I am lucky to have awareness of my lows still (after 30 years of type 1), but I think it’s great when people use friends and family to check in and also to remind them to test or take insulin (when they’ve hit that wall of HATING diabetes). Can’t do diabetes well without some support!

  12. Sally says:

    Hi, It has been only 6 months since I was diagnosed,with diabetes.I’m Still in shock!! I”M so glad to find this web site and read about some of the thing I should be doing It is very helpful. Now I will take some much needed action after reading your blog,It is great to have this kind of support!! Thank U

  13. Aimee says:

    I read this post this morning, and it has given me the kick in the pants that I need. I too often neglect to check my blood sugar. Lucky for me, I have managed to maintain good control even with my laziness. BUT I will be spending most of the summer alone with my kids in a remote area where we do not know anyone, without my husband, and without cell service. After reading this, I am formulating a plan – wear my cgm religiously, test religiously, get a landline installed, call husband regularly, assign speed dial for husbands number and teach it to kids, go meet the neighbors near our vacation home and give them our info, and give their number to husband in case he needs someone to check on me.
    Thanks for the kick in the pants!

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