Much of what you hear associated with any kind of diabetes diagnosis is the potential for horrific health events. Heart disease, eye problems and of course the “shooting, burning pins and needles of diabetic nerve pain” that we hear about in TV commercials every day. What scares me? Maybe not the things you’d think.
My greatest fear is having a seizure due to low blood sugar. If you knew me then or have since heard about my seizures after a head injury in high school you’ll likely understand why. It hasn’t happened yet and many people with T1D go through their lifetime without getting hit by a seizure. It’s my single most active concern above and beyond any other short term problems. I hate reading stories about people with T1 experiencing low blood sugar seizures and I’m conscious of the risk nearly every time I go low.
Long term I naturally worry about all of the possibilities. But the one I mention most frequently is amputation. As hilarious as this sounds and as much as it makes me chuckle to talk about, this is no joke. I have tiny feet. Elf feet, as some friends refer to them. I’ve seen what it looks like when someone with T1D loses their toes. If I lose my toes my stumpy little feet will be practically useless. I’m already lucky the little things are just big enough to operate a gas pedal. If I lose my toes I’ll be in trouble! J
Am I afraid of dying? Not death itself, I don’t think. It’s coming one day whether I like it or not. I’m afraid of dying before I’m done. I’ve got a lot left to do and I’m nowhere near done yet. So I’m sticking around. What do I need to do to say I’m done? Check with me in 40 years and I’ll let you know if I’m there yet.
Want to know what really scares me, far beyond anything T1 can throw at me? Spiders. There is no greater comedy than watching me jump out of my skin when one of those 8 legged monsters appears in my house. They’re a much more urgent threat than anything diabetes can throw at me. I’m independent, I’m strong…and I’m compelled to execute any spider that dares enter my house. After my heart rate returns to something close to normal, anyway.
Suddenly I have this urge to order these fabulous slippers…with bells on!