I loved this letter. I have something similar to share as well:
When I was a teenager, my mom found out she had diabetes. It was, at the time, not that serious. She just had to start watching what she ate and exercised more. However, my mother is a total workaholic, and while she watched what she ate, she didn’t really take all that good care of her health. she didn’t smoke nor drink, but she wasn’t always eating properly and she -never- exercised.
so one day, we are in the car going home i think, i just remember going in that general direction. my moms’ face started turning almost white, and she was losing control of the car. i was too young to drive at that point, but she made it into a grocery store, and i ran and got her some juice. her blood sugar had dropped so low that it was scary. after she had the juice, she was okay at that point. a few years later, my mother’s sugar dropped again, and she ended up in the hospital. this was the second time that she almost died (once when i was young she had hepatitis b, and was in the hospital for months). i get tears thinking about how i almost lost my mom. granted, we always didn’t get a long, but, she still was my mom, ya know?
Cathleen, my roommate, has juvenile diabetes that is on the pretty extreme side. when we were camping at rob’s place in the interim when we were waiting for our new house, her sugar level dropped incredibly low. i was sleeping in rob’s office and she was on the couch. at first, i didn’t think anything about it, because it literally sounded (from the noises) that someone was having sex. a few seconds later it dawned on me, that it was Cathleen asking for help because her blood sugar was dangerously low. if hadn’t had the experience of living with a diabetic, i have no freaking idea what i would have done. having that knowledge has helped me live with her with more ease. she’s had several episodes within the last four months since we’ve been in our new place, and knowing where the glucose tablets are and keeping the freezer stocked with juice and knowing what to do has helped.
and lastly, one of my dearest friends lost his wife to manifested breast cancer a few weeks ago. she had been struggling with it within the last five or so years, and she had been in remission at least once. this last time was just too much, and she passed away on Tuesday September 15 at the age of 40. such a fucking waste!
it has been drilled in my head since i was a kid about my health. i had an epileptic seizure when i was three, and have been diagnosed as being epileptic. i also was diagnosed as having a slight heart problem (multi-valve prolapse) when i was a teenager. since diabetes is inherited, i will probably end up getting it in my late 30’s/early 40’s, unless i start taking precautions now to take better care of my health.
i think that not only knowing CPR is a good start ‘just in case’, but i think just taking better care of -you- for the long run is a good place to start. we all, to some degree, will have something happen to us as we age (not a pleasant truth, but a needs to be said), and starting now when we are young will help benefit us in the future when we are old and gray.
I just don’t want to bear the thought of losing any more people that i know and love, if it could be prevented. two deaths in two years is two too much.