I was sitting around thinking the other day about the Tom Hanks movie, “Cast Away”. How do you think that movie would have changed had the main character had Type 1 Diabetes? I’m pretty sure he would not have lasted 4 years on a remote island. He may not have lasted 4 weeks. I think back to right before I was diagnosed. The extreme fatigue, cramping, constant urination, and rapid weight loss. I can remember just how bad I felt. That is something I would not want to experience again. But how would I survive if I became stranded on some remote island, or if I became lost in the woods or mountains while hiking? When I travel, I always carry my Diabetes supplies in a large zip-lock bag stored in my backpack. That way if I end up on an airplane that goes down in the ocean, I know that I will have safe supplies. While I always carry extra insulin, syringes, & test strips when I travel it is usually only a couple of extra days worth of supplies. Not enough to last me months! Imagine how you would find food, test your blood sugar, keep medication from getting too hot or too cold. Honing your Diabetes Survival instincts are just as important to us as it was for Tom Hanks’ character to talk to the volleyball!
Having Type 1 diabetes means we must be on guard everyday. We must plan for an emergency while living in the moment. It’s like living on a constant episode of “Survivor”. There are no breaks from Diabetes. If we can stay on top of our diabetes, then we should be able to stay on top of the other stuff that happens in life. Forget the potential complications associated with having diabetes. Living well day to day requires us to be at the top of our game. When you get right down to it, Diabetes is a life & death proposition. But isn’t life anyway?
To everyone with Diabetes: Keep surviving. Keep thriving. Keep living life and keep enjoying each & every day you have. Having Diabetes might be scary, or be an inconvenience but there are some bigger problems in life. Update & review your Diabetes Survival plans & supplies. Make sure others are aware of your medical needs. Then ask yourself, “How would I survive with Type 1 Diabetes if stranded alone?”
It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make that Change!