If I were to die from COVID-19, or anything else, there will be no replacing my void as a husband or father. Losing a parent, child, or spouse leaves a permanent scar. Or maybe it’s more like a missing limb—a vital part that is supposed to be connected to the body, but no longer is. Here, I take comfort in the community of believers to which my family is connected.
I have Type 1 diabetes.
There are a lot of folks in my life who don’t know that. I think those closest to me forget it, understandably. Truthfully, aside from those in my endocrinology office, my wife is probably the only person who readily has my diagnosis in mind. I typically try not to think about it myself.
I was twenty-three when something awry was first noticed. At the time, I was without health insurance from being newly underemployed, and I needed to complete a physical for a part-time job. Normally I would have gone to my family doctor, but I was concerned about the cost, so I went to an occupational medicine office instead.
My family doctor had done a number of physicals for me over the years given how often I played sports. He was a great doctor, but his physicals were usually pretty simple and brief. At this clinic, they ran some diagnostics I hadn’t done before. A few minutes later I was out the door with a brochure on diabetes. Great.
Thirteen years later, I’ve finally accepted this as part of my life. Becoming a husband and father motivates you to take your health more seriously. My A1C has been up and down (mostly up) for years until I started wearing a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) last year. Instead of pricking my finger several times during the day to test my blood sugar, I have a little contraption on my arm 24/7. It reads my blood sugar constantly, providing information that allows me to make a better calculation of how much insulin I need to take per meal. This past year has brought my A1C almost to my goal.
Three to four times a year I get blood drawn to test my A1C, cholesterol, and kidney function. Fortunately, despite not taking my diagnosis nearly as seriously as I should have for years, those other diagnostic numbers have always been either relatively good or very good.