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Today is finally here, so dye your hair purple. Unless you prefer blue, green, or pink. Or don’t dye your hair at all if it’s not your thing. What is your thing? What have you always wanted to do but never got around to doing? For me, it was dying my dark hair purple. I know that seems silly, but it's true. There was always a reason holding me back. My boss might flip. I don’t want to damage my hair with bleach. People will look at me funny. They were all pretty good reasons I guess, but that all changed last night.
What happened last night wasn’t new, I often find myself waking in the middle of the night sweaty and shaky. In fact, I think most diabetics can relate. I had to wake my husband for a juice box. Sometimes I wonder how he must feel to be woken up in the dead of sleep because I am too weak to get up myself. The only thing I can do is hit his back and hope it's enough to wake him from the dead of sleep. Sometimes I can say I need sugar. Other times I can only mumble the word help.
He must be just as exhausted as I am. He might even resent me a little bit. Does he have the same worry buried deep inside as I do? What if next time I am unable to wake and ask for help? Will he wake up in the morning to me already gone? These are the things I can’t help but think about after a middle of the night low. Laying there while my body is trying to come back from the brink. Pain and stiffness wash over my body, my head; everything hurts. And I just lay there and think about how I could have just not woken up at all.
This time was different. This time instead of thinking about how I could’ve slipped away in my sleep, or that next time I might, I started thinking about how great it is that I woke. Sure, I could’ve died, but I didn’t. How cool is that? Not only did I escape death, but I keep escaping death. I guess it’s my superpower. So that’s about when I realized that I only have today. It’s today that counts. Right now, and in this moment I exist, and I want purple hair.
So I did what any logical person would do, I bleached all my hair and then I dyed it purple. It's AWESOME! I should have done this a long time ago. I shouldn’t have needed my sugar to drop into the 30’s for me to become fearless.
I know that I am not alone. So many diabetics wake in the middle of the night scared and sick just like me. Some live alone; I am sure their fear is much higher. My sensor doesn’t always warn me fast enough, and sometimes I sleep through the warnings altogether. Low blood sugar is a problem that so many people face, and until there is a cure for diabetes, the problem will continue. It is easy to let fear take over your life. As a diabetic, I often find myself afraid of things most people will never understand. No one should be afraid of eating and sleeping, but for many, it’s just a reality.
That’s why I believe today is the best day to do that "thing". Whatever that thing might be. So go and climb a mountain or take horseback riding classes. Learn to rappel off cliffs or surf big waves or knit a scarf if that’s more your speed. What’s your "thing" again?
If getting into shape is your "thing" we have some resources that will help. For tips and advice on all things related to life with diabetes, follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You can ask and answer questions. If you want to try out a gym for free click here to print a pass.
Let me know in the comments below what your "thing" is.