A Meet Up With An Old Friend

Last night we did something special and went out to dinner with some old friends of ours. These friends live in Perth, way over on the other side of the country. If you live in London, Perth is further away from Melbourne than you are from Istanbul. And in between there’s an awful lot of flat nothing except iron ore and gold.

We had a very enjoyable evening catching up on old times and hearing about what we are all doing now.

But what makes this evening so special is that this is the friend who saved my life 38 years ago. He’s far too humble to ever accept my gratitude to him for what he did all those years ago, but if it wasn’t for him then I wouldn’t be here, and neither would my 3 daughters and 4 grand children.

I have written briefly about that episode, but today I’ll take a slightly different approach.

In this modern world of whacky ideas, we hear about KETO and FASTING and LOW CARB, amongst an alphabet of other weird approaches to this nirvana of losing weight and “fitness”. That’s all well and good – whatever floats your boat I suppose. But what we never hear about, because very few people know much about T1D, is the very real and life threatening danger of a person with T1D, also T2D if they have progressed to insulin injections, of dying from a massive episode of hypoglycaemia. And this is what almost happened to me 38 years ago.

There’s a pandora’s box of reasons behind what happened back then, and I won’t even mention the couple of very dark years that followed as I tried to get my life back together, but the reality is that every person who lives with T1D is only hours away from being dead. And if not dead, then left living with brain damage, or some other damage that comes from their body not having enough carbohydrate to survive.

I had already been in intensive care in the hospital for some days before I woke from my coma and now have the first memories of the episode. In effect, I wasn’t there for the really colourful parts of the story involving passing out and convulsing for hours in my flat until my friend came home. Or the frantic ambulance trip to the hospital and going into intensive care, where they started the frantic activities to try to bring me back. But my friend was there, and if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be here today.

Forever grateful my humble friend.

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