I have been glued to my phone for the last nine days of my life. I suppose I’m always pretty attached to my phone–something that comes with being close with your family that lives thousands of miles away–but this past week has been a true test of my phone’s capabilities. An average day in the last week looked something like this: I sleep with it by my bed, I wake up and call my parents (on the east coast), I call my parents on my lunch break, I call and text my siblings after work to report what I learned from my parents throughout the day, then I call my parents again before they go to bed. This might remind you of a “bare minimum” schedule someone might use for monitoring blood glucose levels. Now, between each of those calls, insert every-other-minute “checks” where I hit a button on my phone to make it light up so that I can see if there have been any missed calls or texts.
My aunt is–as my cousin put it–very, very sick. Starting a few weeks ago, she was having chronic headaches and back pain, but was unable to determine the cause. On Tuesday of last week, she was suddenly and shockingly diagnosed with a plethora of things, mostly relating to abnormalities in her spinal cord, and was admitted to the neuro ICU. While I cannot comprehend how this could be possible, she is now staying in a hospice center. My family is gathered around her in spirit and body to keep her company and keep her comfortable. She has a loving husband and two loving sons acting as her primary caregivers, with other family members occasionally providing respite so that my uncle and cousin can do things like sleep and take showers. She is being held in a multitude of hearts, both near and far. Friends and family have come to visit and she is surrounded by love.
I have had Type 1 for just over a year now and I know what it means to compulsively check your blood glucose level. I’ve blown through canisters of test strips with the best of them, but nothing compares to how often I’ve checked my phone this week. (In fact, it makes me nervous for when I do get my CGM…) I am constantly hoping for new information; constantly “checking” to see the progress of things. Though I am cooped up in a no-phones-allowed office in Seattle, my thoughts are filled with my family in Columbus. Don’t tell my boss, but my cell phone has actually been on my desk (on Silent, I promise!) for the last two days because I can’t stand to keep reaching down into my purse to light up the screen. I know my priorities.
As I make time for my family this week, I am reminded that we will naturally make time for the things that are most important to us. I might need to turn some more focused attention to my glucometer in the near future, but for now, it’s all eyes on my phone.