Karen's topic du jour for those of us participating in "Diabetes Blog Week" was to write about our biggest supporter. Just one? Geez, that's really an exercize in futility, because there's no way I can name just one.
First, because I have 2 parents (a mother and a father), that alone would force me to choose just one parent, and it's not going to happen. Ditto with siblings. And grandparents.
When I became an adult with type 1 diabetes, I was supposed to be able to take care of myself without the need for outside support, but even then, I had my super pussy Phyllis who is remarkably well-versed (even for a cat) in supporting me when I lived all by myself. At this point, you can listen to the 1977 sappy song "All By Myself" by Eric Carmen for the proper effect, yes, Celine Dion did remake it, but I'm usually a sucker for the original version. Phyllis usually sleeps at the foot of the bed (except when I'm not home, in which case, it becomes HER bed), and she can usually sense if my blood sugar is dropping, and she has proven quite skillful (for a cat) at helping me in these situations, in much the way that service dogs also serve this function. For example, one night I was having a hypo, and because people with type 1 usually don't wake from hypos, Phyllis sensed something wasn't quite right -- maybe I breathed or snored differently, but whatever it was, she knew. So to fix things, she began making a pest of herself, first by walking on my head and meowing. Evidently, that wasn't enough, and I continued to sleep. So Phyllis jumped on top of my chest, and when that didn't wake me, she took out the claws and began to gently kneed me. At that point, and if memory serves me correctly, it was around 3:00 AM, I got up and grabbed my meter from the nightstand. Sure enough, it was 45 mg/dL. The pussy cat had fixed the situation, and all was well with the world. (Phyllis actually won a price for being the smartest CAT in Queens, NY, although she's the third-smartest animal in the borough of 2.5 million residents ... read her glowing story from the Queens Chronicle here).
These days, I have a partner who is perhaps my main supporter, which has alleviated the hefty responsibilities from Phyllis who is now kind of a senior citizen (for a cat, anyway). So Phyllis might do something to wake one of us, but her de facto responsibilities are not as demanding these days. But as Hillary Clinton, Kelly Kunik and others eloquently note, "It Takes A Village"!