Living Alone

I’m trying to move out of my parents house…I’m grateful they’ve let me live here for a year to save money and adjust to my diagnosis etc. But, I’m ready to move out. Any thoughts on living alone?

Hi Amanda.
What a great topic. I have had db for 33 years and lived alone more often than not. And, it definitely demands more attention.
Since you are over a year post-diagnosis, you should have a pretty good grip on things.
Obviously, the most concern is probably needing help when you have lows. You must have a reliable source of glucose within easy reach at all times. I keep glucose tabs all over my bedroom (for lows that sneak up during the night), but sometimes, with a sugar-deprived brain, I start walking around looking elsewhere for them. Juice boxes are handy if you are still thinking clearly; otherwise, it’s not easy to put the straw in the little hole, and there’s no one to do it for you.
Don’t let your supplies run low.
If you are sick, try to have someone look in on you, or at least check in by phone a few times. I know it’s hard to ask for help, but sometimes it’s necessary.
I live in a condo building and my neighbor across the hall was a paramedic. It was very reassuring to have him nearby.
Good luck in finding a nice apartment. You will be fine.

I have lived alone for pretty much the last 5 years. I haven’t ever had a serious problem, but I stay pretty well on top of my diabetes too. My advice is to have friends, family & co-workers that know when & where you are supposed to be. That way if you don’t show up, someone knows to check on you. My co-workers know that if I am going to be more than 15 minutes late, I will call someone. If they don’t hear from me, then they start checking on me. I also have friends and family that I talk to on a daily basis. They know if I am not answering my phone, something is up.
Don’t go to bed with low blood sugars. Keep something to treat a low by your bed, along with your meter & a flashlight (you wouldn’t believe how it sometimes comes in handy when you are too low or too lazy to turn the light on!).
Oh, and be sure that there are a couple of people who have keys to your apartment/house. This way, if they need to get in to you they can.
All of this is worst case scenario. I’ve never had any problems, but there is always a first time for everything, so I like to be prepared.
Good luck to you! And don’t worry about living alone, just be prepared!

I’ve lived alone for a few years, too. When I moved to this state, I didn’t know anyone closer than 8 hours away. I agree with keeping something by the bed and always always always testing before going to sleep. And keeping up with things like flu shots. Getting the flu is something that I’m very afraid of.

Excellent idea - the keeping somethng in a low cupboard. Yes, there was a time when I could not walk upright and had to crawl but was able to get something off the lowest frig shelf.
Don’t be scared - be prepared!

Totally not the same, but when my husband was in the Navy and was deployed, a bunch of us spouses would call to check in with each other to make sure we’re still alive-we all had children and of course our minds would wander to “what if I fall down the stairs, break my neck, and my baby is alone crawling over my body” So at certain times, we’d call each other to make sure no one accidentally hurt themselves and needed help. Maybe you could do something similar, I’m a mother of a type 1 so my palms are just sweating thinking about him living on his own-of course he’s not even 2!

I lived alone for about a year, between living with my ex-boyfriend and moving in with Chris, and it was a daunting idea but one that wasn’t nearly as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be. (To be completely honest, I liked living alone to a certain extent. It made me feel like I was a tough cookie, managing everything by myself and making my own way.)

I wrote a post on SUM about preparing for being alone for a few weeks, when Chris was traveling for a film project last month. Here’s the link. Maybe some of these tips can help you manage the diabetes-stuff?

As far as other tips, I agree: wrangle up a pet. They are nice company. And have a housewarming party, letting everyone you love know where they can visit you. :slight_smile: You’ll adjust, and you’ll be just fine. I’m sure of it!

Hi Amanda - I’ve lived by myself with type 1 for most of the last 25 years. It’s been like diabetes - it’s something I’ve gotten used to. For the most part, it’s been a good experience. The worst times have been middle-of-the night lows undetected in my sleep. I haven’t gone through any of those in a long time.

What the other folks have written about this sounds pretty accurate to me.

Did I see a news story in the last year that reported that , for the 1st time, more American adults live in single-person households than not? It certainly sounds like my condominium neighborhood. There probably are a lot of folks with diabetes who live alone.

Good luck!

Hi Amanda - I’m a recently diagnosed 1.5 and live alone - in a big ole house, no less. I have yet to have one of these nasty lows where I can’t walk or thing straight and quite honestly, it is my biggest fear. I’m relatively new to the area and don’t have any close friends, but I have told everyone at work and they know if I don’t show up w/o notification, something is wrong. I think the CGMS will make me more reassured while sleeping. I realize they aren’t accurate yet but I think having something alarm you when you’re trending downward too quickly or going past a set glucose level will be more comforting than annoying. I’m on tap to test one out in a week and I can’t wait.

My other solution is to find a husband - wasn’t so interested in one of those until just recently.

Amanda: As for the husband, be very selective and take your time. While they can be discarded, that can be painful, emoitionally draining, frustrating, and expensive. It is best to pick a model that will be dependable and will last a lifie time.

A lot of good tips here. I only lived alone with diabetes for 6 months before my now-husband moved in with me. But as a not particularly social person, before diabetes I could go days without talking to anyone. Now, when my hubby is out of town, I always check in a few times a day. Also, I didn’t have a cell phone when I was diagnosed - that was one of the first things I bought. Occasionally I use it to call hubby or friend and say, hey can you call me back in 15 minutes just to make sure I’m ok. No one has mentioned medical ID yet either. When I’m going to be away from the husband, that’s when I’m sure to wear mine.

As far as living alone not related to diabetes, I think it’s an awesome experience and very self-empowering in some ways. It’s interesting because now that I’ve lived with someone for years, I would be very afraid to live by myself again. You become dependent in a way. So I think it’s a good thing for anyone to do.

Hi Amanda-

I lived on my own for a year and loved it. In addition to the great advice you have already received, you might consider getting a continuous glucose monitor. While they can be annoying, they are great for overnight awareness of low blood sugars.



Yeah, and be sure to kick the tires.

Hey, Kathy - go easy on those tires please.

Thank you all so much for the great advice!!! As for the husband…I haven’t found one of those models yet, though I’m looking…but the one I choose will most definitely be dependable and will absolutely last a life time!!! Kathy, I’ll be sure to kick the tires…though gently Steve :wink:

Y’all are fabulous - thanks!!!

Great advice given to you so far. Enjoy the time you have to live alone; I know that I do.

Hi Amanda
To be honest, the difficult part in living alone are the non-D specific challenges: making sure that you eat properly and have healthy food in the house that can be prepared quickly; getting to the pharmacy if you’re laid up with cold or 'flu (this should be less of a problem if you’ve still got friends or family nearby).
These are problems that everyone faces, it’s just that they are particularly acute for diabetics.
Good luck!

I want to emphasize making sure that a friend or family member close-by has a key and will check up on you pretty regularly. Make sure you can’t disappear for a day without someone noticing.

You all have had fabulous advice! I really appreciate it! When I move I won’t be more than 20 minutes from my parents. I work about 30 minutes from where they live now. I know they’ll call often to make sure I’m awake. As a teacher, if I don’t show up by 7:10…someone is definitely calling. Whether or not I’m diabetic. 25 8th graders in a room without a teacher = not good!

I got some VERY exciting news today! I was calling my insurance company for a totally different reason, but decided to ask them about CGMs and whether or not they cover them. Last I’d checked, they didn’t. Apparantly they do now! And at 100%! As long as my endo files a referral and if I get it straight from the in-network provider (in this case, MedTronic) :slight_smile: SO…at my appointment with my endo in September I’ll talk to her about it. Hopefully this’ll ease my mind, and my parents too, and I can start looking for a place to live!

Thanks again for all the advice!