T1 & Living Alone

How many would be interested in a new group devoted to living alone with diabetes and being prone to serious hypo or hyperglycemia, having trouble preparing healthy meals, inadequate motivation to exercise, coping with the fear of dying in the middle of the night from way abnormal BG (sorry, but the latter is real)? The problems, the strategies, fears, etc. I have T1 and that is my main interest. Don't know how many T2s have unaware hypoglycemia or other 'alone management' issues.
Some live alone and have plenty of support and don't have need this. But for the others, especially those whose diabetes is not always in the magic normal range... and for those who live with someone who cannot help in emergencies such as with a small child, disabled parent, mentally impaired, etc.

I am not asking for input for myself right now, just asking about the potential for such a group. And recognizing that even with a bunch of strategies, there remains the fear that the time will come when you just can't help yourself and may want to talk about that fear. It seems to me that this could be an ongoing group of sharing and supporting and helping new "alone" members also. I see all ages having 'alone' issues, from young and middle aged adults up to older adults who don't have anyone to bring chicken soup to them during acute illnesses.

What say you? Specifically addressed to those who would participate in such a group. And are there T2s who have such issues? Or mainly T1s? I ask because I do not know, I am not excluding any type of diabetes diagnosis if the person is managing alone and has any of the issues noted above.

Sure, I'd participate as a Type 1 (adult onset/LADA) who lives alone.

I would participate in this group. While I live without other humans, I do enjoy the company of a dog that helps me with low BG’s. Spending so much time alone as a T1D, I am vulnerable. On the flip side, I really enjoy my company and do not require as much social time as the average adult.

One topic I’d like to explore is the seeming reluctance of the coupled world to socially include single people. Why do couples count us out? Is the asymmetry oft-putting?

I would participate, especially as a Type 1 "whose diabetes is not always in the magic normal range" ... and sometimes not even close! I have a good support system (mostly parents) in the same city, and I still have a fear of things getting out of control, particularly because I had several severe lows growing up (and the fear from those types of lows lasts a LONG time) and because I go through periods of having severe highs and lows.

I am the same, Terry. Though I can be very outgoing I'm technically an introvert in that I get "re-charged" by solitary time. It took me years to figure that out.

As for the reluctance of the coupled world to include single people I have not found that. Though I've heard it's not uncommon in areas where being single is rare, it hasn't seemed to me an issue in more sophisticated areas (for lack of a better word) such as where you live. I actually have noticed it a bit in people a bit older than me, but not my age or younger. I'm a baby boomer which is when I like to think thinking changed dramatically on such stereotypes, but maybe it's just the type of people I choose to hang around. Whoops, we should save this conversation for the group! Are you going to start it soon, Nell?

Your dog is beautiful, Terry!

I'm T2 and live alone. I have problems with motivation and fears of being alone and sick.

I’d join. I’ve lived alone for some time, and usually I don’t worry too much, but now and then it gets to me. Like the other night I randomly almost passed out from a low (still not sure exactly what happened) and I couldn’t help but think, well my cat certainly wouldn’t have called 911 for me :confused:

I am glad to see some interest. I will give it another day or so and see if we get some more from the "weekday" crowd.

I hear some of you mentioning concern about being alone and sick and also wondering how you would get help or, in my extreme weird fantasy how long would it take someone to find me! I promise not to get too weird about it though.
My BG can range from 20 to 500+ and those extremes can get a little scary.

I am not sure exactly how it works to start a group but maybe one of the administrators will let me know if we get a bit more interest. That is, the mechanics of it.
Thanks for the interest thus far.

I would definitely like to have a space to discuss managing D while living alone. So glad you thought of it, Neil!


I would participate. Although my official home is with my husband and dogs in PA - I live in NY or on the road during the week and am only home on the weekends(and sometimes I don't get home then). I have spent far too many nights keeping myself or awake or intentionally letting my BG run high because of fear of going low at night. I also often find it hard to get motivated to cook a proper meal when it's just for me. In fact, I can't tell you how many times I was grateful for the TuDiabetes commmunity being there to offer support when I was otherwise all alone. I think this kind of group is a good idea.

I think there is a real struggle with groups. We have hundreds of groups, many with just a few members and very little activity. I think this is an interesting topic and many of us (particularly those using insulin) really worry about being alone. But a key question is what would such a group talk about? What are the questions or challenges? Would it support lots of different discussion threads?

It would be good to start things here in the discussion forum. If there is interest then we can reach the threshold of a viable group and it can take off.

So let me start and ask, how many of you use a medical alert system, which are good/bad and are they even worth it?

I would also participate. While I live with my husband, I sometimes travel for work and also am frequently home alone when my husband is traveling. Many times I have let my blood glucose levels run higher at night when alone, which I hate to do but the fear can be overwhelming.

I also worry about the possibility of being completely alone in the future and how I would cope. My only child lives out of state and checks on me frequently by phone but is not physically here. I have two brothers, but one lives out of state and the other is disabled so no other family for support.

Brian, I agree about the groups and thought a long time before proposing this one. But there is no place for us "aloners" to talk about the things that are unique to us. And I could name a dozen things to discuss now.

To respond to your question, I very recently had a very basic ADT security system put in, due to living alone now, and it came with a fob that I can wear around my neck. I can alarm the house from the fob and there is also an emergency button on it that goes to the police. Haven't used it yet but I do wear it around my neck when I am home and it is next to my bed at night. But, as a loner, I worry about not being alert enough to punch the button when I need it most.
I do have the G4 but as we all know, the cgms are not always accurate so I end up having to check myself a couple times during the night. Which leads to interrupted sleep, etc. But I have slept through it with a very bad low. Fortunately, I still had a partner who could save my life then by checking on me during sleep. But if it happened now, who knows...
I have thought about the medic alert buttons but have not explored the cost. But may not need it now with the security alert button.

And to smileandnod, yes, I am sure that we all have let our BG go higher at night due to our fears of what happens if we go way low. This had happened to me a lot the last few months and I expected at least an 8 when I saw my endo a couple of weeks ago. But, oddly, my A1c was still at 7.1. Neither of us believed it until we talked about the cgm and I told him I got the G4 the first of January and that it was more accurate. He still uses the 7+. Anyway, then he said the A1c of 7.1 instead of 8 must be due to my correcting quickly for the high 200s and 300s.
Now, I know that lots of folks on this board would consider a 7 as "out of control" but I am talking about me, not the strict diabetics! So, for me the 7.1 was OK. Not great but OK. So I guess my point is that the G4 does help me correct quickly. I am still trying to eat better but that is another story.

P.S. I think my endo was going home and opening the G4 he had left in the box after my comments about improved accuracy!

Zoe - Your different perspective on the treatment of singles by the coupled world is good for me to hear. This is the type of social intelligence that only comes with regularly interacting with other people. It forces me to examine the basis of this belief and perhaps adjust it. I suspect it formed in the painful social aftermath of a long ago divorce. While I enjoy my alone time, like most people, I also need social time to help me navigate a path to happiness. This is the kind of topic that could serve as grist for a singles D group.

Thank you for the compliment about my dog, Norm. He has grown into one of my main pillars of strength as I face my D world each day. I am lucky he is a part of my life.

Sorry to hear that, Samej, but you certainly have all of us for help and support!

In answer to Brian's question, I really couldn't afford any kind of alert system. I also (and now I'm being painfully honest) shy away from anything that makes me feel old. That's just me. But I also, aside from the issue of money have learned to live my life not spending a lot of time dwelling on the bad things that can happen. I have a tendency to anxiety, so in response to that I try and stay in the "now". I find that people limit their lives too much in worrying about what "could happen".

Which brings me to the CGM, which is certainly a topic related to singles. I actually don't have one and have no plans to get one. The first reason is money; I can barely afford my pump supplies (and other medical needs). But the second reason is that I know myself and I would be constantly staring at the thing and obsessing about what it said. While that might result in some improvement of my numbers, I think for me, it would add to my stress which is a "quality of life" issue. And then there are the damn alarms beeping in the middle of the night or when I'm teaching class...

I'm going to visit Guatemala where I used to live in July. Tattoos are extremely cheap there (and yes, there is a reputable place that follows all hygiene protocols)I've never gotten a tattoo and always wondered what I'd get. A Type 1 tattoo is a thought!


Hi Brian, my comment is slightly off topic and about groups (I don't live alone). Recently one of my groups re Dogs was closed, even though it was reasonably active with (as I recall) over 200 members. I would suggest the administration go ahead and close inactive groups with just a few members and allowing new groups to form that are of interest right now. There is this one for People living alone, and another for a Garden group that C Irons would like to start. I'm sure that there are other possible new ones that would be new and interesting; after all, new members with new interests join TuD every day.

Zoe, is there, if you wanted it, any resource that could help with a cgm? There are a couple of groups that help with pumps and supplies. (am blocking on the name of the blind singer charity group!) Yes, it does alarm in the night but then that is when I need it the most. It does have a vibrate function for when you are teaching or otherwise don't want to have it interrupt. Some have said the cgm is more important than the pump but I guess that is for the individual to decide.

Brian, Forgot to say that there is one emergency alert fob that I saw on TV that will alarm if you fall and do not punch the button. I forget the name of it but have seen it a couple of times in ads. It relates to position or perhaps lack of movement. I don't really know but I am sure it could be found if someone wanted to search for it.

Thanks, Nell, but I actually don't want one. Yes, it is a very individual thing. I'm that way with technology in general: I kind of pick and choose among it for what I feel would improve my quality of life and what I feel wouldn't.