15 Minutes to Live

We are afraid of truth, afraid of fortune, afraid of death, and afraid of each other. Our age yields no great and perfect persons. – Ralph Waldo Emersonvia Gwen Bell – 15 Minutes to Live – Ralph Waldo Emerson.

In 2006 I was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I had lost 30 pounds, was drinking almost as many gallons of water and feeling extremely tired. I was diagnosed by my family physician who sent me straight to the emergency room, My blood glucose (BG) was over 500. Normal is between 70 and 90. Apparently my blood was like a toxic soup and my doctor was concerned that I would go into a diabetic coma.

Was I afraid? No. Maybe I should have been but I wasn’t. But the experience of being in a hospital bed for two night did change me. I realized that it could have been different. I could have gone into that coma and suffered brain damage. I could have been in a form of brain “death”. For a person who makes his living “thinking” — I’m an information security manager, a knowledge worker — it would be devastating.

My brain is the muscle that allows me to act in doing the things I want to do. It’s what helps me create the things I want to create. It’s what helps me appreciate the things I hold dear. The things I cherish. For me, without it, I am nothing. I cease to exists. Ok. Now, I’m scared.

So what would I do if I was told I had 15 minutes to live?

I would call everyone I love and tell them I love them. Or maybe just sit at home and watch Tom and Jerry with my wife and kids.

NOTE: I’m writing this as part of The Domino Project’s #Trust30 30-day writing challenge from ralphwaldoemerson.me.

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