Standing on the edge of the roof… by Helen May

Do you remember Alain Robert? He was known as Spider-man because he climbs buildings: he has climbed the Lloyds Building in London, Eiffel Tower in Paris, Empire State Building in New York and more … all without using the stairs. You may think he is fearless: he is not, he is afraid of heights. I have seen him interviewed on the roof of a building, not wanting to look down, holding on to anything he can find.

I  know how he feels. I like climbing… although nothing like climbing the Golden Gate Bridge without ropes… and one of the things that makes it doable is that you are always holding onto something when you climb. I enjoy the thrill of the climb but not the thrill of looking down.

When you are standing in the edge of a building roof, you get the best views of the city the closer you stand to the edge… as long as you don’t stand too close! If you stand too far back, you just see the roof tops. Part of the thrill of being there is feeling the elements: the wind buffeting you; the sound of the cars below; the view of the sky above you. You could stand at a window on a high floor and get a similar view, but you don’t get the thrill.

Does fear hold you back?

With diabetes, we fear hypos and we fear long term complications. I also fear diabetes holding me back from my life. Managing diabetes is about getting our BG (blood glucose) in control. Many people with diabetes, maintain a higher BG because they are afraid of getting hypos. Some people run their BG close to the hypo limit because they are afraid of the long term calculation. Some people maintain great control most of the time by doing the same thing every day, eating the same food, doing the same exercise and avoid big changes in their lives.

Do you see where I’m going here?

The hypo is falling off the building because you are standing too close to the edge. But avoiding the edge and keeping BGs too high, means you risk missing out on the view of a long, active life without complications. And, for me, doing the same thing every day would mean missing out on the thrills of life like standing in a window rather than on the roof.

Each one of us has a different limit. A different level of thrill we want in our lives. A different amount of risk we want to take for a hypo or long term complications. We have to find our balance and comfort with the amazing vistas you can get from a roof top and experiences in life. I am not going to climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge without ropes, but I would love to do it with a harness and guide… even though my BG is likely to go high with the stress and excitement.

If you would like more information and facts on Hypos and Blood Glucose go to our website.

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