the emotions. It is even less help if you have "brittle" diabetes.
I spent part of yesterday afternoon with the sister of my late friend. She has "brittle" diabetes - uncontrolled diabetes where the swings in her sugar levels can be sudden. It is not common now. Most diabetics are able to keep their condition well under control. She does not.
My late friend and I knew there were going to be problems and I promised to do my best to help. It has been tough for her sister. They have some cousins but no immediate family. Even with family it would be hard.
My sister's friend lives alone. She has never married. More than once, she has been hospitalised. More than once I was called on to go around there when she was not answering the phone. Now it is even more difficult. If it is evening and I can't rouse her I have to rely on the neighbours in the little set of "units" in which she lives. She doesn't know they are watching out for her. She would hate it if she did. She would see it as a gross invasion of her privacy. On the two occasions an ambulance has been called at night the doctor who lives in the last unit has made excuses as to why he was knocking on the door.
She is extremely reticent about her diabetes. She believes that everyone else in her set of units, apart from the doctor, is unaware of her condition. I am perhaps the only person to whom she will talk openly about the problems her diabetes causes. She will eat meals with us because she knows that I will provide what she needs and when she needs it.
But yesterday I went because someone else needs to talk to her. She has not been responding to them. The estate is not yet settled. She is emotionally confused and anxious about it. "I don't need the money," she told me. And no, she doesn't. She lives frugally. Her life style is rather limited now. Even when she went to work she didn't indulge in many luxuries. It just isn't her style.
And so, we talked for a bit. It wasn't easy. I know she is not taking things in. She has always found it hard to make decisions.
Her diabetes gets in the way. She is afraid to make decisions, to make plans and, although I was there, she still felt horribly alone.
So many lonely people need someone who is just prepared to listen but she needs more than that.
I hugged her and I hope that helped a bit. I know things aren't going to change now. She is too old for that, much older than I am in more ways than one. I just wish I could find a way of helping her get more out of life than she does now.