Recently a friend was recalling a visit to the grave of his father-in-law. As he was looking at the headstone and saw the date of birth and date of death, he focused on the dash (-) between the two dates. It got him thinking about what went on in his father-in-law’s life in the space where that dash was. It also got him thinking about what he had done in his life that will one day be the dash on his headstone. This person happens to be an extremely generous person with his time, his wisdom, his philanthropic endeavors and is truly someone whom I would love to model my life after. He is fortunate to have a wife who shares the same wonderful qualities that define him. They both know that the dash will be full of everything great that they’ve done in their lives.
When I think of my own mortality (and hopefully that won’t be for a long, long time), I think about my dash. I have always been a very private person; not one given to making speeches or calling attention to myself. Over the past months, I have turned into an advocate for my husband’s diabetes management, especially with reference to his Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). I have blogged which is something that I had never envisioned myself doing. I have also been trying to aid whomever needs my help in navigating the Medicare Appeals process for CGM coverage and I have even been interviewed by Diabetes Forecast Magazine about our Appeal process in trying to get my husband a CGM. This interview will be a sidebar to an article being published about Medicare in the December issue of the magazine. Everything that I have been doing is in contrast to the way I lived my life before. I decided that someone needed to do something about the CGM guideline and so be it if that someone needs to be me.
Recently I was with these two friends at a joyous but sad going away party. They are moving from our close community in Harrisburg, PA to Northern New Jersey to be closer to their family. His parting words to everyone at the party were “Don’t forget the Dash”. Those words will now stick with me daily and I will continue to try to fill in my dash and fight as hard as I can to get the Medicare guidelines on CGMs changed.