I’m not a man who owns or wears a lot of jewelry. I suppose I probably get that from my father, who wears a gold wedding band, but never a watch or a bracelet or a necklace. Over the last few years I’ve collected a few watches, because I like wearing a watch and my wife likes buying me little presents, but even those are usually stainless steel or titanium. My wedding ring is tungsten carbide. I have a handful of cufflinks (also presents from my wife) and a tie clip that I never wear, but I think they’re also steel.

But today I got my first piece of precious metal jewelry:

Judah Nielsen – Type II Diabetes

It’s a medical ID. A little over two months ago I took a trip to the emergency room with sweating and heart palpitations, which the doctors said was due to dehydration, and while I was there my bloodwork revealed that I have diabetes. It wasn’t a huge surprise. I’ve always been heavy and my family is full of the stuff. My father has known he was diabetic for 15 years at least, and he suspects he was diabetic long before he was diagnosed. But frankly, I never had any of the symptoms, and as stupid as it is in retrospect, as long as I was healthy, I never got too worried about my weight.

But here I am, diabetic until I die. I hope that’s a long time in the future, and so far I’m managing it fairly well, losing weight, testing my blood sugar, taking classes, but if I slip up some day, and go into hypoglycemic shock and lose consciousness, this little necklace is going to tell whoever finds me that I have trouble with my sugars, and hopefully set them on the right track. So now I wear a little silver.

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