My grandmother had Type 2 diabetes. At the time I was young and she always referred to it as “a little sugar”. I didn’t truly understand it.
I met my husband and was introduced to his family. His father was a brilliant man. He had achieved his Master’s degree and at the time taught classes at the Community college because it “fills my days”. He was retired Air Force and had served 4 tours in Vietnam. My husband was born in Japan. This wonderful man was also diabetic. What they used to called “Brittle Diabetic” because no matter what they did, or how they changed his diet or testing his blood sugar or injected the insulin, they couldn’t ever get it completely under control.
Neurapathy is common in diabetics. That’s why Drs tell them to always wear shoes and inspect their feet. It’s very common for a diabetic to step on something and get a cut and never feel it. Then it gets infected and they risk loosing the foot. My FIL’s neurapathy affected the nerves around his heart. He had several heart attacks an never felt the pain and had no idea he was having them. He also suffered from “mini-strokes”. They finally put him on a nitro-patch since he couldn’t feel the pain and so he couldn’t give himself a nitro tablet.
There were a few years where the Drs said “this is is, call all the family together to say good bye”. But, Larry was a strong man, and if he had unfinished business to tend to he wasn’t;t going anywhere. He always pulled through. That was until Nov 1998. He finally finished tieing the loose ends. He was ready. He told every one he didn’t want to die in a hospital. They arranged for him to go home and have Hospice care until the end. Hospice was schedule to come out for their first visit the morning after he came home. He didn’t make it the night. He died peacefully, in his home.

Shortly after that, my own father was diagnosed with Type 2. He thought the Drs were “quacks” and didn’t know what they were talking about. He refused to take his meds or regulate his diet. One day he got an ingrown toenail. It got infected and the infection wouldn’t go away regardless of the anti-biotics he was put on. The Drs finally told him if they didn’t take his toe, he could easily loose his whole foot.
Shortly after loosing that big toe, he lost the other one due to similar circumstances. It took him loosing two toes to realize that maybe the Drs did know what they were talking about.
He has since started taking better are of himself, but the toll it’s taken on his body already is visible. His eyes get infections all the time and he risks loosing his sight.

Statistics say that 1 out of every 3 kids born will develop diabetes in their lifetime. My kids are at an even higher risk due to their bloodline.

It’s because of those close to me. The ones I’ve lost and they ones I can never imagine loosing, that I have signed up to do the Tour de Cure this year. It’s a 100 mile bike ride to raise money for diabetes research. I think about the strides that have been made just in the past 8 yrs and how they could have benefited my FIL had they only been around then. I want today’s children to have a chance to live normal, active lives with diabetes. Or better yet, to find a cure all together.

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