More than 34 million Americans have diabetes. So imagine your whole family being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Unfortunately, that’s my reality. When I was a child, I heard my grandmother talk about diabetes. It was a casual conversation, but the disease had many effects on his health.
In the 1980s, many people did not manage their diabetes and it was often treated as a “a vulgar little secret.” A lot of people had it, but no one wanted to talk about it. I remember when my grandmother had problems with her foot. It started as a cut.
Unfortunately, she did not monitor her foot injury or go to the doctor to have it checked out. His foot started to turn black and purple, and we had to rush him to the hospital.
We discovered that she suffered from gangrene, which occurs when tissues in your body die after blood loss caused by disease, injury or infection. Unfortunately, the doctor said they had to amputate his foot because it was beyond repair.
My grandmother didn’t want her foot amputated. The doctor said that if she did not have surgery, the infection would spread and could lead to death. She took too long to decide to have her foot amputated and eventually had to have part of her leg amputated. She was never the same after that.
Years later, my mother, sisters, niece, aunts, cousins, father and I were all diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. As a family with type 2 diabetes, we have been through so many of trials and tribulations individually and together.
My mother found out she had diabetes when she felt sick while working one day. She had to go to the ER and they told her her blood sugar was over 400. It was extremely serious because when your blood sugar is that high you go into a coma and you will die.
My mother was devastated and knew she had to turn things around, but it wasn’t easy. She was put on insulin and several other medications to help her start managing her diabetes. As a diabetic, you will have ups and downs. Some days and some weeks you are doing very well, and sometimes you are doing very poorly with managing your diabetes.
Even if she had it, it wasn’t something we talked about regularly at home. It was just a way of life, and she took care of it. My younger sister would then develop diabetes.
I started to feel like this disease was taking us out, one by one. One of the common misconceptions about diabetes is that you get it because you’re fat or you eat too much sugar. Although some of these reasons may increase your chances of getting it, they are not the only reasons a family has diabetes.
Then, when I was pregnant with my son, I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. However, after my son was born, it didn’t go away and I was told I had type 2 diabetes. I was in denial for about 2 years, because I was still waiting for the doctor told me it would go away after my son was born. In my head, it hadn’t happened yet!
It really hit me when my 12 year old niece developed diabetes. It was another devastating blow to our family. That’s when we realized it wasn’t going to go away and we had to act.
After researching diabetes, I found the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and learned a lot about the disease and the huge support network of people who were like me and my family. I took a course on how to manage diabetes and I took training on how to teach others to manage it.
It was so educational because I felt I had support. I knew more about the disease and was now in a space where I was ready to learn, accept and share my journey with diabetes. I started sharing this information with my friends and family. I became an ambassador for the American Diabetes Association. My family, friends and I started doing the 3K and 5K Diabetes Walks because we wanted people to know that they are not alone and that we are all in this together.
Later, I started giving diabetes workshops, speaking at conferences, and developing a TV talk show called The Impact with Robin Dorsey. I often present programs on diabetes. It is part of my family and part of my life. We realized it was hard to do it alone, but with all of us together, we can agree and do it together.
I want you to know that diabetes doesn’t usually go away overnight. But you can live a normal life and overcome the challenges of diabetes by taking the first step to recognizing that you have it, seeking information to help you manage it, and working with your healthcare team to keep you on your toes. the right path.
You won’t always have bad or good days in managing your diabetes. Always remember to take it one day at a time. If your blood sugar is high one day, take a moment, get help, don’t beat yourself up, and get back on track!
You can do it. Start today and choose to live by managing your diabetes.
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