Very Old, Very Healthy Diabetic

...or die trying.
I was diagnosed in 1998 at the age of 33 with NIDDM or Type 2 diabetes. I come from a diabetic clan. I even married a diabetic. Are you on the diabetes road, too?
This is my goal: to become a very old, very healthy diabetic by day to day choices regarding eating, exercise and medical management. Walk along with me...

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My Diabetic Clan

My dad came over last night to pick up his cat and his plants who stayed with us for five weeks while he and his beloved were in Europe and then at a conference. I told Dad about the blog, so he'll be reading it here any minute.

As I said to him, "Since it's a blog about diabetes, I'm going to be writing about my family. A lot."

Dad tries to be very encouraging to me. He's particularly encouraging of anything to do with me writing on a regular basis. So blogging counts.

I'm sure you'll see him post a comment. I'd betcha anything he'll comment. He won't be able to resist. Go ahead, Dad. You can post the comment.

My dad's family is not "as diabetic" as my mom's is, in my mind, mostly because Mom's side outnumbers them greatly and Mom's side organizes reunions where people have a chance to talk about this. Also, perhaps, because women tend to discuss health, but men tend to shy away from health as an appropriate discussion topic.

Dad is the 2nd of three siblings. His younger sister, was, I think the first to get her diagnosis of diabetes, but maybe Pesky was first.

Their father, my grandfather, was diagnosed with diabetes a few years before his death, but at the time of his death, I think that he wasn't on any anti-diabetes meds. He died in his sleep, probably, IMHO, of a heart attack, stroke or sleep apnea, in 1984. This was before every man I know got a CPAP machine. (They all have them; they just don't talk about them.) He once told me that he didn't have diabetes anymore, so I believe that he lost weight and stopped putting honey on everything he ate. For him, that slight improvement in his health, and the higher diagnosis criteria of that era meant that he could say "I don't have diabetes anymore."

My grandmother, despite being overweight for most of her later years, was never diagnosed with diabetes. She had arthritis, lupus, and some sort of dementia. Later she had some additional diagnoses (leukemia?). She died earlier this year, 2006. Due to the dementia, she hadn't really been herself for some years. Her maiden name was O'Mara, so we all claim to be Irish, even though it's been thoroughly diluted.

I think blogging is perfectly suited to the Irish. You can tell your story and be witty and clever and the center of attention. No one interrupts you when you blog. They can add comments, even insults, but they can't really contradict you or shout you down.

The funeral was enjoyable for the chance to see all of my second cousins, although there was limited conversation. (Is it sick to say 'enjoyable' with regards to the funeral? Grandma was so sick for so long, and, due to the dementia, she wasn't the laughing, singing, cooking grandma I remember, not for many years.)

It was nice to see my Dad with his siblings all together. There was some diabetes discussion. There was also a bowl full of M & Ms out on the table "in honor of Mom".

Yes, I ate some, too. Yes, we had stopped at a coffehouse before we got there and I had already eaten a piece of cake. Stress eating. Comfort eating. You've heard of it.


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