Raising awareness for diabetes

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Sometimes, no matter how we live our lives or what we eat, there are certain inheritable diseases we cannot escape.
For me, one of those diseases is diabetes. The ailment is present on the paternal side of my family, and most of my grandfather’s siblings, and he, were afflicted by it.
When my dad was 40, he was diagnosed with diabetes.
Afterward, our diets changed. We began eating more vegetables and less fried foods.
For about 13 years, he controlled his blood sugar levels with prescribed medications and later on, injections of insulin.
Two years ago, we learned his kidneys were failing, which doctors said the diabetes contributed to. The irony of the situation is, the severity of his diabetes has declined.
However, it’s still important for him to check his sugar daily and continue with the insulin injections.
As a result of the kidney dialysis, he must take phosphate binders with every meal to help prevent extra phosphorus from food being absorbed into his bloodstream.
He also suffers from high blood pressure and neuropathy as a result of his diabetic condition.
As I’ve mentioned before, he manages quite well and has the most positive outlook about his situation. Some days are not easy, but he doesn’t let it get him down.
I believe the nurses at the Fresenius Medical Care Center in Diamondhead play a big role in his attitude. He always speaks so highly of them and my nephew has become quite the celebrity among the patients and nurses through Facetime. They are a blessing and I thank God for them every day. They are able to help my dad in ways that I can’t.
This month is Diabetes Awareness Month, but I think about the disease a lot. I try to watch what I eat and exercise daily. I’m not sure if I will be able to prevent the onset of diabetes, given my family history, but I will do my best to delay its onset.
Some of my dad’s 13 brothers and sisters now have diabetes and are learning to manage.
According to www.diabetes.org, there are about 30 million adults and children in the United States suffering from diabetes and another 86 million have prediabetes and at risk for type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is an ugly and terrifying disease. A couple of my family members have had amputations because of the disease. This month, let’s remember all those affected by diabetes and hope for a cure.

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