Happy 2015, what is my resolution… To Live!
I was the last person to see my grandmother in the hospital just before I went to visit my new bride nearly 20 years ago. My grandmother and I spoke about the wedding just two months earlier and her new greatgrandchildren. Unfortunately, less than 24 hours after my flight to where my wife was stationed I got the call that my grandmother had passed. This should have been no surprise to me. I had watched over the past few years as she went in and out of the hospital due to complications from advanced type II diabetes. I saw her pain as she went through dialysis sessions the last year or so. Her loss of lucidity over the last few months as her electrolytes fluctuated. Even more so I should have known since I watched my grandfather, her husband, use insulin as long as I had known him before his death from stomach cancer when I was 7.
Within the last 3 years I found out my father has had type II diabetes since his early twenties after he returned from Vietnam. Unfortunately, he never did take care of himself and it was a surprise when I found this out while sitting at the VA hospital while he was recovering from a mild stroke and possible heart attack. My dad was always a laborer but never exercised. He had his first heart attack at 41 and was forced into retirement by a heart attack in his mid-fifties. Now in his sixties, I am surprised he is still alive seeing what he eats and how inactive he has become.
Now it’s my turn, the 3rd Gen A1C Diabetic. A little over three months ago I was formerly diagnosed as diabetic. I did not freak out; I knew it was coming, my A1C levels had been rising for the past few years. I had started trying to take care of myself earlier in life when I was a teenager and seeing the difficulties of my grandparents. My convictions were reaffirmed when my dad had his first heart attack in my early twenties. Over the next two decades I continued to exercise and try to watch what I ate, but was not too concerned. Then over the last three years I was downsized from three organizations so I was not as worried about my health as I was about impressing my superiors. This led to the increase in my A1C levels and the inevitable diagnoses of diabetes.
This is how I got to here. Yes some of it is genetic, but I also believe I can control my destiny; it is not a forgone conclusion. Diabetes stops here in my family; what I learn on this journey will be shared with my brother, nieces, and my own kids so there is not a 4th generation. And if you choose to follow, it will be shared with you.
Every journey begins with the first step!