Friday, November 5, 2010

In the family

Today's Prompt: “Friends & Family Friday” – Research shows that diabetes has a genetic component: Who in your family or circle of friends has diabetes?

Current Bloodsugar: 74...perfect before dinner number!  Some folks would consider this to be low, but this a perfect number for me since I am getting ready to sit down and eat.  This number is like winning the lottery!

My diagnosis was a complete shock to me and all of my family.  Of course any diagnosis of a chronic disease can be a shock, but mine was so out of left field no one knew what to think or feel.  I was healthy, active and had no signs of diabetes.  Type I is often a surprise since it can have such a quick onset.  My blood sugar was perfect in Jan and then sometime between March and June that year my immune system turned on my pancreas and attacked my insulin producing cells.  My time had come in the game of genetic roulette. 

Not only was I one of those few cases of Type I with an adult onset (generally Type I has a childhood onset) but no one else in my entire family has diabetes.  No aunts or uncles, cousins, parents, siblings.  No one has Type 1.  There are some "word-of mouth" reports that some great-great-uncles had complications that indicated they may have been Type I...loss of eyesight, limbs, etc.  My grandfather had a bout of high blood sugars later in life following kidney failure.  I guess he was considered Type II but following a short period of diet and exercise control he never had elevated blood sugars again. 

All in all, reports of diabetes are extremely rare in my family.  However, there are enough to warrant the genetic component of my disease.  My hubby's grandfather has non-obesity related Type II.  Obviously this has no impact on my onset, but he too is a rare case in their family.

I am a lone leaf on my family tree.  A rare case if genetics gone awry.  I have to admit that sometimes it's a little lonely out here on my branch.  I have a wonderful family and great friends who offer all the support I need.  But the reality of this disease is that unless you have diabetes and deal with it every day, you can never truly understand what it takes to manage it.  I would never wish this on any of my family or friends or even my worst enemy, but some days I long for the camaraderie of having a family member or friend who knows exactly what I am dealing with. 


  1. Your blog is a great way for people to understand the magnitude of Type II diabetes. This blog is well written and illustrated. I know "Brain" (as we call him) is very supportive.

    Anyway, wanted you to know Linda and I read it regularly. Keep it up!

  2. Hey Hugh, thanks for the sweet comment! Thanks for reading!

  3. Hi Melissa! My name is Amber and I am also a Type I diabetic in the Raleigh area. I received your blog information on Diabetes Forecast and saw this blog and had to respond. My diagnosis of Type I is similar to yours. It was a sudden and unexpected diagnosis 7 years ago at age 21. There is no family history of Type I in my family and only one case of Type II. It can be very lonely out there with no one understanding the minute, hourly and daily frustrations of managing this disease. I wanted you to know you are not alone.