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I’ve been impacted by diabetes since the age of eight, when my mother was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Being that young I did not understand at the time what it meant and how it would impact my life growing up.
At first, my mother seemed the same. She was diagnosed with Type 2 and was taking a prescription and we changed our eating habits around the house. There was less of the Little Debbie treats, typical afternoon snacks, and more fruits or veggies. For dinner, instead of having fast food, my mother would try to get home from work in time to cook an actual meal. This lasted until I was 11, when we moved into a new home.
Once our move was complete, old habits started to resurface like eating fast food meals. I was old enough to walk home from school and I was left to decide on my afterschool snack (which was not veggies and fruit!).
One day my mother was home sick from work. When I got home from school the house was strangely quiet and my mother was not in the living room. I called for her and she did not answer. I went through each room and finally opened the door to her bedroom and she wasn’t in bed. I called again and I heard her faint voice calling my name. She was in her bathroom and her blood sugar was too high.
I did not know what to do or what was wrong. I rushed over to her and asked her what was wrong and all she could say was to get her some juice as she was unsure if her blood sugar was too high or too low. I ran to the kitchen and brought her back juice. She drank it and I noticed that she was very pale and her skin was cold and clammy. I asked her if I should call 911 and she said no. She asked me for some peanut butter. The protein in the peanut butter helps stabilize her blood sugar levels. Twenty minutes later color started developing in her face and she began to speak more.
I did not know but my mother had started giving herself insulin injections. Once she could get up and give herself an injection, she was better, minus a headache. I was scared beyond belief and it was only her and I in the house. She sat me down and told me everything and what to do if it ever happened again. I would like to say that was the only time my mother had an episode like that, but it was not.
To me communication is the most important thing when you are diagnosed with any illness. Family is there to support you and help take care of you. I run through what-ifs in my mind still to this day on what could have happened had I not come home on time.
Many years later and after having a child of my own, my mother made the commitment to change her lifestyle so she could watch my son grow up. I am happy to say that she went on a strict low carb/low sugar diet and is living happily watching her grandson grow. She inspired me to also live a healthier lifestyle which I have passed down to my son.
Living with diabetes is hard on the individual that is diagnosed but it is also hard on their loved ones. Small changes can make a huge impact on your health as well as your family’s health. Don’t give up and find something worth changing for!
Presented by: Angie Pesek
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