Living with diabetes blog

Diabetes and family: Share your story

By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N. and Peggy Moreland, R.N. May 26, 2012

Do you or someone in your family have diabetes? Diabetes seems to run in my family — you might say in epidemic proportions.

My mother was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in the days when you had to test your urine for glucose. My sisters and at least one brother have type 2 diabetes, as well. So, I wasn't surprised when I was diagnosed with it a couple of years ago. Since then, I've made a few lifestyle changes, lost weight and now have good control.

We're a military family, and my husband was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes when he was on active duty in Georgia. We also have two boys with type 1 diabetes. When our oldest son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes while serving in the army, I was surprised. There's no family history of type 1 in either of our families.

Then, a few years later, our youngest son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes while he was a student at West Point Military Academy. Our oldest son was medically discharged from the military, but times are changing. Our youngest son was able to graduate from West Point and continues to serve in the military — with some restrictions, as long as he maintains good control.

My older son wanted to be an airline pilot, but instead has used his military training in Russian language to follow a new career direction.

Recently, my 11-year-old nephew was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, as well. He received his diagnosis during the first week of school. He attends a very small school, and pretty much everyone was in a panic. The teachers had never had to deal with a child with diabetes.

My nephew wasn't ready to give his own injections at that point, so my sister made the trip into town every day to give him his insulin. Their local medical provider responded by offering a class that the teachers attended. I also went to visit and helped answer questions that they had. They all made it through the first year! My nephew is now looking forward to diabetes camp this summer and will know that he isn't alone.

Clearly, diabetes runs in my family! But enough about me; we'd love to hear your stories, whether it's you or another family member — or multiple family members — who have diabetes.

How has diabetes impacted you? How are you and your loved ones coping? Do you have good family support? Do you help each other sort through the questions and challenges? What topics or information would you like to see written about in this blog?

Thank you, and have a good week.

Peggy

May 26, 2012