The Warrior Way
Igrew up hearing about diabetes from family members who had been diagnosed with it. Some relatives described it as “having the sugar.” Others aid it came from eating too much candy and too many desserts.
I knew I would get it because of my family history. My
paternal grandfather and my favorite uncle had it. One of
my aunts was diagnosed with it in her late 50s.
When diabetes came, it arrived with a vengeance. My
husband and I had just approached a rental car booth in
Rapid City, South Dakota, when suddenly I realized that
my mouth had gone absolutely dry.
Extreme thirst, frequent trips to the restroom, and
total exhaustion competed with
the excitement of taking part in
my undergrad college’s annual
homecoming activities and
receiving my school’s Alumni
Special Achievement Award for
empowering women and girls
through my books.
Unbeknownst to me,
throughout the weekend my
blood glucose was creeping
steadily upward. We returned
home to Atlanta, and I was rushed
to the emergency room. Later, the
doctor told me I was lucky I
wasn’t in a coma—or worse.
It took four days for my blood glucose to reach a safe
range and for my vision to clear. Then I received my
diagnosis: type; 2 diabetes. I was 59. Afterward, I hosted
a pity party for one—complete with a party hat. Then I
got busy learning to adjust to my new normal.
Yes, there is such a thing as “having too much
sugar.” What I learned, though, was exactly what that
means for my body. I discovered that diabetes affects
the pancreas and other organs in the body, including
the eyes, heart, nerves, and kidneys. I also learned
that a girl who hates needles can inject herself
without passing out.
I view diabetes as just another challenge to face—
and conquer. Like six weeks of military basic training,
where I was on my hands and knees cleaning the grout
between restroom tiles (with a toothbrush, no less),
diabetes is tough and messy and pretty tiring. But it’s
manageable. You see, warriors ;ght. We also win.
DIABE TES FORECAST® January/February 2017, Vol. 70, No. 1, is a registered trademark of the American Diabetes Association—all rights reserved. DIABE TES FORECAS T (ISSN 0095-8301) is published
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We welcome your Reflections submissions:
CAROL GEE, MA, is a
retired Air Force veteran,
former educator, and
author of Random Notes:
About Life, “Stu;” and
Finally Learning to Exhale
and Gilded Pearls: Vibrant
Thoughts, Tips and
Tidbits For a Full Life.
When she isn’t writing,
she enjoys spending time
with her husband,
traveling, decorating, and
doing cra;s. She lives in
Stone Mountain, Georgia.
I HOSTED A PITY
PARTY FOR ONE;
COMPLETE WITH A PARTY
HAT. THEN I GOT BUSY
LEARNING TO ADJUST TO
MY NEW NORMAL.
;CAROLE GEE, MA
Send mai; to: Diabetes Forecast
2451 Crystal Drive, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22202
E-mai; us: firstname.lastname@example.org