Diabetes and Family Bonds

Benjamin Taylor

| Jun 4, 2014

Diabetes is a disease that has affected my family and me even before I was born. This chronic ailment has put my family through some scary times. Times that no one should have to face. Diseases like these affect far too many people of all ages. Seeing a loved one suffer and feeling completely helpless by not being able to take their pain away is the most disheartening experience anyone can go through. Sadly, this is a feeling I know all too well.

It's around nine o' clock on a Friday night and my mother is downstairs watching TV in the kitchen. I am upstairs in my bedroom watching The Longest Yard and my brother Shawn is in his room with his girlfriend. I get a frantic knock on my door and get up so see what it is. My mother is standing by my bathroom right outside of my door asking if I would help her with my dad. I walked down to where my parent's bedroom is and I see my dad lying on the floor trying to crawl to the bathroom. My dad is a brittle diabetic, which means that his blood sugar changes quite irregularly. These large swings in his blood sugar can come at any moment of the day. Just 30 minutes before this, I was in the kitchen with my mother and father watching NCIS and everything was normal.

Even with my dad's insulin pump working 24/7 to try and regulate his blood sugar it is always very sporadic. With the help of my brother and mother, I was able to lift him up into a chair to get him off of the floor. He was drenched in sweat and felt cold to the touch. He had lost all self-control and could not even sit up by himself. I retrieved a blanket to try and combat his state of constant shivering. I had never felt so much discomfort in my life than seeing my 69-year-old father quivering in a blanket like a helpless infant trying to regain his consciousness. The only thing I was able to get out of his mumbled words was, how cold he was and how embarrassing this whole ordeal was.

We managed to get him to sit by a heater to get warm. Twenty minutes later he went to sleep in his bed. The next morning I walked downstairs to get ready to go on a college visit and my father is sitting in his chair, drinking his morning coffee like nothing happened.

The love one family member has for another is an unbreakable bond. No matter how we behave to one another day to day, when times of hardship arrive we have nothing but each other's best interests in mind. Having to deal with such horrific events tests how strong a family is. I know that in the future there will be more nights like this one and that my family and I are prepared to undergo whatever it takes to overcome these struggles.


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Categories: , Blood Sugar, brittle diabetic, diabetes family, insulin pump

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Posted by Anonymous on 5 June 2014

Benjamin, what a thoughtful article. You did a great job. Keep it up. Julie Phillips

Posted by Anonymous on 9 June 2014

This kind of situation also happens to me. I am labeled as a noncompliant diabetic not a brittle diabetic. There is a big difference. Noncompliant means I don't follow Doctors medical advice, blaming me. Brittle means I am trying but it can be out of my control. I have had diabetes for more than 50 years and been on an insulin pump since 1987 when I was pregnant. I am now using a sensor also. What helps me the most is my dog. She alerts me when my blood sugar is falling before I can't help myself!

Posted by Anonymous on 9 June 2014

Ben ... you don't know me but I know your mom well. We went to boarding school together! Your words are beautiful, brave and heartfelt! Family is the most precious thing on earth! Always stay connected! Dana Bullard

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