My Entire Family Has Diabetes

… except for me.

It started with younger sister, who was diagnosed with Type I diabetes (used to be called “juvenile” diabetes) when she was about 13 years old.  She’s had the symptoms for years — especially the constant thirst for water to dilute all the sugar building up in her bloodstream– but a doctor never caught it because she hadn’t had any bloodwork done, until her early teens.

My other siblings, because of weight issues, skirted with pre-diabetes for years, but now, both in their 30s, my little brother and youngest sister have Type II. 

My parents, now in their 60s, have been diagnosed with Type II diabetes as well.  With my father, I think it’s probably the weight issue.  But with my mother, what with underlying health issues that’s been dogging her since her late 30’s, I think it’s just that her pancreas finally just gave out, just like her bones (osteoporosis) and left kidney (chronic kidney stones).

All of this family medical history would normally make a person afraid for themselves but, as an adopted kid, it’s not relevant to me. Still, since I’m half Filipino, ethnically I can reasonably suppose I would be prone to the same health problems, which is why I’ve been wary of any weight gain (I’m sitting pretty constant at 133 pounds) and any symptoms of diabetes (any unusual thirst, sweetness in breath and/or urine, weird tingling in extremities).  So far, I’ve had none of those things, and my most current bloodwork (done in order to get whole life insurance last year) has me with a clean bill of health.

So my worry isn’t so much for me but for my entire family.  I mean, my ENTIRE IMMEDIATE FAMILY has diabetes.  And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.  Opening up my parents’ kitchen cupboard, the cornucopia of prescription bottles nearly strikes me down — that’s how mind-blowing it is. 

And my two sisters — because of their health problems — are having either issues with infertility or miscarriages. (The latter problem is no surprise in one sister, but the former problem in my other sister I didn’t know about until she and I went out for a late lunch yesterday). In a Filipino family — Asian AND Catholic — this not only hurts my sisters individually but also as children of parents who expected lots and lots of grandchildren.

My family is not healthy, and this knowledge scares me beyond anything.  All I can do is hope they get the medical attention they need and follow their various doctors’ orders.

::fingers crossed::

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This entry was posted in Health and Longevity, LQ POV, SCIENCE & TECH. Bookmark the permalink.

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