I have lived in the Falls since 1968. My great-great grandfather was one of the village founders. I have served the community in multiple ways: Firefighter, various boards and commissions and for many years was president of the Falls Cable Access Corp. Currently I own, and am active in, a restaurant equipment manufacturing company.
It is nearly two years since my doctor notified me that something irregular showed up during my yearly tune-up. Indeed, it was indeed irregular and was something that I was worried about for the past twenty years or so. The dreaded diabetes has shown up once again in my family.
My grandmother, her children, and now I have been stricken. In grandma's case it was fatal. In the 1930's very little was known about the disease and the most appropriate treatment was bed rest. How horribly wrong! My grandmother died suffering from all the known progressions of this malady. My family members tried their best to help, but eventually there was nothing but bedsores and a steady decline.
My father was a bit luckier. Insulin was available. His doctor had earlier told him that he was pre-diabetic. Doc was probably trying to soften the news, but he should have been more forthright. Dad had a full-blown case but didn't believe it. So, he blithely chose to eat anything he wished believing that he was on the right side of the line. Eventually dad developed neuropathy and vision problems common with the disease.
I am unbelievably fortunate. Not only is diabetes more fully understood, but there are inexpensive drugs available for control. Testing technology allows me to check my blood sugar levels at will so that I can be in total control. I follow my doctor's orders, test regularly and eat a healthy diet. So far so good.
Today I strayed. Our family got together last evening and the dessert of choice was s'mores. I had two. Knowing that this was a possibility I cut down on carb consumption at lunch. If my testing results are a bit off kilter tomorrow, I'll adjust food intake even further until I'm on track again. I'm really lucky to be living in this marvelous age. And, if I keep my wits about me, the ravages of diabetes will never strike me the way it did to my ancestors.
Diabetes be damned!
For information about diabetes prevention check out www.diabetes.org