Saturday, April 08, 2006

Family Ties

Age, environment, viruses, genetics. All important triggers, in type 1 diabetes.

Still, if you don't have a family history of it, you wonder. What REALLY pushed things over the edge?
I was raised on the healthiest of diets. Farm girl- went to the doc extremily rarely, blah blah blah. When I got diabetes, I knew I couldn’t have gotten it from eating too much sugar ( that was eaten extremily rarely, anyway).
Sitting in the ICU room (at diagnosis) they asked if there was any family history of diabetes. I had no clue, I looked at my mom, and she said yes.
Two cousins, one diagnosed at 11, one at 17. None of them too keen on the concept of pumping, apparently. Another cousin passed away of DKA, in 1963. (At age 11)
And then there’s my cousin’s wife. Every complication in the book. Shortly after diagnosis, my mom took me to see her( to put the urge for good control in my heart) in the hospital. It hardly worked, I was as uncomfortable as anything (and just wanted to get out of there). Now, I hope I am more approachable(then I was then), I know it wasn’t all “her fault” for all the complications she sustained. I feel bad for her.
Nothing on my dad’s side. (other then one or two type 2's) Type 1, seems to be the maternal "touch" in our family tree. Every single case seems to have been inherited from the maternal side.
My one cousin(married, no kids) is in unbelievably great control. If ever there was a “poster child” for a perfect D pregnancy, she is it. (I haven’t seen her in years, she lives in CA) Sometimes I wonder- are my chances of having a kid with diabetes considerably higher then 4%? I wish my cousin would have some healthy kids, it would make me feel better about my (future-kids will still be a longggggg time off) chances. Having diabetes yourself is easier then your child having it. (My hats off to you moms and dads, I would be a nutcase) I’d have to rewire my thinking- start being very responsible about diabetes care!
But maybe T.C. (aka Thomas Crapper- the guy who got rich off the water toilet) had a premonition that one day, one of his relations would get diabetes and need one. Yes, on my dad’s side I am related to him. T.C. had no kids, thus no descendants. It goes to show- you can’t pick your relatives!(Especially those of such notorious, embarressing fame) I just wonder how many other type 1's were in the family tree, and died from diabetes.
I am glad to have diabetes in the 21st century (vs the 19th-20th) - and have the tools necessary to treat/live with it.

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