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Friday, February 17, 2012

Diabetes - Learning the Hard Way

My diabetes educational opportunity this week started with a text.
The text gave me a phone number to contact my brother's boss/office supervisor.

My beloved little brother, probably my most favorite person in the world, became very sick this week.

The short version is, his body has been listing toward diabetes for quite a while (I think). And this last weekend, the balance tipped very quickly and he was in a physical crisis that might have killed him if his office-mates hadn't tracked him down when he didn't arrive at work on Monday as usual.

The long version is his story to tell.
The short version, my side of the story, consists mainly of waiting. Waiting for improvement, waiting for doctors, for blood tests and test results, and waiting for my baby brother to become coherent and to come back to us.

He is doing better. He's making jokes and being charming but he's got a ways to go.

We've been talking with dieticians, doctors and nurses while he wasn't able to stay awake long enough to hear much beyond "Hello, my name is....and I'm with....".
I'm reading the pamphlets and jotting down web-sites to visit. I'm plotting books to buy or ways to help going forward.

Today he was sitting up and smiling; eating real food and on fewer IVs and medications.

Today we were able to tag-team the visiting dietician with questions and I took a lot of notes. 
There is so much to learn. 

We started on this path just a few days ago. So much has changed. It seems like a very long time.

The reality that almost came to be is nearly incomprehensible and my eyes fill with tears at the mere thought of a world without my little brother.

But we are blessed that he touches so many lives. That his absence at work was so immediately obvious to so many and pursued.

We are learning the hard way about diabetes.
We are learning about taking care of yourself and eating properly and about the long-term effects of being too ready to deny symptoms. Even obvious symptoms. Too afraid, perhaps?

And learning about the effects of being too polite to say enough to inspire a trip to the doctor before it became an emergency. I see this as my failing.

But - we are learning.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear about your brother as this must have been so frightening for both of you. And three cheers for his workmates who raised the alarm. I look forward to hearing that he's becoming much more stable and this dreadful illness is being 'tamed'. I know it can be devastating for so many people. Good luck to you both!

    1. Thank you, Sally. 'Tis appreciated. More than you know.

  2. I remember seeing my sister in the hospital when she got diabetes at age 8. It still brings tears to my eyes. Good luck and many prayers to you and him. It's a long road, but at least he doesn't have to walk it alone. xoxox

  3. Thank you, Sara. We need all the luck and prayers we can get.
    Thanks for thinking of us! Hugs.