This is an associate’s sad story of her childhood following her father’s diagnosis of diabetes, which I shall reproduce here in her own words.
I remember the day when I learned that my dad had diabetes. I never truly understood what it meant but I knew it was something bad. I was 12 years old.
Every Sunday, my family always makes it a point to bond and have fun together. After going to church, my father would always brings us to the beach where he would teach us how to swim. It’s only a kilometer away from where we lived, so sometimes we would just jog or hike there. Along the way, he would tell us stories about his childhood and how he survived a hard life as a teenager, because his father died too soon. He worked his way up to get a good job as a sales manager and he was proud of it. We always have fun. My father provides us with everything. His dreams for us were always big and ambitious. Often he talks about how he wanted to give us a better life; to send all of us to school and college to finish a degree. That is why he works so hard to make ends meet. A large family of 6 children like us certainly needs a family man who not only cares but works hard as well. I can see my father working day and night not minding the stress and pressure just to support and feed his large family. He has always been an energetic man, with so much compassion for his work and his family. But that was before diabetes set in.
Slowly, I saw changes in my father’s behavior. Not that he became less of a loving father or a good provider. But his energy slowly waned. I would find him home and in bed sleeping the whole afternoon. He didn’t move as much or go to the beach with us on Sundays. He didn’t have the same energy he used to have before the disease and he seemed to be always tired and easily get fatigued. Most often he argued with my mom about his diet. He became irritated when my mom reprimanded him about not sticking to his meal plan. His numb feet kept him from making long walks or hiking with us. My sister and I massaged his aching feet every night. He became very conscious of not hurting or cutting himself. He was always hungry and thirsty and soon his vision became blurred.
One day he had an accident trying to save me and his right leg was injured. I saw a devastated look on my father’s face. The wound never healed and soon enough the doctor broke the worst news I had in my whole life. When gangrene set in, the whole infected area became black and smelly. It was not a good sight, and for my father, it meant gathering up all his courage and facing the worst possible consequence.. AMPUTATION.
He looked so weak but I saw courage in his eyes. He was ready for the operation. After long, agonizing hours of waiting, he was out from the operating room and into the recovery room. Hours later we saw him get up a smile with a teary eye.
For eight years he suffered but without complaint. He was getting around with one leg. He still managed to provide for us and his spirit to go on ,despite the disability was astounding. He became more spiritual than he used to be. Then his left leg started to develop sores; his blood sugar level soared up. Then the sores became ulcers and they never healed and soon a second amputation. He then became weary and emotional. Not a word does he speak that doesn’t bring tears to his eyes, when he talks about his life. We would gather around him and cheer him up. Everyone in the family cared for him. We would take turns in preparing his food and attending to his needs. My mom carried the greatest burden of emotional pain because every day she saw the man whom she dearly loved, in agony because of a disease that has taken not only his limbs but his pride as well.
Over the years my father developed heart disease and high blood pressure among other things and two years after his second amputation, he succumbed to death because of complications.
My father died at the age of 55. His example of courage and love has been our guide in following our own paths in life. Diabetes had taken so much from him. Years where he could have done so much if only he hadn’t acquired the disease. Now, everyone in the family is making a very conscious effort to stay away from this dreadful disease. Diabetes with not take any one of us again.
Your Independent guide to Diabetics