In the middle of the nights, I would wake up startled by rattling and jingling noises coming from the kitchen. Curious to see what is all the commotion, in the back of my mind I would already have a clue to what it could be. As I walked towards the dimmed lights I can see my grandmother in the kitchen fiddling around in the refrigerator. My stomach began to tumble and my teeth would chatter at the thought of her looking for her midnight dessert that she had stashed behind the cranberry juice, because my breath and sticky hands were covered in evidence. Nevertheless, she was not allowed to have sweets anyways. So I had done her a favor, at least, that is what the doctor would have said.
My grandmother was a stubborn woman. At her doctor appointments, she would always make a face to the doctors, or when they were speaking to her she would have looked the other way or silence her hearing aid once they were not looking. As I was ready to jump out and admit to the sweet sin I have committed, she was already out of the fridge. I was puzzled by what she was carrying to the table. It was a very small bottle in her one hand and a needle in the other.
I was only nine-years-old and I was not aware of any diseases, symptoms, or disorder at the time. After that first night seeing my grandmother with that small glass bottle full of some sort of liquid and needle, I began to see her with those same items every night. I studied her procedure. One, she would fill the needle with the clear liquid from the small glass bottle until it had reached to a certain number in the needle. Next, she would bring the needle close to her face to make sure it was filled correctly, last, she would then poke the needle into her stomach. My eyes popped, I got teary because I didn’t understand what I just saw, so I ran back to my bed.
To my grandmother it was nothing to make a mark on her stomach but to me it was a mark that I was curious to know the purpose for it. Instead of going to bed, I woke up my mother in tears shaking. I asked her; why would Ata put a needle in her stomach? My mom lay there for a moment before she got up to explain why.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder characterized by insufficient insulin action—the insulin was the clear liquid in the tiny glass that my grandmother put inside of her stomach. I learned that there are two type of diabetes. Type 1 is an autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. Type 2 is a result of the body’s inability to make enough, or to properly use insulin. With type 2 you must take an insulin injection. Most people would stick themselves with the insulin in his or her stomach, arm, or thigh.
When I was 14, a few weeks after my grandmother died (a week after my birthday), my mother and I found out that she too had diabetes. Come to find out, majority of my family has had or still have diabetes. It is hereditary. Seeing both my mother and grandmother sick would have me lose my appetite, and energy to do any of my school activities, to do anything at all. Throughout the days, my eyes would feel like it is burning, my clothes would look dull and pale, and my face would be swollen. Because the idea of losing my mother made me terrified. At first my mother was type 1, but because she was not taking care of herself, by stop working out, and following her diabetic diet, she became more ill. She had to constantly be admitted in and out of the hospital up until her passing away (a week after her 45th birthday).
Before, I wanted to find out more about diabetes in order to help my mother get better, especially since I couldn’t help my grandmother. I did not want to see my mother go through the same illness my grandmother went through. But I did, and she experienced worst! My mother had her ups and downs with her health. But to be honest her doctors nor the hospital had really helped her get better. Giving someone multiple medications will NOT help them!
Diabetes is a very serious disease that needs to be taken care of. Now, after losing both my grandmother and mother, I want to make sure I do not put myself on the same route like them. From what I experienced from both my grandmother and mother, they would feel excoriating pains that would make them feel out of breath, numb in either the arms or legs, continuously being nauseous, and dizzy. Countless of times seeing them cry, countless of times hearing them say they were tired. If I could turned back the hands of time, I would and educate us all!
Diabetes is known to be the sixth cause of death in America and the fifth leading cause of death from diseases. Each year, about 200,000 deaths are reported that is caused by diabetes. I refused for my mother to become a part of that statistic but she did. So now, I have to make sure I am not going to be a part of that statistic! As of now, I am pre-diabetic as of June 2016. When I did my annual checkup June 2017, I was still pre-diabetic but my doctor said that my health was improving. My mission is to continue to get better, to live pass 45 and 61. I know they would want me to.
I refuse to be drained by 4pm. I refuse to stay stuck in my bed. I refuse to mumble words. I refuse to walk slowly. I refuse to and sleep majority of the day but not at night. I refuse to spend most of my time at doctor visits just to be prescribed another medication that WILL affect me! It is known that 40-60 percent of the medical cost in Latin families comes out of pocket. I want to and will live for both my grandmother and mother, because they had raised a strong woman. I will be have [DIE]abetes!!