I’m CJ, wife and mom of 3, business owner and a genetic diabetic.
A medical follow up on one condition, resulted in me leaving the doctor’s office as a Type 2 Diabetic. At first glance, you would probably think that I don’t fit the American Diabetes Association guidelines of a Type 2 Diabetic. I’m actually underweight. My diet is alright. I rarely indulge in sweet treats. I’m fairly active- I am a mom of three young kids, maintained a home and two businesses. My overall lifestyle was not bad at all.
However, there is a family history of diabetes that run on both sides of my family. Although my mom does not have it, my dad suffers from Type 2. In fact, my oldest half sibling was diagnosed just a week prior. My diagnosis was due to genetics.
I’ve always knew that Diabetes ran in our family. I was 29 when I’ve started to see the impact of that in my life. I was pregnant with my oldest at the time. I was experiencing a textbook style pregnancy until 28 weeks when the recommended Gestational Diabetes test resulted in a blood sugar level of 269. A Glucose Tolerance test confirmed that I had Gestational Diabetes. The end of my pregnancy was very challenging. Dealing with dietary changes and blood sugar testing and readings was very overwhelming. It was a huge relief once I gave birth to my daughter. From that point on, each pregnancy was considered high risk.
I was required to check blood sugar at various times throughout my other pregnancies. Even though the doctor tried to treat me as a diabetic, my numbers were normal and I did not have Gestational Diabetes during my second pregnancy. Unfortunately, after a change to a new medical facility and doctor, I was once again battling the dreaded Gestational Diabetes again with my last. Unlike my first pregnancy, I ended up having to take medicine to lower my fasting. I was depressed at having to deal with this again and ended up having to seek therapy. In addition, I ended up getting taken off the medicine because my blood sugar levels were getting very low and suffered severe pain and dehydration. Once my last son was born, my blood sugar level was back to normal and that was the end….so I thought.
Almost five years later at age 38, I am trying to adjust to a new normal consisting of medicine, continuous testing and daily blood sugar readings. A more limited diet that I am already on currently. To say that it’s overwhelming is truly an understatement. I’m shocked, sad, and disappointed. After my last pregnancy, I’ve decided to do everything to prevent getting the illness including extended breastfeeding, eating less carbohydrates, stay moderately active, etc. But I am here to tell you that when it comes to genetics, none of it matters- NONE! The interesting thing about illnesses and genetics is that you never know how or when the illness starts to present itself. My oldest sibling and I represent two of four siblings on my dad’s side that have diabetes. As for the others, they may or may not get it. My prayer is that either of them will not. According to the American Diabetes Association, ” Diabetes remains the 7th leading cause of death in the United States in 2015″. I don’t wish this on my worst enemy.
The purpose of the Genetic Diabetic is to empower people to check their family history and to get tested. Currently, over 7 million people have not been diagnosed, meaning that there are millions of people living life who don’t even know that they have Diabetes.
DON’T BE A STATISTIC! I encourage you right now to take the first step, reach out to your family, ask questions about your ancestry. Do your research and then, make an appointment to see your doctor and get tested. Please. Do it for yourself and your family.
Until next time,
The Genetic Diabetic