When someone you know with diabetes dies, how do you handle it?

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2015-05-20 20:51:10 -0500
Started 2015-02-22 20:09:54 -0600

I know this is pretty dark topic. And a hard one to write about with my usual upbeat message. But recently, clients have told me about the loss of a friend or family member – or someone they read about – who was living with the same condition, or a similar one, and how the news was affecting them. I have also been in touch with members here on the site who have been through this experience. And we have lost members over the years.

Clearly some conditions are more life-threatening than others. Many conditions, like diabetes, can be controlled by staying compliant with medications and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. (And yes, not everybody does that.) For other conditions, the outcome is not so certain, but many are recovering with treatments currently available. And then, some conditions may cause discomfort or pain, and progress over time.

The possibility also exists of being diagnosed with multiple conditions, which can leave someone that much more vulnerable to further illness. And some people respond more favorably to the medications than others do, and the treatments themselves can leave them susceptible to additional diagnoses.

What I am saying is that there are many reasons why someone might die of – or with – a diagnosis you share. And at the time you learn of their death, the reasons may not be so clear, if they will ever be. Or the cause of death may be very clear.

Either way, that can be a lot to have to sit with.

So where does that leave you if have learned of someone dying from the same condition that you are living with?

I recently posted an article on this topic. Here’s a link:

http://www.diabeticconnect.com/diabetes-infor...

And while I know this is a hard subject to talk about, I am wondering if it is something you have had to deal with. And if so, how did you do it? Any advice to share? Need some support?

Really looking forward to hearing from you!


100 replies

Lindalee68
Lindalee68 2015-05-13 15:54:19 -0500 Report

I am not sure how I will handle it. My sister (9 years my senior) is on the pump, has had several heart attacks and is in fourth stage kidney failure. I think she has given up. Almost daily she eats sweets like pie, cake, doughnuts, cookies or candy. She must go over 250 lbs. I know she is very poorly. I am surprised she lived through this past winter. I know I never want to go there. We come from a very poor family medical history. I think all I can do is follow the doctor's advice. I am very interested in what others have to say.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-05-20 20:51:10 -0500 Report

Hi Lindalee, nice to meet you! Thanks for checking in. Wow, it is really sad to have to watch a loved one make bad choices. We can offer encouragement and even tough love, but we can't force them to take better care of themselves. I hope you are taking good care of yourself. That much you do have control over. Stay in touch with us!

BrownSweetness
BrownSweetness 2015-03-25 15:49:02 -0500 Report

My best friend died from complications from diabetes! I heard from her family members that she wasn't very compliant with her diet and when her kidneys failed she didn't want any treatments. So the invite able happened! All I could do was to visit her and rub her legs and feet and make her as comfortable as I could. I miss her dearly every day! I had known her since I was twelve years old! She would have been 57 years old June 29th 2010
She died January 29th 2010. Exactly six months before her birthday!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-05-20 20:48:14 -0500 Report

HI BrownSweetness, sorry I didn't see your post sooner. And very sorry to hear about your friend. Such a tragedy. It is always so sad to have to watch people we care about not take care of themselves. That is such a helpless feeling. But it sounds like you were really there for her.

rhett t
rhett t 2015-03-05 14:45:25 -0600 Report

I am so sorry that you are going through this. it is a very hard on someone with diabetes. I'm going through something similar. I got a cousin that drying with pancreadtic cancer and they had to move her yesterday in to the hospice hospital at emory in Atlanta Ga.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-03-05 21:36:48 -0600 Report

Hi Rhett, nice to meet you. Thanks for checking in. I am sorry to hear about your cousin. It's hard to see someone you care about in this condition. I hope you are taking good care of yourself. Keep us posted on how you're doing.

TsalagiLenape
TsalagiLenape 2015-02-28 16:37:44 -0600 Report

I had only the one friend who died who had Diabetes. I blessed her and prayed for her. But it twas her choice of what she ate and etc. Now its a good possibility that I may be facing a decision that A) I can be paralyzed from the neck down or B) I can die. Just depends on the doctor(S) skill and success rate with this kind of surgery. Bless all of you Hugs

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-28 22:43:58 -0600 Report

HI! So sorry to hear you are faced with this decision! I am concerned about you. I hope you will keep us posted on how you're doing. You are not alone!

TsalagiLenape
TsalagiLenape 2015-03-06 12:46:02 -0600 Report

Hi Dr. Gary I have severe spinal stenosis of the 2nd vertebrae of my neck aka cervical. My appointment has been changed to the 13th of the month instead of the 20th. Very scared since I wasn't supplied any knowledge from the doctor(s). I have done my own research thus far. Any info you have please send it to me via a message ok? Hugs and Thank you again

Grammie R
Grammie R 2015-02-27 21:58:48 -0600 Report

I have lost friends to diabetes and it's complications. Many were just plain non-compliant, rebellious or refused to believe or understand their condition. When people complain to me about having to take so many pills or shots or limited their diets, my response is that we are so very lucky to live during a time when medications and treatments exist! Not long ago, diabetes was a death sentence. Instead of dwelling on the problems of this condition, I feel blessed to live when insulin and oral medications can help me to live my life.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-28 22:42:22 -0600 Report

Hey Grammie R, nice to see you. You have a great attitude. There is a lot you can do to control diabetes, you just have to do the work. As you know so well. It's always sad when people don't want to take that responsibility. You're right, it is no longer a death sentence. Having the ability to keep it under control is a blessing!

Gavia
Gavia 2015-02-26 16:51:02 -0600 Report

My favorite aunt died last summer after a long battle with Parkinsons, and my younger sister was diagnosed with Parkinsons shortly after our aunt's death. So, when I saw my PCP in January, I had a frank conversation with her about the chances I might develop Parkinsons, what symptoms I had to watch for and what the current treatments are so that I can discuss this with my family. My PCP was a great help and made me feel that I was being proactive in my approach. Plus she was glad I told her so that she could add that info to my chart. I guess the lesson from this is that if the person is related to you, and you have the same disease/condition (or might develop it), you should probably talk with your healthcare provider. You'll get reassurance and maybe a needed kick in the pants to get yourself back on track re: exercise, counting carbs, etc.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-27 15:26:39 -0600 Report

Gavia, this is excellent! Thanks a lot for checking in and sharing this advice with us. A very good point. If you a family history of a certain condition, Then take the time to learn about it and see if you need to be monitoring yourself, or changing up your self-care in some way. Better to know than not to know. Proactive is a good thing!

RebDee
RebDee 2015-02-25 13:51:08 -0600 Report

I am feeling blue today. My 87 year old friend, Pearl, died yesterday. She had diabetes and high blood pressure but she also had cancer all over her body and has been dying for about a month. When I saw her two weeks ago, she looked great and ate the cupcake that I brought her immediately. She had stopped eating so I was happy that my birthday cupcake (for her birthday) made her happy and hungry. But now we are getting ready for her funeral. So I am sad.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-25 17:56:51 -0600 Report

Hi RebDee, I am sorry to hear this. It's so hard to say good-bye to a close friend. What a nice memory you have, a simple act of kindness that meant a lot to her. A nice memory to comfort yourself with during this sad time, knowing the comfort that you gave her. Take good care of yourself, my friend.

MaltesePiper2014
MaltesePiper2014 2015-02-25 02:36:45 -0600 Report

I met my real father when I was 25 years old. At that time he did not have diabetes. We got to know each other some, but for 2 years we didn't speak. I needed my dad in my life, so I called him and I grew to love him and eventually call him, Dad. One day my husband came home from work about 2 hours after he left to go to work. My dad passed away in his sleep. My dad had become a type 2 diabetic. I didn't know much about diabetes at all. His wife told us later that he was supposed to start kidney dialysis after Christmas. I had no idea it was that bad. He passed away on December 20, 2001. I was diagnosed about 10 years ago and my fear is dying from Diabetes.

grantville
grantville 2015-02-28 12:53:15 -0600 Report

Follow what your doctor tells you and anything on eating! You can live with this disease, I've had it for 47 years!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-25 17:51:41 -0600 Report

Hi MaltesePiper, nice to see you. Wow, that is quite a story. I am glad to hear you reconnected with your father. That's great. It says a lot about you that you made the effort to reconnect. I hope you are taking really good care of yourself, taking things one day at a time. That's where you do have control. Stay in touch with us! Let us know how you are dong!

MaltesePiper2014
MaltesePiper2014 2015-02-25 18:58:15 -0600 Report

Thank you Dr. Gary. Every day is such a struggle for me. When it comes to nutrition, I'm just lost. I feel lost with this disease. I've been sick since the day I was born, but it wasn't diabetes. After 16 years of being deathly sick and a lot of reconstruction surgeries, they finally got my birth defects right. However, I had kidney disease as a child. By the time I was 25, my life time Urologist said that he had never seen my kidneys look so good. It all reversed itself. But I have suffered a lot of other physical sickness and now Diabetes. I had one sibling, my older brother, he killed himself. The only husband I ever had, killed himself too. I found him hanging 4 years next month. When my husband was 8 years old, he found his momma dead in the car, in the garage. When I lost my husband, I lost everything. Two years later I got Widows Disability Social Security. I've been living on my own for 2 years next month. I think all this stress in my life is part of why my BG levels are always high. I'm scared that stress and diabetes will kill me. I'm not like my brother or my husband, I want to live!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-28 22:39:51 -0600 Report

Hi Maltese Piper, I really appreciate that you followed up and told what your life has been like. You have really dealt with a lot. Are you getting any help with your stress? I am wondering if you might want to consider some counseling. A counselor could help you to sort out your feelings and learn some new coping skills. This could help a lot! You might also look into support groups in your area. We all need to have people around us. I hope you are getting support. You are not alone! Keep us posted, okay?

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-28 22:39:38 -0600 Report

Hi Maltese Piper, I really appreciate that you followed up and told what your life has been like. You have really dealt with a lot. Are you getting any help with your stress? I am wondering if you might want to consider some counseling. A counselor could help you to sort out your feelings and learn some new coping skills. This could help a lot! You might also look into support groups in your area. We all need to have people around us. I hope you are getting support. You are not alone! Keep us posted, okay?

MaltesePiper2014
MaltesePiper2014 2015-03-01 17:50:37 -0600 Report

Thank you, but I am alone… well, I have my dog and I have the Lord, but even then, I'm alone. I never knew it would be so hard to live like I am. I have a lot of meds that I take but I've ran out of 7 of them now. I'm about to run out of 3 more, including my insulin. Please don't get me wrong, I do NOT want any pity or sympathy from anyone. I didn't chose to live like this. I do know that things could be a lot worse and they have been before in my life. I also know there are a lot of people out there who are much worse off than I am. So, I just live day to day and I stick to myself and don't bother anyone.

RebDee
RebDee 2015-03-02 19:42:53 -0600 Report

Maltese Piper: I don't know where you live or if, like in California, they have Medi-Cal, which is extra money to help pay for medical needs especially medications. Contact your state government to find out if you could get help to get your medicaitons. Also contact your doctor to see if you could really cut down on so many meds.

Pegsy
Pegsy 2015-02-24 17:56:27 -0600 Report

There has been a great deal of death in our family during the past 4 years. First, two of my aunts, then my father-in-law, then my mother, then my mother-in-law. Now my step-mother is terminal with lung cancer and my dad is battling bladder cancer. For me, death is death. The cause doesn't seem to matter much when you are losing someone you love. I hate to see anyone suffer and I am grateful for the wonderful, caring people who provide hospice care. No matter what the people in my life die from, it always causes me to consider my own mortality. I'm going to die from something. Does it matter all that much, what it is? I just do my best to protect my health as well as I can and accept that I don't really have any more control than that.

MaltesePiper2014
MaltesePiper2014 2015-02-25 19:02:34 -0600 Report

Hi Pegsy, I'm so sorry for all your losses. All I can say, is that I do know how it feels to lose so many of your family. I've lost nearly all of mine. Sherrydawn

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-25 17:32:41 -0600 Report

Hey Pegsy! I am sorry to hear you have had so many losses, so close together. It's a reminder of how important it is to live your life the best way you can. Because at some point it ends. Also a reminder to enjoy the people in your life. You're so right, we don't have control over much beyond that. I also appreciate the people who provide hospice care. They are angels. I hope you are getting a lot of support right now! My thoughts are with you.

RebDee
RebDee 2015-02-25 18:59:22 -0600 Report

I totally agree with both Pegsy and Dr. Gary about death. You can't stop it but if you are good and follow your health plan, you might slow it down. I am planning for the future so I am following my diet plan, doing my exercises, and trying my best to keep my labs in the right range. There is not more that I can do. Except make new friends, enjoy life while I am here to live it, be a good friend, be active, love my neighbors, family and friends as I love myself (I find it harder to love myself than it is to love everyone else). Keep smiling, keep laughing, keep loving.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-28 22:48:09 -0600 Report

RebDee, slow it down is a really good way to stay it. Let's all do everything we can to stay as healthy as possible. That much we have control over. And those are some wise words to live by. Thank you.

Stuart1966
Stuart1966 2015-02-24 13:16:33 -0600 Report

I have never had the privilege of knowing a diabetic peer personally-intimately who has died directly from diabetes. None whom I have known face to face, though several who were definite cyber acquaintances… have died.

With respect, this is the entire crux of diabetes, how we live, how we die. There is noting "dark" about that, but it is a scary truth for very many I believe. That is the unfortunate part.

Death is 100% certain.

How, when, why are different questions, intertwined. Diabetes will someday kill me. To what degree it is the "smoking gun", I cannot say. But, there is no doubt of any kind I will die with absolute certainty. How we live matters, the manner we die important.

We must all of us find the answers we require, today, tomorrow if we die… what happens? Questions of philosophy/belief follow. I am not "religious". Death does not frighten me, (sic. that I am aware of) I have been dead several times.

I am sorry for the loss of you friend Dr. Gary. Can we help in some way?

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-25 17:24:39 -0600 Report

Hi Stuart! That is a very good point. What matters is how we live, taking good care of ourselves, showing love and compassion to the people we care about. And thank you! In my work, I see a lot of sad situations, including clients who don't make it. And not often but occasionally I make friends with people on these sites who don't make it. It is a reminder of what you said in your post, death is 100% certain. And again, also reminded of what's important, as you said. I appreciate your wisdom here.

haoleboy
haoleboy 2015-02-24 14:52:36 -0600 Report

when I was diagnosed with diabetes my doctor said … 'well, now you know how you are going to die'.
though it was strange at the time … but later came to realize that barring an accident, he was probably right.

MaltesePiper2014
MaltesePiper2014 2015-02-25 19:13:09 -0600 Report

I'm sorry, and I have the up most respect for Doctors, but I don't think any Doctor should speak to his/her patients. I'd send you a hug, but I'm new here and I've not figured out how to do it.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-25 17:17:59 -0600 Report

Wow, haoleboy. That was quite a straightforward comment from your doctor. No mincing words in his office!

haoleboy
haoleboy 2015-02-25 18:23:21 -0600 Report

yup … he was an "older" doctor that pretty much said what was on his mind. I really appreciated his candor. He is the one that challenged me to get my weight down to "185, but 175 would be better" one day when I am back in Chico I should walk into his office and weigh in at my new sleeker … 165 ( I was 240 last I saw him)

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-28 22:53:41 -0600 Report

Wow, congratulations to you on that weight loss. Excellent! And I guess your doctor had his own way of motivating you.

Nick1962
Nick1962 2015-02-23 18:35:31 -0600 Report

The deaths of those with diabetic contribution haven’t really been that close to me until recently. Most often, it was just a secondary condition, except for one dear friend who lost her close uncle (I’d only met once) after surgical complications and infections from removing his leg.

I have several “non-compliant” diabetic friends though to whom it hit home hard last month. A close friend’s brother in law (of whom I had other family contacts) saw it fit to take his own life after finding out due to his uncontrolled condition he could no longer pass the certifications and physicals for his 25-year career. Normally a very upbeat guy, with never a hint that any such thing would exist in his head. We’re working through it, but it’s going to be tough.

MaltesePiper2014
MaltesePiper2014 2015-03-01 18:05:36 -0600 Report

Hi Nick, I'm sorry to hear this. Suicide is a terrible tragedy! I lost my only sibling, my older brother and the only husband that I ever had to suicide. I think the ones who leave us like that cannot see beyond what's right in front of them. They think there is no future for them. They will say little things that we don't notice, until after they are gone. Some will call you and come right out and tell you that they are going to commit suicide. I've had a couple of high school friends that have took their own life. I also had a friend that I went to high school with that was a diabetic. She didn't take any meds and ate what she wanted. Everyone knew she was a diabetic. Her husband came home from work one day and found her in the bed. She passed away from Diabetes. I sometimes wonder if this was a slow suicide.

Nick1962
Nick1962 2015-03-02 08:28:24 -0600 Report

I guess it’s inevitable that as we age we’re confronted with these tragedies. I’ve never been religious, but am spiritual, and can’t help but think they’re for a greater purpose somehow. Maybe lessons for us to learn – that it was their purpose in life to teach us something, and maybe our passing will do the same for someone else.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-25 12:59:34 -0600 Report

HI NIck, I am so sorry to hear this. A tragedy. It is so sad when someone decides that life feels so hopeless that their best option is to end their life. It leases everyone in their life with so many questions. Sometimes we can look back and recognize the signs, other times we can't. So hard to understand, and to accept. I hope your friend and his family are able to band together in support during this hard time.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2015-02-25 06:24:36 -0600 Report

The unexpected is for me the hardest part of a death like that. My brother was diabetic, but he didn't die from it either. That sudden loss that is hard to make sense of is much tuffer than being with someone. I hope you find the comfort in each other that you need.

Nick1962
Nick1962 2015-02-25 10:10:51 -0600 Report

Thanks. While he wasn’t a close friend, I’ve had beers with and enjoyed his company many times over the years as did so many other folks. He was a friendly, easy going guy who was easy to get to know. That’s the hardest part. No fight, no reaching out to anyone, no forethought into what could have been an opportunity to a new or exciting second chapter of life - just a seemingly selfish act which is so out of his character. He was in reasonably good health, and even if he did nothing, had years to go before any real “suffering” would have taken place. Loss due to an illness or condition we can all deal with, in fact even celebrate in some cases, but none of us expected having to deal with the anger we’re all feeling.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2015-02-25 11:44:37 -0600 Report

I had a high school friend who took her life much later. She was married, successful artist, world traveler and dear friend. What I felt was guilt. She lived in Holland and I in the States, so the distance made it extra hard.

Nick1962
Nick1962 2015-02-25 12:04:45 -0600 Report

Sorry to hear that, I've had a few school friends do the same. Non very close though, thankfully.
We're definitely feeling the guilt also - what did we miss? Did we just not see it?

Gabby
GabbyPA 2015-02-25 13:41:44 -0600 Report

Ultimately, it was her choice as it was his. It was something she struggled with through school, but her life in Holland made that fade. Maybe we all got comfortable and quit looking for those signs we used to? It too, was sudden and sadly tragic.

We can judge them for that choice, but it doesn't change what happened. We are not Omnipotent. So I learned to cherish the time I had with her, and not focus on my hurt, anger or guilt. There were things I saw in hind sight, but that is always 20/20.

Nick1962
Nick1962 2015-02-25 17:46:05 -0600 Report

Yes, in the end it’s always a personal decision. We’re also factoring in the Midwest depression syndrome – if you’re depressed in October, 7 more months of cold won’t improve that. The spiritual person inside me keeps wanting to say his maker called him home somehow, but suggested a less than orthodox route.

handmashed
handmashed 2015-02-23 17:51:00 -0600 Report

i don't know… I think that each person manages loss in a very individual way. I have always felt that death was like a temporal and short absence. We will all be together again. I have seen so many people devastated by loss… tough subject.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-25 12:55:06 -0600 Report

Hi handwashed, I agree. Everybody faces this in their own way, each experience is unique because each person we loose is as well.

nzingha
nzingha 2015-02-23 17:00:58 -0600 Report

I lost my father to diabetes. He had a heart attack at 67. He managed his diabetes to the end but it had already done damage to his kidneys and heart when it was discovered. My cousin who is 55 and has lukema now complicated with diabetes, last week lost 10 toes..it was a hard choice ..either lose her toes or her life. I have become very practical and realistic about death. I note how people who call themselves are so afraid of dying..yet they preach about milk and honey on the other side and everlasting life. I keep asking..'then if life is so sweet there, you should hurry and go'. What's with this wanting to stay and suffer, always praying to be spared and healed?;. So when my time comes I have no plans to be cutting off anything to have a quality of life that's not worth living. No way! And when someone close to me dies, my attitude is to give thanks for having known and been associated with them and for the good they did in my life and others. I tell my children I will never die.. look in the mirror and there I am, I live inside of you…' That's just my take… :)

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-25 12:53:33 -0600 Report

Hey nzingha,

Thanks for checking in and sharing your story. We never know what life might bring, and we never know when life is going to end. Appreciate each day, and appreciate the people who come into our lives. That much we have control over. And yes, hold onto the memories and what you learned from them, that's how they live on.

Gary

rolly123
rolly123 2015-02-23 16:47:48 -0600 Report

I have lost both parents of diabetic problem my mom went on dylsis because her old docter didnt keep track of her kidney! My mom felt that was death sentence and it was she died six months after being on dylsis ! My dad died of kidney failure! My grandparent died complication! I have fear im next i try do my best then do good then take break from diabetes im trrying get back track not easy i eat lots carbs at night sugar r very high in morning! Its hard dealing with it but dont want throw in towel! But carb counting is difficult i had friend helped me she gave up i havent seen my ditian c her next month ! C my parent not give good example hard for me stick with things!

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-24 23:22:17 -0600 Report

Hi rolly! It's been awhile, my friend. Nice to see you. I am glad you shared this. Now I am going to give you a little lecture because I care about you. I hope you will take better care of yourself. I know it is hard to eat right. Carbs and sugar taste so good. But the results aren't good. I hope you will get to dietician, get your diet on track. Stay on top of this and you will stay a lot healthier. Keep us posted on how you're doing!

rolly123
rolly123 2015-02-27 21:48:44 -0600 Report

Thanks for advice my sugar is rising but my fault have new meter and number r in 260 above im on alot insulin 67 units but having hard count carbs have colonascapy monday 2 march very nervous ! Going ditician soon but have one on line any advice on carbs easier way

Jarney
Jarney 2015-02-23 15:50:27 -0600 Report

Yes, I've dealt with the passing of a cousin whose condition was dire because she didn't take care of herself. My maternal grandpa died of it 2 years before I was born and 1 year before my cousin was born. The reality is everyone dies. You either celebrate their life and passing if those are your beliefs but grieving is natural to everyone. It's when children and young adults pass that is the hardest but it's all part of life no matter the cause.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-24 23:18:47 -0600 Report

Jarney, you are being very realistic here. Yes, grief is natural. Grieve, celebrate. No, it's not easy.

Fefe12
Fefe12 2015-02-23 13:31:03 -0600 Report

I've not lost anyone with the D. I'm not sure how I would handle it. I just pray that I would look at it like I look at all death, a time for reflecting and learning. Ask myself questions like ''what would I do differently'' ''what can I learn from that life'' Then pick up the pieces and move on.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-24 23:16:37 -0600 Report

Hey Fefe, that is the way to deal with a loss. Reflect and learn, and move on. It may take awhile, but it happens in its own time.

MarkS
MarkS 2015-02-23 14:04:47 -0600 Report

I like the way you said it Fefe12. All I'd add is that I give thanks to God for blessing my life with that person.

Gabby
GabbyPA 2015-02-23 12:46:01 -0600 Report

My dad died in 1997 from pancreatic cancer. I guess at the time, I didn't associate it so much with the "D" word as I did the "C" word. All I know is that I was glad to be with him when he died at home with family around him.

I work though grief very openly and talk a lot about the ones I have lost. It keeps them alive in my mind and helps me deal with feelings I might have which can change as I go through the steps of grief.

My dad inspired be in how he dealt with is diabetes. He had such a strong will about everything. I was so amazed at how he handled it all cold turkey. My mom helped a lot, but he simply did what he needed to do. No whining or crying about missing anything. He's my hero.

RebDee
RebDee 2015-02-25 19:09:24 -0600 Report

The last time I saw my Dad before his death on July 10, 1976, he asked only one thing of me: Please don't let anyone say, Thank God its over. I have led a good life, I have been a good person, I am loved by family and friends. No matter how much I am suffering from cancer, I don't want anyone to say "Thank God its over."

I honored that request and stopped anyone who tried to say that. I wrote his eulogy, adding that to it, and explained why you should never say, thank God a vibrant, loving life should be over.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-24 23:15:31 -0600 Report

Hey Gabby, thanks for sharing this. So nice that you were all able to be around him when he died. Grief is how we come to acceptance, and prepare to open the next chapter in our lives. Sounds like your dad was real role model. That was one of his gifts to you.

Jan8
Jan8 2015-02-23 11:35:02 -0600 Report

When I hear someone has died and has had diabetes I think of the side effects of having diabetes or complications that had caused the death. I don't deal well.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-24 23:11:52 -0600 Report

Jan, I appreciate your honesty. It's hard to think about. And another reason to take good care of yourself. That's where we do have control.

Type1Lou
Type1Lou 2015-02-23 10:12:46 -0600 Report

Dad developed diabetes when he was 61 and he died at age 81 in 1973. He'd lived a pretty full life, was active in the community and had a most positive outlook on life. His last 6 months were rough ones with his body obviously giving out on him, so, in some ways, it was a relief when he was at peace. Last year, a friend who'd had Type 1 diabetes for 35+years died after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She went quickly, She was in her 80's. She was still seeing the same PCP I had been seeing until 2010 when I felt he didn't really handle my Type 1 diabetes well. I still wonder whether a different doctor might have made a difference for her…or not. Many of my friends are now well-advanced into their senior years. It reminds me of one of the books in "Gulliver's Travels" by Jonathan Swift (Part III) where Gulliver encounters people (the Struldbrugs) who, every now and then, give birth to someone who is immortal. While that sounds wonderful at first, the immortal continues to grow older and older and is subject to the same diseases and afflictions as others. Friends and family die off yet he lives on; the community continues to evolve and develop and the language changes to the point where the immortal can no longer understand what is going on about him. Swift's point, I think, was there comes a time when death is a good thing. I reread that section of Gulliver's Travels after my Mom died (at nearly 98 yrs of age) and it helped me get through it.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-24 23:10:59 -0600 Report

Hi Type1Lou,

You father did really well, I would say. Sounds like he took control of his life and made the best of things, and did a pretty good job of that.

I really like the reference to Gulliver's Travels. I am going to have to pull that out again and reread it. That's a great story. Yes, life continues to evolve, it's a rhythm, and there's no use in fighting it. Go with the flow.

Thank you!

Gary

NewSong53
NewSong53 2015-02-23 09:26:30 -0600 Report

No one else in my family has been diagnosed with diabetes (other than myself). My mother, however, had hypoglycemia. Most of her life, when she wasn't cooking or cleaning — was spent in a chair. She ate a lot of things that were bad for her (she also had congestive heart failure) such as chips and sweets. She had great self-control when she was in her last few years, but too much damage had been done. I grew up watching her and feeling almost like she had a death wish. Especially after my father died and all of us kids moved away. She died of colon cancer, but it was only discovered in the late stages when her blood sugar got too low and she was whisked away by ambulance. This happened twice before the cancer was found. It still didn't really hit home to me until one of the residents at the assisted living facility where I work died of diabetes. He missed dialysis appointments because it was "too much trouble" to arrange for transportation himself — he chose to spend all his time in his apartment, mostly sleeping — and his daughter would order pizza for him whenever she came to visit because it was his "favorite food". Then it really hit home to me how foolish it was to act like I could always "be good" tomorrow . . . that there would always be time to correct things . . . that when I "felt better" I would begin an exercise program. I felt almost angry at this man for blaming his health on the fact that family wasn't "doing enough" to help him . . . and yet he wasn't taking any personal responsibility for it. It made me angry at myself and was a wake-up call for me. I do wish I was more physically active — but I do a lot of walking due to taking public transportation and having to walk to do most of my shopping. I saw tremendous improvements in just months. I recently received my Jane Fonda Yoga and aerobics DVDs for beginners and people over 60 and a NutriBullet. I've started making green smoothies and will hook up the DVD player today (we have a sleet day here). So my life is improving and it all started with a more positive attitude. I don't believe it's fair to criticize people who are struggling . . . but I can testify to the fact that a concentrated effort to improve your way of thinking can be life-changing.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-24 23:06:37 -0600 Report

Hey NewSong,

Thanks so much for sharing this excellent post.

One of the hardest things for an adult child is watching our parents make bad choices and not being able to do anything about it. That is a very sad story.

And I know what you mean about telling yourself you will start tomorrow, once you are feeling it. But if wait until we feel up to something, we may continue to talk ourselves out of doing it. As you said so well.

It is all about personal responsibility, doing what we need to do whether we feel like it or not. And look at the results you are getting. One positive step leads to another.

Great job! Thanks for sharing this.

Gary

Sopies Grandma
Sopies Grandma 2015-02-23 08:08:49 -0600 Report

Hi Doc, My husband died not too long ago, He died of diabetes, which we didn't know he had, it wasn't until he was in the emergency room that we found out, his B/G was over 700, They tried hard to get him through it, but he was just to sick and he passed away, a few months later I found out I was diabetic. Can someone get Diabetes from the loss of a husband?

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2015-02-24 23:01:08 -0600 Report

Hi Sopies Grandma, I am so sorry to hear about your husband, I really am. This is not the first time I have heard of diabetes going untreated. This is a very sad story. I am not a physician, but I don't think you can get diabetes this way. But life is random, things just happen, and the timing can make us wonder. As always, take good care of yourself, my friend.

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