If it weren’t for diabetes……..

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As March approached, I started this blog, then stopped. March has had a history of being a particular “hard” month for me. (which NOW, in hind site, from my ever so observant daughter, is connected to my vitamin D levels).

It wasn’t until last night as I “coached” (as best a mother can) one of my daughters through a “situation” did I realise that it was time to complete this posting.

If you have wondered why a certain emotion or situation continually reappears, perhaps you need to finish the journey, get closure. Get the heck through the Red Sea! Feel it all in it’s rawness. It is in enjoying the speed bumps that you can then go on to enjoy the smooth rides.

Dad was a single parent. In the 196o’s this was no easy task. I have long ago come to terms with the fact and reality and forgiveness that we all do the best we can, with who we are, where we are, at any given time in life.

I’ve got some good genes. Of the biggies that plague my family tree, I’d have to say is arthritis. I watched my grandmother with her crippled hands open a jar of fresh canned pears. I watched my grandfather with stiff knees move ever so slowly from the couch to the table to get some “vino”.

We lived and ate the typical Mediterranean diet. Our butter was olive oil, no dairy other than the variety of Italian cheese, everyone had a garden with a salad at every dinner. One of the first things I learned to make in the kitchen would have been a homemade salad dressing.

Yet………somewhere (and we all know how minute by minute, days turn into weeks, months then years) along the line, unhealthy lifestyle choices were made.

I have also journeyed to forgiveness of myself. IF I had known 20 years ago what I know now about diabetes……well, I may not be writing this, at least at this point of life.

It was my thought “back then”, that with age, diagnosis of diabetes and even arthritis just happened. It was just the process. A long, diminishing of quality of life just happens.

As Dad progressed quickly to insulin dependency, so did his health deteriorate. The most obvious was circulation. It all starts with cold feet and toes. So here’s how it would happen…..we would visit him and with my kids ever so curious at young ages would ask him “grampa, show us your bad toe”? He would remove his loosely fit sock and show them. They would add the dramatic “ewwwww” and he, would, laugh! “If toes could talk”.

Insulin, good or bad? You can and should do your own research on insulin and it’s affects on the body. Prevention is the key to a healthy body. Minute by minute, day by day lifestyle choices. Fact is, diabetics have a higher mortality rate.

The tips of his toes had progressed to the point where they would blacken and simply fall off. Yes it’s gross, but it is the reality. Fast forward to a spell on life support, better diabetes management (too much too late though), macular degeneration, pre-mature death.

So, I suppose in remembering Dad , March and diabetes, I start a list of remembering the years gone past:

Dear Dad, if it weren’t for diabetes…..

*we’d be having coffee on the deck. Me with black and yours with milk. (eww, coffee and milk is a sin. It should be either black, cream or sambucca)

*you’d be enjoying remembering “the good ole days” as we plan for a family reunion

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