People You Don't Understand


There are always people in life you just don’t understand. They think a little differently, their “important things” have no similarity with yours. Same channel, different show.

With me, it’s my stepmother. We get along alright, but I’ve yet to to understand her thought processes.

Last night at dinner, as we were discussing diabetes and doctor’s visits - she’s type 2 - she let it drop that shortly before his death some years ago, my father was in the process of being diagnosed with type 2 or pre-diabetes. And that my great-grandmother on his side was also diabetic.

This is the first I’ve been told there is -any- history of diabetes on that side of my family. All my relatives with diabetes are not blood related - my stepmother, an uncle-by-marriage. Even my diagnosis a few years ago didn’t raise the issue.

I’d always assumed the genetic side of things came from my mom’s side, as my health issues have in many ways mirrored hers. It’s confounded me that she’s not diabetic, and I’ve been worrying that it’s been missed amid the myriad of other symptoms combined with her phobia of blood tests. Guess I can put that one aside now.

Still, when I was diagnosed, within the first week I’d contacted my family and told’m all to get tested, just in case. If you’re at higher risk for a disease, you need to know, IMHO.

I keep having weird moments like this - all my life-, where I realize that, while we get along, we’re thinking about things very, very differently.


I feel the same way too, Laura. My grandma, who lives with my family is type 2 diabetic as well and well let’s just say that my mum is pretty lax in taking care of her. my grandma is illiterate so my mum pretty much does all the healthcare for her. she hardly tests, and doesn’t really watch what she eats and she is a fussy eater so my mum lets her get away with everything. last night she was munching on crackers an hour or so after dinner and i insisted on testing her. she measured in at 292. today she measured at 188 before dinner. and my mum’s reason - “oh she’s always on the high side so it should be fine”

my dad and i: “if it’s high it’s high, there is no such thing as she’s like that!”

our difference in approach to dealing with diabetes is so great and our attitude toward this condition is very different as well. i hear you!



I think some of this is because the media have done such a good job of getting across the untrue “fact” that diabetes is caused by sloth and gluttony, that people are embarrassed to admit that there is diabetes in the family. So it gets hidden, the way that mental illness used to be a generation earlier.

My mother was emphatic that I couldn’t have diabetes and would attribute it to a) menopause b) not having enough in my life to keep me busy (like raising 2 kids and running a publishing company weren’t enough!) c) mistaken diagnosis.

This despite the fact that my grandmother died of diabetic kidney disease and my dad ate a very strict low carb diet for all the years I knew him while several of his brothers who did not had fatal first heart attacks in their late 50s, almost certainly from undiagnosed D!