Tired of Hearing this about Men and early Complications/Death

I am getting discouraged about the outomes for Type 2 diabetic men, particularly in my African -American Community. Just last year, I know of 3 men in my city who essentially died of complications at around my age range ( 45-60). They were educated men who had good health insurance and access to medical care.

I know of so many others ,through reports of relatives and friends. who have brothets, fathers, uncles, cousins who are on dialysis, have heart disease, are impotent,suffered amputations, went blind. I have had two uncles to die of type two diabetes and LADA. And they were not elderly, one in late 60's, other was 71.

Yesterday I heard, from a phone call about a 40-year old, cousin to my great niece in my hometown in Ga ,who dropped dead from a heart attack It is not known if it was directly diabetic related:He may or may not have been diabetic, he had not been to a doctor in years but diabetes runs in his family.. He did have high blood pressure . He had not been feeling well for a while, but refused to do anything about it by seeing a doctor. He was very stressed as he lost had his job with one of the mainline employers in our area ,a Tire factory that closed. This is another example, in my opinion, of men ignoring and choosing to live in the state of denial, particularly when under stress.

Just yesterday morning I talked to a 58-year-old church member, neighbor to my cousin that I was visiting.. I noticed that he was walking with a cane. He said that he had a toe amputated. He was regarding this as a "wake-up" call :HE raved about how he know had lost 20 pounds , got his sugars in range,and was "eating right", beginning to exercise; and was now "using a sliding scale" and " Not drinking regular pop and eating cake and candy anymore" He said his wife was an LPN and NOW they are both following the diabetic meal plans.and exercising. He was happy to report how much better he was feelilng. He had been diabetic for about 8 years.

I was pleased that he was able to turn his blood sugars around and start better self-management, but why did it have to be at such a cost to his health to get to that point? I know that both men and women do this..but I see the most serious complications in African-American men, as that is my part of my msocial community.

What can we do as interested and caring people, to better educate others that diabetes is a disease where you are in charge, that you cannot deny what has to be done, and you cannot wait to do it for tommorrow; or not at all? Is it because many type 2's not on insulin do not get educated properly, do not have get ketoacidosis ( a definite motivator for me to stay on the straight and narrow), or it is easier to stay at High levels? I am not sure.

I do not want to open the age-old debate on this site about Type one versus type 2. Both are difficult to manage. But what makes me want to feel as best as I can? I have the tools, the educations, good insurance and movication to learn as much as I can about my diseases. Many ,Many others do not... anmd we are seeing the negative outcomes of the diabetes epidemic in this country:People are dying and disentegrating before our eyes every day

It just becomes more and more real to me every day.

God Bless

Brunetta

Hi Brunetta, I just noticed your name elsewhere for the first time today. Welcome, if you’re new.

I think your concerns are extremely valid. In general, it does seem as though people are reluctant to change without true motivation, and the threat of something possibly happening way off in the distance isn’t a true threat to many. I’m sure there could be plenty of debate about the quality of food or health care available in this country and the cost of each, but I’m a big believer in personal responsibility, and I suspect you are too. (Or, as we say around our house, Denial - it’s not a river in Egypt.)

Recently my hair was cut by a woman who shared with me that her mother was type 2, and she suspects she is too, but is afraid to check and doesn’t want to know. I brought daughter to her the following week, and we offered to test her on the spot, but she refused. It seemed like a foolish risk to me. (Besides, maybe her sugars would have been great, and she could stop worrying for no reason.)

I think that grass-roots activism can have an influence. A doctor you see for 10 minutes once a year isn’t going to have the same impact as someone you know. Our church recently started a health ministry. Every Saturday, a nurse in our congregation meets with the members, and they discuss diet, exercise, etc. and provide support to each other. It’s pretty easy to do because the group is already familiar with each other, the location, etc. which creates less resistance. The rector attends, as a participant, as well.

As for the fellow who did not go to the doctor because he lost his job at the tire factory, I recently read (where?? Newsweek??) some alarming statistics about increased mortality in people who were laid off - even after they were employed again - because of deferred health decisions.

It’s a complicated and frustrating topic you’ve brought to the table Brunetta. -Cindy

Whoops - I just did a quick peek at your page. I see you’ve been here way longer than I! -Cindy

Thanks for the reply, Cindy. No ,not a Newbie to Tudiabetes, but so glad to meet you!! My church, which is quite large, doesalso have a health-care ministry with screenings 3-4 times a year ,and a clinic for low-income and seniors thrice weekly on site.

I know the screenings are for initial diagnosis/referral. However, I do not know what services are provided in the Health clinic that is managed by one of the local health centers, but housed in our church. I like the idea of discussing health, diet and exercise within the church family… I will bring it up and see what happens: Maybe some things are in place already. I am pretty open about being diabetic and get questions about the pump and managment of diabetes a lot from others, when at chuch and at work or even out in stores. I would ike to say something motivating to help, without being a “controller”.

God Bless,
Brunetta