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.