What started this journey was a death in my family. My oldest sister, who was 14 yrs older than me, had type 2 diabetes! She was a fun loving and sweet person. She had 2 masters, one in Elementary Education and the other, Librarianship. She was the best storyteller. She loved to travel, whether it was sightseeing with family or on a field trip with her students to Disney World, an educational trip to Yellowstone park or to Washington, DC or with fellow-teachers to European countries. She had many talents, she could sing beautifully, play the piano and do all sorts of crafty projects...
Unfortunately, she had a hard time getting control of her diabetes, which is easy to understand. She was on a diet at first and then pills, then insulin. Diabetes robbed her of her later life, she had macular degeneration, cardiovascular disease, nerve damage to her hands and feet even though she lost no appendages.
The last year of her life she was on dialysis as her kidneys were failing. It was so hard watching someone you love so dearly dying... They kept changing her ports for dialysis as her veins kept collapsing. I spent the last 2 wks of her life in a cot hard by her hospital bed, in an assisted living home, so if she got up in the middle of the night, she would wake me up first. Let me tell you that it is difficult to watch someone slowly die.
By this time Hospice had joined her team. I can't speak more highly of an organization than that one. Very caring people doing a very difficult job!
On August 10, 2012, she passed away with all her siblings, Terry and myself, by her side. She was 2 months shy of being 69 yrs old (I was 55 yrs old at the time).
Six months earlier I found out that I was pre-diabetic. Terry warned me, as a good, nurse oriented big sister should, that I better get a grip on my diabetes early or this could be my life...
My sister, Penny
Penny, Terry and myself