My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. — Hosea 4:6
For the past few weeks, I have shared with you, the readers, the story of my family’s struggle with Type 2 diabetes and the great loss of our mother, Fannie Estelle Hill Grant, in such a horrific manner. Mother only lived 12 years after her diagnosis. Here is the continuation of her story.
She lost both of her legs and was extremely sad and depressed! Who wouldn’t be? You live your entire life, walking around, and healthy for the most part, only to end your life without legs! Mother had high blood pressure, seven strokes in 12 years and was on kidney dialysis. She was only 61 when she had her first major stroke, which resulted in paralysis.
Let me conclude this series with an interaction I heard between Dr. Griffin P. Rodgers of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases and a caller during an C-SPAN interview on Sept. 14, 2014.
The caller’s mother had diabetes, as did two older siblings who both take insulin shots and had difficulties with this disease. The caller, despite not having developed the disease, expressed concern about the family’s genetic makeup — particularly how they fell victim to diabetes while the caller did not.
“Our genetic makeup says a lot about what we are likely to become,” Rodgers told the caller. “You may or may not have the same risk because we have two parents and you inherit half of your genes from one parent and half from the other. It could be that susceptibility gene, you may have been lucky to not inherit. A lot has to do with our environment, how much we are exposed to, what we eat.
“As it turns out, in Type 2 diabetes, our environment begins even earlier,” he said. “For studies we have funded, both in our NIH Phoenix Branch and other sites nationally, determines that our environment begins in utero. A mother who develops Type 2 diabetes or who has diabetes during pregnancy, the infant born to that mother when they have diabetes is more likely to develop diabetes later on in life than an infant born to that same mother who was not affected with just a small diabetes — known as gestational diabetes. There is something in our environment we are trying to understand. That’s another factor to be considered.
“Of course, if it runs in your family, that does put you at higher risk,” Rodgers said. “It sounds like you’re doing the right thing and you are being checked periodically to determine whether you have any signs of it. A good prescription, however, is exercise and maintaining your weight at a level that your doctor approves.”
I wanted to share this with you, just to conclude. It may not be our fault, when it is in our genes, which shows even more why early detection is important. Type 2 diabetes did run in my mother’s family, but it wasn’t discussed very much; they really didn’t understand what they needed to know and share. This is why I’ve taken the bull by the horns. I have promised to tell this story for the rest of my life.
Dr. Rodgers said a good prescription is, one, get checked early and regularly, two, learn how to eat properly when you discover you are a candidate, and three, exercise and lose weight!
When you follow this simple 1-2-3 plan, you will save yourself and your loved ones from experiencing a life filled with pain, unnecessary suffering and regrets!
Lyndia Grant is an author, inspirational and motivational speaker, radio talk show host and columnist. Visit her website, www.lyndiagrantshow.com or contact her at 240-602-6295. Tune in Fridays at 6 p.m. to “The Lyndia Grant Show” on Spirit 1340 AM (WYCB), a Radio One station.