Diabetes: Why I Walk
I hope everyone had a nice Labor Day weekend and if you don’t celebrate, I hope you had a nice weekend anyway!! We had a nice time. I had a 4 day weekend and the hubs was actually off 2 days so we had a lot of family time. We went to church, to the park, watched movies, and just played together. It was glorious.
Speaking of family, today I wanted to talk about the upcoming Step Out Walk to Stop Diabetes. If you have been reading a while, you may know that my brother is diabetic. To be specific he has type 1 diabetes. He was diagnosed during the week of my birth back in April of 1985. He was not yet 2 years old. Growing up he would often blame me for the diabetes seeing as how we both arrived around the same time. I knew he was kidding, sort of.
Growing up, my brother wasn’t always the best patient. As a child mom took care of all the finger pricks and needles, but as he got older he definitely resented the diagnosis. Especially in his teen years when he was able to administer the insulin to himself he would not always be conscientious about it. He had several episodes where he neglected to take his insulin and ended up in the emergency room with ridiculously high blood sugar levels.
Since then however, he has been good at monitoring and caring for himself. A year or two ago he was in a good place. He was living upstate, pursuing education, and enjoying a social life. Recently, however, the side effects of this disease and other complications have hit him hard.
It started out with more minor ailments, Crohn’s disease, a bout of Bell’s palsy, loosing the arch in his foot. Then he started going blind. He suffered kidney failure and currently has dialysis 3 days a week. He lost feeling in several fingertips, which then became gangrenous, and eventually had to be amputated. More recently he began to loose toes and has now had his foot amputated.
At this point, he is in an assisted living home because his leg has yet to heal so he cannot yet use a prosthetic. Since he is wheelchair bound and our family’s homes cannot accommodate the chair, he is there until he heals.
At only 33 years old, my brother is in a hard place. He is super smart and well spoken. He is a lover of the outdoors and enjoyed camping and other outdoor pursuits. I can only imagine his mental state at this point. I know he looks forward to seeing my kiddos and he is motivated to heal to spend more time with them.
This is why I walk. Because a vibrant 33 year old shouldn’t have this laundry list of ailments. Because we need to find a cure and I will do what I can to help that happen.
If you would like to contribute to the cause and donate, you can follow this link to my page on the American Diabetes Association Website. Any support whether it be monetary, kind words, or prayers is greatly appreciated.
Emily Bendler is a mom, wife, full-time insurance adjuster, professional dancer, dance teacher, graduate student, and founder of I Hope You Dance, Inc., a non-profit supporting youth dance. Read how Emily used her dance ambitions to become a time management maven. Feel free to send Emily a message using the email me tab above.