Sunday, September 10, 2006

DIABETES rears it’s ugly head……..1959

My husband was a “type A” personality and seemed to have endless energy. He was a free lance commercial photographer and most of his clients were located in the New York City area where we lived. This made it easy for him to service them and he kept very busy.

Our first hint that something could be terribly wrong came in late December of 1958. We had been married just 4 months. Dick complained of bad blisters on both feet and chalked it up to being on his feet all day for his last photography job. However, the blisters became infected and the Dr. put him to bed, heavily medicated and with his legs elevated. He was still in bed on New Year’s Eve and we drank a toast to 1959 with the hope that he would get better.

He did seem to improve and we soon forgot our worries. In July our first child was born and it seemed natural that we both complained of being exhausted. It was at that time that Dick figured it would be a good idea to get some life insurance and he was sent to get a complete physical. No wonder he was tired…his blood sugar was over 500.

Our lives were changed forever. Dick was diagnosed as a Type 1 (Juvenile) diabetic and we spent the next 31 years coping with the disease. Thank goodness that insulin had been discovered in 1921 because it was the only hope for his type of diabetes. The big problem was that he was extremely “brittle” and it was very difficult to keep him stable.

We took a hard look at our situation and decided that our NY City days were over, as was the photography, which had entailed many trips carrying lights and camera bags. It didn’t happen overnight but by 1962 we had left the city behind and were starting over in a small upstate town in New York.

The one moment of levity, in the midst of all this, came when Dick told his Mother. She had never been happy with our marriage. I think she had her heart set on a daughter-in-law that she could manipulate a little easier than she could me. Anyway, when Dick told her that he had been diagnosed with diabetes and that it was most likely genetic she turned a stern eye on him and said haughtily, “You didn’t have it before you were married, son!”


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whew! She was a tough cookie, huh?
And a blood sugar over 500? Good Lord! I'm thinking it must of been very difficult in the 50's, as the research hadn't been done on all the aspects of the disease.
Strange that Mommy Dearest never picked up on any of his symptoms as a child.

7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A funny ending to a serious life story!

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish people could hear themselves speak. It's SUCH a good idea to keep your mouth shut and think about what you're going to say first! Perhaps we would have a quieter world....or should.

10:47 AM  

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