I have the unique experience of coming from a family that has been deeply affected by diabetes. My father and paternal grandmother lived with diabetes, and my mother has diabetes as well. For most of my life, I was healthy and took good care of myself. However, following significant life changes, my health paid the price. In 2015, my life was turned upside down when I was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy. My A1C was out of control, and I also was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, requiring surgery.
My life with diabetic retinopathy was a huge adjustment. My grandmother and father were both affected by diabetic eye disease, but nothing can truly prepare you for your own experience. I began seeing my eye doctor monthly and prepared to receive injections in my eyes, which took time to adjust to as part of my new life with diabetes.
Today, I am in a much healthier place; I get my dilated eye exam each year, and I see my eye specialist every eight weeks. I am fortunate to have a mother and a wife who form the core of a solid support system. I’m also grateful for opportunities to share my experience with others and raise awareness of health inequities in the Type 2 diabetes community. If I’ve learned anything through these experiences, it is that awareness is everything – and then it’s time to act.