I received news two Fridays ago through an email. It was 8 in the morning and I was on my way to work. Still barely awake, I clicked to open the email. The first and only sentence was this: our kids probably won’t have diabetes!
As if suddenly shaken awake, I sat there overwhelmed with relief as I started tearing in joy, literally.
My boyfriend was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes sometime last February, right after Chinese New Year. He had a wound on his shin that just stubbornly refused to heal on its own. It began turning blue-black, which was really scaring me. As a guy, I suppose it didn’t bother him that much because it didn’t hurt. I told him to take this to the doctor’s office, but he insisted that it would recover over time. Thankfully, his mother, who is also diabetic, recognized this as a symptom. She immediately got him to take his blood sugar reading. Lo and behold, his blood sugar readings were shockingly high. A normal person’s reading should be around 5 – 7, but his was 20+, if I remember correctly. I was worried sick the entire night, crying and praying that we’re all going to be proven wrong about this.
Here’s a little background about Type 1 diabetes: WebMD
His dad had him taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital the next day. His text came in later that day confirming the diagnosis. I immediately rushed to the hospital to see him. I held back my tears over the few days at the hospital whenever anyone else was around. Only he could see how worried I was when I cried buckets at his bedside. I remember so clearly the moments of me being consoled by him – ironic, I know.
Typing this is a challenge for me till this day; I don’t think I can really speak about his diabetes without being struck with some sort of guilt and despondence.
Anyway, a few months later, after more tests had been conducted, the results came back diagnosis him as having MODY (Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young). Only 1% – 2% of diabetics are diagnosed with MODY, so I wasn’t sure what to feel about it. The only difference was that his insulin injections were replaced with pills, which were not only cheaper but also a lot more convenient than him having to inject himself with insulin before every meal. But of course, the fact that he’s diabetic remains, so it doesn’t really make anything better.
I wouldn’t say we got used to it or started accepting his condition because this is something we would never ever want to get used to. But over the past year, we got through the challenges together and slowly changed our lifestyles and diets to adapt to his condition.
Back to the news I received from him 2 Fridays ago.
More studies were conducted to ensure an accurate diagnosis. This time, the results came back stating that my boyfriend has MIDD – Maternally Inherited Diabetes and Deafness.
So much for the relief that our kids won’t get diabetes because it can only be transmitted from mother to child, I just couldn’t get over the word “deafness.”
Reading article after article about MIDD, it was emphasized over and over again that 75% of people with MIDD will go deaf. MIDD is a rare form of diabetes. “It commonly precedes the diagnosis of diabetes, is more common and is often more severe and rapidly progressive in men than in women.”
I don’t even want to go into the details of other health problems MIDD is related to. I’m just trying to deal with the part about hearing loss.
I can’t help but to think about our future. How bad will this be? Does this mean I’ll have to learn sign language? This is crazy for me to deal with at this point in my life. I mean, I’m barely even 25.
I can just continue praying that by some miracle, this is only just a nightmare I’ll soon wake up from.