Fern Walter Goodhart

My sister was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 4 years old; she was three. From then on, it was always, “Watch out for your sister,” and making sure she wore her necklace purse with the sugar cube in it. (We did not know at that time that sucking on sugar in case of “reaction” would have been too slow to help.)

I learned to be a light sleeper, sharing a bedroom with her, in case she woke up during the night having a reaction. I learned when to give her orange juice, and when to wake up Mom. I learned not to have dessert, since she could not, and to like sugar-free candy and cookies, which she could eat.

We worried about her as a child, learning to give herself her insulin injections. We worried about her as a teenager, rebelling against authority and eating what she should not. We worried about her retina detaching when she was twenty-one and her kidneys failing when she was thirty-six.

We worry a lot less now, as she is 8 years past a kidney transplant, although still struggling with a complicated medical regime and cataracts.

I would not wish diabetes on anyone. Life is complicated enough without it.

Fern Walter Goodhart