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1. Control

Darlene wrote about Kap's problems with diabetes and the lack of ability to control it. I think that the issue of control is what is what frustrates us all. There is nothing more frustrating to folks than to acquire an illness, when no one can tell us why we got it.

It is bad enough to get an illness no one understands. It is so much worse when that illness causes other medical problems, many of them life threatening or at best so disrupting to life one simply cannot ignore them. It is maddening to have spent your entire life acquiring the language, knowledge, and skills to prepare for a profession, only to develop a deterioration in your ability to deliver that knowledge effectively or efficiently enough.

I include not only diabetes here but multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease as well as a host of other illnesses. Since these diseases are poorly understood and of occult origin they make the people who live with them miserable and often their families feel that they should have done something more or less to prevent the illness from occurring.

Guilt is a powerful emotion. For a parent it is made worse when siblings have the same illness, because it looks as though the illness was genetically passed on, or was caused by some event which occurred during pregnancy.

Frequently we become angry about the events we can't control and that results in depression, which is masked anger. The important thing to keep in mind is that we are all vulnerable to the unfair events that occur in the mish mash of life. Our genetics can be messed up so that we get these diseases and there is no explanation that will serve to make us feel better about it.

I don't know why mothers and fathers have to see their kids subjected to diabetes. It's certainly not an enjoyable position for a parent to be in. Fortunately, my parents didn't see this. Had they been in that position they wouldn't have enjoyed it either, but they would have gotten through.

Some families are so stressed that they break up. Others do go on. Often the child is plagued by guilt, realizing the stress their illness has placed on the family. This is stuff the public has no exposure to. It is beyond the ability of Mr. and Mrs. Average America to understand a sick child.

Now, Muscular dystrophy is understood better than it was 20 years ago but that doesn't make it less lethal or disabling.

We all want our children to grow up happy and healthy and some of us even would like our kids to marry and perpetuate our families. We all pray for them to be happy and healthy. When diabetes comes into the picture it can be a wet blanket for many families. We don't understand it--why it has be such a pimple on the face of society or on the butt of progress--but we all must deal with it.

No, Darlene, you are right. We can't control it or make it go away. I apologize for my earlier technical answer.


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