Last weekend I travelled interstate to attend a family memorial service for my uncle by marriage, who passed away at the age of 91.
We were not close, but the service itself was a sad occasion as he was much loved by his family and community. I also found it interesting as he was an active member of a Jehovah's Witness congregation and brought up his family in that faith. I won't mention religion any further, apart from finding the service interesting and the family support from the congregation impressive.
My reason for mentioning it here is that instead of a service I could have been attending a convention for sufferers of obesity and diabetes. The venerable gentleman himself was slim and non-diabetic, as is his widow, but all of his children are either diabetic or pre-diabetic and the signs in the grand-children and great-grandchildren are already there with cases of GD in the grandchildren and obesity in some of the great-grand-children. His widow, like my mother her sister, is non-diabetic but both seem to have passed on the genes. Don't let anybody tell you this is not a genetic condition.
I had promised my wife that I would not mention diabetes or my book during the gathering. I tried; I really tried.
But I failed. When my cousin's daughter brought the subject up over coffee between the service and the wake I mentioned my book and she asked for a copy for him. Later, he brought up the subject first, mentioning five daily injections and many failed weight loss attempts in between requests for his wife (also diabetic and also large) to get more delicacies from the table groaning under the weight of cakes and cookies supplied by the congregation. I can't recall ever before seeing as much carbohydrates in one place as I saw at the wake. First the two large tables were full of sandwiches, lasagne and pasta in various forms and after that was cleared they were filled with cakes. There was also one small plate of salad, which I commandeered. He mentioned that he weighs 160Kg (350lbs). Several of his children and grandchildren will catch up with him eventually if they do not change something.
It became clear that he and all the others with diabetes have been advised to follow the "healthy whole, grains low fat" way of eating. He has to eat to match his set insulin doses, or he risks lows. Not surprisingly his weight keeps going up rather than down. You've heard it all before. So, after I gave him the book as a gift, the guy who promised his wife that he wouldn't mention diabetes spent most of the next three hours giving an impromptu presentation on test, review, adjust with a long Q and A session. Every time I tried to change the subject, someone would ask another question. Well, that's my excuse anyway.
They may not invite me back for the next funeral, but I hope that I may have dropped a few seeds to possibly delay at least one or two of those occasions.