Tag Archives: Remembrance

Why Remembrance Sunday Matters to The Rebalance Foundation

slide7-2I first became aware of diabetes in the 1960s, when my Gran was diagnosed with Type 2. In those days it was simply “late onset diabetes”. It was an older persons disease.

She was kind of lucky to be diagnosed at all because she first realised she might have a problem by accident. Her friend had been diagnosed and given Uristix to monitor her condition. For those who might not know what that is – you can still get them – it’s a bit like a litmus test. You pee on the stick and if the little coloured square changes colour it indicates you are passing glucose in your pee. That’s not a good thing!

So one day, my Gran and her friend May were peeing on sticks and having a girly laugh, when surprise surprise my Gran’s little stick turned brown – the most severe level on the test. My Gran was diabetic. It became a source of fun! Any visit to my Gran’s house involved playing at peeing on sticks (yes we were poor!). My Gran always won because her stick was the only one that ever changed – blue to green to khaki to brown. My stick was so boring!

Skip several years to 1974. I was leaving school when I was met by a neighbour with a message from my mum. Could I go to the local library and do my homework, she would pick me up later, she was at the hospital with my Gran.

I never saw my Gran alive again. She slipped into a diabetic coma, never regained consciousness, and died 4 days later. She’d never had any of the classic complications. True she had a dicky ticker – but she always had it seemed. She had no dodgy limb pain, no threat of amputations, no patchy blurred vision. She bypassed all of that and moved straight to coma and death. It was Remembrance Sunday: 10th November 1974.

Diabetes stopped being fun. It suddenly became what it actually is for everyone who develops it – it’s a game changer. It threatens lives, limbs and the happiness of adolescent granddaughters! I have never stopped missing my Gran, and 42 years later it still hurts. Especially on Remembrance Sunday!

November, every year, is International Diabetes Awareness Month. November 14th is always World Diabetes Day. The international symbol for WDD is the blue circle you see on this booklet. At The Rebalance Foundation, we’ve  named our “Blue Ball” to mark it every November.

It’s also the time I get to remember, and talk about, and honour, Ivy Moore, my beloved Gran.

Elaine x