I Love Someone with Diabetes: Rachel Scott

Diabetes affects the whole family, whether you’re a parent, sibling, child, grandchild, spouse or friend. This week on the blog, we are featuring stories about loving and caring for someone with diabetes.


Rachel, left corner, with mom and sister

Rachel, left corner, with her mom and sister

Name: Rachel Scott, age 22

Location: Pekin, Ill.

It’s safe to say that diabetes affects me and my family every day. My mother has diabetes. My sister has diabetes. I have diabetes.

My mother was diagnosed with type 1 at age eight. She didn’t know many people with diabetes at that time, and even her doctors had a hard time diagnosing her. Luckily, she had her family to support her along the way.

When I turned eight, my parents began to see symptoms of diabetes. I was tired and sick all of the time and I could never get enough water to drink. One day while I was feeling very badly, my mother and father decided to check my blood glucose. It was very high, of course, and I was rushed off to the hospital to be the second diagnosed family member with type 1 diabetes.

A little more than a year after my diagnosis, my little sister began showing the same symptoms—sick, tired, thirsty, frequent urination. At the age of three, she was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

After my sister was diagnosed I understood that I didn’t only need to work on my own diabetes self-care, I also needed to help care for my sister and mother. Taking care of each other is just what families do, and our family was no exception!

My mother, sister and I are always there for each other, whether it’s just a reminder to take our insulin before eating or making sure we have something to eat before going to work.

But we also deal with a lot of low blood glucose levels in our house. We really have it down to a science by now, though. Whenever I am low I rely on my mom and little sister to help me, just as I expect them to rely on me while they are low.

I’ve had my fair share of challenges while helping take care of my mother and sister. Diabetes can be unpredictable, and we’ve been through quite a few emergency situations involving low blood glucose levels. While it is very scary to deal with, my personal experience has enabled me to remain calm and keep a steady head in these situations.

Keeping calm is the greatest advice that any caregiver could receive. Diabetes is a very challenging disease, but a level head can help you work through those challenges. As a person with diabetes I know I would be lost without the support and help from my family.

Diabetes can be time consuming, stressful and chaotic, but it also makes our family very close. We help each other in all aspects of managing our diabetes by caring for each other and offering advice. Sometimes all that is needed is someone to listen to and understand. I am lucky to have that.

Diabetes brings us closer, and I wouldn’t change that for anything in the world.

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6 Responses to I Love Someone with Diabetes: Rachel Scott

  1. peter becerra says:

    I totaly understand. My wife & 3 kids are type 1 and boy has it been a chalenge but one thing for sure is we are realy close and have each others back.

  2. Anna Combs says:

    Hi Rachel! I was very intrigued by your story, because it’s very similar to mine. My mom, my brother, and I are all Type 1. My brother was the first to be diagnosed, at 10; my mom, around age 40; and then me at 23. We often joke that we have our own little support group! lol You said that diabetes “can be time consuming, stressful and chaotic.” You ain’t kiddin’! The most appropriate words I’ve found to talk about this disease are “it’s my curse” and “it sucks.” Period, plain and simple. Yeah, I can live with it, but I don’t have to like it! lol Thanks for sharing!

  3. Sandra Strange says:

    I’ve been diabetic 42 yrs. Diagnosed at 13 as a type 2. Not a lot was known about adult onset in youth then, not as much as they’ve learned in the last 2 decades. My diabetes is very hereditary going all the way back to my great grandma, grandma, mother, aunt (mother’s sister), my younger sister, my eldest daughter, my youngest daughter had gestational, & the first boy my sister’s son. Recently we’ve learned we have the MODY Gene which is Mature Onset of Diabetes in Youth. I believe they’ve change the name in the last yr or 2, but it is still the same concept. They’ve got to do a special test to know if you have this gene & as I’ve said it’s not just genetic but very hereditary. My husband of 37 yrs became diabetic from the steroids the VA had him on inducing the diabetes. He recently had to have a low foot amputation done last Thanksgiving. We even had a Rottweiler that became diabetic. She has since died from cancer in her foot. It couldn’t heal and spread. Our Vet told us of all het diabetic patients she was the best taken care of & sugar was in excellent control. We treated her as ourselves. Reading dog food labels, giving her insulin twice dly, with her meals & kept her glucose checked. She lived til she was almost 12, which is good for a large breed dog. But miss her horribly. I know people that have put pets down because they’re diabetic. All I could think was I’m glad they don’t do that to us! So a family of diabetics is an understatement. You can support & encourage only so murch. Some people, even family don’t want to hear it, are in denial, & shut down. We’re all adults & have no excuses why we don’t take care of ourselves. Diabetes is a clean disease, you can’t see the damage for yrs sometimes, by then it’s too late. Damage happens everytime we blow it. Whether it was just a birthday and we had to have that cake & ice cream, it’s the holidays it’s only once a yr, I can blow it this time. Well, that damage doesn’t hold off. It may not show for ten yrs but it will come. If the world ate like diabetics are supposed to, think how healthy everyone would be.

  4. roy says:

    I have beeen a type 1 diabetic for the past 11 years. I’m almost 24 now. My fiance is very supportive about my diabetes as we are concerned that our little girl of 9months might get it. Well not really concerned, but does it or can it affect little babies too? I lead a very hectic lifestyle as I am a pastry chef and I am a restaurant manager too. Is there anyone that could perhaps share a little light on this??

    • American Diabetes Association says:

      Hi Roy, thanks for reaching out. We understand your concern about your daughter. Type 1 can affect a person at any age, but it’s most commonly diagnosed in children and youth.

      In general, if you are a man with type 1 diabetes, the odds of your child getting diabetes are 1 in 17. If you are a woman with type 1 diabetes and your child was born before you were 25, your child’s risk is 1 in 25; if your child was born after you turned 25, your child’s risk is 1 in 100.

      Read more about the genetics of diabetes: http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/genetics-of-diabetes.html

      We hope this helps.

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