DEAR HARRIETTE: My brother told me he was diagnosed with diabetes. When he went for a medical checkup, the doctor tested him and his A1C number was extremely high. He was prescribed a particular medication that should regulate his blood sugar. When he told me all this at the time, he seemed worried but relieved in the sense that his doctor had given him medication that should help get his body under control.
I spoke to him to months later to see how he’s doing, and he says he hasn’t started taking the medication yet. I was shocked and asked him why. He shrugged it off and said, “I haven’t started yet.” End of discussion.
I am so worried about him. When I looked up the effects of uncontrolled diabetes, it made my head swim. He could die if he doesn’t take measures right away. What can I do to encourage him? -- Sick Brother, Detroit
DEAR SICK BROTHER: You cannot control your brother, but you can encourage him. One way is to scare him. Do some research on the complications that diabetics face -- anything from thirstiness and frequent urination to skin problems, kidney disease, blindness, neuropathy, amputations or stroke. When his condition is controlled, your brother stands a much better chance of living a healthy, productive life. For more information, you can visit the American Diabetes Association’s website: diabetes.org/living-with-diabetes/complications.