Read Related: Are Latinos Doomed to Be Diabetic?I guess one could say I saw diabetes the same way a smoker might see pregnancy: “I have to stop smoking while I’m pregnant because of the baby, but once I have her or him, I can go back to doing what I like.” And what I liked was that box of chocolates. I didn’t know then that Gestational Diabetes is a precursor to the Big D—full-blown diabetes.
Editor’s Note: Diabetes has been described as an epidemic among Latinos and is expected to affect half of the U.S. population by 2020. Type 2 Diabetes affects 1 in 10 Latinos, and Mexican-Americans are the most affected by this disease, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health. Latinas are 17 times more likely to die of diabetes than non-Hispanic white women. This is one in an occasional series examining this epidemic, a true-life experience of Viviana Rodriguez, a Mexican-American mom of three, living with the disease. When I was pregnant with my second child I developed gestational diabetes. Sara is now 9 and my middle child. She was THE girl I wanted so desperately, so I was ready to fully enjoy the nine months of carrying her. I had already started picking out girly things like skirts, bows and shoes. I didn’t know that being diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes would take all of the fun out of being pregnant, but it did. Everyone was so sad for me when I told them I was diabetic, and I, too, was sad, but not because of the diabetes; instead I was sad because I could no longer sit and eat a box of Ferrero Rochers. Those are the sweet and delectable balls of chocolate and hazelnut bundled into one gold covered bon-bon of goodness. Oh, how I craved them. I craved them so much that the very last thing I worried about was the diabetes; I mean everyone knew that was just temporary. I just didn’t understand what the big deal was. Everyone’s sugar goes up when they eat, right?