My first experience with diabetes actually happened while I was pregnant with my first child. Just a few months from my expected delivery date, they wanted to take a sugar tolerance test. Turns out my sugar tolerance sucked!
They told me that Gestational Diabetes Melitus (GDM) would go away after I delivered the baby, but there were a slew of possible complications as the result of having it. She could be too large to fit through the birth canal and require an emergency c-section, I could wind up being unable to control it with diet and have to give myself shots of insulin (I don't think I could do that - I told my husband he would have to sneak up behind me with the needle, get me while I was unprepared, and run before I could swing), she could wind up with diabetes or low bloodsugar herself as the result of my condition, she could even be stillborn.
A little advice to medical people - don't say these things to an emotional pregnant woman until there's some kind of evidence that any of them may be of immediate concern. I know you want us to be well-informed, usually I would appreciate that, but I was just coming to terms with the test results I had been given minutes before... give me a little time before you send my overly-hormonal butt into panic mode.
Another little complication of this condition is that it would raise my risk of getting type II diabetes within 5 years from the delivery, although it would certainly "go away" as soon as I did deliver. That was over 12 years ago now, and I have been pregnant 4 more times since, having GDM each and every time. Frankly I didn't see the point in even testing me with that super sugar syrup from Hades the last couple times. I just looked at the Dr. and said, "can we just assume I have GDM and move on with the daily sugar testing thing."
If I was more likely to get type II diabetes after having GDM one time, I can only imagine what my risk factor is after 5 times. I try to limit my sugar, but the childish part of my brain likes to argue that I haven't got much time left before sugar may be completely off the menu for good. "Get it while you can," is what I imagine its argument is.
Considering that my mother was diagnosed with type II diabetes only a couple of years ago (she's the first on that side of the family), and both type II and type I run on my father's side of the family, perhaps I should learn to become slightly more comfortable with the idea of sticking a needle in my own butt on a daily basis... just in case.
When was your first experience with diabetes in some fashion? What was it like for you to find out that this disease may be part of your own, or a loved one's, fate? Does diabetes run on either side of your family? How long have you been living with it?