The Gordon Twins
Twin Helps Sister Manage Diabetes
When her twin sister was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, 7-year-old Kara Gordon, of Houston, Tex. was terrified.
“I was scared and worried about her,” Kara said. “I didn’t know what was going on or if she would be ok, because I didn’t know anything about diabetes.”
Now 11-years-old, things have changed for Kara and her twin sister, Krista. Kara has learned a lot about diabetes, blood glucose meters and the insulin pump. They both know how to test Krista’s blood glucose, give insulin injections and change pump sites. Even more important — Kara knows how to take care of Krista in emergency situations.
“We aren’t in the same class at school anymore,” Kara said, “So I do worry about her during the day because if something happens where she needs glucagon, I wouldn’t be there to give it to her.” But neither Kara nor Krista need to worry. Their school has a plan in place to care for Krista if she has an emergency.
Creating a New Normal as a Family
Brenda Gordon, the twins’ mom, taught all her kids, including Travis, 17, and Laura, 19, about diabetes and what it means for Krista but she takes extra time to talk more with Kara.
“She knows she is not responsible for her sister’s diabetes,” said Brenda. “But I think she tries to do the best she can to help Krista stay on top of it.”
The rest of the Gordon family has the same perspective and motivation to help Krista. Brenda said it wasn’t difficult for the family to adjust as they already had a pretty healthy lifestyle.
“Everyone made adjustments, though,” Brenda described. “We are a lot more conscious of the carb counts in food and the amount of straight sugar.”
Family Support Builds Positive Perspective
Krista adjusted very well after her diagnosis. Brenda believes Krista’s positive attitude is a result of their strong family support system - specifically, Kara’s, whose natural sense of nurturing and caring for her sister helps Krista everyday.
“We do fight about diabetes sometimes,” said Kara. “But mostly over little things like Krista eating too much candy if she’s low or if we get a special treat and she can’t have the same amount. But I don’t mind helping Krista,” she said. “And I know my mom is there for me to talk about things when I get frustrated.”
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