It’s Just Impossible…..How can I Celebrate the Holidays???..Diabetes!!!!

Woe is meWell……actually many of us do.  If you find that the holidays are just a reminder of how ‘bad the cards’ are that were dealt with you upon your child’s diagnosis, I want you to know that the ship you captain is the one you build to sail.

Everyone, at the beginning, feels that this is the absolute worse thing that can happen and that life needs to stop.  “Why doesn’t the world know, or care, what I am going through with my child’s diabetes?”

I am fifty-six.  For over 22 years I have been in this and I want to share some advice for you that I wish someone shared with me a long time ago when my child was first diagnosed.  Since that time 22 years ago, so much has happened in our lives and to our loved ones……….sometimes…….I actually think we got the better, of many, of the deals that have befallen others we love.

Listen to me…..I get it.  And when our second child was diagnosed, we REALLY got it,  but I have met families with three children and four children.  We have buried loved ones and a list of other tragedies have smashed into so many others who lost those battles.

Each day we get is a gift.

It truly is a gift.  Each day, I admit, I have to tell myself when I wake-up that my job is to find the positive.  But before I even get out of bed, my son has left for school and my daughter has left for work.  Diabetes has stopped them from nothing.

Think that through for a minute.  They are an active part of society.  They make me laugh so.  I’m so proud of all three of my children and the two who have diabetes live their life as if they are not at any disadvantage at all………and as long as they feel that way; who am I to say otherwise.

They handle their diabetes completely differently.  Kaitlyn could lecture for as long as it takes in front of one, or a thousand people.  Rob just deals with it and moves on.  They have had their share of battles and life has not always been a bed of roses.  But they handled each situation as it comes.  The result is the same for both of them.  They live life to the fullest.

Now if you are new at this, I want to share how much they will take on and handle is up to your attitude.  If you are locked away crying every day, I want you to know that the world is a HUGE AND BEAUTIFUL place.  You are missing it.  DO NOT let it pass you by because you live in defeat because your child has diabetes.

Others DO NOT know everything we go through.  But as one who has gone through it for years, and I have many colleagues-in-arms who will attest to this point; get out there and enjoy EACH DAY.  Get out there and let your child enjoy EACH DAY.

Because life is worth living and if I have a choice (and it is a choice) to get busy living, or get busy dying; I am choosing ‘the living’ each time.  I’ll take a bad day every now and again, but if the sun rises and my face sees those rays in the morning……I am going after the day to see what I can grab out of it.  Because if I don’t grab it……..someone else will.  Ask yourself, why should others have all the fun?

The answer is simple; because they choose to……..try it.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

 

I Shudder to Think that I Wrote Shutter Instead of Shudder

SpellSo I am in Washington DC yesterday, I have meetings and a very important luncheon. I stay up extra late to get my diabetes dad article done after flying, traveling, and checking-in.  I don’t care about the day, I MUST GET IT DONE.  I was tired and exhausted.  Maybe I can wake up early and do it…….no I should follow my routine.  I’m not that tired………wellllllllll ooooppppsie.

Welcome to Diabetes dad’s version of are you smarter than a 5th grader.

Well it was bound to happen.  For years, over 300 articles each year and I finally succeeded in spelling something wrong in the headline.   And far be it for me to think ANY of you are asleep at the wheel.

As my second grade teacher used to say…..thirty lashes with a wet noodle.  If you do not do this crazy writing thing…….you have no idea of that kind of horror.  Ask anyone……we check, re-check, and check again.

And……BANG!

Usually we have a chance to look at something once published and change it if needed, but I never saw my article again until I got off the plane last night returning home.

Crap!!!!!

We feel silly at that kind of error……any of us do, but at some point or another, it’s bound to happen.  In the body of the article, that happens—-in the headline   BIG NO- NO!

So this stands as my official correction of yesterday’s article.  I’m now threw, dun, and fore the most part I will doo all I kan to mak surr it doesn’t happen again!
(tee hee).

I am a diabetes dad.

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If Seeing this Makes YOU Shudder………You NEED to Read This.

insulinPlease, please, please (and let’s just say I wrote it a hundred more times) do whatever you can to add syringes to your diabetes management program.  There was a time that there were no other options and as I see more and more the absolute horror that the ‘pump broke’ “………and I really can’t stand going back on shots”, I shutter at how much people are too reliant on their insulin pumps that they really do not even know what to do with an insulin pen much less a syringe.  So if this picture scares you even a little bit…….read on.

Don’t get me wrong……devices are wonderful.   But…….

NO ONE likes shots but if shots are completely foreign to your child, I can tell you that you are heading for much more headache than you can ever bargain for.  I, for the life of me, cannot imagine that at one time or another something will not happen to a device that will result in you having no choice.

SHOTS!

There was a time that there was nothing else.  Just a needle or two, and two vials of different insulins that were given simultaneously.  That was it.  Our kids learned to deal with it, and accepted it.

Do not wait for something to go wrong to try to explain syringes to your child.  Not even just pens; explain syringes and I can understand not using them unless you must but please be ready and know what to do.

If you do not want to go back on shots……..trust me, your child will pick up on your distrusting vibe immediately.  Again, education is the equalizer here.  Read up on it.  And there is nothing to say that you can not have the information and supplies out on the table and go over it with your child.

“What are you doing?”
“Reading.”
“What are you reading?”
“Here, sit next to me we can learn together……”  (or remind ourselves what we did when you were first diagnosed in case we need to use it again)

Do not make it so foreign to your child and most of all IF YOU fear doing shots; I strongly suggest you get the books back out and get yourself ‘unafraid-to-do-shots’.  It may be the only thing at some point…….and I can almost guarantee it.   Find an orange (if you do not understand that, than you need to ‘brush-up’).

Been there……trust me on this.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

 

Something That Will Make You Smile Today!!!!!! Enjoy!!!

Improve everywhere

Sometimes you just need something that will make you smile……and for the holidays…..this will surely make you smile. Click the picture and sit back and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Little Virginia asks ‘Will there be a Cure”. (A Take on a Holiday Story)

VirginiaIn answer to the many postings I have recently seen from children (and parents) asking Santa for a cure, today, with apologies to The New York Sun, I again dust off an old article I did for dLife and respond to an updated letter from a young lady who asked a simple question during this holiday season. Her name is Virginia and she asks simply, “Is there a cure for diabetes?”

Dear Diabetes Dad,

I am eight years old and I have type 1 diabetes.
Some of my little friends, and others, say there is no such thing as a cure for my diabetes, and there never will be.
Papa says you have two children with T1 and that you believe in your heart there will be a cure for them and others like me, is that true Diabetes dad?
Please tell me the truth, will there be a cure for diabetes?
Your friend,
Virginia

Dear Virginia,

Virginia, your little friends — and others — are wrong.

They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical day. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there will be a cure for diabetes. It exists as certain as the results from love, and generosity, and devotion exists, and you know that these results abound and give you the highest hope and joy. Alas, how dreary would be the world if there were no hope for a cure. It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginia. There would be no childlike faith then, no wishes, no challenges of those searching for a cure, no hope to make living with diabetes tolerable.  But the faith is not merely child-like that faith is being proven in science all the time…….time is closing the gap in advancements and a cure.  If there was no faith, the light at the end of the tunnel, for which children and their parents constantly seek for the world, would be extinguished.

Not believe in a cure? You might as well not believe in science. You might get your papa to hire men to watch every bit of science all over the world. And even if they did not see the cure actually coming today or tomorrow, what would that prove?  Just because it isn’t here today, does not mean it isn’t coming. The most real things in the world are those neither children or men (or women) can see right before them at the time they ask for it. Did they know that a polio vaccine would work? That we would walk on the moon? Did they think a heart could be transplanted? Did they think that ‘refrigerator-size’ backpack of an insulin pump yester-year would ever be where it is today?   These were things that people never saw coming and now they are commonplace. Nobody can conceive all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world at a given time.

You may tear away the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world, which not the strongest men, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, dedicated work of science, and collaboration can push aside that curtain and view and picture the glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, there is nothing else as real and abiding.

But it is crucial, as we all await that cure, that we move advancement in day-to-day management tools for better care today.  You see Virginia, in as important a factor is a cure, is also your ability to take very good care of yourself today.  In so many areas there has been more advancement in the diabetes field in the last ten years than the ninety before that time.

No cure? Thank God the hope lives and will live forever.  It does for me.  A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten thousand years from now, people will look back at this time of hope in the heart of a child. A child named Virginia, who always believed there would be a cure. May we all have the heart of Virginia and may all who seek the cure know the importance of the work they do to help all the Virginias of this world.

Yes, Virginia, there will be a cure.

Happy holidays to all and to all, a good night.

Your friend,
Diabetes Dad

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

 

 

It’s a Wonderful Life……….Could this Classic Film be Made Today?

Its a Wonderful lifeNow do not beat me up on this….I am not trying to change your mind about this wonderful film…………..but…………in this world of emphasis being placed on trying to be so politically correct, I was watching the Christmas Classic It’s a Wonderful Life this holiday season; and as I watched I was wondering—-could it ever be made today?

There is a big difference in 2014, today, and when it was released in 1947 (which by the way—it was a boarder-line FLOP when it opened).  When I decided I would write a few things in my article today; imagine my surprise when I was doing my homework and learned that in 2012 the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) even thought it necessary and re-rated the film PG for thematic elements, smoking and some violence—bet you didn’t know that did you?

Now my holidays are not complete unless I see this film.  I watch it every year along with White Christmas and A Christmas Carol (starring the great Alastair Sim–the best scrooge…..EVER!!!) and no Christmas will ever pass that I do not sit and watch these classics.  I don’t mean to change your thoughts about the movie and my thoughts certainly won’t change; but the thoughts certainly entered my head.

I’m not sure if I’m just so sensitive because of the world around us lately, but there were some scenes that made me think, scratch my head, and ask could it be that this film would/could not be made today?  …….as a classic?  And not as the family treasure it has become for sure?  I shutter to think what the social media would do if this film was released as ‘new’ today.

One must look at these ‘observations’ as the collective sum of comments and actions and not of just one single entity.   Times do change. Here are some things that made me think, wow……….

George is speaking to Mary in the drugstore and calls her ‘brainless’ because she does not know something he knows.

Also when Mary is speaking to Violet:
Mary: …but you like all the boys.
Violet: What’s wrong with that?

A person dispensing drugs is very drunk while at work; and the audience is believed to allow it because he just received very bad news.

The same drunk business owner strikes his employee who is clearly a child.  In fact strikes him many times and causes his ear to bleed.

Is Mary actually naked when she loses her robe?  If George’s brother does not come by with the news of his father—what would happen between Mary and George?

George’s brother smacks their hired help in a sexual manner on her rear end.

George, as an adult, berates a teacher over the phone.

A police officer shoots at an unarmed man fleeing away from him.

George is driving while very drunk and crashes into a tree.  No one calls the police on him during that episode.

At the end of the movie, 3 strangers are left in the house with 4 children and they may have even arrived with no adult there at all.

Now as you read this did you agree or did you think, give me a break Diabetes Dad this is way overboard?

I have seen this film a million times and always tell myself that it was made in a different time and different times mean different angles to look at things.  But the question needs to be asked; how much the world around us, influences how we look at things today?

The world is certainly changing.

I am a diabetes dad.

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Today is 12/13/14……a Far Cry from Diabetes 1-2-3

12-13-14 Today’s date is 12-13-14.  It will be a long time until that happens again.  In fact it will be a hundred years.  Pretty safe to say where many of us will be at that time.  As I looked at that day today, I kept thinking about the diabetes of 1-2-3.  I am referring to the first 3 things we learned about diabetes when it was new in out household…..you know; the new normal.

I know there was an orange and there was syringe; and that is how we earned to give Kaitlyn her shots in 1992.  So many people become overwhelmed at the onset of being diagnosed; and it is like a wave over the side of a rowboat.  But think back, even if it was just a short time ago, when your child was first diagnosed.

In as overwhelming as it was or may even still be, it was step 1, 2, and 3 and then you continued on until you are where you are today.  We never look at the distance we have come and how far we have come.  ‘We will never survive this’ has morphed into discussions like this, “This is my child’s life, you damn well better do it.”  See: Progress.

The interesting thing about having diabetes is that we are, or should be, always moving forward.  Always learning.  Always taking ion the next challenge and we do it because we must.

So look at the distance of the race and remember when you were at just the small steps of 1-2-3.  Be proud and confident at the may things you have learned now that you are at steps 12-13-14…………………………………or 1012, 1013, 1014.  And how much more you will learn………moving forward is a good thing…….

I am a diabetes dad.

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My Life………Has Gone to the Dogs…..Has Yours????

Dogs Holiday 2014Whether you have a diabetes alert dog or you have one (two, or more) that just like being in the home, there is something to be said about our family members with four paws, isn’t there?

I am not quite sure how they do it, but on more than one occasion when one of us is feeling a bit down, sad, or even ill; one of these two—if not, both—will jump up and sit with someone for hours.  I swear they know.  Maybe they don’t know WHAT is ailing us but they sense something that makes them know what their job is and no one does it better than a pet.

My dogs are Dusty and Jessie named after two movie stars who appeared in one my favorite films of all time; Tootsie.  Many call this movie a comedy, and although funny in many parts of it—I think it’s more of an incredible love story than anything else.  I’m NOT a dog person.  Well…….I wasn’t always a dog person.  I am highly allergic and let it be known and clear; (to me)  there is no such thing as a dog that is completely hypoallergenic.  These two are certainly close but even still, I have to be careful with how close and for how long I’m with them.

But let there also be no mistake about it…..I love these little munchkins.  They are brother and sister from two different litters and we were never going to own one of them, much less two.

Dusty is the oldest (black and white).  All the dogs were given away from the litter and Rob really wanted this black and white one that remained, for his birthday.  We were visiting my brother-in-law (he owned the parents) and they put this little ball of fur in my hands and I bought him up to my face and said; “Give me one reason why I should ever bring you home?”  As if almost on queue, Dusty licked my nose.  And I was hooked.

That was years ago and the joy these two have added to our home with their antics and their unconditional love (well, a treat is needed from time to time) is beyond measure.  I am, to this day, absolutely astounded by the times they sense who is going through something tougher than normal and just nuzzle right up as if to say, “We’re here for you.”

And with everything we all go through in life, having a friend do that every now and again……….well that ain’t such a bad thing at all, is it?  Tell us about your family member with four paws.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

 

When Does a General (dParent) Stop Being a General (dParent)?????

BingI was speaking with someone tonight regarding my article “Take THAT diabetes”.  They congratulated me on Kaitlyn’s acceptance into Nursing School.  As we said good-bye, I was told; “…..so now you can worry a little less now that she will not be home….”.

I immediately thought of that wonderful song from the holiday classic, White Christmas. When they are trying to surprise the General, Bing Crosby appears on national TV and sings; “When does a General….stop being a General”?  (you can click here to hear Bing sing the song—–he starts singing at about the 11 second mark).

It isn’t exactly a comparison to being a dParent; but the thought is roughly the same.  But just as a general never stops being a general; a dParent NEVER stops being a dParent.  It’s a title we are given and will have it forever.  The worry does not ‘go away’ because your child is not at home.  It stays with you.  A dParent will always be a dParent.  This goes right along with parents who stop being involved because ‘they have done it long enough’.  They have donated, got burned out, feel differently about an organization, have done enough, advocated enough, lectured enough; all reasons given to ‘stop being involved’ somewhere, and sadly in some cases, ANYwhere.

Sorry…….you are NOT let off the hook.

If your child STILL lives with this disease, for the life of me, I do not understand how any parent can just say they have done enough to the point that they will do no more.  If the world is not completely educated, the cure is not found, the best of all management tools are not in use; OUR work is not done.  I know people who stayed active right up until their last breath.  I  think of those people ANY time I feel like I want to stop.  I also think of ANY child that does NOT GET A BREAK either.

Many have heard me say, I will get a break when my child has that luxury, not one second before.  So if you are tired.  If you look around and see SO MANY (and there are SO MANY) doing nothing.  If you are ready to throw your hands up and say, “I’m done”.  Remember that no matter what you feel or do; your child (or children) with diabetes can not give up.

The promise you gave your child last week or thirty years ago is still the promise you need to keep.  Think about it.  Re-engage somewhere.  Nothing can ever be fixed from the outside-looking in; or by just doing nothing—-NO REASON for being involved ‘trumps’ the promise you gave your child.

When does a diabetes dad stop being a diabetes dad?????  I cannot answer for others but THIS diabetes dad will not done until the job is done.  Period.

How do you feel about it?

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

 

Take “THAT” Diabetes!!!!!………and Some Wonderful Personal News.

Pow Robin I received a message yesterday from a mom.  When we connected on the phone she could barely keep her enthusiasm in check.  Something big was happening to her daughter and it had to do with something she wanted for a long, long time.

Most kids without diabetes dream of this opportunity as well; and to accomplish the same…..well….with diabetes; it is only that much more amazing.  In our phone conversation, her excitement was absolutely evident and I was both honored and thrilled that she wanted to share this with me before she shared with the world.

“When I read your article today (yesterday) about kids being heroes without capes, I just felt compelled to share my news with you personally.”  She concluded our wonderful conversation with, “Take THAT Diabetes.”  And to  that I say….amen….and AMEN!!!!

With that news, I have decided to share some good news of my own. Well GREAT news actually.  :)   And it’s a definite “Take THAT Diabetes” moment as well.  As many of you know, Kaitlyn (my daughter) has always had the single-minded goal of being in the medical field.  Her undergraduate work was in the sciences as she explored different options, her service as an EMT and working with patients at AHRC helped focus her goals that much more.

She has been accepted and in January she starts a new chapter in her life as she has been accepted at the University of Rochester’s Nursing program.  Her goal, eventually, will be a Nurse Practitioner and she believes she wants it in the diabetes field.  But until she completes her rotations, she wants to keep all options open, but she has always felt compelled to help others, especially kids, with diabetes.  At the young age of 24 and having diabetes for 22 of those years; she is a bit of an expert.

I have said it a million time, if my kids are happy and achieve what they want, I am ecstatic for them.  NOTHING in this world makes me happier than my kids being happy. Clearly I’m not alone in this feeling.

So another pathway and journey begins and Kaitlyn could not be happier.  Another time diabetes stopped one of my children from…….well……..nothing.

Take THAT diabetes……indeed!!!!

I am a diabetes dad.

Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.