Nothing that You Hear……Only Half of What you See.

Because I said soMama always taught me; ‘…….to believe nothing that you hear and only half of what you see…..”  The premise, quite simply, is that nothing is as it seems.   If someone is speaking, everything they say is as they see the world; and that “….it ain’t necessarily the way it is….”  It also may have influenced me that when growing up and my dad would say, “Because I said so…..”, just never sat quite correctly with me.

It’s almost amusing to hear what some people have to say and how much they believe their word is gospel truth.  And I have often thought that the ones who speak the loudest are, not necessarily, the ones who know the most…… fact, in many cases, it’s the quite opposite.  Because someone appears to be ‘in-the-know’–not always so true.

I constantly remind myself……go to the source…..go to the source…..go to the source.  Because if it’s not coming from the source, it’s a generation away from facts which continues exponentially with each telling of the story.  As kids we all played the telephone game…..right?  Someone makes up a few sentences and tells person one who shares the story to the next person and it continues until the last person shares what they were told and by that time, the story/facts have changed greatly.

What makes us think that the way the phone game was played back when we were kids, has changed all-that-much now that we’re adults?  And it’s become even more emphatic.  If you want to verify all of this, no matter your political affiliation, just go to a political site or when someone passes their political opinion about how good their candidate is and how ridiculous the opposing one(s) is (are).  Things are stated with such conviction that YOU KNOW they must be correct……right?   Uhhhhmmmm not really.

I find this is in the diabetes world as well.  I have always, ALWAYS, and ALL WAYS, never took anything at face value.  I try to verify whatever I hear;  about a device, a type of research, a management tip, a new medication—-homework, homework, homework.

I will also rarely get into a debate about anything as well because in as much as I may do my homework and know something to be completely contrary to what I am hearing or reading; it’s not important that I convince someone ‘otherwise’ it’s important that I know.  That I know for whatever will benefit my kids.  That I know for whatever I choose to believe in.  That I know what I feel comfortable.  There I snot enough time for me to find out what is needed much less try to convince anyone else…..of anything.

I’m also not easily swayed, but I will listen.  Mama also taught me that you cannot learn anything while you’re talking……and THAT has served me well,  But quite honestly, don’t take my word for it.  Find out for yourself.
I am a diabetes dad.

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


Know it, Learn it, and——Do Your Job!!!!

i-just-do-my-jobI do my job.

When it came to diabetes and our kids, we did our job.  We did it with all due diligence, we did it with education, we did it with all we had.  We did not beat ourselves up over a high A1C and we did not dance in the streets when the A1C improved or was below 7—-because we did our job. The number was a gauge, nothing more, nothing less.  When we had a great day, we enjoyed it but we also knew that tomorrow could be different, and many times it was, but we usually stayed the course because we did our job.

We tried to avoid our personal emotional roller coaster because when you do your job, you can only do the best you can and after that, brace yourself or enjoy the ride because it will always be one way or the other and to be candid, if you rely on how diabetes ‘behaves’ to dictate your day, you are in for a long, rough ride.

When a storm comes, and they will, you have to be ready.  If you ask yourself, “…why/how does XYZ cope better than I do? or ….they know so much more than I….” there is only ONE REASON for that, they went out and learned.  I have stated this many times before; Kaitlyn (and Rob) had/have the best mother in the world when it came to their diabetes (she is a great mom all around but in keeping with this article we’ll say diabetes).  I cannot tell you how many times I came home at 1:00 a.m. from work and had to clear the bed from literature that she fell asleep reading.  She was given no time, SHE FOUND IT.

She was given no time……she found it.

I tell you that because if you do not know something you must make it your priority to find out; no one is going to spoon-feed diabetes information to you.  Whether you have it, or you are the care-taker–what you know is 1000% up to you.  Busy???? You bet.  Difficult???? You bet.  But if you want to get ahead of this, you have to make the investment in finding out.

Many people have taken issue with me when I say if you do not own diabetes it will surely own you.  The better statement is probably, diabetes will surely do all it can to take control of your life and how much you let it………is up to you.  Because at the end of the day it’s up to each and everyone individually to take care of diabetes or take care of your child with diabetes.

From experience and experience only, I have also shared the best equalizer is knowledge.  The more you know, the better you will be—-DO NOT rely on ANYONE to give you the truth…….go out and find it for yourself.  Not because I said it or because someone else ‘who is soooooooo knowledgeable’ said it, but because you found out for yourself. The philosopher Goethe states, “Whatever you cannot understand, you cannot possess.”  Amen.

No one will do it for you, it will not happen over night; but seek to learn and the pathway of success with this insidious disease will right itself more than wrong…..but the choice is squarely on our own shoulders.  You can look to everyone else for instructions, blame, and advice; but true knowledge to build something can only be learned by doing.
I am a diabetes dad.

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


Sung a la Elvis…It’s a Blue Diabetes…How do YOU Shake, Rattle, Roll It…Thank You Very Much?

Elvis BlueMy friend and wonderful author, Andrew Deutscher asks a very interesting question that I would like to get out there to hear your comments/feedback.  If you have diabetes or you have a child with diabetes, needless-to-say that at some point or another, you are going to want to scream from the highest mountain…….and maybe you do that when needed.

But I’m curious, as Andrew was when he asked, what DO YOU DO when you need to take a break….need to get away…..need to just pack it in for a few hours?  How do you ‘shake’ those diabetes blue?  Maybe Elvis wore the diabetes color of blue for a reason……just say’n.

Kindly share with all of us what gets you to the breaking point that you need to DO SOMETHING that allows you to keep going and what it is that you do?
I am a diabetes dad.

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


Is Diabetes Winning…….or Are You IN THE ZONE?!?!?!?!

zoneI have often felt that this life around us is like a buffet of positive energy.  You have so many choices to feed yourself in one of a million roadways that can lead to happiness.  SO many roadways just full of great experiences and great times along with great friends.  I am amazed how many choose not to eat at this buffet table and would rather eat at the buffet of anguish and despair.

If you have a dollar to bet, bet that someone somewhere is not just worse off than you but that they are enjoying life that much more.  Think about it.  Look around you.

There was a big walk this weekend for Autism.  There were lines at the airport this morning.  There were movies to be seen this weekend.  There was a good time to be had somewhere.  Everyone else is out there living with what life throws at them.  It is time to face the fact that just not everyone wants to live life as if someone hurled a boulder that landed squarely one one’s shoulders……and they don’t.

One of the most important lessons life that my mom taught me was that because it matters to us, it probably matters little to someone else……..unless they feel the same way.  It is not that they are cold-hearted—-they just have their own life and the want to get back to it with as little interruption as possible.

I know sick people who live life to the utmost degree.  I know rich people who are miserable.  I know poor people who are on top of the world.  You can tell almost immediately the person you want to be around to make you feel good.  If they do not make you feel good…….move on.

When you look in the mirror, are you the person you think people want to be around?  Are you taking this life for all it has to offer?  The person who listens is the person who learns.  The person who takes it in, is the person who gives it away.  The stranger walking by who smiles at you does not know more than you……but they surely make you feel that way, don’t they?

For today, just today.  Live life-like it’s about to be the best day of your life because to live it differently…….you just may get what you asked for and why take that chance.  Ever hear the phrase ‘in the zone’? You hear it in the sports world all the time.  The pitcher is in the zone.  The defensive back is in the zone.  The golfer is in the zone.  They are relaxed and ready to play at the top of their game.

So for today, just today, live life ‘in the zone’.

We’ll talk again tomorrow……………………….about tomorrow.
I am a diabetes dad.

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


Mass Murders…….A Lesson to be Learned…..Even for Our Diabetes Community.

Can you hear meWith the tragic events occurring yesterday in Oregon, I was left scratching my head as my heart ached.  Later in the day my thought process made me ask a question, which quite honestly, I cannot find the answer.  How many times have we had to pick up the broken bodies of people shot in mass shootings?  How many schools must go through this?  How many times must WE go through this?

What I do not intend to do here today, is find blame or even an answer; but to ask you in the diabetes community to weigh something in your mind.  We are constantly looking for the answer to so many things in our diabetes world.  How can we get people to understand what we go through?  How can we get the world to know the differences between T1 and T2 diabetes?  How can we get the world to know the warning signs of T1 so another missed diagnosis does not happen again?  Real issues to us all, right?

And in a country that is ‘as advanced’ as ours, we cannot even put a dent in the absolute tragedies that keep happening with these mass murders.  Again, let’s not point a finger and give blame, that is a conversation/discussion for elsewhere; my point is that if we cannot even come to a starting point with something that so grabs the national consciousness of these senseless murders, what makes us think the world will stop and take notice of ‘diabetes stuff’……..even a little bit?

Issues take place which makes everyone flurry around to ‘do something’.  You will notice it again as the ‘gun’ issue will be discussed and torn apart in conversations across this country over the next few days; but it will die down yet again………it always does.

Until the next time.

And the next time.

And the next time.

And THAT is my point.  If we want to foster change, real change in anything, it’s a methodical and constant surge toward the specific goal we set, no matter what.  We cannot rely on the public consciousness to get the world to understand our diabetes world……..we do not ever even dwell on changing the climate when it comes to mass murders.  It happens.  We cry. We move on.

There is a cruel lesson in all of this, and it is up to us should we decide to learn it.  Whatever change we want to see……it has to be a constant and unified effort until completed, by us.  Because everyone else is in their own world. In their own work. They are doing their own thing.  They are in their own lives.  Why should they care about something that does not concern them?

And BAM.

It hits their lives…………………..and now it’s important.

Like I said, I don’t have an answer but I do know this, we surely have our work cut out for us and unless we all do a little—-we are leaving some to do a lot……..and that’s too much to ask of anyone.  Just don’t do nothing.  At the end of the day, in our diabetes world, it will be what the diabetes world does that will foster change.  We cannot leave it for anyone else.  Food for thought.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


One Little Girl. One Voice. One Law Passed.

reegan sun glassesSomeone who did not know me, at the hotel I am staying, asked me yesterday, “How is your day?”  I said, “It’s been a GREAT Day, actually.” And on one hand, it was.  Being any part of getting a law passed in any way, can surely be considered a good day.  With that came a few thoughts.

The first one, is a feeling which I cannot shake, is that I’m constantly reminded how this law came into being.  That pain and that sorrow.  It will never leave Reegan’s Family.  It’s my hope that there will be some sort of solace in the fact that her little name will live on forever in the law books of North Carolina.  We believe, this is a first.  It will be the foundation of which all else is built upon.  I hope some sort of peace comes with that to Reegan’s family, they deserve at least that……and so much more which we cannot give them.

I also thought of the so many out there who do not have such a big mouth, as I do.  I mean it one thousand percent when I state how large a part so many had to do with the passing of this law.   As you can imagine, my phone and email lit up like a Christmas tree yesterday; and my answer was the same to all… was a huge effort by so many.

If you wrote a letter or contacted an elected official when we asked you to; yours are the voices that swept through the NC House and Senate.  The voters in both Houses responded…….to you.  David, in this story of David vs. Goliath, are all those who sat at a computer thinking “…….well I’m not sure how good it will do, but I have a loved one with diabetes (or I have diabetes) and I will send a letter……….and maybe I’ll be heard.”

And heard you were.

At the end of the day, we all will go back to where diabetes has taken residence.  We will move on to the next thing that is important.  The next initiative.  The next fund-raising event.  The next shot of insulin.  But all of the efforts of days during the past few years came to a zenith at 11:56 pm on Tuesday evening, according to official records, when Reegan’s Rule became law.


In addition to the herculean efforts of Reegan’s Family, Representative Graham, and Senator Smith of North Carolina………there was you, there was an ‘us’.  We are the diabetes community; get on-get off-or get run over.  Congratulations to all—-no small part was played—-our voices were heard; and more importantly……..Little Reegan’s voice…….was heard.

I am a diabetes dad.

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



Reegan At 11:56 last night, according to the official record of the North Carolina body of State Senators; The State Senate voted and passed Reegan’s Law paving the way for the Governor to sign it making it law.  The vote was 47-0 in the Senate.  The Governor is expected to sign.

The law was attached to another law dealing with Pharmacy benefit managers, but the wording stayed the same with Reegan’s Rule and will be entered into the law books for all time:

Senate Bill 694
Short Title: Reegan’s Rule/Enforce Pharm. Ben. Mgt.
The General Assembly of North Carolina Enacts:
Section 1. Part 3 of article 7 of chapter 130A of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:
130A-221.5 Diabetes education as part of well-child-care
Each physician, physician assistant, or certified nurse practitioner who provides well-child care is encouraged to educate and discuss the warning signs of Type I diabetes and symptoms with each parent for each child under the care of the physician, physician assistant, or certified nurse practitioner at least once during the following intervals:
(1)   Birth
(2)   Twelve months of age
(3)   Twenty-four months of age
(4)   Thirty-six months of age
(5)   Forty-eight months of age
(6)   Sixty months of age

Section 2 (this part of the law is all pertaining to the law regarding Pharmacy Benefit Managers and has nothing directly related to diabetes—if you want the entire law–email me and I will send it to you).

I spoke to Darice, Reegan’s mom this morning, Representative Graham, and I spoke to Representative Graham’s office as well—-they adjourned at 4:15 a.m. this morning–many tired lawmakers.  It was an emotional discussion with Darice, a woman who I have come to admire and love beyond measure. In this emotional discussion I thanked her and assured her that what she had done would change this diabetes world we live in.  I could sense, through her many tears, so many mixed emotions.  It was an emotional discussion with Representative Graham as well.

And here’s why THIS law is so important.

For the record, we are VERY AWARE that this law is not what was originally planned.  It is not a mandatory….anything.  We understand that fact as much as, or more than, anyone else.  BUT what it is, we believe, is a passed law of which has not been seen before.  Can it be better and stronger????? you bet.  But now there is a law stating diabetes education.

It’s a start.  A BIG start.  AND THAT is huge.  Now it’s up to us…..what will we do with it?

Going through not only this process, as well as it is getting any law on the books, was a long process.  And Representative Charles Graham, and State Senator Jane Smith pushed long and hard for Reegan’s Rule law to pass, and we could not be more grateful.  Without their passion and drive, this law never happens.   And many thanks to the so many people who wrote letters and a special shout out to my friend Bennet Dunlap and DPAC Diabetes Patient Advocacy Coalition who stepped up at a crucial and needed time in this process.

And on behalf of this diabetes community (if I may be so bold) I so sincerely and humbly thank Reegan’s Family.  We have no idea of the toll this took getting this done…..and at the end of the day, in their lives, the loss is monumental and unchanged; that will never change.  THIS WAS NOT AN EASY ROAD FOR THEM.  They did it because it needed to get done, they did it because it was important, they did to help others NOT go through what they went through.  In the end, they ( and we, the diabetes community) did it………………..for Little Reegan.

And that’s good enough reason for all of us.  Onward.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


We Need a Diabetes Supermarket…..Don’t You Agree????

supermarketSo I’m thinking…….why is there not a Diabetes Supermarket?  You know, a virtual store that is one-stop shopping.  As you enter the website–you enter a gorgeous and clean-looking supermarket with aisles and aisles of items to help you in this diabetes journey.

One aisle is full of insulin pumps where you could make your choice by walking down the aisle and clicking the links; and also the various available glucometers and CGMs.  Even private label items are all included along with items needed to treat lows and highs.

Aisle two is all the different clothing available for anyone wearing pumps; as well as holders/cases for pumps and clothing with pockets for meters etc.  At the end of the aisle are various pocket-book-type to hold all of the supplies.  Men’s. ladies, and children all in one aisle.

Aisles 4-5-6 all various foods and drinks available to people with diabetes and as soon as you move your mouse over the items…it gives you nutrient values and price; making it real simple.

Aisle 7 is the research aisle.  All of the various types of research where one can link on and learn about the various forms of research happening around the world.

Aisle 8 is the upcoming management tools aisle with artificial pancreas, bionic pancreas, new meters, meters-in-the-cloud; all information available to inspire others what is coming down the pipeline etc. etc.

Aisle 9 is all of the ‘kids stuff’.  Games, learning tools, stuffed animals education tools, and anything else dealing with kids.

Aisles 10 and 11 all books, dvds, podcasts, and magazines available for any subject matter dealing with diabetes.

The virtual store is set up so anything one wants can be found all ‘under one roof’….what do you think?

Let’s go shopping together.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


Diabetes ‘Stuff’……..Parents, Not Always YOUR Call to Make…..Is It????

mobile phoneI don’t want to say that we have made some crucial choices when my daughter was young, but we did.  However, at the first opportunity we could, when it came to her diabetes, the choice was hers to make.  The same with my son when he was diagnosed.

People say to me that your children must be on XYZ, the newest technology, right?   Not necessarily.  If I had to pinpoint ANY thing as such a necessity, it’s two solid points.  One, I don’t have this disease.  I do not know what it is like to actually have it.  I could fool myself and tell myself all the things that I think I know and that gets me close……but truth is, it doesn’t.  I can tell you what it is like to be parent but there is a line in the sand when it comes to understanding that and having diabetes and that line is a canyon-wide realization, if I do not have it, I cannot possible know.

Second, with the only one exception being the non-negotiable wearing of an alert bracelet or necklace, the decision what my kids should do to handle their diabetes is left to them.  I can encourage them and more importantly I can educate them; and at that point, the call is theirs.  I have an opinion for sure, but it is just not my call.  I have said this a million times, my dear friend, the late Richard Rubin (who chartered this course as a father and an expert) taught me the clearest decision in my life….give my kids choices.

THAT is not as easy as one would think.  But from the time Kaitlyn wanted to go to sleep overs and we said we want her to go too but she needs to know how to give herself a shot if we were to let her go, almost from the age of six, she started on the pathway of starting to manage this on her own.  Yes, age six.  What age is that I  your house?  Only YOU know that answer, but surely they can START as early as you want.

Were we there every step of the way?  You bet we were.  Watching ever so carefully but when it came to deciding on a pump or a CGM, having better numbers means little to a child.  Walking her through how she felt when she would go low or high and asking is she would like to try to make it so those feelings occurred MUCH less, well that is something she understood.

Choices……but not for my sake……make them understand it for their sake.  You will have better numbers, you won’t have complications, and you will do better should be replaced with choices.  Would you like to work at not having to leave the soccer game in the middle of a game or practice is but one idea.  There are many more.

And if your child has an A1C which is in the range you are all working toward, be even more careful to tell them what THEY SHOULD do, they way you like, to handle THEIR diabetes……..think about it.

And if anyone is NOT in your family telling you what to do for your own good because THEY KNOW; politely, and strongly, tell them you and your child have it worked out with what works for you.  And if they continue, tell them they should lose 20 pounds…..after all, you are telling them that for their own good.  You may lose a friend but it will surely change the direction of the conversation. (I do not want you to really do this).

I understand that many choices we each have to make; and we all WANT what is best for our child.  But MAKING your child do something when they don’t want to……could set you back years.  Never easy, this diabetes stuff…… it?

I am a diabetes dad.

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


This Little Girl.

Kaitlyn FlowerTwenty-three years ago this date started just like every other.  It was even on a Saturday, just like today.  I was involved in what was considered one of the hottest tickets on the New York Theatre seen, Tony ‘N Tina’s Wedding in 1992, doing eight shows a week. It was a day that would change our lives forever.  Our youngest child (at the time, we would be blessed with a third child 3 years later), my only daughter, would be diagnosed with type one diabetes (T1D) at the age of two.

Devastation…..right?  Well, not so fast.

If diabetes has become the new norm in your household recently, or perhaps it’s still just as devastating as the first day, pull up a chair.  Twenty three years ago, pumps were not really in everyday use as they are today.  CGM was only 3 letters.  We waited 45 seconds for a ‘read’ on a glucometer.  There were 2 types of insulin; long and short-acting and each shot was a mixture of both.  Biological cures and Artificial/Bionic Pancreas were not even in the vocabulary as a hope.  It was different back then.

We came to grips with two things pretty quickly; she could die from this disease and this disease will take everything we would allow it…….both thoughts were unacceptable.  The little face you see pictured gave us all the strength we ever needed.  From the moment diabetes took up residence we made it clear that it would be in our lives but it would NEVER rule us.  We quickly learned that there was a Diabetes Terminator out there and it’s called education.  Education about the disease, education on better management tools, education on research for a cure……we ‘gobbled’ up everything we could and we continue to do so to this day.

Ever watch an electrician work?  Ever wonder why they have no fear about being seriously ‘zapped’?  They DO have a fear of being zapped, so much so that they know everything there is so they know how to avoid it.  Educate the process and the fear takes a back seat.

Want to get rid of THAT fear……become educated.  Sure things can still happen but knowing that you have done all you could because you learned……well…….equalizer.

The two-year-old that laid in a crib back when is the strongest woman I know.  She is direct.  She inspires me to this day.  As she taught me, “I have diabetes, diabetes IS NOT who I am!” Amen.   From the first day she decided that it was time she could walk to the deli with her friends by herself, to this day where she sits upon the Dean’s List at the University of Rochester’s Nursing program she continues to let diabetes know, it just will not do in her life.  And that is fine with me.

She has grappled with everything everyone deals with living with diabetes 24//7/365.  How could she not?  But she too understands the equalizer is education.  When you understand something fully, you grasp everything fully.

So if you are fairly new at this, many decisions are up to you.  One of us had to stop working.  One of us had to hold two jobs.  We could have lost everything.  We had to decide if having another child would only be another child at risk…..we had a third child in 1995.  We had to deal with his diagnosis at age 13, but we knew the percentages.  We do not regret ANYthing because our eyes are wide open.  The most important choice is choosing to do all you can to understand…….well all of this.

It has not been a bed of roses.  It has been a lot of work.  I sit in a hotel room as I write this, I will be involved with a walk later on with hundreds of people who have a connection to T1D.  I have met so many people on this journey who I could not ever imagine not ever knowing.  They are a part of me and some even own a piece of my heart and my soul.  They are in this battle too.  They are with me as well……they get it.

So I say to you, whatever you are dealing with, know that you can feed off the strength of your kids and allow that to fuel the fire in your soul.   The fire to make this world a better place………for others…….but mostly for your children. There is not one thing my children have wanted to do…..NOT ONE…..that we did not figure out how to make happen.  I am surely no brighter than you; YOU can do this diabetes thing.  When a door opens, walk through it.

Our three children could not be any more different and all make me so proud each and every day.  I did not want diabetes in our family but at the end of the day and twenty-three years later, the only thing that gets zapped in our house…………IS diabetes.  And we work toward that…………………..every day.  You can too.

I am a diabetes dad.

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