Medical Advice is NOT a One Size Fits All……Be Careful Getting AND Giving!

lucy-diabetesThe post on social media goes out; “My child is going through (fill in the blank with a medical ‘occurrence’.)_____________________.  I have tried this (again fill in the blank) ____________________; that (again)_________________________;  and this again __________________________________ to no avail, I’m very worried, what should I do.

And the list begins on advice.

I’m the first person to state how powerful and needed it is to have support in this journey.  We all would be lost without it.  But to be honest, I would feel much more comfortable if on such posts, they began with……………..”I contacted my medical professional about (all the above) and am waiting for a call back, knowing diabetes is different in each and every person, anyone else go through this, and what did you experience; just while I am waiting for a call back.”

And when it comes to the responses, there are times when I read something, I am looking for; “What did your medical expert say?” and/or “If it were me, I would go to the ER and have a professional medical opinion on next steps immediately.”  And I do not find it.  It is at this point I think, is it a game of russian roulette.  Only a matter of time before the wrong advice is taken.

Why?

Because something that worked for my child, does not mean your child should, or could, do the same thing. And quite honestly, it could be dangerous.  I understand that we may think it is a “given” that people know to take everything with a ‘grain of salt’ as it were……..but I’m not so sure.  I also get the idea that we have heard horror stories about what did, and did not, happen at a medical professional’s office.  I get it.  I REALLY GET IT.   But they ARE THE MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS FOR A REASON When reading something and wanting to help, please consider to begin your comments with,  “What did your medical professional say?”

We can always weigh a course of suggested action with what others do; but it just make sense for the professional to be involved.  To think that medical advice is given and taken without consultation is one of the scariest things I come across.  Who is doing the ask?  It very well might be that they are brand new into this journey and may not know yet how much one thing needs to be weighed with another.

Assisting others in need is such a GREAT THING and in so many cases wonderful suggestions are made, but I just think it makes sense to start some conversations with, “What did your medical professional say……?”  And if not contacted yet, state, “Let’s involve them now……while you are speaking with others….and you and they can create the best course to follow……..”

Also understanding that some questions are not in this category and I’m not referring to those but, rather, addressing the issues when clearly medical intervention is needed and/or should be sought.

Doesn’t that make sense?  I seek your input.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

NEWSBREAK: When A Child Dies, Yes it’s Okay to Question……..Yet Again.

Blue CandlesIt seems to be, reading the posts all over social media, that a young lady, another one too young, has passed away.  From what I am reading, it seems there was a ‘kink’ in her pump tubing and insulin was being denied entry into the body.  Her blood sugar rose, she entered DKA and at 21, we have lost another precious life.

There’s much discussions occurring within our community and I just felt like I needed to drop a line for thought, perhaps a dialogue or two as well.  It’s, of course, just so sad. unfortunately in our journey, we have faced this situation too often for comfort.   We begin to ask ourselves……….well……….all sorts of questions.  What we really want to know is, however, “how do I make sure this does not happen to us”?

I wish I could wave a wand and make that ‘pit’ in your stomach go away…….but I cannot.    Years ago, we lost a relative to our family.  Absolutely tragic circumstances.  I realized as I asked myself the same questions over and over and over and over again, that what happened, as tragic as it was, could only be avoided if we lived in a bubble.  Could only have been avoided if we and touched no one and no one touched us; and/or we spend every waking moment hovering over every breath our children take.

It was a horrible situation.  And a lot of ‘what ifs’ and ‘what abouts’.  We cannot live in a bubble and we cannot ask our children to either.  I have stated that there could come a time that anyone I love can be taken; we would have no control over that although we would like to think we do—–or we could.  But in truth, we do not.  I’m sure the family of that beautiful young lady will ask themselves forever…”…..if only I…….”  I cannot take that feeling away from them, and nothing anyone can say will make them lose that feeling. As my friend Michelle taught me, “….we do not accept, we learn to cope……”  And she would know, she lost her son, also way too early.

I have stated many times before, if anything happens to any of my children, diabetes related or not, I MUST BE ABLE to look myself in the mirror and ask that man in the mirror if he did all he could?  If I cannot answer yes, then I need to work harder at whatever I feel I must.  If something happens and I can answer yes, as Michelle taught me, I must settle for coping, broken heart and all.

So ask yourself if you are doing what is right for your child?  Do not necessarily think you have to change everything all around because of something that has happened to someone else.  Would we take the car keys away because the car malfunctioned for someone else causing serious harm?  Do we stop flying even though major malfunctions have cause planes to drop from the sky?

What we do is we ask ourselves, “am I doing what is right”?  It’s ALWAYS and in all ways okay to run a check list when we hear of a tragedy.   Run the checklist and if you feel okay about everything, try to move forward.  If you doubt, seek until you find the answers—-not the answers you may be told by just others but by finding out the answers until you are confident on the answers. It’s also okay to count our blessings that it did not happen to us.

Yes, it’s okay to question.  It’s also okay to say a prayer, or have a private thought, for someone who has undergone something we can only imagine; and only hope we may never know.  It’s ‘just’ diabetes, right?   The world has no idea……..like we do.  SIGH!
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Goodbye November……Hello………Life.

sunrise-with-blu-circleToday we bid adieu to Diabetes Awareness Month.  This is the 25th time for one, and the 8th time for the second; that I have said goodbye to this month of diabetes awareness.  In fact I’m quite sure that when we started this journey, there was no such designation.

It makes no difference.

Because December 1st, for us, will be no dIfferent than the first of November, first of March, or even first of July….diabetes is here and it still sucks.

BUT……………………….

Once we accept that fact, and I’m sure you will too, it’s time to realize that there is still an incredible world around our kids for them to enjoy at full steam.  They take the lead from us, as parents.  We encouraged our kids to live in a world of, “Here I come……” and not a world of “Woe is me….”

I’m not some medical professional telling you this, I am a parent….just like you.  I live through it now and lived through it with two kids for years and I want t share with you that unless life has played an absolutely horrid hand of cards to you and you lost your child………there is a lot of living to do.  When you think this disease is winning, think of parents whose lives have intersected with yours via social media or wherever; who lost this battle.

Actually think about them for a second.  Those who lost.

Then what you are now dealing with does not seem so bad, does it?  Start from that point and build upon it because everyday we have, in any instance–diabetes or not—is a gift.  A preciously wonderful gift that is waiting to be lived.  Opportunity, enjoyment, fun, laughter, and excitement with those we love and here is the thing……..it’s your call.

If you have money, or do not have money, whether you have other ailments, problems, pains, ill relatives,……it is all called LIFE and no one escapes life.  So in between those things that need to be dealt with, find the time to do something to take advantage of the world around you, and encourage your kids to as well.  DO something that empowers your kids; learn to say yes.  Learn to say, I’m not sure how, but we will figure out a way. Learn to say, we may not be able to afford THAT, but we can do this.

Make yes the only option.

We have tried to find the good, no-THE GREAT, for our entire lives on this journey and I am pretty sure we faced more than our share of odds against us.  But we did not care. We buried close relatives and friends, and we learned to live with two kids dealing with this disease…..that was not going to prevent us from anything.  When the bad came along, we used it as a reminder of how fortunate we are that we have another day to “Change it UP”.  And we took full advantage of that opportunity.  What will you do today to make tomorrow a little better for you and for you children.

What will you do to; CHANGE IT UP!

Why wait for just one November when there are 365 other days to start over……go for it!!!
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Your Child can Receive a Personal Letter from Santa—-6th Annual Tradition Continues!

santa-from-videoSANTA CLAUS CAN PEN A PERSONAL NOTE TO YOUR CHILD THIS CHRISTMAS
Jolly holiday 6th Annual fundraiser benefits Diabetes Research Institute Foundation
NOTE: Your child does not have to have diabetes to receive a letter from Santa (cute video—click picture) 

Yes, Virginia (and Emma, and Maria, and Max, and Willie…), there is a Santa Claus. To prove it, Ol’ Saint Nick himself will send a personalized letter – complete with a North Pole stamp – to any child, in any part of the world for a minimum donation to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. This jolly holiday fundraiser is up and running and you can click this SANTA CLAUS to learn how to send a letter and make a donation. Your child receiving a personal letter from Santa is certain to light up faces brighter than the star on the tree.  And of course if you do not know of anyone who would want a letter from Santa….you can make a donation to just help the DRI continue their collaborative efforts to end diabetes once and for all.

Click here to learn more about the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.

The personalized letters, which can be requested by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or any other family member or friend, can include all sorts of information; like a reference to any toy, game, iPad or techno-gadget on the child’s wish list or even mention something about their pet. Santa can even encourage them and that he knows how well they have been trying to manage their diabetes as well. The fundraising campaign is open to all families everywhere, not just those affected by diabetes.

To get theall of the letters out to children by Christmas day, a legion of Santa’s “elves” are standing by around the country, according to volunteer chairwoman Marie Jarcho.

“We had a tremendous response the last six years. This is a wonderful and easy way to brighten a child’s Christmas and they loved it. The more information that parents or others supply, the more personal Santa’s letter will be,” she said. “…… it is my sincere hope that people will give what they can to help the Diabetes Research Institute find a cure.”

After the debut event, one mother wrote that her child was so thrilled with the personalized letter that she slept with it every night until Christmas. The DRI Foundation is hoping for an even greater response this year.

To send a child a letter from Santa Claus, JUST CLICK HERE or you cn click the picture to see a really cute Santa Video about the personalized letters.   The deadline for participation is midnight on December 9th in the USA and December 6th for any area outside the USA.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Cyber Monday, Something for You, If Needing to Shed a Few Pounds

dietto-goIt’s Cyber-Monday.  Now I know that you can get a million sales out there but here is one sale you might want to consider…..for yourself.   To be honest, I’m not a big fan of subscription meals.  That is, you pay a price and meals come to your house that are touted as both, tasting good and also better for you.

A few months ago I was contacted by Caitlin, who is the Community Outreach Specialist for a company called Diet-to-Go.  They wanted to send me a weeks worth of food, would try it in our house, and then let people know how we feel in an article.  I made it clear that I’m not a fan of theses-type-services but Caitlin persisted and informed me that Diet-to-Go was different.

So we tried.  They sent us a week’s worth of meals.

Now I am only going to give an overview here for a whole bunch of reasons. I’m not a chef, I am not a nutritionist, and taste is a matter of choice and different in each person. But the simple truth is, overall, that the food taste good.  Don’t be thrown off by my use of the word overall.  I did not choose these foods, I was sent a wide variety of choices so when you order, you can be as specific as you like.  The usual taste-load of spicy-ness was not present, as is the case in many of these-type meals, and the portions were as filling as one would hope. Certainly better than if I prepared them myself.

I did not try this as an entire ‘diet’ plan as is needed, but did lose a little weight and I did not have it for any real length of time. The food taste good; is reasonably priced; and if you are one who battles the ‘weight thing’ all the time—this might be worth a try.  And today on Cyber Monday….they have a great sale going on.  Normally this is the type of thing one thinks of in January but the sale made it seem worth a mention today on Cyber Monday.
Try it….you shoudl like it.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Disclaimer: in return for the meals sent to me, I agreed to write an article.  Weight loss and having diabetes are two distinct different subjects.  Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease whereas the body attacks itself destroying the insulin producing beta-cells; type 2 diabetes is the amount of insulin a body produces vs. the amount of insulin a body needs–which is altered and results in the body not receiving enough insulin resulting in use of medication and/or additional insulin; in some case this may be impacted by body weight.

Inside look at the Macy’s Parade…….Not Too Unlike……Well, US!

macys-paradeWell tomorrow is Thanksgiving……one of my favorite holidays.  Clearly one of the most famous parades in the world will begin their march from uptown to downtown delighting the faces of millions of children and even a few adults at the same time.

For years I had the honor and the privilege to having but one job in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade…….to get those huge balloons from start to finish.  Leaving my house at 3:30 am and driving to New York where there was an incredible electricity of excitement behind the scenes.  Thousands of volunteers and tens of thousands of man hours to make a complexity of activity flow seamlessly for the parade watchers both along the route and at home on their televisions.

We all trained for some time with those giant balloons.  A Pilot, 2 co-Pilots, a Captain, 2 co-Captains, 2 vehicles with a crew of 4 on each, two NYC Police Officers and even up to 70+ handlers all for just one balloon.  Getting ready in our white or black jumpsuits there are many high-fives and biddings of ‘Good Flight’ as we all make our way uptown to the upper East Side.  “Good Flight” is where the team works together for a successful trip through the entire parade route until the balloons are put away for next year.

The timing is crucial, and we are all connected via headsets as communication is key. Wind velocity with gusts are measured throughout and especially at every open cross street, obstacles are constantly being avoided (Street lamps have all been turned away to help), and away we go.  Launched……and all of those faces. It is a feeling of huge success when our job is completed and the balloons are all packed away.  Hours and hours of preparation—for a two-hour march.

It is all of those incredibly smiling faces that make it all worth it.  From fingers pointing to gasps, the faces of the children are just amazing.  One giant team to benefit all those kids.  I guess when you think about it—-not too unlike our wonderful diabetes community.  One big giant team to benefit so many.  There is so much to be thankful for during this holiday, my list is long and my heart is full.  Thank you to all of you who do so much to make this world a better place.

And on Friday, the diabetes community will all be back it again…..trying to make a difference because that is what we do.  Back at it.  “Good Flight” to all, and a most joyous and peaceful Thanksgiving to everyone.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

DO YOU WANT to Make a Child’s Face Surprised…..Read Here to Find Out How!

santa-boySanta needs helpers this year.  Within the next few days, a Santa letter writing campaign will be announced by the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.  People request letters, PERSONAL letters, from Santa to their child.  Perhaps Santa will mention what they want for Christmas, or the name of their pet, or even that a child is doing well while managing their diabetes.  All personal.

Well Santa needs elves to help write these letters.  Marie is the head elf and she coordinates this great campaign each year and she will explain the program.   It’s simple and you will feel so good knowing what a child’s face will look like.  What Elf Marie needs from you, is just the willingness to respond back within 24 hours with a completed letter to a child; you are given what is needed…..Elf Marie will teach you everything you need to know…..it’s easy….you just need to be able to get the letter done within 24 hours.  You will FEEL SO GOOD doing these letters.

If you want to help, please email me at tkarlya@drif.org and write in the subject line Santa’s Elf; and I will pass along to Elf Marie who will reach out to you with further instructions.
Thank you for caring.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Hey, Can Your HS/College Kids Help the DRI Get $10,000?

halo-ice-creamNow I tried Halo, my daughter tried Halo Ice Cream, it’s a great tasting and pretty good nutrient value; and Kaitlyn informs me that her blood sugars did not spike when eating it.  So, not bad….in fact pretty good.  But of course, it’s different in each person as you well know.

Here’s the deal.  Halo Ice Cream will give $1.00 per Instagram hashtag
#RaiseYourSpoon.  Now, in case you are not a fan of this deal, I can assure you that it is the real deal.  So if you want to help us reach the $10,000 donation from Halo, here is what you do……grab a cool picture and go to INSTAGRAM, and hashtag it
#RaiseYourSpoon….for each hashtag on Instagram, the DRI will receive $1.00 up to 10 thousand dollars.  So ask your high school and college aged-kids to go to Instagram and hashtag a photo #RaiseYourSpoon.

If they/you do not have a picture, use the one here.  This is November, Diabetes Awareness Month……why not help raise money without having to give a penny, post the hashtag #RaiseYourSpoon on a photo in Instagram and help us get to our goal of 10,000 hashtags which will translate into $10,000 to the important research being done at the DRI for a biological cure.

This is easy.  So help spread the word and help the DRI to receive $10,000 from Halo Creamery.  But remember to hashtag #RaiseYourSpoon on anything posted.  Share with your college kids and high school kids and ask them to share with their friends. They can share on FB and Twitter but the hashtag ONLY counts on Instagram.
Thank you.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Fair disclosure—as most know already, I’m an employee of the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.

On This World Diabetes Day……I Think……of You!

birthday-cakeWhen Lou Gehrig retired from baseball he said, in his farewell speech, that he was probably one of the luckiest men on earth…..I know the feeling.  Not because of diabetes, I wish that was not in the factoring at all but in a way it is.  What is in the factoring……is YOU.

If I attempted to name the so many people who have taught me, showed me, challenged me, and above all; enriched my life since beginning this journey–undoubtedly I would miss someone so I will not attempt it.  But that does not mean I think of so many on this day because I do.  It’s not because of diabetes we met, it is because YOU CHOSE not to accept the roadblock given to you.  There are millions of people with diabetes who I will never meet, but my life has been so blessed with people who have decided to just, ‘don’t do nothing’ that our lives HAVE BECOME entwined.

Because you chose to advocate, learn, share, give, take, and live by the rule that ‘diabetes just will not do’ in your life that our paths have crossed and I’m one lucky man for knowing you.

November 14th, the birth date for Dr. Frederick Banting who discovered insulin, and is recognized as World Diabetes Day is indeed, today.  My celebration will never be about diabetes, I hate it and want it eradicated.  I WILL, however, celebrate the lives of my children who live everyday to full gusto even with diabetes.  I WILL, however, celebrate each and every one of you who have blessed my life in this journey.  I WILL, however, celebrate all off those working daily to making a difference for those with diabetes to live better managed lives and hopefully a day when it will be cured.

That is World Diabetes Dad to me and I thank each of you for being part, any part, of this journey with us.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

NEWSBREAK: The Story of (Kisses for) Kycie; from her Mom and Dad

kycieElizabeth Stein was diagnosed with T1D at age 10.  Elizabeth did not like to dance, Elizabeth LOVED to dance.  In 2000, as a neighborhood fundraiser in her Orlando community, she created Dancing for Diabetes.  Diabetes would stop her…..from nothing.

Elizabeth holds her event every November, this year’s being number 16, to better the awareness of diabetes.  I will write about the event in an upcoming article, but something happened at the event that I would like to share with you and Elizabeth, wanted me to share it as well.

Each year, at the start of the second act, young people, all with diabetes, present a dance number especially for them, this year there were 24 kids showing diabetes as Elizabeth has, will stop them from nothing….and dance they did.

The second act always begins with a video to make her audience better aware of an aspect of diabetes. Her awareness this year was about the missed diagnosis of T1D.
She interviewed some people about this and I was fortunate to be included.  We knew what it was about, but was not told the entire story.  You see Elizabeth also flew to Utah and interviewed the parents of Kycie, who we all knew from Kisses for Kycie.

This is 16 minutes long and be aware; it’s not an easy watch.  But PLEASE know this; Kycie’s parents do not want this story to end, they want it to begin.  They want, just as Reegan’s parents want, the world to know and to be aware of diabetes.

Yes, get angry, and surely feel free to cry; but when it’s over also know that you can help accomplish what Kycie’s parents want, what Elizabeth wants, what Reegan’s family wants—-to spread the word about T1D being missed as a diagnosis.  Without anything further, I present Elizabeth Stein’s story regarding Kycie.  Click Kycie’s picture to begin the video.

I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.