The Diabetes Equalizer——Education. Period!!!

CWD RwgustrationRegistration is open here in Florida.  I have often discussed CWD’s Friends for Life…..I have been a faculty member there since its inception; it’s an honor I cherish.  They have an annual conference each year in July in Orlando and thousands attend.  They run local weekend conferences as well.  There are scholarships available for families who could use it.  It’s not a ‘charity’ thing as there are costs associated with it and there is help available if one could use it……almost all could use it at some time or another.  I am absolutely confident in saying what we have learned here over the years has impacted our decisions GREATLY for the better.

We have also been involved with camps.  I also believe fully in DECA’s (Diabetes Education Camping Association) mission and local camps as well.  Clara Barton had Kaitlyn involved for years.  There, too, have been daily education and interactions that I would not have traded for the world.  Immeasurable on what can be learned from the expert faculty who share their knowledge and the fact of KNOWING one is not alone in this battle.

I encourage you, as parents, to do all you can to participate in an education program that involves your kids.  When kids spend time with other kids, going through what they are going through, it will be easier than going it alone.

I have stated a thousand times that no one has to do what we do.  You do not have to be at CWD or at camps but you really should do what you can to supply good education and peer-to-peer interaction.  For those who cannot afford it, there are scholarships usually available.  The education of our kids is paramount for our kids to have a level playing field in the uneven-ness diabetes throws at them.

I can only speak from what I know.  So I ask you to supply information what you do for your kids.  This column has always been an open forum.   Why you do not attend something is your call BUT WHAT I AM interested in doing is making sure that everyone knows what options are available to them.

So please share what you do for your child?  Being involved is not a kids game, some of my closest friends have come from meeting other parents who believe that kids need to be kids; and after diagnosis, the best way to get there is knowledge; the diabetes equalizer.

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

Summer Fun Plus Diabetes Equals…..Anxiety…..Right?

Summer funCamps.  Rafting trips.  Summer competitions.  Day trips away.  Over night trips.  Trips over a few days.  When our kids with diabetes partake in these events it makes the anxiety level go through the roof…..right?

We want them to flourish and grow but at the same time we want to parent-helicopter them and hover over them through all of it just to make sure diabetes behaves.   But that is not always the case….is it?

The solace I can provide to you is that many of us have been there and the best way to get through it…………….is to……………………..well……………………get through it.  Doing.  Taking the leap.  I could also tell you that ‘back when’ there were no cell phones or the cloud or CGMs or the Dexcom Share or a whole list of other tools that now exist and guess what, we got through it.

And you can too.

We grew by doing.  Yes there were situations that needed dealing with but we got through it.  If Ryan Reed can top 200 miles in a race car while managing his diabetes, we can do THAT white water rafting trip. Imagine what Ryan’s mom goes through when she hears that Ryan is just going to ‘pop-on-over’ and do 200 laps at 200-plus miles per hour.  If you do all the preparation you can and you think of all the scenarios that can occur (and realize a few new ones are waiting) and you plan all you can……….well that is all you can do.

Rigid plans will break….one who is flexible and adds flexible into the planning will do better than those that do not allow extra time, extra supplies, and extra understanding.  Know that many have gone before you and dealt with whatever came along.  It’s what we do as parents to give our children every opportunity to live this wonderful life.

YOU can do this.  Plan that trip.  Go if you can. Have people who know what to do if you can’t.  It will work out.  Stay in touch.  But let them go, do not be paralyzed by so much fear that you keep your child back from being a kid.  Kids and summer……..they go together.  They did before diabetes entered your house and they should still go together after diagnosis.

Now go enjoy the summer………well try to anyway.

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

America…….with Everything, and Above ALL Else…….She is Ours, and We Belong to Her.

Flag foreworks eagleLife changed for me in 2001, it was September 11th. I was there, for two days, I inhaled everything. We are America.

We have problems today, just pick up a newspaper. Tensions racially, gender, sexual orientation. Rich. Poor. Wow. We are America.

We have crime, and mixed opinions on guns and marriage. We have mixed opinions on everything, actually, even sports teams. We are America.

We are a quilt. Our threads are different. Our colors are bright. We shine for each other, we shine against each other.  We are America.

But know this.

No one will stoop further to help another when in need. No one will span the line of danger to save someone else. No one will defend the right to scream as loud as needed. No one will lay their life down on the belief of freedom. No one will turn the car around to help. No one will reach out a hand. No one will hug another so hard when in need. No one will spend time with an elder, a youngster, an animal. No one more than us. Because when it comes down to it.

We are America.  It’s always been that way across the globe and will continue that way in Small Town, USA

With everything that makes up who we are, we are America.

And in the scheme of things, with everything, there is no other place I would like to be.

Because YOU are here; my brother and my sister, and together…….we are America.

Happy 4th of July.

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

Site. Aim. Fire. But Hit the RIGHT Target!!!!!!

CokeUnless you have been hiding in a cave or under a rock for the last few days, you completely understand the picture with this article today.  Using this ‘real thing’ in the manner it was; not cool.   I’m not going to mention the perpetrator, because they have received enough free coverage already.  Many, many, people became involved. Even, our friend and PWD, Nick Jonas became involved (good for you Nick!—THAT’s cool).

My article today is to urge that you do two things if you feel so inclined.  The first thing is to certainly let the company know exactly how you feel.  As one person wrote, “….do not let them off the hook.”  I could not agree more.  You can find the information about this situation out there and I’m not going to rehash it all here…..there is enough out there to find what you need.  If you are pissed……it does little if you do not aim at the target you want to hit.  Don’t just put it out there……let those who need to hear it…..HEAR IT.   Contact their corporate office, their HQ, their CEO…..never deal with someone who has to go to someone higher.

The other thing I would ask is that if this is a teachable moment to educate others what they may not already know about diabetes, utilize it.   If you are only posting things within your own world……for the most part……we know already.  Post it in places and with media sources where others can read it, others WO DO NOT know.  Post, write letters, and contact media sources in your neighborhood….aim for the right target.   If someone did a good job of explaining it all already, ask them if you can share what they wrote.

I love the Diabetes Community—–the passion is incredible.  Let’s not fall into the company’s PR trap by just spreading their name.   Rather, tell your story and share your story with others WHO DO NOT know about diabetes, and WHO DO NOT know what the big fuss is about, and WHO DO NOT know why someone is so hurt by what was stated.  Rather, share your voice loudly with people who will hear them and do something about it; and not merely someone who is thriving on being a voice to just stir the pot………………that is what they are paid to do; stir the pot.  Just stirring the pot more is giving that company EXACTLY what they want.  DO not stir a pot just to stir it more.  Go above and beyond and get the pot shut down.

Angry?  Be as angry as you want and use your voice, and use it loudly.  Just make sure you are not shouting into someplace where it won’t be heard by others who NEED TO HEAR what the truth is, and is not being heard only by those who already know.

It’s not about noise…..it should be about education, VERY LOUD diabetes education…….and that’s the REAL THING!!!!!

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

I’m JUST NOT SURE that Screaming About it will Help Anymore………You?

ScreamHow far are we to let ignorance go?

Television show, campaign ads, movies, and just general ignorance of diabetes……..when do we do something ‘more-concrete’ to put a stop to it?   Are we able to put a stop to it?

A few years ago there was a huge brouhaha over some ‘diabetes things’ surrounding Paula Dean.  Remember?  It was huge.  People in the diabetes community raised their voices, loudly, myself included.  It lasted, blasted, and went away.  Teachable moments to the maximum…..loud voices…..and here we are again…..and to what end?

Over the years I have certainly calmed my big mouth as far as these things go.  I read these things starting to raise everyone’s anger and  say to myself, ‘here we go again”.  The anger and the frustration are not present anymore in a way that makes me want to lash out……and to be honest…..I feel bad about it.

It’s not that I don’t want to see a difference, a change, a new way of looking at things……I do,  I really do.  It’s just that no matter how hard we try to, no matter how many times we raise our voices, it has not changed anything in the long run.  My statement is NOT THAT our voices should not continue, my ‘statement’ to ask if there is another way to go about such matters but with a lasting impact?

They say insanity is doing the same thing expecting different results.  Someone says something, it offends, the diabetes community reacts………just seems to be an unending circle…….anyone have any ideas??????  Would love to hear them?????

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

AN INTERVIEW WITH A GIANT IN THE DIABETES WORLD, DEXCOM’S CEO KEVIN SAYER

Kevin Sayer PhotoYears ago, I was friends with a man named Arthur Iger. He was more of a mentor, actually. Arthur was the father of Bob Iger who is the Chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company…..yes, THAT Walt Disney Company.

Through Arthur, I came to learn much about Bob, who many have credited for many saves in the Disney World especially that of making sure Pixar remained with the Disney Company. As I listened to Arthur over the years, and heard of Bob’s successes, I found none of it surprising. Bob seemed like his brilliance was only surpassed by his drive to make his company the best it could ever be. Status quo had no place in his business plan. The best way to stay good was to stay ahead.

Keeping your eye on benefitting the company, and not yourself, was a great way to appreciate humility as well. Confidence with feet planted. Bob Iger continued with great growth and became hugely successful as the world continued to learn from the company in so many areas. Food service, entertainment, crowd flow….quite honestly people learned that you can do things “right”, and you can do things “Disney-right”. When Arthur passed, I lost a good friend and there were a few times that I wanted to just pick up the phone and ask his son if he wanted to ‘grab a cup of coffee’ so I could find out what was new. I never found that relationship again………………………………until recently.

I had the complete honor of interviewing Kevin Sayer, CEO of Dexcom recently at the ADA Scientific Sessions in Boston, Massachusetts. Kevin is wonderful to talk to and there is no mistaking his handling of the reigns at Dexcom; to not only stay the leader they have been, but to make sure Dexcom devices are the absolute best that technology can possibly offer. His eyes focus sharply when he speaks of advancing all aspects of the Dexcom, and his face shows an incredible compassion when he speaks of seeing his product on little kids and how much more needs to be done. Here is my interview and see what all in the diabetes world should learn as well; that they can do ‘things right’ or they can do things “Dexcom-right”.   Many should follow Mr. Sayer’s lead. Enjoy the interview.
DiabetesDad (DD) You are heading your life and your career into becoming a CPA, how did it ever get you into this world?
Kevin Sayer (KS) That’s a great question, when I was in public accounting many of my client assignments were leading edge technology companies, health care, computer science, and disc drives. My clients were all emerging growth companies so some of them I would start with when they had nothing and would go all the way up to their public offering and their eventual sale to somebody else. So I had a lot of experiences that way and then when I became CFO of Minimed in 1994, my role evolved into much more than just being a CFO. I was……like……employee number 125 and when we sold that business to Medtronic, we had 2200 employees. So overtime when you have a small management team, you look at each other and ask who is going to be responsible for this, and who is going to be responsible for that, and you take more duties and you move on. I had some great mentors. In public accounting I had a wonderful mentor who I have had a 35 year relationship with; I worked alongside Terry Greg and Al Mann; I have been around a lot of great people over time.

DD And they influenced your direction…..
KS……a great deal.   And I grew up in the automobile industry with my dad watching him mange people all day long and learned an enormous amount there.

DD What’s so exciting about the Dexcom? What excites you about it and what is upcoming that excites you even more?
KS Do we have three hours?
(We both laughed at that notion)
KS The wonderful thing about Dexcom is what we do for people’s lives. Let me share a story with you. When we launched the Share System back in March we knew it would have a big impact. But we received an email from a patient in the Midwest and he said I have only had my Dexcom Share for three days but I feel compelled to write to you guys. He was a law school student and he stayed up all night studying for finals, took his final, got home and decided to mow his lawn, had a bottle of Gatorade and decided to go to sleep. Take a nap. Thinking everything would be okay, he checked his blood sugar before he went to sleep. In the middle of his nap, he went low and all of the alarms went off and he slept through them all but because of the Share System his brother; many, many hundreds of miles away was alerted that something was wrong. He called 9-1-1, the brother did, the paramedics, woke him up, pumped him full of glucagon—and in his own words he said “I would have died without your CGM, so with tears running down my face, I write you this letter. My cousin died not long ago because of this, he did not have to die if this was around.” The changes we can make in people’s lives and the lives we saved is what is exciting…..THAT IS WHAT is more exciting than any of the technology. Our next big step is in connectivity; that is our new next step. To share data properly. We’ve created an interesting dynamic between children and their parents. We freak some parents out because they now see each and every data point each and every day. A lot of these things psychologically have to be worked out. But that is our next big step, is the connectivity to the phone to eliminate the receiver so that people can carry one less thing. Data can be shared, and we can run analytics to make people’s lives EVEN better. From that point on, more accurate sensors, smaller sensors, smaller electronics. We listen to our patients.

DD How far away are we from seeing the phone from becoming the actual receiver; done and approved and ready to go?
KS We have filed that with the FDA for adults and for children it will go in very shortly. We would like to see both of them approved at the same time and on a track to do it by the end of this year.

DD THAT would be very exciting.
KS Yes, that would be fun.

DD Let’s say you are at a conference and you see an adult who is about 22-23 years of age and you see them checking their receiver, what goes through your head?
KS I go talk to them. I introduce myself and tell them my title. I ask them if they like it and take any feedback as to what, if anything, we can do better.

DD The same scenario occurs and there is a mom, but with a three-year old, and she is working with the child; what goes through your head knowing that ten years ago that was not happening and you have changed that whole dynamic?
KS Oh it’s breath taking. Who gets to go to work and do that?

DD Not a lot of people, not a lot of people at all…………………………..What would you suggest to the medical community when a patient is newly diagnosed and the inclination would be to say, ‘wait’?
KS I would say; “try it”.   I would also say that we need to do some work here as well. We need to build a body of proof to help change the minds of those in the medical profession who might be inclined to say, ‘wait’. We are not physicians and we need to continue to try to deliver our CGM first message and we need to provide better evidence for the physicians to say, “This really works. This leads to better outcomes.” We have a little more work to do there.

DD Can you address the idea of nonprofit giving to the private sector to accomplish a goal?
KS We have no problem with working with the nonprofit, within the guidelines of what the FDA outlines for us. If the non-profit group, for example, had a way to definitely make our product better, we would be more than happy to license that app and go through the proper FDA approvals and incorporate that into the product.

DD It’s a high pressure position, you are all around the country….what do you do when you want to get away from it all?
KS I have 5 sons, and inevitably somebody will be spending time with me. I have a 17-year-old left at home, and I have six grandchildren, so my spare time is spent with family. I have an amazing wife of 34 years this December; and I love to spend time with her as well.   I also love to golf and play sports of all kinds. I’m very active in my church and always have been. When I was younger I coached many of my sons’ teams. One of my favorite times in my life was working for my oldest son; he is a high school basketball coach and I was his assistant. It was awesome. Things like that, I love that.

DD As a leader in the diabetes industry, what are some of the biggest hurdles that are needed to be overcome in the furthering of a closed loop, bionic/artificial pancreas system?
KS Insulin is a big hurdle. Infusion sets are big hurdle; to consistently be able to deliver the exact amount of insulin every time insulin is delivered in a precise amount and know what is on there. When I started at Dexcom, everyone stated that glucose sensors had to be better. I think we’re getting pretty close but we’ll have to be better.

DD Are you referring to accuracy?
KS Yes, and accuracy is not just the number. Accuracy is the consistency of performance time, and time, and time and time again. When those sensors deliver the same results every single time, it is much better to run an algorithm with it. People being able to use it and work with it. The issue of the split community, one community saying we have to have glucagon with it and another community saying you don’t; I think those issues will all be worked out over time. Time being the key word.

DD Will you ever have a plastic-protective case like you did for the Dex Seven Plus?
KS I hope not…………….because I don’t want a receiver anymore.

DD What a great answer (both of us laughed).   Talk to your phone company?
KS I will tell you that we will sell a receiver for a back-up on a starter set and we are developing a more durable new receiver that will come out in the next 2-3 years. That would help. There are cases you can buy on other websites but we won’t build it.

DD Will you ever have receivers that have replaceable batteries?
KS Oh, yes, we are looking at that right now, but it will resemble more like disposable transmitters. We would rather make those and shrink the size of the transmitters. One of the things that gnaws at me more than anything is the size. I was at the CWD Friends for Life Conference in Florida last summer in Orlando and I see this army of children wearing CGM sensors and it looks bigger than the kid. The most dangerous thing in the world for our scientists is for me to go to a show like that for three days; because I come back and literally I tell them that I want it to be the size smaller than a bottle cap, and thinner than 2 quarters….and how do we do that? And battery technologies evolving, circuitries evolving and radios evolving; we have an advanced technology group looking at things like that and I would rather make the sensor like a band-aid. Wear it for a couple of weeks, peel it off, and put on another to simplify it rather than working on replacing batteries. However there is a catch—we DO NOT WANT IT TO BE MORE EXPENSIVE.   Performance has to come first, it has to be better than what is in present use, and it HAS TO BE less expensive. Making a product more expensive does not work.

DD Can you share how your team is involved with the Medicaid system and trying to get it covered?
KS We have picked up coverage in several Medicaid programs in the last year and we call on them all the time and we have a very strong effort going on…….but it is slower than we like. We keep pushing. It is an ongoing process. We have a very large group that is concentrated on strategic reimbursement that has many different levels. We’ve had a couple of big wins that should be announced over the next six months. CGM changes lives more than any technology that is available today…..this message must continue to get out there. There are fewer people on CGMs than on pumps and those on pumps is only about 30% of the population. Why would you drive your car at night without headlights or only turn them on for a few seconds every few hours. Patients who use this from the beginning have wonderful results than those trying to fly blind, and so my message is very simple; CGMs should be on the first line in diabetes treatment for everybody.

Kevin Sayer Photo watchKS (Shows me his Apple Watch which is mimicking the receiver of his CGM. Note: Kevin does not have diabetes but he was wearing the device on this day.) We’ve just been looking at the secondary display of my data which is on my display of my Apple Watch. CNBC gave a list of the top 10 ‘must have’ apps for the Apple Watch and Dexcom App is one of those.   SO the design and architect is wonderful and I find that looking at the data on my watch much less invasive than even getting out my phone……looking at my watch is a very, very, simple task.

DD
Right now your receiver communicates with your phone and your phone communicates with the Apple watch?
KS Correct

DD
The goal, someday soon, will be to go directly from the…………..
KS Our Gen Five system, filed with the FDA, we designed the radio and the transmitter to talk to two devices at the same time so if a person had a watch and a phone, it could talk to both. If the person had a receiver and a watch-it could talk to both, and if the person had one device, it could talk to one device. We want to give as much flexibility as we possibly can.  We have also hired outside cyber-security experts to make it as safe as we can possibly make it

DD As I like to do; I like to close my interviews by stating a word, or phrase, and you telling me the first thing that comes into your mind. Diabetes?
KS Tough

DD If Kevin was not in a technology based company he would……..
KS ……(if I could do anything) I would run the Lakers. I really want to go run the Lakers…….and (while laughing) they truly need my help. BUT……..no one has approached me just yet.

DD A newly diagnosed child?
KS …needs a CGM immediately.

DD The word…..recall?
KS Catastrophic…….(thinks, smiles, and adds) won’t happen at Dexcom

DD Brigham Young University (His Alma Mater)?
KS I love my school….my school gave me wonderful opportunities

DD A world with no more T1 diabetes?
KS That would be fantastic and I would have to find a new place to hang out……and I could do that.

DD I always said if I had the chance to do this………..I would………and that is the chance to say thank you.  You have saved my children’s very lives. With that, this man of business, this man of genius……..this family man who also had tribulations in his own life with his children, as every family has; became just a dad……and this Diabetes Dad became pretty emotional; and we both teared up, shook hands, and gave each other a hug to end the interview.

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

Side-By-Side Stories…One Written by Moira McCarthy…One by Fate (and Hard Work)…Be Inspired!!

Kate HallThese two stories NEED to be together.  So I decided to give the space so they can be enjoyed side-by-side as they should be.  Need to inspire someone today????…..share this link.   Diabetes super-mom, and sister-in-arms, Moira McCarthy Stanford wrote this incredible piece on a very special young lady named Kate Hall.  Read this story first, and return to see what happened next……..incredible!

Moira’s story for Sanofi:
http://diabetes.sanofi.us/track-star-kate-hall-lives-with-diabetes/

Now click the next link and watch what happened next in the life of this incredible young lady.
Click here.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Roadway is YOUR Child On……Are You Satisfied/Happy with How it’s Going?????

stinksIf you read many of the posts online about what kids can and cannot do; do you find yourself saying; “why do so many kids look like they are doing so much in this world and my child is losing their youthful years because of diabetes?”  Have you ever felt that way or stated that to yourself?

I’m not here today to judge you on how you bring up your child and how much ‘space’ you give them; but I would like to share a few things with you should you have ‘that feeling’ of your child’s life being nowhere near fulfilled because of what restrictions and requirements are needed.  How can you inject more independence into your child’s life?

Understand that it’s a progression.  Just think how far you have come in your life thus far.  The best way to look forward is to understand just how far you have come.  You’ve got this; you’ve done it thus far and this is the next stage.  Understand it.  Decide it is time to allow your child the independence they need.  That’s the first step.

Understand that it is not your disease, it’s theirs.  You cannot have it both ways.  if you think that you want to care for your child as long as you can because they will have it for the rest of their life does not help them ‘own it’.  Realize how much you do and how much they are actually capable of doing.  You can make the call to travel whatever roadway you want but you must be honest with yourself.  If your child is 12 and you want desperately for them to be independent yet you are still giving them their shots and/or changing their site for them every time…….it’s not going to happen.  Is it right or wrong?  That’s not my point, it’s your call but you cannot be doing everything for your child and expect them to attain independence.

Also, that is not to say that kids do not need a ‘break’ whenever or whatever that means to you.  This’s different.  This is an overall attitude on achieving some sort of self-management.   Here is a thought process for you to consider.   You drive your kids everywhere they need to go.  It is a rite of passage that they get a driver’s license at some point.  You are going to entrust them with the ability to be behind one of the most powerful pieces of machinery they may ever control that could take any life in an instant.  Yet figuring how to manage diabetes is a hurdle.   Why?

The short answer is knowledge.  With the amount of devices available for diabetes management, you have almost every opportunity available to get to where your child should be.  But you must start.  A whole lot of people have come before you and grown up and lived to ripe old ages with T1 and there are even some studies out there stating that those who live with T1 in today’s day actually have the same or longer life spans than others without T1.  So if others have ‘let go’ so can you.

Start small.  Start your changes gradually and work up the point that you seek for your child to manage this disease themselves.  Many have done it before you and many will do it after you.  But you need to start.  Write it down.  How will you get from point A to point B.  Figure out what you need.  Ask others.  Create a plan and start.

There is very little that your child should not be able to accomplish…..very little.  Look around you and see that many are doing it and ask yourself why you are not?  Why are you miserable in all that is holding your child back and others are not?   Again, if you are living the world that you want for your child and you are okay with it……go for it.  I am saying IF YOU DO NOT LIKE where you and where your child is in life…….you have the power to change it.

We have all been there.  It’s not easy.  But if you see the need, you must search for the roadway to get there….it will not ‘just come’ to you.  Seek your answers and you will find them.  If you are happy with how everything looks right now; God Bless you as it is all we could ever want.  But I have seen too many children who have grabbed life FOR EVERYTHING it has to offer rather than to be held back by……..well……..us.   Think about it and good luck.  As my dear friend Jeff Hitchcock says; “Always remember, kids with diabetes are just kids”.  Help them to be just that.   Think about it.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Okay……So What’s the Opposite of a Tear-Stained Pillow????

cheerleader in airYesterday I wrote about how we are all in this together.  I referred to the tear-stained pillow we all have become accustomed, at one point or another.  Quite honestly, I was shocked on how many people read it, a chord must have ben struck.  We all take comfort in knowing that we are not alone.  We have so many who help us…….well…..almost daily.  There is a flip-side to that coin…..and that too, should make you ‘take pause’.

Have you stopped and looked at your child in their daily activities?  I mean, really looked?  Well from an outsider—I have been fortunate to look, to witness, to observe many of your kids.  When I see Danny & Paula’s child being thrown around in her activities as a competitive cheerleader, and Howard & Bonnie’s daughter in an ice hockey game, and Scott & Stacey’s son in nursing school, and the so many million more activities of your kids, our kids; I truly smile.

I also see the posting of despair, pain, and defeat.  And I’m not referring to the ‘bad days’ we all have, and we do; I am speaking of the ‘our life is ruined’ forever by diabetes.  And quite honestly, there is too big a gap between the “I will not stop” and “we are done”  attitudes.  Clearly……there is a choice here.  Which one do you make?

Easy?  Nope.

A lot of work?  You bet.

But I see adversity in so many lives.   I have the honor of knowing so many who share those “tears-on-a-pillow” night………many.  My work takes me, literally, across the globe and I have met people who inspire me on a daily basis.  If you are feeling down, life is over, diabetes has ruined us……and you see a child that is just excelling in life, reach out to that mom and/or dad and ask them how they got to that point?

Daily we see posts asking so many questions but about “what to do” in a list of diabetes situations………but do you see someone who is just like your daughter, or son, but they seem t be smiling and taking every ounce of gusto out of life and you say to yourself; “How do they do that…..how did they get o that point?”  I can tell you two things; one—they work at it and have problems just like you; and two, they will be glad to share with you how to ‘not let’ diabetes beat you.

Now if you are the type that just loves to ‘have a bad day every day’ and dwell on it for the world to see, well THAT is your call.  But if you want to live differently and ‘not let diabetes win’…..find someone you see living life to the fullest, and their kids are doing the same, and discuss it with them.

Support is more than what to do when there’s a low or a high or a question about food.  It is, “I-just-can’t-shake-this——how-did-you?”  That is when real support comes in. Our psyche, if anything, has proven to be just as valuable to tend to as anything else in this diabetes world of ours.   My tears on a pillow have surely become much less over the years……..not because I became ‘so used’ to the idea…..but because I have delighted in my children’s success more and more.   Your child CAN live with diabetes……..the two key words are ‘can’  and ‘live’.   It’s your job to get them there.

How’s that going in your house?

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

We Stand Together……Tear-Stained Pillows and All!!!!!

tear stained pillowWhen I was much younger than I am today, I saw this film about two people who were living fairly identical lives.  Somehow, they became mixed-up and ended up in each other’s stories and we, the viewer, quickly realize that there is no ‘identical’ anything but they can be close.

One of the things I love about the Diabetes Community is that we all have our lives in our separate parts of the country/world; we have different customs, beliefs, traditions, and in actuality there is much that differentiates us but the one thing that connects us is this disease called diabetes.  We are; kindred spirits, brothers-and-sisters-in-arms, co-joined ‘commiseraters’, and a force to be reckoned with wherever we are.

My life would be a shell-of-itself had I not come to know so many incredible people in this world of diabetes.  Truthfully, I find it hard to believe what my life would even be like had I not known many of them.  The emptiness that would occur would be staggering.

Stop and think how many people you know because you are involved in this diabetes universe.  I know, I know, it’s a horrible disease and you wish you never knew anyone involved because it would mean your child never had diabetes……..believe me, I so get that; and yet, since we are here, isn’t it nice to know that many people you have met are fighting the same war as you?

Sure they may choose to support a different cause, a different researcher, a different educational style, and even a totally different organization than you do; but they ARE involved.  They are in the battle right along side of you.  I think we also look real cool together in a bike-riding outfit; a 5k outfit, and we also look pretty darn good going to a black-tie gala as well, don’t we?

But in all of this, what we share above all are the tears on a pillow.  The millions of tears that have been shed over what we go through.  It’s that common bond that allows us to hug each other when we see each other or to feel comfortable on the phone with someone almost instantaneously when speaking for the first time.  You see, we are parents.  We do not know what it’s like to have diabetes but we DO KNOW what it’s like to be a parent of a child with diabetes.  We know it all too well, don’t we?

A club that none of us wanted to be part, a situation that none of us asked for nor would wish on our worst enemy, an ocean of tears that make us feel all alone, a disease that makes us “just do nothing” in our fund-raising, educational, and advocacy efforts.  On this day, I think of all of you who I stand beside each and every day for our kids.  To make it a better place for them, a place they can understand more, a place that one day, we hope, will be no more because a cure has been found.

I think of all of you and the tear-stained pillows we all have because we do what it takes not to show our children any of our pain.  On this day, I think of all of you and all that you do around the world because we are parents……….and diabetes will just not do in our homes.  We will not stop until that changes……..and we will stand together until that day arrives.  I love fighting this war with YOU.  Take THAT diabetes.

I am a diabetes dad.

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