2015 Yeah…….So WHAT!?!? Well that is Up to YOU!!!!!

New Year 2015I guess many people will spend today, this week, reflecting on the year that has gone by so incredibly fast.  My heart broke this year because of the world around us.  No one is listening and when they do listen; they listen to the wrong things.  The world can change, we can change; we must change.

In a nutshell, that is what the year taught me.

Reflection; it has been a year of many changes in our family and they will continue.  All very good things.  As much as I live many things on my sleeve, much of the family day-to-day events stay within our family, where they should stay.  But changes occurred and people moved on.  Forward is always the best direction.  We all hope the best things for our children and they all moved forward in leaps this year; dusted themselves off when needed, and overcame obstacles when the world said;  “….you probably won’t achieve that…..”   Well they did.  And as I always say, they make me very proud.

Diabetes Community; I felt the diabetes community doubled in size this year.  Many new voices and objectives wanting to make a difference and I surely hope that continues.  New is good.  As I have stated many times this year, and wrote about it as well, we are strong internally and among ourselves; if we want to educate the world, we must continue to venture into that world and move away from our community.  Hold on to our community, stay with our community, lean on our community; but venture into the world as never before, a world that still has little clue about our world.  We must look outward…..and if that scares us, great!  Nothing done great is done comfortably……so fear is good; let’s look back at it at the end of next year and see what we did collectively.

Research; I still think the cure is coming and there are surely more devices, events, and projects like never before.  I caution, still, that we stay away from living the online battle on who is better, who is worse, and bashing ideas based on opinions.  We should not care who gets there first and one idea moving forward can always create a thought in someone else’s mind.  I would still love to see all these great minds in one room to create a ‘white paper’ on how to get this job done.   That goes for management tools as well.  And again I say, no one can ‘fix’ anything from the outside.  If you are not active in something, and you think it needs to be fixed, or should work better; you just cannot do it from the outside.  It’s too easy to give an opinion and everyone has one; if you want change…..roll up your sleeves and get in there and do the work to make it better.  ‘Work’ can mean whatever you want but just “don’t do nothing”.

For you; I want this day-to-day ‘diabetes thing’ not to own you.  I want you to live life to the fullest potential in all aspects.  If you are stressed, seek peace.  If you are lonely; seek companionship.  If you feel uneducated; learn.  If you feel inactive; move forward.  If you only ‘talk’ of doing; create an action step.  I hope YOU gets taken care of this year.

The bottom line is that we have one shot at THIS life.  Whatever you are going through, take it and make it whatever you need to make it.  It’s a great, big, wonderful world out here……..may 2015 allow you the opportunity to find that out as never before.

God Bless and Happy New Year!

I am a diabetes dad.

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

PS……for those who always liked my annual ‘good-bye’ column to the year passed; you can read it here.

Time to Tell Your Kids with Diabetes…………………..

Clock appleI know.  They don’t listen.  They do what they want.  If they did what you asked, you would have less arguments.  Why don’t they try harder at their daily management?  Any, or all, of these should sound very familiar….and I am sure they do.

Today, I would like you to step away from all the things that your children do not do dealing with their diabetes and realize how much they actually do…….and I do not even mean as far as their daily management.

Follow them today.  Follow their worlds and what they do.  Follow them to the playing field or gym, to the mall, to their little world within their homes, to work, to school, to wherever they go and whatever they do……..just follow them.  Watch them.  Look at them.

Realize how wonderful they are because I certainly cannot answer for you but I surely can answer for me; I couldn’t do it.  I have looked up to some people in my life and very few of them I would consider a hero.

Our kids with diabetes are heroes.

Now in fair disclosure, all my kids are heroes; and I hope all of yours are too.  But as I watch my kids and what they deal with diabetes, helping others with their diabetes, and living life to everything it has to offer;……………….well I’m mystified.

Perfect?  Nope.

But for one day (feel free to do more) not only notice them; but say to them how you feel.  How much ‘wonderful’ you think they are as they go through life with this insidious disease.  They are heroes and many times the people who should realize how wonderful they are, don’t, because they are out doing everything else.

So let them know, today.  It will also make you feel pretty good too.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


What Does this Picture Represent to You??????

candy wrappersDo you know what this picture represents?  If you answered ‘just’ Christmas candy, you probably do not have a child in your home with diabetes.  The knee-jerk reaction of any parent, who has a child with diabetes, on seeing this picture would be to find their child right away because they are probably dealing with a low blood sugar.

I have dealt with my own inner turmoil at the amount of ‘normal’ pictures, phrases, and every-day dealings that have taken on new meaning when diabetes entered our household.  So many things have become ‘diabetes-spun’ in my own head when I hear or see such things that I WELL KNOW mean something different to others.

Such is the case when we have been shopping and our child yells from the other end of the aisle, “I feel high, I need a shot.”  Yep, that turned a few heads.

Or the same scenario with the words, “Do you have a syringe, I left mine home.”  (smiling at the people in the store).

Or just while passing through the store and being by the maternity aisle when an eleven-year-old says ‘her pump’ is not working……..can cause a few raised eyebrows and throw in a few ‘tsk tsk tsk’s’ for good measure.   Ahhhhh timing is everything.

“Mom, my pricker doesn’t work.”

“You know too much sugar makes you high.”

Can you really see Wilford Brimley where you do not say in your head; “It’s not ‘diabetissss. it’s ‘diabeteeeze’ ?

Do words like rush, candy, high, low, sugar, sweets, recipes, donate, cure, research, and a whole list of other words immediately make you take pause with inner-reflection that THOSE words mean something to you that others would not even really HEAR?  I am sure they do.

What words or phrases have caused others to look at you with a raised eyebrow or what phrase do you hear that you wish…….well they didn’t mean anything…….but they do now that diabetes is in your home?  Share with us.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


Food + Holidays (do not necessarily) EQUAL STRESS….Are You Stressed?

StressSpeaking of the holidays; if you start to feel beads of sweat on your neck when you think of the many places you will visit over the next eight days or so, I’m here to let you know that it DOS NOT have to be that way.

If you all of your thoughts are only about the food and the control YOU MUST have, you will stress yourself off the winter wonderland of fun.

First thing.  Depending on the age of your child, let them know that the closer to normal they shoot for that forty point swing of 80 to 120, the better they will feel.  Not the better you will feel, the better they will feel.  When we talk ‘numbers’ with our kids, it is how much better they will feel if they do not have to recover from a 360 high or a 35 low.  That said…..that gets us to…….

Second thing.  You know your child. You know when the are impacted by a low or a high and where…..I always ask, ‘Is it worth the war with your child over a number that is 180 or 120 for one day?  Only you can answer that question.  I have used Dr. Rubin’s one word of magic so often………balance.   Find the medium roadway of enjoying yourselves and making sure your child’s numbers are okay.  For us, on a holiday to avoid stress, we were content with okay.  Balance.

Third thing.  Fun and enjoyment.  The festive times are not ALL ABOUT food.  A lot of it, yes.  But not all of it.  Do not make it about don’t, don’t, don’t…..it will only make all of you stress out.  Have fun, encourage your children to ‘go play’, play games, play outside………enjoy each other.  Does this sound familiar; “Excuse me a second.  Joseph, do not eat that, check your number, when did you take a shot (or adjust/bolus; whatever)” etc. etc. etc.  No one wants to be watched every second.


If you make the holidays ALL ABOUT diabetes……..I can assure you with almost 100% certainty, that it will be.

Enjoy.  Take a breath.  Keep an eye on things.  Do NOT let it consume you.  Give your child (children) some space.  Start out the day to have fun………even if you are at this just a few weeks at your ‘new normal’ with diabetes, you know now what you are doing.  Stress is at the unknown, make your unknown only about what you will enjoy about the day.  That way when something happens………roll with it…..just like you do everyday.  Even if you know all of this already……a reminder is not a bad thing either.

If anyone wants to add any tips or pearls of wisdom……..please do.

You’ve GOT THIS!!!!!!!


I am a diabetes dad.

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


Holiday Gatherings……..Get Ready for those WONDERFUL Comments!!!

Holiday gatheringsAs sure as Santa will buckle himself into the sled for the big ride this week, it is time for those of us who have a child with diabetes to buckle up as well.  Time to get ready as we go on our holiday ride which is accompanied by seeing all of those relatives and friends who know everything there is about YOUR child’s diabetes.

So today, I have prepared some comments that you will hear over the next few days; and also a few response that you can think, but probably should not use especially if you would like peace to reign at the holiday gatherings.  Where you see ‘names’ just substitute yours……..enjoy and take it all in the spirit it is meant.

Susie, put that down, it has sugar?  or “…….can you eat that?”
“Thank you, I can control my child’s food intake and maybe you should watch a few things that YOU eat.”

…….So I read that they have found a cure in the cinnamon factory in this little town of Unklidashia……….you guys must be so excited…..you saw it, right?
“…..must have missed that one…..but thanks for pointing it out…….since you like reading so much, perhaps you will read the one page I sent you so you might learn a little bit so you do not exclude my child from YOUR child’s next sleepover.”

(changing their face, tilting their head, and in the most absolute condescending voice which goes up two octaves as their head nods while they speak) ….How ARE YOU guys doing…….bet you’re glad it’s not a more serious disease……huh honey?
(pick any answer you want, I really wanted to refrain from using four letter words in this article).

(Meeting the new girl/boy friend of a relative for the first time.)
(awkward silence for 30 seconds that seems like an hour).  I hear your child has diabetes……..My grandmother has diabetes……well; had.  She died after everything was taken but her head.
Yup……another winner.

So Patti, my husband’s brother’s friend’s father has a friend….no, wait…….a friend? hmmmm….no a coworker, right a coworker, who has a son who married a doctor who told them that diabetes is so easy to live with…….so you guys must be doing great after five years?
I will answer that if you can repeat that…….idiot.

They (your child) look so healthy!
How should they look?

The holidays MUST BE SO TOUGH for you guys with all that food around.
No, we eat…..we’re allowed.  It’s the once-a-year-I-do-not-have-to-feed-my-child-cardboard holiday.

Remember, we are all here for you…..if you need Anything honey;, you just call Harry and I—-we are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO here for you both. (Followed by the fake hugs and fake tears).
Well, actually, I stopped calling when you could not help for an hour when I needed to run to the store, or babysit for two hours so Steve and I could go on a mini-date, or you were too busy for 5 weekends to watch the kids so I could run a few errands…..since you NEVER ONCE COULD help, I stopped asking.

The interesting thing is that these probably struck a chord with some of you because you have indeed heard some truth to some of these I’m sure.  So if as you are traveling/visiting this week and next; and you hear something that reminds of this article—–I hope it makes you smile and prevents you from choking the person speaking………for the most part, our friends and relatives DO mean well………………………………….don’t they?

I am a diabetes dad.

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



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.


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.


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.

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


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.


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?”
“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,

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’.