Anyone PISS You Off Lately?????

grrrrrrrIt’s hard sometimes to sit and think this all the way through.  I have been at it a long time.  I have dedicated my life and am a staff member supporting one of the greatest research centers in the world.  There are surely more centers than just the DRI and many are doing great things.  To me, the race is on and I could give a hang who gets there first.  Many believe in the DRI.  Many believe in the JDRF or the ADA.  Some believe in Denise Faustman’s work.  Others look to companies like Viacyte.  Some cannot wait for Ed Damiano’s bionic pancreas or the many artificial pancreas projects out there to come to market………in the mean time.

Me?  I believe in all of them.

In the mean time.

I hope this world-wide race to all of the waiting finish lines bears fruit.  I’m on-line.  I’m ‘out there’, I read the comments and see the stories.  I see the discussions, and some times heated, among people; our people.  People in our war.  I see the anger at certain organizations, medical practices, and government entities, I see the frustration in many as we all wait……………..in the mean time.

But remember this when you get frustrated because certain people believe in certain people or organizations that, perhaps, you have grown weary of supporting.  Or, perhaps, you do not completely agree with in philosophy or mission.  Many of the people who believe differently than you, in more cases than not, are also up at 3 in the morning treating a low.  Are sitting on the bed comforting their child because the 400-500 will just not break.  Are pacing the floor thinking, “should I go to the emergency room, maybe I’ll decide in 15 minutes”; many, if not all, live the life we all so despise.

Never forget…..NEVER….that others are hurting also.  Are waiting just as much as you; and some even waiting x2, x3, or even more because more than one child has been diagnosed.

One of the times I valued most in my life was the time I spent at dLife.  My position there allowed me, dare I say offered me, the opportunity to visit everywhere and anywhere…………………diabetes.  Whether Benno was going to Haiti, or Denise needed an audience to discuss why no one funds her work and what it was about, or I was asked to speak at a walk, ride or black tie function; I had a huge and distinct advantage in my life as I saw diabetes through a lens I wish everyone could do at some point in their lives.  I saw parents…..all across this country…..at work.

I learned the phrase that diabetes advocacy (which includes education, fundraising, awareness and more) across the globe is not this way OR that way;  it is, and must remain, this way AND that way.

And most important, even if you have been burned beyond belief but still have a child battling this disease, you have no say in what happens if you retreated to the sidelines.  WE ALL MUST STAY AT IT UNTIL IT IS NO MORE.  If that takes a life time, so be it.  Not happy where you are, move to someplace who will accept your efforts.  Many need help, your help.  This disease also does not care if your child is now an adult; your efforts might change in scope but retreating and no longer being involved JUST BECAUSE your child has become older also removes a soldier from the battle.  You may not be the #1 fundraiser of THAT gala, or walk, or ride anymore…..but the battle still needs you…….find a new initiative……diabetes has not gone away.  Neither should you.

We had a huge scare very recently.  I have not been scared in a long, long time.
I was scared.
Yes, I want a cure and will continue to challenge the people right in my backyard at the DRI as I do everywhere else I can.  This disease is not ‘my job’ or my past time—–it is my life.  I want it changed.  I WILL SEE IT CHANGED.

But none of us can stand alone.   Support what I like?  Makes no matter to me.  But support what you believe in and support it from the mountaintops.  No team wins with just a strong first string…..they win because they are a strong team.  Don’t do nothing.

At the end, and during, each and every day…..we all return to dealing with a disease we hate, Hate, HATE, H-A-T-E.  Remember that fact always every time you go to say something.  NONE OF US wants to be in this ‘club’ but we will surely accomplish much more if we have, at least, the appearance that the battle is big and that we respect everyone’s efforts.   Not staying involved because of whatever reason you are leaning on only takes a soldier off the field and gives the enemy one less team member to worry about……that enemy is diabetes.

NEVER forget that point.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Is Life REALLY as ‘CRUMPLED’ as ALL That?

LifeTwo incidences have happened that have caused me to write today’s article.  One is to share that I know two families who have come to know each other only through the deaths of their sons.  Side-by-side pictures, you would swear they were brothers.  Yes, both died of complications of T1 diabetes and both families are extremely active in both diabetes causes (through rides, advocacy and more) and life itself.  It is easy for one to ask; how?  I have come to admire them beyond words.

The second incident is a comment a friend made about having to take a subway and how he longs to be able to have the kind of wealth where he could be driven everywhere.  He is currently in one of Broadway’s biggest shows, and has much going for him.  My guess is that he will one day see his dream come true regarding the subway rides.

Now if my friend, with everything he has, knew my two families….he would understand fully that he has more wealth then he could ever imagine…….and I think some people need to take an inventory on their life, and realize what they have and not how unfair life has been to them. Now, not for others to misunderstand my friend, he truly appreciates all he has, he was just making a comment that I am using to make a point.

We have all ‘had it bad’ at one time or another.  Life has ‘been crumpled’ for all of us at one time or another.  Some even more than others.   Two choices lie ahead when the bad hits the fan.  Move forward with all you have, or take it as it comes.   If you choose moving forward you know that hard work will pay off.  No one is ‘just given’ ANYthing in this world.  I’m sorry when I read about people going through tough times, it makes me sad.  I marvel at how they can cope with whatever it is that has knocked them down.

Notice I did not say accept, understand, or even get-over their circumstances, I said cope.  I have been through some pretty terrible stuff in my life and I am well aware that no one gets a ‘pass’ in life.  So for some, ‘cope’ is as good as it will get.   IT WILL RAIN AND RAIN hard.  But I choose to gain strength from seeing others like my two families above.  May I never KNOW what they are going through.

What knocks you down?  Are you still down?  Are you riding the wave waiting; or are you out there trying to ‘cope’?  We all had great-great grandparents, right?  When is the last time you sat down and actually thought about them?  My guess……not really, right?

My point.  At some point the door gets shut or the ashes get spread and a time will come when few, if any, will think about US AT ALL.  So we have what we have NOW and what we do with it is totally our call.  Make the call to find what you can do in THIS LIFE to give you the strength to not only live………but live life fully.

The subway is not so bad when you are used to walking.  Think about it.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Diabetes…Why Did It HAPPEN THAT WAY Today?—Sucks, Don’t It????

Sucks, seriously it sucksHow many times have we asked ourselves ‘why’ something happens when it comes to our child’s blood glucose numbers.  I always loved that question, as if it really has a logical answer?  Let’s equal the playing field here, I am not speaking about the instances when a number is easily explained, of course that is——easy.  I’m speaking about the times when a sudden drop, a low won’t go away, a high won’t come down or a list of other things happen that make us ask, “why”?  It sucks, no seriously—it just does!

When you see a reading and you take all of the steps that you know relates to your child and what to do; you need to ride the wave.  Keep dealing with it until you are back on a ‘comfortable’ roadway again.

Know what your child is going through may have nothing, or little, in common with what someone else is going through.  Running in a panic and asking strangers that have no idea who your child is what is wrong, is a practice of which, you should be very careful.  Certainly ask and get ideas but KNOW THAT someone else’s situation may have little  to do with your situation.

That is diabetes.  I loved the movie Frozen because knowing that diabetes played a role in defining Elsa according to the author relating to his son’s struggles with Type 1, reminded my of what I have said about diabetes for years—it is The Snowflake disease, and I have written about THAT before.  Not the same in any two people and not the same from one day to the next….THAT’s diabetes.  Snowflake.

So the next time you are ‘at wits end’ and you have done everything you can, asked every question possible, and still are in the midst of what seems to be a never-ending battle; know that you must just treat the situation as it comes and ride it out.  You did not do anything wrong and it will happen again.

Those of us who have been around a while do not call it the ‘new normal’ for no reason.  It defies everything at times…….and when through it all……pour yourself a tall drink….you deserve it….on this day you won.  But as you will find out, don’t get too comfortable; tomorrow happens at sunrise (unless of course you have been up all night dealing with a glycemic reaction).

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Because “My Doctor Said It”…….Fact?……Not Always.

skyWe challenge our colleagues, our partners, our kids and even the mechanic that works on our car.  We challenge them at what they know, and what we want them to know, and yet, I’ll ask a mom in mere conversation why she uses a certain glucometer and she will answer because our doctor said we can only use one of two glucometers to participate in their practice. Even if they hate the meter, they have to use one of two choices.

Really?

No.

No is the answer.  No one should tell you what is right for you, your family, and your child with diabetes.    No one.

We are ready to fight the insurance company at any given angle if it does not do something we need them to do and yet, sometimes, we take in blind faith ANYthing our medical team states.   Doctor, CDE, PA, are all incredibly gifted at what they do.  They went through an enormous amount of training to be where they are in their practice.  They have worked hard at what they know.  We need them to absolutely no end.

But guess what…….when it comes to yourself, or your child; so have you.

I’m not here to tell you that the advice and treatment you receive from your medical team is wrong, but I AM SAYING that when you hear something that you KNOW will not fly with your child……speak up. NO ONE HAS to be on the pump.  NO ONE HAS to choose between just two meters.  NO ONE HAS to be chastised for an A1C that is not to the liking.  NO ONE HAS to do anything.  If you know deep in your heart…..speak up.

Sometimes the doctor needs to get stern with an uncooperative teen; THAT is not what I am talking about here.  I am talking about the fact that your medical team is part of a large practice and they use BEST PRACTICES for their patients and it serves them well.  But sometimes the request is just out of the realm of what YOU KNOW DEEP IN YOU HEART; what ever it is……do not just nod your head; speak up.

My goodness, if you say we need a Republican President there would be no shortage on words from one side, and if one states that Obama is the best president in the last 25 years, there would be no shortage of words on the other side but when the doctor says XYZ, and we know, KNOW, K-N-O-W it should be ABC with our child…………………..we say nothing.  Why?

You leave the office feeling depressed and angry that you kept your mouth closed and YOU WANTED TO SAY SOMETHING.  But you did not.

That is my only point for today.  God bless our medical team, but they do not know everything and they surely do not know your child as well as you…….so speak up.  Discuss what you think, and come to a resolve.  Make sure you have the knowledge to discuss whatever point you are making.

What have you had to ‘speak up’ about with your medical team……please share with others.

No two treatments of diabetes are identical.  KNOW what you know….and speak up when needed.   Silence isn’t golden in this case………Silence needs to be broken.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

A Diabetes Emergency is Not the Time to Teach Your Child.

emergencyThere are a few things that you probably should look into if you have a child with diabetes.  The first is if you have just one glucometer in the house, you should look to get one, or even a few more.  If you look around, it probably is not too hard to get one for free from a number of various sites and/or support groups.  If your meter stops working for any reason, it would make much sense to have a spare one.

Do not wait for your child to need something to teach them.  Make sure they are not seeing the spare meter for the first time in a crisis.  When there is stressful situation occurring, your child will latch on to anything unknown and panic even more; so make sure all meters are not foreign to them as well.

Even though I’m sure you have back ups in the car and other places; having one readily available is probably not such a bad thing.  And another thing with meters, you may not have any idea when, or even if, your child uses the spare ones in the house or in the car.  When you change those clocks back an hour or forward an hour…..it’s a good reminder to check everything diabetes, supplies, refills, refrigerator items—–including that expiration on your glucagon; twice a year checking on everything should keep you updated.

Another thing.  If you have a $1.00 to bet, it might be a safe bet that at some point something will happen to your child’s insulin pump.  Let’s say it will be no one’s fault but let’s agree that it very well may happen at some point.  Giving your child a shot should not be so foreign to them that they have a tantrum if the pump breaks.  With insulin pens available, which have so little pain compared to needles, there is no reason for your child to get overly upset should a switch need to be made.

Any thing that your child sees as foreign could be frightening.  I loved the story of the woman who worked it with her doctor that her child received one shot every two weeks or so to supplement a bolus (DO NOT DO ANYTHING WITHOUT CONSULTING YOUR DOCTOR).  So when the there was an incident, and a new pump would take a few days to arrive, her child adapted quickly.

As in all things, it is good to be ready and not wait for the emergency to figure out the antidote.  If you have any tips to help others—-feel free to add them.

The more seamless something is for your child the better you will be, and THEY will be; take steps always to prevent and be prepared for the unknown.  The unknown only stays scary until your child understands it and knows what it’s about; be prepared.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

The iPhone……”I’ Indeed……We are Losing the Concept of ‘WE’….and Quickly!

texting coupleI was out this week and I saw a young couple at a table in a restaurant.  They were both speaking to each other but more than “half-an-eye” was on the hand-held phone device as they ‘spoke’ to each other.

Do you have that visual in your head?

Now ask yourself where are you on that rungs of modern technology.  I have come to the conclusion that the “i” in these devices, iPhone, iTablet, etc is more than just a name…..it’s a full-blown philosophy…….and “I” am not sure that it’s a good place to be.  And just because something is called an Android is no release—–the generic term has become iPhone

We can surely discuss the safety factor and STILL-TO-THIS-DAY people, all ages, are not heeding the warnings being yelled, no; SCREAMED from the mountain tops how stupid it is to ‘do anything’ of the sort while driving.  “It will just be a second” becomes “It just killed me” more often than people believe…..but are now finding out.  iDead.

This world of ‘i” will surely take its toll.  We have become a society that has become so attached to a device that I can, with 100% certainty, inform you that we did well without for over 2000 years.  Nice to have? You bet.  Saved lives? Absolutely.  But we cannot blind ourselves that the iPhone has internalized many, many people.  The attention given has created an unseen wall where many withdraw.  THAT device, as good as it COULD be, is getting the upper hand in too many lives.

It is not a wePhone for a reason.  And as people continue to bury their face in a device to do whatever it is that they find more important, interesting, or entertaining than the person they are with, the faster we take another step from becoming completely isolated from others around us.

I saw a young adult using their phone and they were speaking into it; I was informed that the device was taking their voice and turning it into a text message.  I asked the person why they didn’t just call and speak to the person.  The answer; “…..why would I do that?  I don’t want to speak with them, I want to text them.”

iThink iDevices iAre iGetting iThe iUpperhand.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Do You Have a DiabeTattoo??..Be Part of the DiabeTattoo Museum at Healthline.

Diabetes-TattooDiabeTattoos are showing up everywhere.  Body art, as popular as it has become, has feverishly infiltrated the world of diabetes.  Our friends over at Healthline.com are creating a place for DiabeTattoos to be seen collectively, A DiabeTattoo Museum as it were.  Take a look at their slide show at: http://www.healthline.com/health-slideshow/diabetes-tattoos#2 .

But wait…..they are nowhere near done yet.  They want more.  If you have a DiabeTatto, share it with the world and be part if this very unique collection.  Just take a picture of your DiabeTattoo and send it to my friend Nicole at Healthline.com at nlascurain@healthline.com.

So if you are making a diabetes statement, presenting a diabetes fact, created a memorial, did it in honor of a child….whatever…MAKE SURE YOU ARE INCLUDED.

Here is a cool story we did at dLife about the one and only (click) Darren Brass, Mr. Miami Ink at the time we created it. 

So send your DiabeTattoo to Nicole and she will include your submission for all to see.  Inspire others with what you have created and share this article so others can be included in the DiabeTattoo Museum at Healthline.com.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

A Horrifying World We Now Live??……..Or……An Opportunity…….Your Call!!!!!

MailboxI saw the picture I have attached today and immediately became horrified.  I saw it recently in New York City, it was done to mailboxes along the route of the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in New York City; the BEST Irish parade in the United States, although my dear friend Patti from Chicago would vehemently disagree, as would my friends from Boston.

The ‘locks’ are for but one reason, so people (well idiots actually) do not have the opportunity to implant explosive devices within the mailbox to detonate via a timer or cell phone causing extreme pain, suffering, and damage at an ‘opportune’ moment during the festivities of the parade.  It our world today.

The mailboxes, actually, used to be physically removed before someone thought up this creative way of keeping us all safe.  As I stated, when I first saw this, I was sickened that this was the society we have become…….and I kept thinking about it for an entire day.  My sickening feeling started to go away as I started to look at this from a different angle.  Something hugely creative was done to solve a problem.  The problem was/is horrible but this resolution gave me pause to think about how ‘bad things’ have caused ideas to be created, invented, and implemented that never would have happened otherwise.

Remember the ban on stem cell development (I know this is a touchy subject for some but just listen to my point), well when scientists ‘could not’ get what they wanted along these lines, they created new research venues and avenues never thought of before, because they HAD to or the work would stop.  How any people impacted with diabetes are in a field that will help others.  So many writers, tech people, researchers, medical professionals and more having diabetes now in a diabetes field dealing with others who have diabetes.

Devices are created because someone said; ‘just shots’ won’t do!  Research happens because someone says, “…..restoring insulin production should be possible.”  Organization are, and have been, founded because someone said, “…we can do more”.

Out of the storm comes a ray of light and there are many rays of light out there.  So remember, in the world we live in; you can look at a locked mailbox and think how sad the world is in which we now live, or you can see the locked mailbox and think, “Wow, someone is really smart in keeping our world a bit safer.”  It’s all in the approach.  And it is all up to you.   Food for thought.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day…..The Top of the Morn’n to You…..YOU Deserve Better.

Diabetes Dad Irish LogoOne of the least addressed of all complications surrounding diabetes is the mental state of the entire family involved.  Whether we admit it or not, diabetes plays havoc on all of our mindset.  It is up to each of us to admit it and deal with it.  But we need to find the time, during the day, for just us.

Today being St. Patrick’s Day I thought it appropriate to begin as many do on St. Patrick’s Day by saying “The Top of the Morn’n to You”.  Of course, as many Irish know, the response is, “..and the Rest of the Day to Yourself.”  (Irish accent optional)

Many are not exactly sure where the saying came from and perhaps it’s best explained looking at unhomogenised milk.  When the milk is taken from the animal, usually in the morning, the cream rises to the top at some point.  This is the best tasting part and usually would be tasted for the best (or the ‘TOP’) of the morning.  If one is going to wish me to have the best part of the milk, the nicest thing I can do is wish them the better part of the rest of the day since they already wished me the best part.

When do you take the best part of the day for you.   YES…..YOU!  I have tried, for the better part of quite a few years, to find some time during the day for just me.  Whether it is a cup of coffee, or a walk, or a sit outside by our waterfall……I look for that time.  I urge you to do everything in your power to find 10 minutes a day, at least.

Chances are that you do little for yourself.  There is the family, the job, diabetes, diabetes, and diabetes, as well as every little detail that you take-on every day.  But you do not find the time for you.  “I can’t, I am too busy”, does not wash here.  Everyone is busy.  In fact everyone is probably too busy.  If you speak to the people who seem to ‘have control’ in this diabetes world, many will tell you that the most important person involved is the one that gets the least amount of time……and that person is you.

And let’s face it, if YOU are not on top of your game……many people could pay the price.  Ever see a pitcher who is throwing a no-hitter or a perfect-game in baseball?  By the seventh inning the rest of the team will not even speak to them.  Out of respect, they are leaving the pitcher to him/herself to ‘stay in the zone’.  They find the time for themselves and the team gives it to them as well.

You could find a thousand excuses not to find time for yourself but that would be an error….as you only need one good reason.  You HAVE TO STAY on top of your ‘A’ game.  You cannot do that without sleep, food, and you need to add a time for just you.  To get away from everything (even in just your mind) and think about what makes you happy.

What do YOU do for just you—–please share with us?

This is not a ‘Zen’ kind-of-thing (unless you choose that) or some ‘flighty’ way out-there thought process.  This is the most important thing that you bring to the table regarding diabetes, and that is you.  So find the time to clear away the schedule for just you.  You are worth it.  So on this day of corn-beef, green, parades and a day where everyone is Irish…….’The Top of the morn’n to YOU’…………………….You’ll find that you are, indeed, the cream of the crop.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Bad Day….Does NOT Make a Bad Life…….BUT…..It’s Your Call!!!!

bad dayThis week represents what one could call a really horrible anniversary week.  Stick with me on this, it’s not my attempt to write a really depressing article…..those who know me, know that is not my style.

On this day six years ago, my dad passed away.  The day before, my aunt passed away; and because both families were going through the preparation, we each were unable to see each other at a time we needed to.  Four days later, six years ago, my youngest of three would also become the second child diagnosed in our house with type 1 diabetes.

When people tell me that they had a flat tire and a cold in a week’s span, as they share their horrible week, I just smile because I remember six years ago.  This week is also
St. Patrick’s Day; being half Irish, it’s usually a big day.  I love the parades, the music, and the entire celebration.

Sorrow.  Celebration.  Surely those terms describe what is just…………life.  No one has the corner on the market of sorrow; and no one has a corner on a life that is only care-free.  It is life.

Life.

I believe sorrow serves as a reminder of just how special life is.  We cannot control much of what happens to us, but we can surely do something with what comes our way.  Take it, grow, learn, and move on.  Easier said than done I know.  But if we do not work toward recovering from the bad life sends us, we will never find the time to appreciate the so much that is good.   And there is a lot of good.

I don’t think I am the only one who feels a sense of pride when a mom boasts about her child who; scored a goal, made the team, scored high on a test, made it into college, signed a letter of intent, got married, had a baby, and did anything that was worth the time to stop and say; THIS DAY is a good day.

So continue to look for those ‘good days’ and feel free to boast about them when appropriated and enjoyed when most needed.  You cannot do anything about what life throws at you but you can do a lot about what you do with it.  Hold on to the good and celebrate it…..life may not always be good but there surely is a lot of good in our life.  So enjoy it when you can……………………….while it lasts.  LIVE!!!!

I am a diabetes dad.

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