Diabetes Shark Tank—–An Idea Whose Time has Come…..Yes?

Shark TanklTo say I am a huge fan of the TV show Shark Tank would be an understatement.  At this point, in my watching, I usually can tell who is going to be ‘eaten alive’ and who has a shot at getting funding.

In case you do not know, Shark Tank consists of 5 people from varying degrees of business and financial success (but all hugely successful), who sit on 5 chairs as potential entrepreneurs walk in and give a ‘pitch’.  They are seeking funding to help them grow their business.

The entrepreneurs present, and the five decide if any one of them thinks it is a good idea to become a partner.  They can ‘make an offer’ or say ‘I’m out’.  All can drop out–and they get no funding and leave, or one can want to become a partner, or some can even ‘partner up’ if they think it is a good idea and the presenter could end up with 2-3-4….and hugely rare–even all 5 sharks investing in their idea; many have become millionaires themselves when a ‘shark’ becomes a partner.

Shark Tank is an engaging show.  People who have started small businesses and want to expand their product line can become hugely successful…….if you have a “Scrub Daddy’ in your house; Shark Tank is the reason why.

There is also much you may not know about the research world.  People have no idea of the difficulty in obtaining funding for scientific research’ diabetes or for any disease-state.  Proposal, upon proposal, must be created and sometimes they are one-two-three hundred pages in length.  These proposals are submitted by researchers to obtain funding.  Almost any funding source, whether it be government, private, or from organizations will require this arduous process.  It kills me when I see all of this time being spent on proposals.  I get it.  There needs to be some sort of mechanism in place to know what is good or not; I really get it.   BUT (you knew there was a but) when I read about business deals ‘done on a handshake’ for millions of dollars, I ask myself why do researchers have to take so much time out of their schedules and exhaust themselves in this process; and then I read that company XYZ is partnering with ABC to the tune of millions–basically—-on a hand shake (okay I get that too, there are discussions regarding the product but I also know some of these deals, and they are done on a lot less than what a researcher must go through)?  It’s just not fair.

Then it hit me.

We need a Shark Tank approach.  Five of the biggest funding sources, or richest people in the world; imagine Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Larry Ellison, Christy Walton and Michael Bloomberg sitting on chairs, okay–very comfortable couches; all set up to listen to those who need funding in our diabetes research world…..Imagine?

No hundreds of pages, no boxes and boxes of grant writing material, just someone in front of the five money sources hearing the pitch.  Of course everything would be contingent on scientific data, but that can all be validated after the verbal pitch for funding…….wouldn’t that be cool?

You may have no idea how much time is spent in ‘grant writing’—-I can share that it is a lot.  That translates to time out of the lab, and focus being shared….and not looking for a cure.   In addition, if it was a television show…..imagine the exposure for different disease-states?  Imagine if they decided to fund something with the contingent that their money gets matched by Americans, or by anyone who watches around the world.  XYZ will give 5 million dollars but viewers have to donate the same amount via 5-10-15 (or more) dollar donations.

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm………..this could be a real hit series.

Hey Hollywood…………..do I have an offer?

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Are You Asking…or Do You Want to be Told What You Want to Hear…CAREFUL!!!!

Danger Bad Advice AheadThis was a hard article to write but I have never shied away from a discussion that should be had.  I’m also shocked when, undoubtedly, someone writes me privately and says, “……are you referring to ‘such-and-such?”  Interesting thing is that I will get numerous such emails and I will not be referring to any specific story or comment whatsoever.  When I am referring to something specific I will let you know.

Today I ask; have we come to the point that ‘correct diabetes care’ is pushed aside to the; “this is my family and you cannot tell me what to do”—-syndrome?  No one need to listen to me and I’m very careful about giving direct personal advice to anyone; and that includes avoiding.

I try to respect that we are all on the journey, albeit our  own journey.  Years ago, when at a support group meeting, we would seek the advice of many.  We would listen what people would tell us, confer with our medical team, and decide what made sense medically.  “WE” were taken out of the equation on what we felt was appropriate…..we wanted what was medically sound.

Is that still the case?

If, medically, we are told that we should be careful of XYZ and not do XYZ; and someone asks if they should do XYZ….so many walk so carefully and comment; “….. well you need to make the decision for you and yourself and do what is right for your family.  My doctor told me know not to do XYZ and I did anyway and nothing happened so they were wrong….make your own choices honey.”

Does that sound familiar?

Now I’m not out to start a world war here in saying what we should do or what would should not do in our world of diabetes.  Or seek input wherever and whenever we can.  I am saying, “be careful”.  KNOW THIS: Someone else’s advice was only right for them; it does not make it necessarily right for you.  Conversely, if someone tells you that something was a wrong choice, know that it was only wrong for them.

Advice?  Ask away.  Just make sure you weigh everything in what you hear and what you are being told.  And just as you ask a million people their opinions, your medical team–or members of the medical community—-must be in the mix as you weigh what to do and when to do it.

I am not saying medical professionals do not make errors….they do——and so do we.  My warning is this, and this is the question to ask yourself: “Am I looking for an answer, or am I looking until find someone to tell me what I want to hear”.  I’ll say it again; Are you looking for an actual answer, or are you looking until you find someone who will say what you want to hear.  The difference is huge and KNOW the difference. And as in anything that we choose for our kids, or ourselves, the decision is yours to make——just don’t fool yourself as you search for knowledge.  The loudest and/or pushy answers/conversations, may have nothing to do with you at all……..don’t fall into that trap.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Diabetes Language….Blah Blah to Others; Is Understood by Us!!!!

Diabetes languageA while back, Rob and Kaitlyn were discussing something about their diabetes.  The conversation was theirs, and I will not reveal it, but I will say that what Kaitlyn said I could never say.  I have often wondered if people who have diabetes have a language all their own.  Or, at least, a ‘pass’ to say certain things to each other that unless you have it also, you could never say; or WOULD never say.

I guess in any ‘community’ there is language that can be shared that if you are not in that community; you either don’t know, or have no right to speak in a certain way.

We, as parents, have the same inferences I’m sure.  Terminology such as shots, injections, site changes, ‘high’, and so on would mean things completely different said in…….say….. a supermarket rather than said within a group of parents.

With parents, I believe, there is also an entire unsaid dialogue.  A set of understanding events that only we know, feel, and worry about.  These are the pitfalls of diabetes.  The things we do not address out loud and know in our hearts.  The things that ‘could happen’.   But don’t fool yourself for one second…….not one……if you have a child that is allowed to ‘go online’……they have already checked it out.

Your child knows those things too.  Don’t think they are not FULLY AWARE of the things that WE don’t say out loud.  Yeah, THOSE things.  Complications.  Death.  Life expectancy.  Future.  Yeah, I’ll say them…….because they know too.  They have known for a long time.

Did I just put a pit in your stomach?

But what should excite you, and make you smile, is that despite all of those things your child, or kids, who have T1 catapult forward in this life.  They are not beaten down with the things that could happen, they live with the things that will happen.  As I have quoted my daughter a million times; “I have diabetes, diabetes is not who I am.”

One of my favorite sayings ever.

Diabetes is not who they are and MAKE SURE you have given them every bit of education possible.  Make sure they are ready.

After one our performances in NYC, we had a high school theatre group at the show who had a Q&A with the cast afterwards.  While everyone was speaking ‘pie-in-the-sky’ about the ‘business'; my friend and wonderful actor Glenn Taranto (Gomez-The New Addams Family etc.) hit them right between the eyes by telling them that they should not come to NY until they are ready.  Until they have done their homework.  Until they have everything they needed to move forward.  And if they have not done it yet, they don’t belong in a place where everyone else HAD done their due diligence.  It was the brutal truth.  I never forgot his words and his delivery…….he was 1000% correct.

WE don’t belong in a place where everyone else HAS done their due diligence.

And the brutal truth is that we MUST keep teaching ourselves so our kids keep teaching themselves.  We MUST do our due diligence in diabetes education. We MUST pass it on to our kids.  They MUST learn to do it for themselves as they get older.  Make sure they are ready.  If you are NOT READY…..do you really expect them to be?  Because if you don’t know, they never will.  SO LEARN.  TEACH.

You cannot BEAT something unless you know it inside and out.  Diabetes cannot win and you must do everything in your power to make that come to pass.  And that is a dialogue we can all understand; should understand.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

The Impossible Dream……If Not for our Kids…….for Whom??????

 

Man of La ManchaTo fight for the right, without question or pause …
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause …
—–Man of La Mancha
Sometimes, it feels like Don Quixote trying to fight windmills all day with very little results (you can read the story sometime to understand that reference).  I was in my fourth bariatric center over the weekend.  Each attached to a major hospital.  Never with an appointment.  I introduce myself.  Ask to speak to the Doctor in charge.  I now have a new-found feeling for Pharma Sales Reps.

The front desk people try to dismiss me, that’s their job I guess, and I state that I am a writer, and when I ask, “Should I just write that your Doctor has no comment in my article?”  That, at least, makes the person find the doctor and ask what to do with me?

I tell them I need only two minutes.

So far, the Doctor has come out each time.  So far.

I choose large centers because all of them have advertising budgets.  I have heard all of their commercials.  Their commercial spots are clearly focused on the T2 market, that is their call–it is their advertising dollars, but they do not specify anything in their spots.  My request is simple.  Kindly put the words Type 2 in the diabetes spots they run.  I do not want to get into a long discussion.  I explain why.  I probably should try to accomplish more but why make it so complicated.  I choose the battle I want to have.  On this day, these are my windmills.

Four out of four agree.  One doctor literally gasps; “I NEVER even thought about it that way until you said it.  That kids with T1 would hear the spot.”  I emphasis and drive home the final point.  No surgery will make their diabetes ‘go away’.  Not yet, anyway.  She assures me that their spots will be changed and so will their literature.  While there, I hang a few posters in the hospital cafeteria from Get Diabetes Right, might as well get double the effort in one visit.

Last week I’m in my car with the radio on.  A commercial plays between songs.  It’s a bariatric center commercial.  One of MY windmills.  I know enough time has not gone by yet, but it has.  The diabetes, was replaced with Type 2 diabetes.  No one in the car but me……I smile.

You do not have the resources to raise money so you stay away from events, your call. Point taken.  But if we agree that there are 2 million people with T1 (depending on what number you want o believe) and add 4 million parents and if each just tried one education attempt a month; 72 million education outreach ‘touch points’ would happen every year.  You do not even have to create anything……go to www.GetDiabetesRight.org or the same name on FB and download posters on diabetes education and post them around your neighborhood.

Changing the world is not hard if many do just one thing.  One.  A lot of a little makes a lot.  Period.  I see a world with better diabetes education and THAT we can all do.  That way people will know a little more about diabetes.  Everyone THINKS of these HUGE GRANDIOSO IDEAS…..and yet, we have things right at our fingertips—-and we choose to do nothing.  Just don’t do nothing.

This is my quest, to follow that star …
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far …
Better education can be a reality if we get started; I know I’m not dreaming the impossible dream.  Join in.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Only YOU as a Parent, Know these Sounds…….of Diabetes.

Sounds of silenceI have never tried to ‘fake it’ about what it is like to have diabetes.  I have always made it clear to my children that I DO NOT understand what they go through; but I have also spared them what we go through as parents.  Unless you are a parent of a child with T1 Diabetes, you have no idea. We are a select group.

There are sounds that occur on this roadway that no one would understand………..no one but those who live it.  You know those sounds don’t you?  As Simon and Garfunkel wrote, and sung, years and years ago…….they are the Sounds of Silence.

Hello Darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again…….”    You know these sounds.

They happen, usually, between 1 am and 4 am.  You are sitting by yourself.  You have treated your child and going back to sleep is just not an option yet.  Either you have to wait to re-check; or you are just too wired to return to your bedroom.

You are sitting in the kitchen, dining room, or living room.  There is not a sound…….but there are plenty of sounds; that only we as parents know.

The ticking clock.  You find yourself staring at it, as if the ticking sound is talking to you.  Reminding you of things that you need to do.

The humming of a refrigerator or some other appliance.   For some reason no one hears it during the day but you hear it now.  The sound sings to you a soothing peacefulness.  How could an appliance comfort you……..only a parent at 3 am waiting for blood sugar to rise from being so low would know.

Cars to drive by at night.  A million cars go by your house during the day but at night when they pass, you wonder who the heck else could be a wake at this ungodly hour.  Not just be awake, but be out and about and you think to yourself; “well that’s silly”.

As you take a sip of whatever it is you are drinking (we always seem to grab a cup of something…..don’t we?) you hear yourself breathing.   Sometimes heavier than other nights.  The breathing makes us wonder about ourselves.  “I need to lose a few pounds”…”Wow working out is paying off”…”Where did THAT gray hair come from”…”why don’t those wrinkle creams ever work”…….these thoughts are usually shattered by the loud ticking clock again.

You take a look at the time, twenty minutes has passed.  Time to recheck and possible get a few more hours of sleep.  The sounds of the night will be there again tomorrow night.  They have become your friends.  No one understands that but those who are doing the same thing in countless houses around the world.

The houses where diabetes is the new normal.   The houses where parents are awake in the middle of the night.  The houses where the quiet sounds of diabetes are deafening, but friendly, to only those who hear them while alone…………..waiting……..yet, again.  No one else would ever understand.  Knowing what we know, may they never.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Door Slammed in your Child’s Face, Only Because There is Not Enough!

door slamTwenty Six Hundred kids.  I’ll say it again—-twenty six hundred kids.  Do you know what that represents?  That represents the amount of kids who applied for a college scholarship last year from the Diabetes Scholars Foundation, according to Mary Podjasek, President and Executive Director.

That means twenty-six hundred kids graduated high school last year who had diabetes, and those are the ones we only know about because they applied.  There’s many more I’m sure.  They are going on to college and they are saying; “take THAT diabetes”.

But here is the problem.  And it is a REAL PROBLEM.  Less than 50 kids received a scholarship last year and when I asked Ms. Podjasek if the only reason more were not given out was due to lack of money, she answered, “Absolutely”.  She continued, “Easily 200 more could have been given out.  They were that good.”

Hear that again;  OUR KIDS WERE THAT GOOD.

Do you know what a Merit Scholarship Winner is?  Merit scholarships are awarded:
*to identify and honor academically talented U.S. high school students
*to stimulate increased support for their education
*to provide efficient and effective scholarship program management for organizations that wish to sponsor college undergraduate scholarships.
Less than 1/2 of 1 percent of those who apply, receive what is commonly known as the toughest of the toughest to achieve in the USA.  The toughest.

And yet, there were recipients of that award last year, who have diabetes, who did not receive a Diabetes Scholars Foundation……….award.  Imagine a child with diabetes applying for a scholarship, from the only entity of its kind giving such scholarships, having the top scores, but not receiving an award because there is not enough money.

My dear friends, THAT FALLS ON US.

How many times have we heard that our children have been through so much in what they do, day in and day out?  They need to be recognized for what they do and it MUST BE NOTED that they do it despite/with/concurrently while battling diabetes and yet the only national organization that recognizes in the forms of scholarships for college; must say no.

Now hear me out.  I get it.  I really do.   I want everyone to fund the work of the DRI for a cure.  And someone else wants everyone to fund the work of the JDRF, the ADA, Diabetes Camps, Denise Faustman’s work, CWD, other Diabetes Researchers, or The Diabetes Hands Foundation and on and on and on……fair enough—to each their own.  I totally get it.

But I also think that we all can agree that if the ONLY place, on a national scale, where our kids living with type 1 diabetes can get a scholarship to colleges based on the fact that they are living with T1; is the Diabetes Scholars Foundation—-don’t you think we should all find a couple of bucks to send their way…….I mean really?

Don’t get that bottle of wine, that pack of cigarettes, that dinner in a restaurant, your nails done this week, that trip to a sports arena……..give it up—-just once and send a donation.

A couple of bucks!  Think about it, but more than that……here is the link, give something.

All of our kids have gone; or go through school……..if we do not give, no one else will.  Tomorrow you can go back to all of the other organizations you believe in, BUT THIS IS THE ONLY one of its kind that is available to all kids with type 1 diabetes to apply.  Two hundred kids NOT TO RECEIVE a scholarship ONLY for the reason that there is not enough money………..we can fix that…….we must fix that…….or shame on us all.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

 

 

Do You Know Someone Who Sounds Like a Diabetes Broken Record?…..Is It YOU?

broken recordI have found it a tad scary to think that there is an entire generation of people who have no idea of the meaning, ‘You sound like a broken record.”  I mean how would they know?  Records are achievements broken in sports, at the box office, and in other places where milestones are measured.  They are not a disc that spins and starts repeating over and over again once there is a ‘scratch’ on the record.

But the saying still exists; “You sound like a broken record.”

And that leads e to ask you, do you sound like a broken record?  For a moment, take a look at yourself through your child’s eyes.  And for this discussion, in particular, through the eyes of your child with diabetes.  How often do you tell them the same thing over and over and over again………know this; they hear you.

If you have more than one child, and as they arrive home from school, do you ask how the day was for each of them but when your child with diabetes comes home you ask, “What was your number?”  DO you do that just about every day? ——Broken record.

Do you ask your child if they are ‘OK’ (in that diabetes tone—you know what that is) as soon as they walk in the door from playing outside—-do you do that often?—–Broken record.

Do you constantly ask, “what is your number, honey?”—–Broken record.

Dads (not all), when you come home do you not ask your partner how the day was, or do you jump to; what was Susie’s numbers today?” Do that often?—–Broken record.

Moms (not all), when your partner arrives home do you hit them immediately with the incredibly bad day you had because of diabetes—-be careful—–Broken record.

What happens with the broken-record-syndrome ( a perfectly medically accepted phrase ………made up for the purposes of today’s article) is that after a while others will tune you out.  All teenagers are masters of this phenomena; as we were also.  But when it comes to diabetes, we have to be a bit more creative.

If you are now saying to yourself, “…..but I MUST make sure of…..”…whatever it is that you must make sure of; know this.  No matter how important the ‘whatever’ may seem to you, a constant barrage if the same thing done very often will result in the person hearing you less and less each time.   I am NOT SAYING you are wrong to care about your child’s glucose numbers.  I AM SAYING that the more you try not to always ‘do it’ the same way, the better results you will have.

When your child comes home from school, you will know the minute they walk in the door if you can wait an extra thirty minutes to ask them about math, recess, the kid your child has a crush on, or just about anything other than diabetes.

With your partner/spouse as well; of diabetes consume your lives……it will consume your lives.  Surprise them some time when you come home; “Do you need to get out for a while, I can hold down the fort if you want to……..whatever”……… it would be worth it just to watch their reaction.

My point is simple.  Diabetes has just too many important aspects in your life for anyone to be practicing the art of tuning you out because you suffer with Broken-Record-Syndrome.

You can rid yourself of this habit and it will take time………but trust me…….when you do, to those who hear you, your voice will be music to their ears.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

 

Diabetes. The World We Live In. There REALLY is No Cure for Stupid!!!

No cure for stupid
“An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise.”

—-Victor Hugo
Well ain’t that the truth?  It is about time we come to realize that no matter how hard we try, if you are not part of this ‘new normal’ called diabetes, you just will never ‘get it’.  We have all heard the stupid statements over the years and unfortunately, the forecast for the future is stupid today, stupid tonight, with a great chance of stupid tomorrow.

The poster I have shared is from getdiabetesright.org—the webpage/FB initiative that Kim May (a mom from Texas) and I created and Kim’s ad agency works diligently to keep current; and it is full of posters that are full of education.  Perhaps not as edgy as this one but surely informative…..check it out.  More than that, hang a few around town.

Now I have stated hundreds of times that we might not be able to do anything about something coming our way, but we certainly have a choice what to do with it when it arrives.  And being face-to-face with a stupid or ignorant comment regarding diabetes surely falls into this category.

We can get really upset about the comment or we can understand that the comment comes from someone who….well…..just does not know.  But here is the question; how much did we know before we knew?  Think about that for a moment.   The fact that fate has sent diabetes to us, and we surely have become experts, how much did we know before it entered our lives?  To be honest, in this category because it DID arrive, I would rather still suffer from being stupid than becoming the expert with all of these years of experience.  That would mean both my kids did not have it.

–SIGH–

I know that ‘not knowing’ does not excuse the family members who should know better and hearing from Aunt Gertrude about how she lost her poor beloved poodle, Bubbles, to diabetes and how she knows EXACTLY what you are going through; for the millionth time, will never be ‘corrected’.  But quite honestly, we need to have a tad thicker skin when these occurrences bless our lives.  We really do.

For the better part of 22+ years that I have been ‘in this world’ (time surely flies when you are having fun, doesn’t it?), I have seen the understanding meter click nary a notch in all that time of people, as a whole, having any idea what we go through.

That’s okay because I do not know what they go through.  This is life and everyone has something so when someone says some really stupid comment to you about growing out of it, asking how much sugar you gave them, and if it is the ‘bad’-type of diabetes; let it go.  Because they will be back next week and I really doubt they will have learned a thing—–even if you tell them.  Case in point, Aunt Gertrude.

Remember this, those who know—need no explanation, those who don’t—-never will.  Really.  Know this.

You have bigger problems that need your attention.  Like watching your kids finishing off their Easter candy……..hmmmmmmm…….wait; your child has diabetes—are they even allowed to eat candy?

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Your Child’s ‘BAD NUMBERS’…….They Must Try Harder…….Right?????

Bad numberThere is a commercial on the air that shows when a woman receives a report from her Doctor and her cholesterol (bad) has dropped,  she is ecstatic.  She high-fives the world……and goes bowling; she is very happy.

When it comes to diabetes and numbers, I have always thought it better to take a different approach.  When Kaitlyn was younger, each time she checked her blood sugar, we tried our hardest to show no reaction and always just thanked her for taking care of herself……..it served us well.

Here is my cautionary tale to all parents.  My disclaimer here is that you may disagree with me, and perhaps even disagree strongly, but what I want to do today is start a dialogue.  I WANT TO KNOW what you do and why.  You would be surprised on how many times I am told by PM or in an email, “I don’t really respond online anywhere, but I read everything.”   So here we go.

In as much as good numbers seem worthy to shout from a mountain top and posting pictures of your child holding a meter with a number like 92; my question has always been; what happens when your child is 341? When you don’t shout about those numbers….what else can your child think but that THEY failed.

Now hear me out.

I’m all for 1000% positive reinforcement for any child.  Lord knows how much I love kids and would do anything to make their lives easier.  I’m not asking this question to you, from your point of view………I want you to think of it from their point of view.

If you tout a great number or a great A1C number, undoubtedly there will be times when a less than optimum number will be present…..if you build up one it is only natural that your child will feel like they failed when that not-so-good-number shows up.

IT IS NOT THEIR FAULT.

There is nothing they could do to prevent this disease.  So if given the choice, if they are trying (I leave that to you to define) their best; the number should not matter in relation to doing well or not.  The number is a gauge that allows them to adjust.  The number is a means to correct something going on inside their body.  I cannot warn strong enough, to be very careful how you reflect that number on your child—–good or bad.  Because if you highlight the good, the bad will be taken to heart.

Think about it.  “Great number honey.”  “Wow, one hundred; way to go.”  “What a great day of numbers you are having.”  “GREAT! Second number in a row below 120…good job honey.”

And what happens when the numbers do not reflect so good?

(             we —– say —–nothing            )

What is your child to think?  However if you think of something to say, for the simple reason they are checking their blood sugar to make sure they are staying healthy (over simplified, I know) as a positive reinforcement—-fabulous.

My dear friend Dr. Richard Rubin, and truly the world’s best at the psyche of diabetes and children, told me once that after we check Kaitlyn’s blood, to ask her why she thought the number was what it was; 100 or 280?  Of course depending on how high or how low matters when to ask that question but his point was clear; do whatever we could so that the number had no direct reflection on our child……..because even if ‘they were bad all morning’ eating what they were not supposed to (geared to the teen years)—it’s STILL NOT THEIR fault they HAVE TO EAT a certain way.

Now I never stated this would be easy.  We have all gone through the teen years and it is very difficult when they are not doing what they ‘are supposed to be’ doing.  But when it comes to diabetes, IT IS NOT THE SAME as clean up your room.  If your child ‘shuts you out’ because you have made THEIR diabetes YOUR mission to correct them at every turn——-your voice will be ‘muted-out’ as they get older.

Be creative.  Dr. Rubin (Lord, how I miss this man) stated to always make it about choices.  As fast as possible, change out the focus on the number with asking them what they should do about it?  “You are 325, should you take insulin, or just a glass of water?” (and ask them why).   The younger they are, the simpler you make it……..but make it about choices.  “You are 100, do we need to do anything?”

After a while, these questions will become their questions which they can, and will, address themselves.  When it comes to diabetes, I always tell people numbers are a gauge……make sure your child is not taking them as their reason for failure. The more you celebrate those ‘good numbers’, they will most assuredly take the ‘bad numbers’ in a way that they are doing something wrong.  Easy? No.  In the long run it will serve them much better.   Leave reflections to the mirror.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Even Elmo Gets Involved in a Cause…..uhm….What’s Your Excuse?

Elmo Capitol hillI am a fan of Seth Rogen.  His humor is edgy, he pushes the envelope, he misses, he hits, but he takes risks and in an industry that plays it safe, he seems fearless in trying for something different.  And, I will admit, he also revisits things that work well, hey a guy has to eat, right?

But Mr. Rogen’s best performance was not acting at all.  It was when he testified on Capitol Hill about his mother-in-law’s Alzheimer’s battles.  It was this, more than anything else, that tied the knot on becoming a fan.  His passion for someone he loves captures your attention immediately.

Capitol Hill.  Having been on the Hill quite a few times in my life, I can share that it is as exciting as it is intimidating.  Not only because of who sits there now; but for the history of those who have come before……our democracy is represented in just a few buildings.

But I am here to tell you today, that in as much as there has been major star power over the years; I have been told by more than one Representative in my life that is the heartfelt stories of parents that resonate on how they vote.  It is important for you to know that.  It is important for you to also do something about it.

If I told you that George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Ben Affleck, Elton John, Bono, Richard Simmons, Mohammad Ali, John Denver, and even Frank Zappa and Sesame Streets’ Elmo have all testified on Capitol Hill…….could you tell me for what cause?  In some cases I’m sure you can and in others, not; but rest assured it was something of very big interest to them.

If I told you that Charlton Heston spoke about one issue and Tony Bennett on almost an exact opposite point of view, and you were the Representative…..who do you respond to?  Star Power….going back to Elizabeth Taylor and her personal backing of AIDS support, the Hill has surely attracted major star power.  But the broo-ha-ha over such celebs has not as much impact as it used to have when it comes to testifying.  That leaves ‘us’ to stay the course and be the force.

Hmmmmmm a great tag line there.  Diabetes Advocacy: Stay the course-be the force.

For over twenty years, Jim Manly has served on Hill for the likes of Ted Kennedy, George Mitchell, and Harry Reid and he once stated: “Beautiful though she may be, Angelina Jolie coming through town? Already seen that a couple of times before….”
With so many doing it, maybe that explains the so many empty chairs when Seth Rogen was testifying.

But more often than not, the rooms ARE full and the interest is high.  That stated, there can be no mistake about it; having celebrities involved not only adds the star power aspect for the cause, it will add media attention as well.  But the star power alone pales in comparison with the personal stories…….your personal stories.

There are many people I know who have been to Washington DC with the organizations they support in our ‘diabetes world’.  Many people give both their time and enormous energy getting the word out about diabetes and to the credit of many diabetes organizations the mixing of both the ‘star-power’ and the many, many, many stories from people living with diabetes, moms, dads, and other family members has surely impacted media surrounding diabetes causes as well as government and private funding.

In as much as there is no question that the incredible efforts of Mary Tyler Moore representing diabetes causes (and add to that Nick Jonas, Kevin Kline, Sugar Ray Leonard, Ray Allen, and many others), it is the hundreds of families that join in those efforts in a one-on-one with representatives that count as a 1-2 punch in impacting every member on the Hill.  It is the letters.  It is the signed petitions.  It is the many, many points ‘of attack’  that have an impact.

It is not just these group efforts that work, it is the efforts of a father (and also having T2) wanting better strip control, it is the mom of a child who passed away from a missed diagnosis, it is the efforts of what individuals find important that are heard by legislators.  It’s in Washington, it’s in the State Capitols around the United States—-it is many, many parts.

These efforts do not happen by accident.  They happen with much planning.  They happen with much organization.  They happen with much passion.  They happened by people who, when they started, did not know much more than you do know.  They learned by doing.  If you are looking for something to do, think about getting involved in an aspect of diabetes that is important to you.  If we do not advocate for ourselves, you can almost bet that no one else will.  Something to think about.  Something to act upon.

I am a diabetes dad.

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