Diabetes Thanksgiving???….Is There Really Anything to be Thankful About????

Happy ThanksgivingHappy Thanksgiving.

One might think that there is not a whole lot to be thankful for when you have a child, and I have two, with T1 diabetes.  If you felt that way; you would be wrong. If you live that way, I hope you find a way to change it.   I have all of the diabetes-stuff-and-what-it-can-do in a compartment all by itself.  I know it, I realize it, and more than that; my kids know it more than I ever will.  It’s there, and dealt with daily.

That is in compartment one.  I have a whole ‘lotta’ other ‘good’ compartments that I could never imagine life without were it not for diabetes.

I’m very thankful for where I work.  The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation has had 11 years of my life and I wish you could only see the compassion, passion, and drive I see every day.  The DRI truly wants to turn the lights out because they have accomplished what they set out to do….cure diabetes.  THAT can only happen if the people on that course stay focused.  Believe me when I tell you that the focus is ‘razor-sharp’.  Yes, it’s a ton of work but they make it extremely rewarding—I love them all dearly (and they are also fun to be with)……I’m a very lucky man indeed.

I’m hugely thankful for my CWD family.  Jeff Hitchcock and Laura Billetdeaux are responsible for creating something that, literally, has saved the lives of my children and so many others.  They created a venue and an opportunity that bought people in my life that I could never have dreamed would come my way.  From across the United States and around the globe I have friends; my soul has CWD stamped on it.

The Diabetes Advocates (DA) and the Diabetes Online Community (DOC).  This group of people have enriched my life as I watch them every single day just “Don’t do Nothing”.  A cause? They are there.  To help someone in need? They are there.  Put out a call to help? They are there.  Just one example was as I watched A Child’s Cry for Change take shape. Just incredible.  As far back as in 2013, Kelly Kunik and others were on a call as we discussed that diabetes in the media was just not happening as it should.  I never thanked Kelly, and probably should have long ago, because it was that conversation that got me thinking to the fact that we can do more in Getting Diabetes Right.  So thank you Kelly and sorry this has taken so long to acknowledge THAT conversation and the release we did, what seems a life time ago. Even though our initial idea did not gain the traction we all wanted, it got me to thinking and when I put the word out there and Kim May offered her ad agency for the idea of printing posters for all to use—–well, we’ve never looked back.   And now the National Association of School Nurses has taken on the cause of watching for flu-like symptoms that may be DKA.  I’m amazed how that seed has grown.

Believe me when I tell you that is only one—-one of thousands–of ideas the DA and the DOC do EVERY DAY.  From a mom who comes online for advice to taking on full fledge initiatives; the DA and DOC have changed my world and I am so thankful for all of them/you.

I could continue to list people and what they do all across the diabetes landscape.  I could list the wonderful organizations they represent and the GREAT works they do.  I am thankful for all of those who do so much for so many and I’m both awed and humbled at the efforts of advocacy, research, fund-raising, education and more than anything else—-the friendships that are in my life because of this horror show called diabetes.

Last and certainly not least is my family, and extended family and friends.  They have donated when we asked, helped when we asked, and been there through all of this journey.  They have constantly said to me; “what do you need…..how can I help?”  And it has meant the world to me.  I have stated many times before that my two children could not have a better mother in the world regarding their diabetes……and all three of my kids have been there for each other in a way that leaves me so proud.  I am blessed.

I’m NOT A BIG FAN of  ‘when given lemons one should make lemonade ‘……But I have become what I am; because of those who crossed my path wanting what I want; to have the best tools available for our kids to live full lives and not held back because of diabetes; to have the continued hope that a cure will come in my children’s lifetime; to have a shoulder to cry on and a few laughs over drinks when needed.   And at the end of the day……..well that is much to be thankful for, isn’t it?

Happy Thanksgiving.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Sound Familiar: “My Husband Does Nothing To Help!!” Uhm……Have You Asked?

ArgueYears ago, I organized this survey.  It was not scientific but certainly the results were very note-worthy.  Hundreds of people answered the questions and I learned a lot.  I have written about this before but it is always worthy to bring up again to begin a healthy discussion.

Two questions of the survey had to do with the parents and their dealing with diabetes.  The #1 answer from moms was, “I wish my husband would do more in helping out with our child’s day-to-day management of diabetes.”  The number 1 answer from husbands was, “I wish my wife would allow me to do more in helping out.”

I jest-you-not.  That is the 100% truth.

So how can that be?  Today I am going to ask for your input.  More and more Dad’s are asked to, and step up, in helping with the day-to-day management.  You both need to talk about it.  You need to open the lines of communication.  It is not written, nor is it true, that moms have to take on all dealings with diabetes.  But moms, you have to let your spouses in to help.

Discussion means just that…..discussion.  When you are both calm.  Not after a frustrating long day.  And not ‘at’ each other but rather; ‘with’ each other.

I do not want the responses today to be all about how husbands who do nothing with your child’s diabetes.  We will do that on another day.  What I want is for parents to ask themselves if they have had a HEALTHY DISCUSSION with their partners about what happens next?  Share those stories please.

Nothing should be assumed and I do not care if your child was diagnosed 5 years ago or last week; if this discussion has not happened——it needs to happen.  We, like most families, were a two income family.  Both had pretty good jobs in careers that could have gone places for sure.

Our discussion was regarding taking the chance of ‘finding’ the right person or becoming the right person for Kaitlyn’s care.  Diagnosed at two—we knew we had a long road ahead of us.

This was discussed and we came to what would work for us and that is what we did.    My point—–IT IS NOT EASY.  But we discussed it and came to the realization on what WE HAD TO DO and we did it.  Not one role was assumed.  Each part was discussed and we discussed Kaitlyn very, very often.  My point is if you are not discussing it—–YOU MUST.  This is a big job and nothing should be taken for granted.

It should be a situation that is discussed and discussed often.

So the next tome you want to say something about your husband NOT DOING WHAT YOU THINK he should, ask yourself, “Have I ever even really sat down to discuss this?”

If the answer is “no”, sit down and do it.  You will be surprised how much your spouse wants to do, but the parameters need to be set in a discussion and not in an argument.

Try it…..you might be surprised at the result.   I would like to hear from those who are in a household where they have found THAT COMMON ground through discussion; how did you get there.  Please share your stories with others and please do it here on this article’s ‘reply’ and not merely on the FB page where you saw today’s article so all can read what you share.  Thank you.

EDITOR’s NOTE:  Added after article was posted:  I have heard from dad’s who stated they would like to hear what mom’s have to say so please if you want to make a comment—hit reply and do it with this article.  If you reply to the FB page—only those on that page will see it.   Thank you.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Holidays: Is the Right One STRESSED???? It Should NOT BE YOU!!!!

turkey

Continuing in our series of, He Said, She Said; I am again proud and honored to team up with Author, Lecturer, AADE’s Educator of the Year, Susan Weiner, MS RDN CDE CDN.
Susan Weiner
Thanksgiving is fast approaching. With that may come the anxiety of ‘what the heck’ do I do so I do not eat too much. Below are just a few ideas we have for you with the upcoming holiday. Do not fret over the day. If you build yourself with anxiety, you will eat that much more the day after from guilt because you will feel like you failed…..DON’T DO THAT.

Failure is what you make it.

Remember that the holidays are the holidays even for your kids with diabetes. DO NOT make it a day of “Don’t do that!” or a day of ‘NOs!” Remember it is a holiday for your kids too and they will overdo it; as well as you and I will do. Find that balance and read below…..Susan offers some good tips you can use for your kids as well as for yourselves.  Enjoy the day. Here are a few things to think about.

HE SAID: For me, the first thing to realize is that I am going to eat too much. Me and my millions of closest friends around the country are all going to approach Thanksgiving and eat too much. It’s the nature of the beast. Realize that, but, when you take that spoonful, try to take a little less than you normally would. Do other things during the day to take less than just piling it on. Even by saying, ‘take less’ to yourself before you start is a help. Look no one likes to eat more than I but now that I’m trying, really trying, to change things around (again!!) know that THIS has helped me.

SHE SAID: There is food EVERYWHERE over the holidays! Holiday cookie exchanges, office parties, annual get-togethers, and the list goes on and on. You might be tempted to just try one bite of cake or one piece of candy. Remember these “BLT’s” Bites Licks and Tastes can lead to an expanded waistline and unusual rise in your blood sugar level. So, just be aware of what you’re eating and keep testing your blood sugar if you indulge a bit throughout the festive season.

HE SAID: When watching those football games—-you can bring your own treat/snack that Is not ‘so loaded’. One of my favorites is: Spinach-Roasted Red Pepper Dip Serving size: 1 tablespoon, servings per recipe: 36
Ingredients: ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese ½ cup plain low-fat or fat-free yogurt ½ cup light mayonnaise dressing or salad dressing ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard 1 cup loosely packed fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped ¾ cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained and chopped ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions 3 red and/or yellow sweet peppers, seeded and cut into strips, or desired dippers

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large bowl, stir together mozzarella cheese, yogurt, mayonnaise dressing, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, the flour, and the Dijon mustard.
  2. Stir in the spinach, roasted red peppers, and 2 tablespoons of the green onions. Spread the cheese vegetable mixture evenly into a 1-quart ovenproof shallow dish or a 9-inch pie plate. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake the dip, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until the edges are bubbly and the mixture is heated through. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons green onions. Serve with red and/or yellow sweet pepper strips. Makes 2 ¼ cups. NUTRITION FACTS PER SERVING: Calories: 21, Total Fat: 2 g (0 g sat. fat), Cholesterol: 3 mg, Sodium: 47 mg, Carbohydrates: 1 g, Fiber: 0 g, Protein: 1 g.
    SHE SAID:

    As a football fan, and a nutritionist, I had to come up with my own solid plan for game day. Here are a few of my tips and tricks for game day.Don’t Starve Yourself Before Kickoff

Make sure that you eat a healthy breakfast and lunch before pre-game festivities begin. If you skip meals earlier in the day, you might be extremely hungry and unable to make smart food choices during game time.

Have a Plan

Review the “menu” for the game. If you are going to a friend’s home for the game, find out what is going to be served. Chances are some of your favorite traditional foods will be there! Plan to eat whatever you enjoy … but think about portion control. Offer to bring a veggie platter with a Greek yogurt, salsa or hummus dip. That way you can fill up on low calorie vegetables instead of oodles of chips and cheesy dip. Of course you can have a few chips and some dip, just pay attention to your portion and eat the veggies in between.

Don’t Eat Out of a Container

Don’t eat directly from a bag of chips or out of a bowl of seven layer dip. Count out a few chips and place them on a napkin or paper plate. Spoon out a small serving of dip onto your plate. Try not to sit near the food. That way you’ll stay within portion guidelines and still enjoy some of your favorite foods.
Some great recipes can be found here by The Happy Diabetic, Robert Lewis:
http://www.happydiabetic.com/

HE SAID: Do not be afraid to alternate between drinks….having a glass of cold water between alcoholic beverages is refreshing, your taste buds will thank you, and you will have less alcohol in your body. And as you see below, Susan agrees completely on this point.

SHE SAID: Drink plenty of water. If you decide to drink alcohol, try to drink an eight ounce glass of water between each drink. This will cut down significantly on the amount of alcohol you drink (and your calories as well). Drinking more alcohol can reduce you inhibitions and cause you to eat a lot more food.

Again, do not stress over this day.  Take it as it comes, enjoy yourself and realize that it is a holiday.  You CAN enjoy it.  Do so.  Have a great day.

Happy Thanksgiving

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

My Kids…..”If Anyone was to Get Diabetes, the Right One Did.” Really?????

the right oneOf course there is no science to this and I may be way off base; but did you ever think that if anyone was to get diabetes; the correct child to get it…..got it.  I mean no one ever really talks about this and I’m never one to be shy on matters no one talks about; but have you ever asked this question?  I know,  it’ a ‘taboo’ thought…..but honestly have you thought it, ever?

Now there are a few possible answers for this.  Yes. No…….or……is it the fact that the child who was diagnosed with diabetes, and has been dealing with it for so long, that they just ‘shaped themselves’ around the fact that they have it and they dealt with it so well that they adjusted accordingly?

I’m not sure.   I hate that any of them have it; but I HAVE BEEN guilty of holding that discussion with myself.

I do remember saying that if any of our children were to be diagnosed, Kaitlyn’s temperament and personality would be such, that she would be the one to handle it best.  SO in retrospect, we were thankful that IF ANYONE was to get diabetes, the one who could handle it best is the one that got it…………..right?

Well, not so fast.

Because we were so good with the first one that whoever/whatever you believe in; God, fate, laws of nature decided to ‘bless’ us with the second diagnosis.  Do I now say that if anyone was to get it, the correct two got it?

No thanks——I’m done.

My point is that in as much as we think ‘the right child’ was diagnosed; it may not necessarily be the case that there is only one answer to this thought.

Rob and Kaitlyn handle their diabetes completely differently.  But both have tackled what they need to tackle in a way that is best for them……and it works.  For that I’m grateful because at the end of the day it is managed to the best of their abilities SO THEY have as GREAT a life as possible and feel as good as they can to continue in this wonderful life…..THAT is what matters.

They are both (as my oldest is also) striving to do what will make them happy, what they want to do, and they are moving forward at a pace that is exciting to witness from the ‘parents gallery’.

So if you think ‘the right child’ is the one to have been diagnosed with diabetes……..I’m here to tell you that when tested, your kids will surprise you……..I know mine did……….and with all my heart and soul it is my absolute profound wish that you are not ever shown this fact as we (and others) were; with multiple diagnosed!!!!

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Your Child Deserves a Rock Star in their Life……oh Wait…..They Have One!!!!

RockstarSo it is around 2:00 am.  I’m wondering how many other parents are up at this time; for the millionth time?  I turn on the TV and there is a movie about the boy-band sensation, One Direction. I could use a little ‘fluff’ tonight.

As I watch their incredible trip with stardom, I’m taken by their parents and what they have to say.  One mom, or mum actually, says it all, “….I know this will one day all be gone…..so I have to be there when that happens, and pick up the pieces….” And that of course made me think of you.  All of the ‘yous’ out there…..parents.

How many times have we been there for our children when those ‘pieces’ need to be picked up?  The times when it is…..say 2:00 am and you are up; the millions of hugs needed, the care, the doctors appointments, the fights with insurance companies, the discussions with school, the soccer coach, the dram teacher, the choir director, the ice hockey coach, the tears, and the worry, the worry, and the worry. Rock stars, kids in general, and definitely kids with diabetes.  You need to be there….and you are.  It does not matter of you are on the road in China or if you are on the sidelines at the soccer field; our job is never-ending.

But I also realized that it does not matter of there are a million people screaming your child’s name or your child scores a goal, or even gets through the day with a smile on their face; we smile broadly at those successes.  Our children have succeeded.

There is not a happier moment in my life than when my children succeed.  And that success is them achieving the things THEY WANT.  The things they set their minds up to do; and achieve.

And in the cases when your child has diabetes, well……..you stand just a tad higher because they did it with an obstacle that no one understands as much as you do. You understand that point.  You respect that point.  And you fully grasp how much the successes they achieve are worth because they did it and diabetes did not win.

Remember that; remember how much you do.  Because on this day……the music may very well be up on the stage of life…….but as my dear friend Paul Madden would say; it is YOU who is the rock star. Look in the mirror and smile at what you see today……..you deserve it.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Diabetes Discoveries! Not as Fast as We Like; BUT Faster than We Think!!!

fasterBobby Kennedy once said, “Some men see things as they are and say why…….I dream things that never were and say why not.”  Recently, with World Diabetes Day upon us, I had a conversation with someone who shared ‘how slow’ things seem to be going when it comes to diabetes, devices, and research.

I disagreed.

Certainly things do not move, and are not moving, as fast as we would like; but if you remember that insulin was discovered in 1921…..I would say that it has been a very productive 94 years.  And the last 40 being incredibly fast.  Again, I get it; yesterday is too slow for a development we want today; but it all takes time.

I am spoiled, as it were.  My kids never had to pee in a cup for a color swatch test that was a range and not an accurate reading; but I have seen many changes that even those diagnosed today, were never without.

A glucometer reading in under 10 seconds was unheard of when Kaitlyn was diagnosed.  An insulin pump in everyday use….that was a Star Wars theory, at best.  We might see it some day.  CGM? uhm….no.  Bionic Pancreas?  Artificial Pancreas? Really?  Uhm…..no again.  Not even on our radar.  Insulin pens?  Nope. Devices being placed inside the body like the BioHub or Viacyte; to mimic the native pancreas?  Seriously? Uhm…..no.

In our 22 years at this, as you see, there are many things that are now in everyday use and/or being seriously tested that will shape the next upcoming years, that were not much more than a thought back when Kaitlyn was diagnosed in 1992.

We need science, researchers, bio-engineers, and others to keep dreaming.  It is important.  It’s crucial that they ALL stay funded.  It’s important that we keep encouraging them and listening to their progress and asking the tough questions.  Most important is that we never lose faith that a tomorrow will come that will be better for our children than today.

I believe that with all my heart…….as long as there are people who don’t ask why at the things that are………but ask ‘why not’ at things we need for our loved ones with diabetes……let’s keep working together to create the ‘why not’s.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

 

The “F” Word is Just Unacceptable…….Do YOUR Kids Use It?????

FThere is no room for the ‘F’ word in our world of diabetes.  It’s enough that we do what we can, when we can, and the best way we can.  The word ‘F’ailure need not apply yet we both hear it and use it all the time.

Everything regarding diabetes, it seems, has a gauge.  Whether it be A1C, blood glucose, blood meters, CGMs, or anything else—if it has a number we seem to, hit it or miss it…..and since we miss it a lot….we declare our actions a failure.  It is not made any better when many others TELL US that these numbers MUST BE HIT.  And in our minds we have said, why is my child failing at this; or why am I failing at this?

I hate the ‘F’ word and the answer lies in the one word I stated above, gauge.  Do we consider ourselves a failure if the thermometer says 101.3; or the speedometer states 72 in a 55 mph zone; or the temperature in a room is 68 instead of 65?  Of course we don’t.  Why?  Because it’s a gauge.  Nothing more.  You look at a gauge and you adjust it and you move on.

So why is it that when it comes to diabetes, when the numbers are not perfect…..we feel that we failed?   I have seen it time and time again.  A parent comes home from the Doctor’s appointment and their very tone reflects that they beat themselves up because an A1C went up 1.5…..yeah, so?   A child comes home from school and numbers are running 225-280 all day….failure; right?  Wrong!!!

I’m not saying that we should not do something about it, we certainly should; but thinking we failed is just not correct.

And remember this, even more, when it comes to your child.  I’m not saying that we all do not have to work together but be very careful when it comes to your kids.  They try so hard to gain your approval……..in everything.  If the meter says 310……your face can very easily ‘give you away’.  Translation in your child’s mind; “I failed again”.

A healthy conversation should replace that grunt and facial expression.  Not every time, but when you feel you must react, react by engaging in a conversation so everyone knows why numbers may be running high, or low; engage the gauge.

It is not your fault you have to deal with this disease and it is most important to understand and realize that it is SURELY NOT YOUR child’s fault they have diabetes.  Must they take care of it?  Absolutely; but remember this……and sometimes we need to remind ourselves of this point…..everything your child does; bicycle riding, playing, studying, sports, arts, watching TV, sleeping, eating, talking; they do with diabetes.

EVERYTHING.

Stop right here and think of that for a moment.  EVERYTHING.

The fact that our children do so much and achieve so much while battling diabetes is monumental.  Do not bring down their huge amount of successes with a few things that do not land where we want.

Failure is but a word……..and in our house we do not use, nor experience, the ‘F’ word and if you are doing everything you can; neither should you.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

 

Waves Crashing In???? Take Heart, We’ve ALL Been There!!!!

row boatHave you ever felt like the waves of the ocean are crashing in over your little row-boat?  You know that ‘row boat’, just you and your family going along in life doing your own thing and expecting life to have some ups and downs when all of a sudden……crash.  The waves come in from all sides and the boat is taking-on water faster than you can bail the water out.  It  feels like you will be sinking any minute.

Take heart.  We have all been there.

The number one thing I LOVE about support (groups, online, a group of friends—what ever) is the sharing of experience.  The greatest teacher in the world is experience.  There is a saying I am sure you have heard a million times, “That which does not kill you makes you stronger.”  Kelly Clarkson even has a song about it.  It seems like a silly phrase for the only reason we have heard it a million times.  But it is a true saying none-the-less.

If we weather the storm, get through it; somehow……one will almost always be stronger when they come out the other side.  Now it surely does not feel like that when you’re going through it…..does it?  When it comes to diabetes, I tell people the same thing every time.

I know it is tough to be a parent.  Trouble seems to be coming in all over but remember this: even if your child was diagnosed a week ago, look how far you have come in just a week.  The longer you are ‘at this’, the more experienced you become.  The further out you are, you merely have to look at that fist week after diagnosis.

There was a man I knew, Larry.  He was like a pastor and when you would tell him how far you came in your faith he would answer with a big smile on his face as he put his arm around your shoulder, “Yes brother and you have a long way to go.”  Much to be said in that statement, isn’t there?

SO look back every now and again and realize how far YOU HAVE COME dealing with diabetes.   Know that you have a long way to go as well.  Take it in strides.  The good thing about storms…….is that they will always pass.  Some longer than others, I admit, but they will always pass.  You will laugh again, dance again, sing again, and the sun will rise again.

Experience has taught me that……………………………….many times.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

Another ‘Taboo’ Subject…….Bullying….Today I Seek Your Input!!!!!!

bullyingWhen you were in school, what was more common; kids who did things positive and creative, or kids who were bullies?  I was speaking with an old class buddy of mine and certain names came up and it was immediate when one particular name was called a bully.  We stated what an idiot and he received his 12 seconds of remembrance at being a moron, and we moved on.

The bullying we hear about today is not like when we were younger.  Back ‘when’ no one did anything about being a bully.  One kid in my grammar school bought a gun to school and shot many kids with this pellet gun.  Newspaper?  No such thing.  That said, our Principal in this Catholic School beat the living daylights out of the boy.  If that happened today, it would be national news.  Not saying it wa right, I am saying it was the way it was.

Now there are a million things wrong with this story, my point is that in my day, bullies were not stopped.  Notice I did not say bullies were allowed, they just were not stopped and we had to deal with it in our own way.

And believe me when I tell you that many of us had our own way of dealing with bullies.

It’s a different world today and it’s my hope that bullying is not the same as when I was younger.  Surely it’s not tolerated as much these days……..or is it?  Is teasing the same as bullying?

I find it very disturbing when I read of a child being made-fun-of who has diabetes.  I know it happens and I know many people also do not talk about it.  But it happens.  It’s easy to say well “kids will be kids” and teasing is part of what they must endure.

I think that is a whole wheel-barrel load of crap.  It should never be.  Ever.

I remember a story about a child who was made fun of for having diabetes.  This one kid in particular just would not stop, I am told, and a few times a month it was the same thing.  He was out of school for two days and on the third, the teacher told the child’s mom that the young boy was diagnosed with diabetes.  The boy’s mom asked the teacher to let her know.

That afternoon, the mom and her daughter went to the hospital and spoke to the parents and the young lady went in and spent time with the boy telling him that it would be okay.

No one is quite sure what the two of them discussed, at bedside, but it was clear that the young lady helped and did not ‘get even’ with the newly diagnosed young man.  An interesting turn of events for sure.

The lesson here is compassion.  No  matter how hard it is…..compassion.

No one should have to ‘put up’ with anything like teasing or bullying while also dealing with diabetes.  That said, the compassionate heart will always win out.  As hard as it seems, the best thing to do is ignore it as much as one can.  Many times it will stop just because the person realizes that ‘it’ is not working.  If it gets to the point of unbearable, something could/should be said.

But in many cases, even saying something does nothing.  Many times the person just finds more creative ways of doing it without being found out; or the parents—you find—are not that different from the child and it’s clear that nothing will be done.

The most important thing you can teach your child is that when these things occur, it HAS NOTHING to do with them.  If they did not have diabetes, it would be the color of their hair, their clothes, their shoes, or something else.  The other thing is that they are not alone.  Even though they may not see it, others are getting it also.  It is about the person saying things and not about anyone else.  THEY HAVE THE PROBLEM.

Now all of this is nice to say but believe me I know how much your child just wants to punch them in the nose and make them stop.  It’s not like the movies, that would not necessarily work either.  SO I ask all of you today, what did you do to handle bullying?  What did you tell your child?  Did it get better?  It happens and it is not always discussed.

Today let’s discuss it.  PLEASE share….you can help many others.

Talking to the teacher?  The Parents?  What was your course of action?  Kindly share.
Today I seek the wisdom of those who have been through this very tough subject.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

 

 

On this Diabetes Day……16,000+ School Nurses Hear a Child’s Cry for Change…WOW!

SchoolsSitting across the table from Donna Mazyck, the Executive Director of the National Association of School Nurses, one cannot help but feel her incredible passion for not only her members but the people her members serve. On this day, I am not only sitting across from Donna but also at the table is Sarah Butler, Director of Diabetes and Nursing Education; many of their colleagues are there as well.

The meeting came about after Sarah and I had a meeting at the AADE Conference over the summer.  These two powerhouses listened very intently as I explained the purpose behind “A Child’s Cry for Change”.  Where we need to do more to identify DKA, and to better educate about diabetes across the board.  T1 diabetes being diagnosed at death, needs to be changed. This meeting was the result of many other meetings and contacts discussing the initiatives needed to make a difference.  At this meeting, after listening for a good deal of time, Donna smiled at me, “We will do this, we need to do this.”  After months and months of utilizing every inch of my spare time knocking on doors, writing letters, sending mailings….a door opened. It’s very emotional to watch something go from nothing to something.

It was like when Kim May (a d-mom) and I created Get Diabetes Right and created the original posters listed on the FB page for people to send out and utilize wherever possible about diabetes education.  I have been very clear about the fact that although we created this together, it is Kim and her wonderful ad agency that keeps adding posters to the site and running it everyday; my involvement is very little and it is Kim and her team deserving the credit for what that site has become.  Another door opened when Kim and I connected.

I have chosen to write about this today, on World Diabetes Day, because I felt it important that YOU are made aware of some recent developments that have been done, and continue, to better the lives of all our children across the nation.

As I said goodbye to Donna and Sarah, they made it clear that this initiative would receive the push it needed….and WOW how it did.  Here are just some of the things they have been instrumental in creating:
>The NASN’s Weekly Digest has a newsletter and right at the top is a letter from their President.  The digest that went out yesterday had this included: “……. Also, in the midst of flu season, it is important for school nurses to be vigilant and promote awareness of warning signs of type 1 diabetes that may appear as flu-like symptoms. Thank you for the care you give all year long.
Carolyn Duff, MS, RN, NCSN, President of NASN
This newsletter is sent to over 30,000 people 16,000+ of them school nurses in all 50 states and American Schools abroad.  THAT’S HUGE!!!!

>In addition, they included downloads of material including the Get Diabetes Right poster about warning signs for diabetes.  They encouraged the nurses to download it and place it in their schools.

>They also included, in their resources, a suggested letter to send home with each child who is showing flu-like symptoms for the parents to be aware that it could be  initial signs of the onset of diabetes.

>They also created a pod cast for the nurses surrounding managing a hypoglycemic reaction during the school day.

This is World Diabetes Day………It’s a time to educate, anywhere possible, about diabetes.  There will be a lot of people, myself included, wearing “DIABETES BLUE” today.  But you need to know what people like Kim May and her colleagues do every day; you need to know what the National Association of School Nurses and their members are doing; to educate, to teach, to spread the word.

There are many other things on the plates of these wonderful people, BUT THEY CHOOSE to ‘Not do Nothing” for not only our kids and those with diabetes; but also for those who have yet to be diagnosed to make sure diabetes is diagnosed as early as possible.  They have heard that child’s cry for change.  If one other person becomes educated, if we spare just one family the horrors of a prolonged DKA…..all of this would be worth every minute of time.  To these people I highlighted today, I say THANK YOU for hearing, and more than that; THANK YOU for taking action. 

And isn’t that what World Diabetes Day is all about?

I am a diabetes dad.

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