Ever Get Annoyed by the Question…….Whose Fault is it that T1D Came to Your House?

I’m so, so sorry that I gave you diabetes.  I thought it was not me but I paid to have that DNA testing service having to do with ancestry run MY DNA and it game back that the lineage of T1D  on my side of the family goes back to the days when a guy name Christopher Columbus sailed a few ships and landed somewhere around here.

The testing took some of my DNA (I will keep from where it came to just me, its pretty private) and I paid $3275 and it came back——732 relatives had T1D…..so it’s all my fault.

Sounds a tad unrealistic, don’t you think?

And yet I constantly hear from people who share the guilt of thinking they are at fault or even MUCH MUCH WORSE, some dim-wit relative ‘from the other side’  finds a morsel of information and all of a sudden they are the new authority on who ‘is to blame’ for the mess you are now in with T1D now in your residence.

Absolute POPPYCOCK.

Even if……EVEN IF……you could be absolutely certain (which you cannot) which was the gene pool that got you to where you are………what difference would it make.  You would have to then go out and find out what triggered it; of equal importance.  Good luck with that also.

Blame.

Pointing figures.

Hidden figures.

Who cares.  But what if……what if…….what if……..what if……what if……
Tell them that DiabetesDad said to “SHUT UP”.
Then look at them and share that you are not so sure where the T1D came from but (stare intently now) you sure know EXACTLY where the stupid gene comes from.

It’s okay because I can promise you that we will have a cure for T1D long before we find a cure for stupid.

Having a little fun today to teach this: It does not matter what you discuss on HOW something happened; it matters what you are going to do with it now that it is here.  And when someone has an opinion, tell them to put that energy to good use and do something THAT DOES MAKE sense like running a fundraiser for education, help, and/or a cure.  That would be better than shooting their mouth off on something they know little, or nothing, about.

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

As Long as They’re Healthy………Are They?

How many times have we heard the phrase, “Well at least they’re healthy”?  Does the answer just roll out of your mouth or does it stick to the roof of your mouth before the words pour out?

To be completely honest with you, I have NEVER been able to answer this statement without it rolling around in my brain for some time after I hear it, and worse when I say it regarding my kids.  I mean, outside the diabetes?  With diabetes?  Are they ‘healthy’?

What is healthy?  How can one say, “….. well outside my kids’ diabetes, yeah they’re healthy” is as awkward as it sounds.  Should we acknowledge the inclusion; or the exclusion of a disease that so many count as horrendous?  So many more move on as if it doesn’t even exist.  Remember the old sick joke, “Outside of that Mrs. Lincoln, did you enjoy the show?”

I’m not trying to be flip, t’s just that I do not know how to separate my children’s attachment to this disease answering a question that for the most part is asked as a rhetoric, ‘How are you?”

How do the people who actually live with diabetes feel about this question.  When people ask you, “How are you?’  Do you just say, “Fine”.  But more than what you say out loud, how do you feel inside when asked that question?  I would love to know.

I’ve had asthma for years.  I cannot go anywhere without my inhaler.  But when someone asks my, I never give it a second thought; “I feel fine”.  There is not a ‘but’ or ‘if’; if I feel fine I say I never giving asthma the time of day—-not even a thought.

Is diabetes thought of in the same way?

It makes the education of diabetes tough when most look so good living with it and I have written about his before.  As I stated, I do not have an answer for this, on this, or about this?  If you have diabetes………………….are/can you be considered; healthy?
Thoughts?
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

My New Hero……..Is My “Maine Man”!

One of the greatest thing about the journey I am on, is the people I get to meet.  Not too long ago, I was asked to speak in Maine at the P-Pods annual event.  What a wonderful crowd.  After I spoke, I joined my friend Aaron Kowalski (who also spoke) from JDRF on stage for questions and answers.

Almost immediately a young man raised his hand, many call him Marky.  Marky is a young man who loves the New England Patriots and superheroes.  Imagine his delight when he had the opportunity to have dinner with Spider-Man & Captain America at Universal studies.  I called upon the 9 1/2 old and he asked; “I would like to write an article for your blog.  I read it and like it.  May I?”

I looked right at him and he was 100% serious.  I stated, “I have never let anyone in as a guest blogger before………”

Marky stood his ground looking at me and he did not move……..As I saw the determination on his face I thought to myself……”that changes now”.  Okay Marky—-you will be the first guest blogger I have ever allowed space; so without further adieu, I present the article from my new hero……..who needs no cape.

On my first day of fourth grade, I was excited that I was going to learn new things and that my classroom was finally upstairs!

I was a little worried too.

I had lots of new classmates, a new teacher, and a new ed tech. I know lots about Type 1 Diabetes, but was worried THEY might not. What if they didn’t know about high blood sugars, low blood sugars, and why I have extra snacks? What if they thought my pump was a gameboy? My phone was a regular phone, and who knows what they might think my meter was.

When I entered the classroom, after morning recess, I got to pick my seat. I wasn’t thinking about choosing a seat next to my best friend. I was thinking about choosing a seat next to my ‘ed tech’; in case I had an emergency. I hate it when my alarms go off in class and if I sit near my ‘ed tech’, I can make my alarms go bye-bye faster!

I ended up choosing a seat next to a new student. I soon realized she got distracted by my alarms and when I checked my blood sugar. I sometimes forget not everyone understands T1D. My teacher let me give a T1D 101 lesson. Unfortunately, right before my lesson I pulled my pump site out and had to leave early. We rescheduled for the week after. After my lesson we also had a Q & A session. It is important that my friends know about T1D so they can help me in an emergency.

T1D is a lot of work but, I have lots of people who can help me.

—–Marky, from Maine.

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

Diabetes Under Siege…….Only WE Can Change it!

Under SiegeIf you look around the world today, you can easily see that there are many voices rising for many injustices.  Injustices, in some cases, which have been occurring for decades; if not centuries.  Speaking for myself, I’m glad to see the dial of injustices just begin to move.  Women are as equal to any man and coming from the home/upbringing I came from, I never felt differently.  When a black person cannot ride down the street and feel safe merely because they are in a ‘wrong neighborhood’–there is something wrong.

All combinations of these injustices come into play but the important thing that I have seen, is that the voice to equalize wrong doing is loud and clear.  People and media who thought they could say anything and do anything are finding out that is not the case so much these days.  It needs to be honest and not merely to capture readers.

I’m encouraged now more than ever that new voices will move to the front of the pack and be heard.

Now my writing today is not about politics and the world around us.  After all, ours is the diabetes world, right?  For over twenty-five years I have heard so many injustices that those in the diabetes world feel.  Real problems.  I also feel like we move on from one problem to the next pressing problem, without first finishing the battle at hand.

Prices of insulin are still way too high.  People are still becoming gravely ill and dying from the missed diagnosis of T1D.  The world at large still does not understand the difference of diabetes…..and some actually believe one is lesser a problem than the other.  Medicare and Medicaid needs help and guidance.  And by and large people still are under the belief that everyone working in their own silo, and not united, is the best way to work……but is it?

If you follow the world lately, the two words that come to my mind more than any other are the words, “UNDER SIEGE”.  The groups of people demanding action is because they had enough…..’we are under siege and it stops now.”  The message is delivered and it is continued EVERYWHERE.  It becomes one voice.  Loud, clear, and most importantly: Unified.

It’s now time.  As long as all diabetes groups spend their efforts in 32 different arenas, no one will hear us.  All diabetes groups can still do what they need to do; advocacy, college life, fund research, fund projects but why can’t there be an underlying theme each year.  Remember the “Year of the Child”.

We are under siege but there are so many causes that no one cause is really moving the needle……is it?  Why can’t 2018 be the year Insulin costs are examined completely.  Not for a press release how wonderful an organization is looking; but imagine for REAL action.   If every trip up to Washington is about this topic, if every event is attached to that message, the message would be loud and clear.
Imagine:
“XYZ Charity held their walk today to help find a cure but Joe Smith the Walk Chairman stated, ‘this is also to raise our voices about those who cannot afford to take insulin because the prices are too high.  We need better examination of the current health care system.”  2019; different topic,  2020; different topic.

Get it.  I guarantee we will look back in 2023 and see how we have accomplished.  If you looked back now; could we say that?  It’s time for everyone to ‘do their thing’ but with a message on an arch each year.  Loud and clear.

The world will not know we are under siege, unless we tell them.  But with so many different messages, and so many different voices trying to be heard results in……well…….no one hearing anybody.  For over 25 years I have observed us as a community.  Incredible.  Passionate.  Brilliant.  The one thing we have not been, is a single voice.  We need to look at it because as so many other groups active in the world are teaching us…………………….it’s time
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Dear 2018……..uhmmmmm…..’gotta minute?

dearsantaletter-outDear 2018,

Nice to meet you and we look forward to your arrival.
You may not know me fully but I’m pretty sure we both know of each other well enough from others, and I was told to contact you for the things that might be important during this upcoming year in my world; which is a world of diabetes.

I get it.  You’ll have people with long lists regarding the state of affairs here and abroad.  You will have people screaming on both sides of what is correct from their standpoint which they will insist is in the best interests of all…….sort of impossible, I know, but they will insist.

You will also have people asking for incredible mountainous requests for sick relatives and dire situations.  All-in-all, I do not envy you your situation.  Not only will you not make everyone happy, it’s my guess you will make only precious few as happy as they may want.  Powerful is the individual who recognizes that they cannot do anything about what enters their world but it’s what they do with what comes along that creates the path they walk.  We are each faced with that task.  Life is life; and no matter where we are in this world…..we are given life to deal with and manage.

With all of this in mind, it’s also my understanding that you take requests. It has been made clear to me, 2018, that you are not Santa Claus but that request can be made and you will sort through and figure out what is best and that asking is completely encouraged.

Okay…….so here we go.  This is my request for our diabetes world.  Others may chime in as needed.

First and always, I want a cure.  I’ve been asking this for some time and although I have not been one of those who point and say they have been promising it within the next five years (who are those people anyway?), I think it’s time.  Or, at least, some REAL significant progress toward that end.  Some clinical (human) trials in kids…..something promising please.

We also need some stability in the insulin world when it comes to pricing.  Either allow some of the cases to come to trial that make/prove definitive and serious allegations to force lower costs, or have someone come up with a generic brand that will shake the foundations of those who think they control all costs—-the prices are too high, 2018, please look into this matter.

Please help us make a REAL dent in our journey to stop the missed diagnosis of T1D.  No one should die or be missed diagnosis that in turn causes major havoc in people’s lives.  IT’S JUST SO AVOIDABLE, 2018, it’s almost ridiculous.  Thank you for the continued efforts of so many—-it’s MAKING a difference but we need to really make this a national initiative.

Health care costs.  Okay here is the deal, us in the diabetes word ARE NOT THE ONLY ones asking about this 2018.  YOU HAVE GOT TO KNOW BY NOW how important this issue is for so many causes, so many people, and so many reasons?  A group of fat cats in our Nation’s Capitol can no longer be allowed to merely make changes without fully understanding of what the impact will be…..it’s a mess 2018, please both tend to, and fix, this situation.

Management tools.  2018, I am not just  referring to a device that reads blood sugar and dispenses insulin; I’m talking about all management tools.  There needs to be a healthy array of available equipment and not controlled by just one or two companies.  This just makes no sense.  Never before have people (patients, loved ones of patients) been so nervous that what is available today will not be available tomorrow.  Medicare and Medicaid need to cover what is needed and we all need to know that what is needed will always be available.  It’s just not fair.

2018, these are all practical and needed request and understood, they are all tall orders.  But I have faith in you and believe in you.  From the fiasco of diabetes issues 2017 left behind, my hope is that you are better, stronger, and more aware of how to navigate the waters-of-need for all those who do not want to just live with diabetes, but thrive with it.

Good luck 2018, we be in touch to see how you are doing.
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

The Night Before D-Christmas—2017

Santa Claus magic dustWith special apologies to Clement Moore. I present what has become a DiabetesDad tradition……an updated, ‘Twas the Night Before D-Christmas for 2017

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The meters, CGMs, and supplies were put away with such care,
In hopes that Santa would bring the cure with him this year.

The children were nestled from head to their feeties,
While thoughts in their head were no more diabetes.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, she prayed for the cure too,
A dad still wonders what else could he do.

Remembering this year; and things we did see,
Like MiniMed’s Hybrid they call the 670G;
Away to the D-Community to see who was a hero on fire,
It’s those who battle T1D who really inspire

As costs continue to rise and wallets get thin,
We fought hard for lower costs of insulin.
The community raised voices loud and concise,
Costs are too far and need to be lower in price.

It was tough this year as great ones left out the door,
Just some were Keith Campbell and Mary Tyler Moore.
Their voices were loud and their voices were clear,
They will surely be missed, wish they could stay near.

Others will take the lead and we will all see
Better products, more work, and good advocacy.
Better pumps, insulin, and CGMS by the score,
There’s plenty coming and we’re screaming for more.

Although some tough times happened and we were sad,
Animas closing, costs too high and true, we were mad.
But onward we go staying positive all the way,
There’s so much to do, and it all starts today.

Fighting for many and trying to be fair,
Coverage for one, coverage for all, even with Medicare.
Human trials, products, not just for our self,
Diabetes tattoos, even CGM for Elf on a Shelf.

Hurricanes were cruel where they would roam,
Far away sure, but also at home.
Many worked hard helping where they could,
So many doing and helping as they all should.

Many stepped up to help and grabbed at the ball,
Helping some was no good, it had to be all.
Helping others and giving so very deep,
Hours and days they all went and went without sleep.

When you look outside at the fresh fallen snow,
so many are doing and so many you don’t know,
Think of those who inspire and soon you’ll see,
Things will move forward and continue to be.

Life is not the greatest fighting this disease.
Continue to ask as you drop to your knees
That things will get better and rightfully quick,
Good things to come, and not all from St. Nick.

So listen carefully as you think what needs to be done,
If you have an idea, take it and run.
Don’t leave it to others; it’ll be just a few,
“Don’t do nothing” is what you really must do.

And if you think you’re done, tired, and feeling sort of sore,
Think of your loved one with diabetes, it’ll make you do more.
And if not for you, it will be for their sake,
We won’t stop at all till they get a break.

And then, in a twinkling, one day we’ll hear on the roof,
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
And the only thing needed in Santa’s bag for sure,
Is when diabetes is gone because of a cure.

So we will all continue to work, the ‘where’ is up to you,
But you have to make the decision on something you’ll do.
And one day we’ll scream and exclaim, “diabetes is gone from sight,”
The Happiest Christmas ever, and to all a good-night!
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Newly Diagnosed T1D in Your Family? A Letter FOR YOU!

writing letterDear Newly Diagnosed Family with T1D,

Welcome.  I’m sorry, but welcome.  If the diagnosis of diabetes has entered your household and you feel as if the world has completely come undone, I would like to share a little of a journey that is now just over 25 years.

Kaitlyn was 2 when diagnosed in 1992 (Rob would be diagnosed at age 13 in March 2009, but that is a different story for a different time).

We were (are), probably a lot like you.  Two parents working, no nannies, no really big house, no brand new cars, but we had much.  Always did.  We always and in all ways had an understanding of the smaller things.  We never begrudge those who had more than us, ‘good for them’ we always thought—-we had what we needed.  We never wanted to be more than where we were….we always wanted to be ‘rich in our lifestyle’…….that would be fine with us.

When Kaitlyn was diagnosed and there was nothing but an abyss in front of us, the one thing we knew was that we would discuss EVERYTHING for the first short while until we figured this out.  Nothing would be left for chance. Remember that.

At age 32, nothing but rosy days were expected.  We knew bumps would happen,  But on September 26th, 1992 our lives would change—-just like yours did.

What will we do?  What do we do?  What will happen?  A tidal wave of monstrous proportion just wash our little boat of life and we had no way of knowing it was coming.
Sound familiar?

Maybe you have been at this for a week……perhaps a month……perhaps a year…..maybe more.

After we took Kaitlyn home from the hospital we sat down and talked.  What do we do now?  In our discussion, we decided that Jill would be the one to stop working. Once we found some balance, perhaps she would get something part time, but there were no expectations.

I was never afraid of work.  To me it was always a matter of getting the job done, not so much as how it got done.  What I mean is; when we started on this journey, whether it was driving town cars to working at a deli to making pizza–whatever it took to bring in extra money, I would do it and would do it with the appreciation that we just might make it no matter what the new normal would become.

We made sure I always found some time with the kids alone.  Perhaps it was just taking them to McDonald’s for pancakes and let Jill sleep in before I left for work on Sundays…..but it was something.  What mattered was that the kids never knew that our lives were turned upside down—-I’m pretty sure, back then, we succeeded.

You go through a lot when all of a sudden a household of two salaries become one.    We decided from the get-go, this would be a one-day-at-a-time journey.  There was stress.  It impacted our lives.  It impacted our relationship with our families who probably never really fully understood why Jill and the kids showed up so much without me, because I was working.  But it was more important that the kids were with their cousins, had holidays, enjoyed life; than us worrying about what anyone thought.

We did what we had to do.

Sure it impacted our relationship also.  But we also agreed that whatever was happening was our business and no one else’s; we would get through it.

My point in this letter to you is that no matter what you are going through, it’s just important that you keep going.  That you stay in contact with your partner.  That you do everything in your power to make sure that your child with diabetes, and all of your children, have as normal as a life that you can provide for them.  Coloring Easter Eggs at a table together can be just as rewarding as taking all of your kids to an expensive Easter show together.  Look for things, you will find them.

Make do with what you have—-openly discuss things with each other—-do not care what anyone else thinks—-stay the course.  And always remember….guessing is wrong, EDUCATION is  the equalizer in diabetes.  Get some every chance you can.

Someone once said when a door closes a window opens—-well sometimes it’s up to you to pry that window open and not wait for it to open on its own.

You got this…….you can make it……..one day at a time.  Someday you will turn around and twenty-five years will have passed,  and you will be two just months away from walking your daughter up the aisle.

SIGH

Best of everything,
Tom
I am a diabetes dad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Annual Tradition Continues—–Your Child and a Personal Santa Letter

santa-from-videoSANTA CLAUS CAN PEN A PERSONAL NOTE TO YOUR CHILD THIS CHRISTMAS
Jolly holiday 7th Annual fundraiser benefits Diabetes Research Institute Foundation
NOTE: Your child does not have to have diabetes to receive a letter from Santa (cute video—click picture)

Yes, Virginia (and Emma, and Maria, and Max, and Willie…), there is a Santa Claus. To prove it, Ol’ Saint Nick himself will send a personalized letter – complete with a North Pole stamp – to any child, in any part of the world for a minimum donation to the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation. This jolly holiday fundraiser is up and running and you can click this SANTA CLAUS to learn how to send a letter and make a donation. Your child receiving a personal letter from Santa is certain to light up faces brighter than the star on the tree. And of course if you do not know of anyone who would want a letter from Santa….you can make a donation to just help the DRI continue their collaborative efforts to end diabetes once and for all.

Click here to learn more about the Diabetes Research Institute Foundation.

The personalized letters, which can be requested by parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles or any other family member or friend, can include all sorts of information; like a reference to any toy, game, iPad or techno-gadget on the child’s wish list or even mention something about their pet. Santa can even encourage them and that he knows how well they have been trying to manage their diabetes as well. The fundraising campaign is open to all families everywhere, not just those affected by diabetes.

To get all of the letters out to children by Christmas day, a legion of Santa’s “elves” are standing by around the country, according to volunteer chairwoman Marie Jarcho.

“We had a tremendous response the last seven years. This is a wonderful and easy way to brighten a child’s Christmas and they loved it. The more information that parents or others supply, the more personal Santa’s letter will be,” she said. “…… it is my sincere hope that people will give what they can to help the Diabetes Research Institute find a cure.”

After the debut event, one mother wrote that her child was so thrilled with the personalized letter that she slept with it every night until Christmas. The DRI Foundation is hoping for an even greater response this year.

To send a child a letter from Santa Claus, JUST CLICK HERE or you can click the picture to see a really cute Santa Video about the personalized letters. The deadline for participation is midnight on December 11th in the USA and December 6th for any area outside the USA.

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

In the Wake of Diabetes Awareness Month…….Time for Something New?

blue waterSo far during this month of Diabetes Awareness, I have read and/or seen hundreds, perhaps thousands, of postings and writings across social and other media sources. All things about education, inspiration, awareness, and advocacy.  Incredible and wonderful ‘happenings’.

And yet……

I ask myself what has changed?  No one is to blame, these are ALL WONDERFUL.  But I always believed that when the impact of something attempted does not achieve expected goals and the exact procedure is continued……well it’s time to change it up.  Perfect example is Washington DC—-oh sure, we could get into a real heated debate, but at the end of the day—-nothing changing means everything stays the same.

We, in the diabetes community, need to take a look at November and figure out ourselves for a way to change the paradigm, the landscape, the state-of-present affairs dealing with diabetes in today’s world.  The shot-gun approach of everyone doing ‘what they think’ is important is great….but the impact is a minimum.

Many major organizations fall into the trap of; “If we didn’t think of it. We’re not supporting it.”  And they instruct their members to follow their banner for what THEY DEEM important for the month of November.  Again, the same thing resulting in the same battle cry ‘people do not know about diabetes’ occurring each year has made me think of a new strategy.

Take the 10 largest organizations—-probably everyone in the diabetes community belongs to one or more of these organizations–gather them in a room (We meet at the ADA Scientific Conference because that conference is OPEN TO ALL; but I will surely settle on a conference call).
Now take the 10 most pressing topics in diabetes—Diabetes Management, Diabetes Cure, PWDS ARE THE Heroes, The difference among diabetes types and what they are and are not (caused by eating for example), Diabetes Funding, Missed Diagnosis, Capitol Hill, Diabetes in third world countries, Diabetes in School, The Psyche aspect of diabetes, Diabetes Awareness.  Pick one; add your own.
Now for 11 months of the year, each organization can/will do ‘their own thing’ as they deem necessary but for one month out of the year, Diabetes Unity Month–formerly Diabetes Awareness Month–all 10 organizations choose one overall topic and each work that topic for the month with their entire membership——and wrap it all in blue.

Imagine.

Imagine if all those who were active in the diabetes community WERE ALL ROWING in the same direction for the month.  IMAGINE!

I don’t know if attempted successfully, if this will/would work.  WHAT I DO KNOW is that I have been at this for over 25 years and many of the topics mentioned above in the overall arc of diabetes knowledge have not changed all that significantly outside of our own diabetes world—-the same topics are still looking ‘to catch on’ in the mainstream.  If started years ago, by now, we would be through each topic twice already and half way done with a third round.

Two concepts/ideas have been unified and have had good degree of success.  The color blue, and the blue circle. Everyone has been behind these two……so THAT makes me believe that when unified and rowing in the same direction the topic chosen will have a more powerful result.

I love all that so many people do but clearly every group decides ‘this topic’ is what will be chosen to push in November—-but the directions chosen, although diabetes-centric are all going in different directions.  That, as a principle, almost seems absurd, does it not?

If the ten organizations cannot come to an agreement on which topic is the most important one to tackle, easy decision—-no vote—-put the top ones in a hat and pull one out and THAT is where the energy is spent as a diabetes community for next November. Okay, DiabetesDad just has one of those crazy ideas again. Okay, so let’s try this; just try it for two years and see what happens.

Writers, media, membership, bloggers, organizations all on one topic for the thirty days of November.  Will it work?  No idea……but I know what has not worked for the last 25.  Send this article to the heads of your organizations, ask them to send me their comments/thoughts/beliefs.  I will keep them anonymous but let’s find out the feasibility.  Share this—-write about it—-spread it around.  Let’s not just talk about it—-send this article to the top staff leadership and the executive boards…..let’s make an effort to row together because when we do I’m 100% positive that the world will get caught up in the wake of diabetes awareness—-and rest assured the wake in THAT water will be November Blue.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Tandem Addresses if they are Next in the Animas-Leaves-You-Hanging Saga

Diabetes awareness monthIf you look up the word ‘aware’ in the dictionary, Webster writes, “….having or showing realization, perception, or knowledge; watchful, wary…..”
This is Diabetes Awareness Month and this day is World Diabetes Day—the 14th—–it is the ‘wary’ I would like to focus on.

Lately, I have struggled with my approach about the closing of Animas…..leaving tens of thousands of people to figure out…….what’s next?  How to continue their insulin pump with a new company.  I drew graphs, excel spreadsheets, and listed pros and cons with what the next steps could possibly be?

But I left the idea of ‘next steps’ as one thought kept coming back to me over, and over, and over again.  This ‘diabetes thing’ is a business.  Products made for diabetes management…..are…..INDEED a business.

To understand that; fully means to understand why businesses are in operation–and that is to make money.  There is NOTHING wrong with that and in many instances one of America’s founding principles….to make one’s own way.

But those of us with close diabetes connections should be well aware that in the business world we are consumers more than patients.  We are purchasers more than advocates.  I have seen diabetes products come and go but Animas was a real wake up call for me.

I called people to find out who would be next?  Do we as parents, as a person with diabetes, need to worry that Animas is alone or could it happen again to another device?  I started asking around. I came across David Kliff whose newsletter Diabetic Investor website states; Diabetes Investor is the premier subscription-based content publisher that provides real-time analysis of the business of diabetes – from pharma to med tech to devices and everything in between.
I know David and he has certainly a non-nonsense approach to the ‘business of diabetes’…his comment the day Animas closed down:
Today Animas has joined Deltec in the insulin pump glue factory and Tandem is getting ready to join them.

Wow!

So a man who makes his living advising people on what looks good and/or bad in the BUSINESS of diabetes states that Tandem will follow in the ranks of Animas.  Now, no one has a crystal ball but Mr. Kliff’s word’s on the heels of Animas closing are words to, at the very least, pay close attention.  For months and months Mr. Kliff had warned of the closing of Animas’ doors; and yet when it happened, the outcry of tens of thousands proved that they had no idea it was even coming.

This worried me as a parent; after all my two children are on the Tandem.  So I went right to the source and contacted Tandem and here is what their CEO, Kim Blickenstaff answered;
Tandem has heard misleading comments about our longevity in the marketplace, but what we focus on is bringing the future of insulin pump therapy to more people with diabetes. In addition to recently opening a new manufacturing facility in San Diego, we also plan to commence sales internationally in select geographies in 2018, and currently have a pivotal trial underway for our first automated insulin delivery product. We remain confident that our differentiated insulin pumps, the power of our Tandem Device Updater, and our robust pipeline will enable us to successfully execute our business plan, and continue to support our customers for years to come.”
Can that change tomorrow?  Perhaps. I surely hope not.

Diabetes Awareness Month!

I love everything blue, I loved speaking at a school today for diabetes awareness, I loved giving two families a tour this month of the Institute where they could see first hand what I know—-the promise for a cure is a real experience, I loved organizing Bounce Away Diabetes with Sky Zone on the 5th of this month, and I will love hosting Ryan Reed at the DRI this Thursday and witness him at Homestead racing next weekend.

But more than ANYTHING else; look back on how I started this column–World Diabetes Day.  The “wariness” and the “alertness” must always start with our own child, our own care.  There is so much happening so quickly—-stay up to date–ask a thousand questions and know what you are told one day, can change the next.

I’m livid that Animas is closing their doors in the manner they are closing their doors……but I also know beyond the blue, beyond the advocacy, beyond the wonderful people with us on this journey—-diabetes is a business.  And a business decision can impact us at any time.  Are we ready?

We are ready.  We can adjust.  Our eyes are wide open.  If we must change back to injections at any time, we can.  A broken escalator is still a staircase.  We prepare for everything.  We got this!  In this diabetes day and month, I ask…….do you…….’got’ this?
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.