What If Insulin Was Not Available at ALL??? To Some it’s a Harsh Reality.

Rose Spare a Rose---Save a childIn today’s climate where any opinion seems to be a wrong opinion……….to someone; would you like to do something to feel just a little better inside?  I think we all could say, “I wish I had a little more.”  “Life would just be a tad easier if…….”  I think we all have said that at some time or another and, perhaps, some even say it today.  What I DO KNOW without a doubt is that there are children in this world who will go to bed tonight and not know if there will be an insulin shot waiting for them tomorrow…….to stay alive

Sort of puts much into perspective doesn’t it?

In 2013, some members of our very own diabetes community came up with a wonderful idea called “Spare a Rose, Save a Child“.  Simply put; this year for Valentines’s Day, spare one rose, give one less, and send the cost of JUST THAT ONE ROSE ($5.00) to help a child get what they need dealing with their diabetes.

Did you know that just $5.00 could be a month of insulin for one child?  Well, it can be.
In fact 1 Rose= $5.00 enough for one month
2 Roses=$10.00 enough for 2 months
3 Roses=$15.00 enough for 3 months
…..and so on.

So think about it.  It’s my opinion that you will feel pretty good about doing so………I ‘m pretty sure that’s an opinion all would be in agreement.  Click here……make a difference. Spare a Rose, Save a Child.

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


Let us know about YOUR HERO…..and HELP Others!!!!!!

HeroesNo they do not all have capes and sometimes they are right in our own backyard.  I have seen request after request after request about parents wanting the names of celebrities who have T1 so their newly diagnosed child can be inspired.  I say—THEY CAN BE JUST as inspired by seeing kids THEIR OWN AGE doing …….well…..anything…..with diabetes.

Let’s DO SOMETHING to show them just THAT!!!!!
Kindly send me a photo of your child doing what they do best——the more action the photo shows—-even the better.  Let me know their first name only, their age, where they are from (state or province is fine) and when they were diagnosed.  I am going to create something that can show off our kids doing wonderful things with diabetes so when someone is newly diagnosed——they know they will be limited………by nothing.

Send to my email at karlya@optonline.net.  VERY IMPORTANT that you put ‘hero’ in the subject line of the email.  Again, REMEMBER; the more action shown in the picture the better.  Also……ANY AGE is just fine also.  Age 3 to age 80—–Sports, dance, drama, being silly, being serious, cheerleading, ANYTHING THEY/YOU DO……..is good enough….just show action, action, action.

At the end of the day, the real heroes, the real inspiration……..are our own kids and people who live every day as every day should be lived.   Send today and please pass this column to anyone and anywhere you know people with T1 hang out.
As I stated, not all heroes have capes……..but many do take insulin.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

The POWER isn’t how People Die from T1……It’s in How People Live.

Knowledge is powerI want to establish from the onset, that this article is about what I feel.  I do not know if it is the norm, I do not know if it is correct, but what I do know; it is how I feel.  Kindly feel free to add to the discussion with what you feel.

I have written, many times, how I was right in the middle when a young person died from complications of T1 in 1994; when it happened.  There was no internet that could instantaneously share with the world of this young person’s death. The unfortunate truth is that being in this diabetes world for as long as I have, I have seen more young people pass away than one could ever dream of seeing.  One is too many.

There are many factors when it comes to dying from diabetes complications.  Some families will share and some families will choose to keep to themselves the many details and influences; and that is surely their prerogative.  I do not think I have once really needed-to-know of the very specifics of how someone died.  What I mean is that I did not ask to hear details because it would not influence what we do in our house one iota.
I ask questions when I do not know.  I ask questions if I need to understand more.  I ask questions that will influence present behavior for better outcomes.

We have been around long enough to know what to do and how do it.  At this stage in the diabetes world, I do not think we can learn anything more from how someone died that we could use to keep our children with T1 alive.  And that is the honest truth.

If we are doing everything we can, if we are staying current on diabetes tools, insulins, care, and education…….what more can one do?  As I stated, and PLEASE FEEL FREE TO DISCUSS this any way you want to, but I have yet to hear details how someone died that lent itself to a discussion on changing anything in our household.

People have shared with me some very intimate details over the years and I never thought, “We need to do XYZ to make sure THAT does not happen to us.”
Yes, my heart has broken many times.  I can share with you that if you live your life in paralyzing fear, you will do more damage than good in encouraging your child to live their lives to their fullest potential.

I have asked people with this fear about this before and many have shared that if they knew details they could make sure that it did not happen to their child.  I will also share that I have talked to many families who have lost children and there is a common theme with most of them; that outside of being with your child every minute of every hour of every day; there was not much that could have been done.

Many things in life ‘can’ happen and it is a fact that people with diabetes surely have an increased exponential risk factor, but learning how to live is the best way for you and your family to cope with the fear of dying.  People who enjoy life know the risks, accept the risks, and do everything in their power to stay healthy.  Staying healthy to live is so much better than those that need to know every aspect of another’s death.  And in all honest, I have never learned one thing in someone’s death that made me say, we need to change anything.

The best way to over come a fear; is to do what ever you can to have the knowledge needed.  If you do not have that knowledge, go get it.  After that, like so many other things in life, we have to leave it to the higher power we believe in (or not) because we have done all we can do.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

A Neighbor Goes Missing…….A Neighborhood Changes.

missing momI left in the middle of a developing story.

A young mother went missing from my neighborhood.  It was and still is, pretty scary.  Her car was found, blood in the interior, “Foul play” seemed to be the sentiment.

I called the police, spoke to detectives the first day the young lady went missing.  A few things seemed to have been a bit odd this week.  Perhaps it had nothing to do with anything, but I figured the police should know.  They are the experts, I would leave it to them what, if anything, was relevant.  I was told if something I saw repeats itself to let them know.

Search parties went out.  We searched the woods by my house.  We do not know this young mother but doing our part just seemed like the thing to do.   Her family looked too.  And kept looking in the woods all over by where her car was found, around 5 blocks from us.

It is a little unnerving to see maps of the area from google search and see your house on the news.  I thought the events that I had noticed repeated themselves last week before I left to go to the ADA Sessions in San Francisco, via Seattle on some other business first.  On the way to the airport, I stopped and spoke to three detectives.  They took notes.  It all means nothing.  It all “could’ mean something.

A day after I left, the family searching, found the young mom’s body in the woods up the block from where we live.  The missing woman, investigation, was now a homicide.

As I stated, we did not know the family; but still—it hurts.  I have never been involved in anything like this before.  The police are very tight-lipped about everything for now.  No suspects are being revealed to anyone.   For now, they are saying nothing.  We live in a nice neighborhood.  Things like this do not happen here.

We watch out for each other.  For now……..we watch each other with a little doubt in the back of our minds.  Kids are not playing in the streets right now.  The joggers are not running either.  Come dark, it is pretty quiet as no one is very trusting right now.  We all know nothing except the obvious.

It’s all very sad.  Many people were doing their part when the search started.  Now we read the papers or watch the news, and wait.  A daughter, a sister, a friend, and a mom to a four-year-old is gone.  For the time being, so is a neighborhood.

I fly home in a few hours.  The neighborhood I left is not the neighborhood to which I will return.

All of our hearts are broken a little, but none so much as the family who lost this young life.  Our neighborhood cries for our neighbors——for some reason whether we knew them or not; doesn’t matter so much anymore.  They are our neighbors.  May God bless them and comfort them.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


I FEEL SO GUILTY……..How Did She ‘Run Low’?

GuiltHow many times have we felt this, read this, or experienced this……too many, right?  I have stated many times that you can follow two simultaneous days, minute-by-minute, second-by-second, eat the exact same things, do the exact same activities, and even wear the exact same clothes and get two different days of glucose readings.

That’s diabetes.

We as parents, and surely those with diabetes, try everything possible to achieve better management but there will be days that some unknown factor can enter in and ‘the number’ just gets stuck, or you plummet, or you can’t get the number to come down, you crash, and no matter what, diabetes does not do what you want it to.

It is on those days that YOU MUST tell yourself that it is part of dealing with diabetes.  It is not your fault nor your child’s fault…..it’s diabetes.

Now listen to me for a second……do not just gloss over that last statement…..there WILL COME TIMES that no matter what you do, it just won’t work.  It is crucial that you recognize those days.  It is important that you realize that it is NOT YOUR FAULT……it happens, does happen, and will happen.

So do not give diabetes the chance to once again beat yourself up for something in which you do not have control.  If you are doing everything you need to do and you know you are doing everything you need to do—–do not drive yourself nuts.  This day will end and tomorrow will come.

There is enough that those who have diabetes, and parents who do most of the management, go through with ‘the guilt’—-cross this one off your list.  It’s not worthy of your energy…….and don’t give it any.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


When it Comes to your Other Children….Be Warned. Be Ready!!!!

SimpleAre you just counting down the days until summer with your kids.  In as much as I love the summer, I think one of the most brilliant commercials ever made was this one (only 30 seconds): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvQO0jrRj6I ……and they ran a whole series of them……and you can bet it will be back again.

There are plenty of ideas for your child with diabetes; insulin kept in heat too long, diabetes devices falling into pools, check your back-ups—-but today, is an important and necessary message as I remind you of your other kids, while you tend to your child with diabetes.

Summertime, of course, comes with an entire list of ‘keep-an-eye-on’ aspects and you should always be ready for them.  First and foremost be safe.  Do not forget that while you are attending to your child with diabetes and their lows; you may have reacted and left that back door open that leads to the pool area.  That is a huge invite to your younger ones so make sure that you have taken care of the details while you are needed elsewhere.

Also do not think you will be ‘only a minute’ and leave any young children unattended in a pool.  Of course you would never do it normally; but when distracted for one emergency be ready to avoid another.

Arriving home from somewhere.  You are pulling into your driveway and your child is having a reaction.  I get it, you want to get to them right away but do not take one child inside and say to the other, “You stay right here, I’ll be right back,”  Absolutely not.  That car will heat up so quickly and you will have another big problem on your hands.  It will take thirty extra seconds to get all children inside the house.

And speaking of inside the house……..

Especially when coming in from outside; make sure that all doors that need to be closed with a child-proof latch……..closes with the child proof latch.  While you are tending to your child with diabetes, an unattended door can spell big trouble to a little one.  Make sure the door gets closed.

This one is all year round but always remember that when your child calls you; stop and think, “I’m going to go to them, am I leaving what I am doing in a safe manner.”  Sounds like a silly idea, but stop and always ask yourself and it will serve you well.  Are you giving a child a bath, are you leaving a tool or a kitchen knife in an area that it can be grabbed?

Just stop, take a quick inventory, and go forwards.  Anytime your child with diabetes calls out to you, or you get that feeling that you need to check on them, always think of one word: SIM.   Stop Inventory Move.  SIM as in; it’s SIMple.  Stop Inventory Move.

It is a silly idea……a silly word……but do this every time you need to change your direction because diabetes is trying to get in the way; I promise you there will be one time that you will see an unlatched door, a knife in the wrong place, a screwdriver, or scissor left behind and you will be glad you took this SIMple step.

When called away, 3 seconds is all it will take.  Stop. Inventory. Move.  SIMple.   Now go enjoy your summer.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Throw Back Thursday…..and Something to Remember This Father’s Day.

Dad Pictures 005With Thursday’s being “Throw Back Thursday” and Father’s Day this weekend; I thought I would write a little bit about my dad.  This Father’s Day, as in many Father’s Days, I will be out of town for a D.A.D.s Event.

D.A.D.s is an acronym that we have used for over 35 years and stands for Dollars Against Diabetes….D.A.D./Father’s Day…..get it, cute huh?  DADs (and Moms) of the North American Building Trades will be organizing events all around the country this week to benefit the Diabetes Research Institute.  I’ll write more about them this week but I wanted you to know that even though they can be relaxing this weekend, a whole ton of dads will be collecting money for all of our kids.

Dads are very unique people.  We do a good deal wrong but I do believe that what we do get right, we get it right pretty well.  My dad was always a giant of a man to me.  He was incredibly dedicated to his family, was stern, not perfect, loved to teach (baseball mostly), he loved music, LOVED to sing, he loved to write, he loved a good joke and he LOVED to laugh.  Making my father laugh was an instant feeling of gratification, if he laughed-you had a good joke.

He was fiercely dedicated to organizing.  Little League, his Political Clubs, Elks Club, COP, whatever he did; it was only a matter of time before Joe Karlya would hold the highest office.  He also hated petty.  Petty was eliminated almost immediately.

He served his country in WWII as a historian….somewhere we have a German helmet with a bullet hole in it, a Japanese sword, and actual photographs of Mussolini in a square in Italy as he recorded it and wrote about it.

When Alzheimer’s, dementia, loss of memory or whatever one wants to call it; took him for so long, it was heart breaking………………….for us (actually) more than he.  He was living in Ground Hogs Day and reliving each day but at the same time he was drifting further and further away from us.  His T2 diabetes was getting no better and things just started to go down hill.

He tried to stay with us…….but his stare became more and more vacant.  I learned a lot about my mom through all of what was going on; she is one tough broad, my mom.   🙂
Anyone that did not take care of ‘her man’ was going to pay big time—-my mom is a very smart woman, and from Bay Ridge Brooklyn with four older brothers and a sister, she is about as strong and street smart as any woman I have ever known.  So when those taking care of my father saw a ‘little old lady” walking in, they quickly learned that her white hair was woven and earned from tough education one strand at a time and NOTHING was getting by her.

Still, she did not show us her broken heart as dad’s heath was failing; when he left us she did.  But she does all she can to move on.

The day before dad died (which was 4 days before my son was also diagnosed with T1—-THAT WAS a week that sucked) some of us were with him, and miraculously it was as if nothing was wrong.   He knew all of us, he knew all of the nicknames he gave us, we sang, joked, and we were given a gift, my dad came back……………………………..to say good-bye.  That night he left us.

Yes, we dads may do many things wrong, but when we get it right——it’s magic.  My dad caused a lot of magic in his life.  I miss him.  I miss our talks.  I miss his humor.  As my tears bounce of my key board, I miss his hugs.

And on this Throw Back Thursday I share with you his most common charge to all of us, and this weekend remember it when it comes to your dad and to your family; Love one another.

And for this day only I change my signatory because I miss my Doggie Daddy.

Love you Always Pop,
Augie Doggie.

I’ll Tell You About Some of My Heroes……If You Tell Me About Yours!!!!!!!

Paual and DannyI read, again, how a mom of a newly diagnosed child was seeking names of celebrities who have type 1 diabetes to inspire her child.  Inspiration to show that they can do anything with diabetes.  I love our athletes and celebrities who continue to show us that all heights are reachable.  Swimming in the Olympics like my friend Gary Hall, or being crowned Miss America as my dear friend Nicole Johnson.  They make themselves readily available to inspire others, and we cannot be more grateful to them.

Possibilities are endless.

But………(you knew there was going to be a but, right?)…….

I have found that many kids are just as inspired seeing their peers do wonderful things.  Doing things and diabetes does not stop them every single day.  I have made it 1000% clear before that one of my favorite families on earth is the one that belong to Paula and Danny Maiden in the UK.

Paula, a super-hero-mom for a bunch of reasons (that I will leave it to her to explain when ever she wants) is just an incredible force of positive energy and she has faced incredible odds.  Yet she continues with ‘what is important’ and she will not fill your day with a day of woes.

In the middle of a wife and two daughters is Danny.  A strong man who loves sports, drives a train (people who know me know that I would LOVE THAT due to my incredible passion for trains) and if you are a friend of his on FB, you will see splattered all over his pages who the women are who are important to him.

But their daughters…..ahhhhh their daughters……….are a force to reckon with as well.  One having diabetes, and the two of them with just an incredible amount of positive energy and a huge drive to succeed.  They have no fear to be thrown 30 feet into the air and they show no fear of diabetes as well.

Crazy, silly, active, and the entire family—-always with a smile…….lots of smiles.

Now, here is the catch; I’m pretty sure that you will not see any of them in your local movie theatre, and by many-a-definition of non-celebrity world;  they are ‘just’ (notice the quotes) a normal family loving life.

But if that is the case, why do I find myself on an off-day going to Danny and Paul’s FB page?  I’ll tell you why; because there is always a picture there that will make me smile.  Doing something, Danny giving advice to a friend to encourage them, smiles—-millions of smiles. It is that ‘love-of-life’ that is truly electrifying.

And so do your kids.  And THIS IS MY MAIN point for writing today.  I meet so many kids that are just so incredibly inspiring just doing what they do.  Acting in school shows, dancing, playing an instrument, playing sports, and the list goes on and on.  I think, that when kids are newly diagnosed, they would be as much inspired as seeing their peers ‘doing something’ with diabetes as they would see a celebrity living with diabetes.

And I want to do something about that idea.  I want to create a page of inspiration for all kids who need it.  Your child does not have to be a state champion, they do not have to be on the ‘first string’, they do not have to be the lead……..they just have to be ‘doing’ what they love and doing it with diabetes.

Send their picture to me ‘doing what they love’, with their first name, how old were they when they were diagnosed, the state or country you live in, and their age in the picture.  I’m going to create a page and/or a video that when someone is newly diagnosed; they can look at and see everyday heroes. Include one sentence that describes the photo as well; please keep it as short as possible.   Photos that show action….lots of action. Send it to karlya@optonline.net and very important, in the subject line just write ‘hero’.

The Maidens would tell you that they are not special at all; they would tell you that they are just a normal family living with the new normal called diabetes, and dealing with challenges as they come one-at-a-time. And there have been quite a few.  And that would be correct.  But their zest, drive, and energy for living in the face of where others would just give up; is as inspiring a tale as anyone could ever observe…..and I’ll take that any day of the week.

They define inspiration.  They are all true heroes in my book.  Share yours; send me your information as soon as possible.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


Intuition……Ever Have It? A Very Powerful Tool.

trust“I had a feeling…..”

“My intuition made me check…..”

“My gut was telling me…..”

You know what that is about, right?   I have absolutely no scientific study to back today’s article but I have been around long enough to know that there is an additional tool in a parents’ diabetes tool box that should never be ignored.  Never.

It is intuition.

I have read so many stories of that feeling deep in the pit of one’s stomach, that sudden moment you wake up with a thought, and/or you do something ‘just one more time’ to make sure.

If you find that it was not correct, you move on; no foul.  But how many times have you acted upon it?  How many times have you read about a mom or a dad who ‘just had a feeling’ and acted on that feeling?  They found their child very low, very high, acting unresponsive, and on good days sleeping soundly with blood glucose in a normal range.

I’m here to tell you that you should never ‘poo-poo’ those feelings and you should act on them when they happen because what is the down side? You find out you are wrong.  And if you are wrong 32 times and right once—-well that is just fine, isn’t it?  Once is once enough when something could go so very wrong.

I do not know why these feelings occur, and I do not care either.  I’m not going to try to explain them and I don’t care what science says is possible or not possible when it comes to these feelings that no one would understand unless they are a parent.

Ever happen to you?  Intuition.  You did not buy it, find it, refine it, or even make it but it may very well be one of the most unrecognized tools in our diabetes tool box, and one of the most appreciated when proven correct.

And that’s a good feeling.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


What do You do when You are Asked Something Stupid??????

ANgry faceI believe that when we
engage in conversation with others who do not live with diabetes; we have but a
few choices to deal with regarding what may come back to us in the discussion.  The simple truth is that people do not know what we go through, and unless you have diabetes, you really do not know what that is like either (and of course, conversely, our kids have no idea what it is like to be parent).

People will say what they THINK is the appropriate thing to say.  But it is not always correct and it reminds me of a story a friend shared with me.  I have a friend who has twins, a boy and a girl, and she told me that the number one question she is asked is if they are identical.  I thought she was joking.  She said, “Nope, they will see a boy and a girl in front of them and they will ask that question.  I used to get angry with the ignorance, now I just laugh”.

I think there is a slice of advice in there for us.  Laugh.  Not because it’s funny but because it will serve as a reminder how much we need to do each time you hear it.  Even 21 years later, I still hear comments that I find fascinating.  You have heard them also.

So we can become confrontational or we can simply lay out the facts to the other person.  They may get it; they may not.  But be prepared, you will be called upon to do it again, and again, and again.

We truly have enough to get angry about, don’t we?  We don’t need the misinformed person to get the better of our day, do we?

I can tell you, as surely as the sun rises, you will hear comments about diabetes that will range anywhere from amusement to anger.  As they say, you cannot do anything about what comes your way, but you can do something with what you choose to do with it.

Choose something that does not get the better of you……..diabetes doesn’t deserve it.

I am a diabetes dad.

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