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’.

Halloween and Diabetes….Be Afraid…..Be VERY Afraid……REALLY? Nope. Boo.

Insulin PumpFrom three years ago and updated but still a treat (get it?)…..enjoy.  Happy Halloween.

Within the next week will be Halloween. Halloween means so much to kids. Our kids with diabetes are no exception. I remember when Kaitlyn was younger and many neighbors bought stickers and toys for Kaitlyn; “…I did not know what to get for her”, Was a common response.  Not really necessary, but we just said thank you for their thoughtfulness…..and they were very; thoughtful.  People can surely be wonderful.

We were discussing this weekend, over coffee, that each year there was no doubt with all of the walking that Kaitlyn would do that ‘going low thing’ and it would not only occur; but almost always at the exact same block each year. (Spooky, huh?)  She would carefully choose something out of her bag full of treats (of course juice boxes and ‘stuff needed’ were readily available ‘just in case’—but letting her choose something from her Trick or Treat bag…why not?). We would wait a few minutes and continue on. Fun and frights continued.

By time she was out on her own in junior high school (in an era of no CGM like DEXCOM may I add) she was pretty well versed on how the drill worked on Halloween. In a recent conversation neither Jill nor I could remember any major adjustment on this date (and remember prior articles of mine stating Kaitlyn was considered as ‘brittle’, which translated meant she was extremely tough to control….it was a phrase we hated). On this day our kids strive and want to be just like all the others kids…….AND THEY SHOULD BE.

Let them.

I remember many conversations from people over the years who do not live with diabetes; how much Halloween must be a ‘disaster’ for us, having a child “who cannot eat candy”. People thought that we would deprive our child of this incredible right-of-passage. Those of us ‘in the know’ know better, don’t we? 😉

If you do not know….you should learn how close to normal you can make this day. Our kids are not driving close to a cliff during this day.  Don’t treat it as such.   Yes, be smart but every time you feel the word ‘no’ coming on……change it to making it about choices.

Of course we would control the candy; some gave money in exchange, some put the candy outside for the GREAT PUMPKIN to take and exchange for a toy; but we always controlled what the kids ate, what ALL THE KIDS ate; and we went through it all like every other parent did each year (you would be surprised how much leeway THIS gave us on removing ‘stuff’, think about it).

We all do/did ‘Halloween’ things.

There are many things that you can find online about kids, diabetes, and what to do. Today I want to check in with where YOUR head’s at.  Parents? You should not be afraid (pun intended) of this day and you should spend the time enjoying your kids while they enjoy the day.

Diabetes never stopped us on Halloween, never missed a day in all those years; and it should not stop you either. Go and enjoy. This is a holiday for kids to enjoy and with a little knowledge and a little ‘smarts’, the only frightening thing about the day should be at your front door when the doorbell rings.

Be afraid……..be very afraid? Nah…….enjoy; Halloween is nothing to ‘spook’ you.
…….and as a side note; Kaitlyn sits as an RN to take her CDE test in January.  Yes my dear colleagues/parents-in-arms…….They. Can. Do. Anything.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

 

NEWSBREAK: RYAN REED WINS IN DAYTONA…..Diabetes at 187 mph!!!!!

Ryan Daytona 2017I have no voice from screaming at the TV.
Car accident after car accident.
Two involving Ryan.
But still, he kept coming back.
And kept coming back.
In a race that went into overtime….
Ryan Reed won at Daytona tonight in one of the longest races ever on record.

BAM TAKE THAT DIABETES.

My heart was pounding through my chest as I screamed at the television watching this young man who not only has won over an entire diabetes community….today he beat three powerhouses with incredible driving to win….and win over the racing community with INCREDIBLE DRIVING………and won big in Daytona.

And yes he mentioned the wonderful folks at Lilly who sponsor him and yes, he mentioned that it is a big win for people like him with T1D.  He again showed poise, grace, and deflected all attention to his team.  Congratulations to his family, his team, and Lilly Diabetes for sticking with a winner.  Nice job, all.

But it’s Ryan at the wheel.  It’s Ryan on the gas.  It’s Ryan checking his blood sugars at 187 miles per hour.  It’s Ryan at the checkered flag.
LIVING with diabetes. DRIVE that home to your kids.

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

Good-Bye 2016….and Thank……YOU!!!!!!

calendar-page-offWell tear the page off the calender, 2016 is history.  Much has surely happened this year and as I reflect on it, I realize that so much good happened in the year.  I know many feel differently, and that is fine as they are entitled, but I’ve never been one to stay focused on one item or one event.

I survived being at 9/11, I survived my child being diagnosed with diabetes, I have survived losing a brother (in law), a father, a father and mother-in-law who I cherished, a second child being diagnosed and an entire list of items that will depress you to know end–and many people over the years have been in office who I did not want or who I wanted…..and I will be danged if whatever this year bought will make me react any differently.

The sun will rise tomorrow and with it a new day. And it is THAT way in which I live.

I will choose the GREAT things that happened over the year in the battle against undiagnosed Type 1 Diabetes.  I’ll cherish Beyond Type 1, Insulet, dPac, Susan Weiner, Kim May, Michelle Berman, Debbie Healy, Bennet Dunlap, Little Reegan’s Family, Kycie’s Family, Elizabeth Stein, DiaBEAT THIS!, and those who have stepped on the gas pedal and chose to share their lives to end these occurrences and, in some cases, when they were even victims themselves.  I’m grateful to the many who gave a platform to spread the word.  I’M GRATEFUL TO THOSE WHO EVEN HUNG A POSTER TO SPREAD THE WORD.

I’ll cherish those advancing the better treatment for those who live with diabetes every day.  I’ll cherish those organizations who continue to help people, advocate, and spread the word.    I’ll cherish those who despite great odds, continue in that search for a cure. I’ll, personally cherish, a new granddaughter, an engaged daughter, a move to a new home in a new state, and always my wonderful family.

And I will always and in all ways cherish you.  You who inform me, you who challenge me, you who teach me, you who believe in just ‘not doing nothing’, you who choose to make a difference, you who are my brothers/sisters-in-arms in a battle none of us want to be part.

If 2017 is not what you want it to be, MAKE IT what you want it to be.  We cannot do anything about what may come our way but we can certainly control how much it impacts us.  May 2017 be happy and healthy and may your inner wishes come true. Thank you for being part of my 2016, I look forward to what 2017 may hold for all of us.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’

Twas the Night Before D-Christmas 2016

santa-moonWith special apologies to Clement Moore.   I present a tradition……an updated, ‘Twas the Night Before D-Christmas for 2016

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with prayer,
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; the so much good and fun,
Seems monthly there was news at Beyond Type1.
Away to the news to see who was a hero of fire,
It’s those who live with T1D who really inspire

As costs continue to rise on everyone’s supply,
So many wonder how they’ll get by.
D-bloggers continue to write of these capers,
It certainly can’t be left to all the newspapers.

While many wrote of Santa’s goodies in his sack
Many doing much more like those from dPac.
To those with diabetes these really are not funny,
You’re playing with lives; it’s not about money.

As parents search for the docs and schools that really do care,
So much about this disease just doesn’t seem fair.
But as we turn and realize the continual fear,
I have some wishes for so many during this year.

When you look outside at the fresh fallen snow,
Or out at the sea where cold you don’t know,
Think of those who inspire and soon you’ll see,
Those things have changed in the past and will continue to be.

Innovations like getting supplies to those in foreign lands,
There is Life of a Child, IDF, and a Foundation of Hands.
There were great ideas to help our kids remember,
Of those in the fight like Project Blue November.

We work very hard for a managed d-Life to be,
And there is much help like at CWD.
There was JDRF/Medtronic approved hybrid closing the loop,
And ADA’s Dancing Steps was really a scoop.

There are innovations and those like Tide Pool
And DRI’s BioHub news continue to gain fuel.
There are so many camps that continue to say,
Spend a week with us for an even better today.

From Faustman, ViaCyte an IRB survey from Glu,
Stopping missed diagnosis to end candles of blue.
So as the year ends and criticisms comes quick,
Good things will come, and not all from St. Nick.

So listen carefully as you think of all that is run,
There is so much more work that needs to be done.
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 will stop all when only 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 is Santa’s toy bag for sure,
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 DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’

Your Child can Receive a Personal Letter from Santa—-6th Annual Tradition Continues!

santa-from-videoSANTA CLAUS CAN PEN A PERSONAL NOTE TO YOUR CHILD THIS CHRISTMAS
Jolly holiday 6th 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 theall 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 six 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 cn click the picture to see a really cute Santa Video about the personalized letters.   The deadline for participation is midnight on December 9th 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’.

Discipline, Diabetes, & Boundaries…….Thin Line; But a Line None-the-less.

boundariesI said the same thing to each of my children once they obtained their license;  “if you tell me you are going to be home at 12:00 midnight and it is 12:01 am and you have not called, I will think you are dead in a ditch someplace.  That’s drastic I know, but that’s what I will think.  So if you will be late…….call.”

Now I’ll be the first one to tell you that the statement is both drastic and over the top, but for the most part it worked (well almost).  Boundaries.  Our kids respect them once they are laid down.  Should they not be followed, there was a ‘price-to-pay’.

Good thing about getting a license is that once you taste the sweet nectar of driving, you hate walking.  Taking the keys away was a quick way to get a point across. Interesting how much that statement becomes exponentially higher when your child is dealing with diabetes every minute of every day, isn’t it?  When our kids with diabetes ‘miss’ a curfew, well that seems to have a whole new meaning doesn’t it?

Well not really.  It shouldn’t.

If one of my kids, dealing with diabetes, needed to stay someplace longer to deal with a low, or a high; we looked at it no differently than “I lost track of time”.  Call.  I don’t care the reason, call.  Once you are feeling better and you go to start that car, call and fill us in.  Once a pass, twice they saw me irritated, and three times they lost privileges…..or something like that.

I always lived by Richard Rubin’s rule of giving choices.  Rarely were any of my kids surprised that they were ‘punished’.  It was just not my style.  Now doing something really stupid is a different story, and I’m glad there were not too many of those in our lifetime.  But in our house it was explained that you needed to do A, or B would happen; and always I would ask, “Do you understand?”

If our child stayed someplace to treat a high or low and did not call, they did not hear it from me regarding their diabetes.  When they arrived home they heard it from me about not doing what I asked; which was to call.  Not because of their diabetes, but because they did not do what we agreed upon…..which was to call.

It’s not our kids’ fault they have diabetes.  They need to live life as…..well kids.  Richard taught us always to be careful, and that indeed there was a way not to mix the two when it came to discipline.  It wasn’t about eating something they were not supposed to eat, it was about disobeying.  Set the boundary line, give choices.  There are differences.  Act so you don’t need to react.

How do you handle such situations?  Share, please.  These things are never easy in this world of diabetes…………………are they?
I am a DiabetesDad.

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

You Can Rest Assured…..a Storm WILL ARRIVE.

Storm satellite viewThere’s a storm coming.  If you live on the east coast and you did not see the weather report (for whatever reason THAT would happen, I have no idea), you would know a storm was coming because you cannot find bread or milk on any grocery shelves.  That’s what people ‘do here’ when a storm comes.  They buy bread and they buy milk……oh yes, they buy shovels……..lots of shovels.

Honestly you would think no one owns a shovel in the northeast because every time a storm comes, stores place hundreds of shovels at the front of the store and THEY ALL SELL.  People, What do you do with your old shovels?!?!?!?!

There are many places where you can read how to prepare for a storm when it comes to diabetes supplies and food.  I’m not gong to speak about that today, but I am going to talk to you about diabetes storms.  On our news of late, they have been talking about this snow storm for days here on Long Island (I can hardly wait until we complete our move to South Carolina).  We all know it’s on the way.  We can prepare.  If we are not ready, it’s our own fault.

Diabetes storms can not usually, nor so easily, be predicted.  What is a diabetes storm?  Well like the weather, there are different types of diabetes storms in my mind. There is the ‘cannot find a constant blood glucose number’ storm; the device malfunction storm; the cannot get the glucose number below 240 storm, there is the cannot get the glucose number above 50 storm, there is the no-matter-what-I-do-my-child-bottoms-out-during-the-night storm and more.

There is also ‘the perfect storm’, that is,  where multiple things happen at once like a device breaks as the stomach flu arrives type-thing; clearly we have our share of storms to deal with and many times there is no Diabetes Weather-person out there to warn us what is coming toward us over the next few days.

But the storms come, don’t they.
And in most cases they also go, usually, don’t they?

I think the best way to brace yourself for a storm is just to recognize what you are dealing with, recognize what exactly is going on around you. And as soon as you realize the situation, ask a lot of questions because many people have been through these storms many times.  Don’t be in a diabetes storm in a little rowboat on your own; when people are waiting out there and have navigated ocean liners of choices through typhoons of diabetes storms.

Your ‘radar’ warning is the online community in many of these instances.   Surely you need your medical team of advice and guidance but there is not a parent out there who has not been through what you are about to undertake.  Ask.  Seek information.  Call your doctor with what you find out.  Chart a course.

Being ready for these instances are just as important as making sure there is enough juice for a low and enough insulin in the refrigerator during a snow storm.  No one likes a storm.  But just as there are weather people to predict the storm coming, there are parents and ‘people with diabetes to help guide you.  The major difference is that we probably have a better record of predicting what to expect in a diabetes storm, than television News Weather Reporters have in guessing how many inches of snow will fall.

I am a DiabetesDad.

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

 

Pump Malfunctions??…..Do You Panic?……There’s Just No Need To!!!!

PanicA man stands at the bottom of a stopped escalator.  Not a long escalator, mind you, just normal-one-floor type.  His face is red with anger as the escalator comes to a stop.
“I cannot believe this, I’m so late.”
There is a little boy behind him who says, “A broken escalator is just a staircase.”
With that, the man walks up the stairs.

I saw it again the other day.  A mom was pretty upset that her child’s insulin pump broke and the torment began of waiting until another one arrived.  I read with…..well…..a little disbelief to be honest with you, as she was so perplexed on what to do.  I’m reading this thinking to myself; “Uhmmmm…….give your child a shot.  What’s the biggie?”

Two immediate thoughts were that one, I’m getting older.  When we started in 1992 pumps were not in use as they are today.  My second thought was a bit perplexing.  Have we ‘gone-the-way’ of the Dodo Bird (extinct, ask your parents) on the basic needs of daily management.  My friend Richard Vaughn can share, more than I, what it was like ‘back-when’ to deal with diabetes (his diabetes journey of 70ish years is one of the most inspiring you will ever know—keep an eye out for an upcoming book).  But even since 1992 in our own lives, the times, as they say; ‘are-a-changing.’

I have heard for some time now about this thing called an artificial/bionic pancreas and how it will be the closest thing to a cure.  For the record, the same was said when insulin came along, when ‘long-lasting’ insulin came along, when the insulin pump came along, and when the cgm came along.  I get what is meant by such sayings, each of these management tools were/will be a giant step forward in making the management of diabetes ‘just that much easier’ according to many.

But these are all tools that can ‘go-derailed’.  We have to be ready when that happens.  We have to be versed on what to do.  An expert does not just have the ability ‘to do something’, they also have the ability to ‘right-a-course’ when it starts to go wrong.  When it comes to the welfare of our children, nothing less than expert will do.

Don’t be afraid to get back to the basics when it comes to diabetes management.  Make sure you know what to do ‘when the lights go out’.  It may be a tad inconvenient to go back to shots should a pump malfunction, but if your entire stomach turns at the thought of that issue, you may want to take a refresher-course on what to do.  If your child sees panic in your eyes and/or senses fear in what you are doing, guess what is going through their minds?  Most assuredly, at some point your escalator will stop, it will be so much easier to know how to walk-them once that happens.  It’s all how you look at things.

I am a DiabetesDad.

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

 

Diabetes Tunes…..Do You have an Antagonist?

CartoonWhen I was much younger, I was a huge cartoon lover.  I used to watch and see how often, during a chase scene, the background repeated itself.  I could tell you a really good cartoon (usually WB) from a real ‘hokey one’.  There were a few constants in these cartoons that I have come to realize over the years.

One observation is that many were not very politically correct.  I often wondered if the powerhouses at studios knew exactly what they were doing in this regard?  Another observation was that cartoons were pretty violent in some cases.  In all of this, I have often wondered how today’s world would look at the cartoons of the past.

Another observation I had about cartoons is that there was always the antagonist in every one of them.  Bugs Bunny had Elmer Fudd, the Roadrunner had W.E.Coyote, even Tweety Bird had Sylvester.  The one character involved in their day that they would be so much better……..without.

Now you may wonder, at this point, what in heaven’s name this has to do with diabetes?

My thoughts dealing with cartoons made me think of something that got this crazy head of mine spinning……as many of you know, my head does that at times.  There really isn’t one aspect of this disease I’m very fond of to be quite honest; but like Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird, and the Road Runner I certainly had one thing that would get on my nerves more than anything else.  And it was this……..going out.

It always seemed to me that Kaitlyn would always have one of her worst glycemic reactions when we were getting ready to do something special.  Going to the Ice Capades, going on a trip, going for a night out….it never seemed to fail that it was at this time that diabetes ‘would pull a number’ and she would have some sort of serious reaction.  Her little body would become so rigid and she would begin to scream.   Her body would become so stiff that we could not even get her to sit in the car seat; it was that bad.  Of course it did not happen every time, but I surely remember the episodes.

It was a horror show.

Her face while she was going through this will haunt me all of my days.  Never once was this an inconvenience, this was watching helplessly as we tried to get control of a situation that would result in either Kaitlyn having no memory of it at all, or through her sniffles and tears; apologizing.  Just kill me now, was a constant thought.  I hated that she was put through this incredible ordeal.  I cannot imagine what was going through her two-year-old-little-head.  I never forgot it and each time it occurred,  I drove myself that much more to learn more and more about this thing called diabetes.

The other thing I remember about these incidences was that Jill turned into Super Ninja Mom.  She would spring into action with the reactions of a cat that so many moms learn over time dealing with diabetes (some dads too).  I may have been okay at it, but Jill perfected the course of action that left me in awe each and every time.  She would balance not only Kaitlyn’s reactions and needs; but also while keeping an eye on her older brother who was probably all of five or six during these times.  Almost like assisting an absolutely gifted surgeon, my job was to do, get, be, whatever I was instructed without question.  And I did.   A million times I have stated that our kids have the perfect mom………..and she did it all without expression…..leaving her tears only to when she thought no one knew…..but the tear stains on her pillow were evidence that at some point it hit her; and it hit her hard, and certainly more often than she led on….. and to this day.

Those were challenging times through the first few years when things went haywire and  Kaitlyn was unable to vocalize what was happening.  In all of diabetes, these were the toughest to handle in every aspect.  What was/is your ‘one’ thing that bothers you more than anything else?  I wish it was like the cartoons, but it’s not.  It’s real.  Never was there a time when we could smile and say, “De-de-de-That’s all folks”.

I am a DiabetesDad.

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