The Olympic Flame is Out…….Random Thoughts of Diabetes During the Olympics…..Am I Alone in This?

Olympic ringsDo you find yourself looking at things differently than so many others.  Do you somehow take diabetes and place it in a realm that it might not so necessarily be reflected?

Now that the Olympics have ended, here are some things that I thought to myself as I watched.  Now they may not make sense as being practical but I thought them none-the-less and I share them with you.

–How come the P&G commercials were only for moms; it surely is not as if dads did not play a role, right?
–How would a P&G commercial look for kids/parents with diabetes?
–Every time I saw sponsors for games of gathered people like Olympics, Special Olympics, and Paralympics; did anyone else think there should be one for people with diabetes and all money left after the games could go toward diabetes causes?
–Anyone wonder how Kris Freeman was feeling or what he was doing as you watched the games?
–I could not help but ask myself, why are there not others with diabetes in the Olympics; and when I saw highlights of Kris’ competition–my questions were answered.  Tough is newly defined for me.
–Do other people from other countries swell with pride when their country’s flag is raised and their national anthem is played; like I do?
–Did you wish there was a mechanism/organization/event that awarded medals to our kids for doing what they do……I challenge any Olympian to do what our kids do and not feel as if a medal should be offered….right?  And they should NOT need to wait 50 years to get a medal from Joslin (a program I love, for the record).
–I found myself saying, so many of these athletes are so young, I hope they don’t ‘get diabetes…..any of you say the same thing?
–Should there be games for just people with diabetes?

I love the Olympics and there are so many stories and names that were not in our minds before the Olympics that are now household names and events.  I find it odd that I related so much diabetes stuff to the games and as I stated, some ideas are boarder-line silly; but I thought of these things and wondered if anyone else did the same and if so; what were your thoughts relating to your own life as you watched the Olympics?

I am a diabetes dad.

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


4 replies on “The Olympic Flame is Out…….Random Thoughts of Diabetes During the Olympics…..Am I Alone in This?”

While I watched the games I wondered whether there were others there with T1, from other countries, but they just hadn’t shared that piece of their life with the media. My son w/ T1 heads to the Junior Olympics in April and dreams of going to the Olympics in 2020. He would not want a separate Olympics in his sport for people with T1D.

Hi Tom, forgive me if this comment seems a bit harsh (it’s not intended to be this way), but some of the post touched a nerve. I have to say, in response to your last couple of questions, my answer is absolutely and unequivocally “no”.

First off, I recognize what your personal relationship is to diabetes as well as that of many of your readers, but I wish we should stop referring to it as something that affects “our kids”. This phrase tends to feed the very misconception that we tried to get rid of by getting rid of the term “Juvenile Diabetes”. Kids with diabetes can grow into healthy adults with diabetes, and healthy adults without diabetes can get Type 1 and still maintain a healthy lifestyle.

With that said, I’m not a believer in rewarding people for living with diabetes. It gives a wrong and artificial source of motivation. Living well, enjoying life, building relationships, and experiencing the satisfaction of using one’s experiences to help others are the best and most fulfilling rewards. Presenting some sort of trinket, even if made of solid gold and encrusted with diamonds, seems to trivialize the whole effort. For me, seeing my kids look up to me and rely on me is the best reward – and at the same time, the best form of encouragement – that I could possibly receive. And that’s not a piece of merchandise that can be delivered via UPS.

I hope NOBODY else gets diabetes, young or old, athlete or not.. But I don’t hope too hard, because I know that would only lead to disappointment. Would I say that one specific individual shouldn’t get diabetes because they are an Olympic athlete? Of course not. As a matter of fact, I might say that someone with the self-discipline to become an Olympian may be better able to face these challenges themselves than someone who, perhaps, finds it difficult to compete, study, play, or whatever else they may do in life. So I’ll not play favorites and just leave it up to the forces that are beyond my comprehension to see who gets diabetes and who does not.

And as for the final question – a separate set of games would imply a separate set of abilities. Now, I can understand why the Special Olympics exists and why the folks who compete in them would have a hard time competing in more mainstream athletic events, but such is not the case for people with diabetes. There is a long list of successful athletes with T1 that serve as proof that PWDs like me can compete with the best of them.

I surely appreciate your candor and always welcome your words. Let me address some of the points you make. I have personally grappled with the words ‘our kids’ because, for the most part I write as a parent. No matter the age, we are all someone’s kids. I try to write as a general meaning as much as possible but I do slip up into the ‘parent mode’ on occasion. It is not so unlike adults who write about diabetes do not always make it a point to always say ‘to parents of children out there…….’ I always took it as an unwritten understanding that we cannot always be absolute correct all of the time to whom we are referencing in our writings and when I read something that is not exactly as it should be, I adjust in my mind and move forward.
What I do know that I DO NOT do; is that I never for one second ever write as if I understand what it is like to have diabetes. But unless one is a parent of a child with diabetes, one would not know what that is like as well (unless of course one has diabetes and is a parent as well). I could spend way too much time going back and forth differentiating between our kids, who are now adults, who are…… I think you see my point.
The rest of my article, were mere random thoughts as I watched the Olympics. I had a notepad and just jotted down thoughts. The more I thought about things after I wrote them in yesterday’s article I also thought; of course there should not be specific games but it was a thought I had and I shared it. Rewards for taking care of one’s diabetes; I do not necessarily disagree however, I am truly proud of my kids for hitting their diabetes head on and showing that nothing will stop them.
That comment came from watching some of the ‘up-close-and-personal’ stories I was watching as the Olympic Games played on. Whatever their adversity, the athletes continued in their quest for Gold. As I watched, and in my notes I had written; “Yeah, so what.”
My meaning was that what people do with diabetes everyday and face the world astounds me; well there is no ‘Gold’ waiting for them….they just do it. It was not a matter of ‘rewarding’ as much as it was one group of people (athletes) who do what they do for an end reward no matter what is thrown in their path and people who do what they do every day WITH obstacles thrown in their way….with no Gold Medal as the drive……..just to live as well as possible.
Thanks Scott—-I always welcome input and yours is always thoughtful and stimulating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *