Do Our Kids Look Upon Themselves….as Damaged?….Again Seeking Input.

Last night I saw the movie, Love and Other Drugs.  Before you start your car to run to the Redbox outside your local 7-11 or quickly download from Netflix, you need to know that this is a real, raw film.  And you may want to see it before sharing with your older teens due to the sexual nature of the film, which is a tad too bad as there is an extremely crucial message in this film.

I don’t watch films to learn, per se, I go to be entertained.  Anne Hathaway (Maggie) gives a fabulous performance and two things struck me in particular about the film.  One is the drive Anne Hathaway’s character has to live with the disease that afflicts her body, and the other was an actress that has a small role that captures you immediately, Lucy Roucis (I will get back to Lucy in a minute)..

Maggie has Parkinson’s Disease.  She is doing her ‘damnest’ to live her life to the fullest.  Many times I have stated how important it is to ‘LIVE with diabetes’ rather than ‘live with DIABETES’.  Despite everything that Maggie attempts, the one crucial point she cannot get past is to allow anyone to get close to her.   Jamie (exceptionally played by Jake Gyllenhaal) falls for Maggie and she does all she can to keep him away because the way she lives her life is safe.   At the crucial point in the film the conversation went like this:
Maggie Murdock: I’m gonna need you more than you need me.
Jamie Randall: That’s okay.
Maggie Murdock: [crying] No it’s not! It isn’t *fair*! I have places to go!
Jamie Randall: You’ll go there. I just may have to carry you.
Maggie Murdock: …I can’t ask you to do that.
Jamie Randall: You didn’t.

Recently I wrote asking those with T1 Diabetes, who were now adults, to chime in and I have heard from so many how healthy that dialogue was.  So many parents sent me emails and private messages how much they learned from those who live with diabetes every day.  I thank all of you who commented. And now I may ask it again. 

As I watched this film, it was very clear that Maggie was going to do her all in her power to live as she sees fit,  But it was also very clear that she could not get past the fact that someone may actually love her completely because she thought of herself as ‘damaged’ or not as perfect as someone may ever want.  Moments in the film had me saying to myself, “Do our kids feel that way?”  DO they feel that no one would ever want them because they have diabetes?  Do they feel that  THEY do not want anyone to get close to them because they have diabetes?  When they enter into a relationship, what does the family of the new-found love say about their diabetes?

A beautiful actress named Lucy Roucis caught my eye in the film.  Maggie goes to a support group meeting and Lucy’s character is running the evening’s event.  You notice the sparkle in her eye and hear her fabulous wit; it is only after that moment that you also realize she has tremors and has Parkinson’s also.  In my homework for this writing I found out that Lucy has Parkinson’s and what we are seeing is probably a lot like who she is everyday.  She shared that she also wrote part of that wonderful scene.

Lucy states in an interview,
I would like journalists to change the phrase, “suffering from Parkinson’s.” I don’t suffer. I endure Parkinson’s. I live with Parkinson’s. But suffering is a state of mind.

And there you go.  “…suffering is a state of mind.”   How fabulous is Lucy?

In as much as our kids with diabetes do incredibly wonderful things, which I have written about many times, do they—EVEN WHILE DOING these great things, deep down inside, ask themselves, “……will anyone fall in love with me WITH my diabetes?”  Do they, as Maggie did, push people away and not allow people to become close to them, because of their diabetes?  Did they feel that way and had to get over it?  What do they feel?

Do you as parents ever ask yourself these questions?

I look forward to reading what others feel on this subject and again, if you could reply here so everyone can read the responses (as oppose to wherever it is posted on-line) it would be appreciated.

BTW you can click the hyperlink to Lucy’s interview above and see how fabulous and successful a person she is when not onscreen; I do hope her parents are as proud of her as we are of our kids, who also accomplish great things even while ‘enduring’ with diabetes.

I am a Diabetesdad.



Your Child May Listen to These Folks….Even More Than They Listen to YOU!

Unless you are a parent of a child with diabetes and actually have diabetes, you do not know what it means to have it, and live with it, every second.  I have stated that many times.  Conversely, children who have diabetes do not know the pain we, as parents, feel.

Today I am listing many members who write about what it is like to live with diabetes who actually have diabetes.  In as much as parents talk to each other to both empower and help each other, no matter how hard we try; our kids KNOW we do not have it.  I do believe at some point or another, a child ‘will play that card’ to remind us that WE JUST DO NOT KNOW…….and they would be correct.

Take a look at this powerful list below of people who write about living with diabetes.  Read them, but more importantly, share the ones you like with your child who has diabetes because the information these writers pass on…… invaluable.

This group from the Diabetes Advocates web page do not have to write about what they know.  But they do.  They do it with humor, pain, and reflection to help all those who are on the same journey that they have been on for some time.

We would never choose to make a meal that we have never tried before without a recipe, would we?  We would look to the experts who have made the dish before to show us how to do it perfectly.  Well here is your recipe to help your child; read them, and follow them for a few weeks.  When you find one or two that you really like; just print out some of their articles and leave them around the house.  Your child, who of course is at the appropriate age to use a computer, will find it and take it from there.

They write great stuff.   Many have achieved great things.  But mostly, they write from their heart-felt experiences.  And what can be better than that?

We really do not know what it is like to live with diabetes……….here is a gift you can give your child(ren) who have diabetes; the gift of experience.  What they are feeling these writers know already.  Been there, done that.  We thank them for their efforts on first-hand-lessons we could never teach.

I am a diabetes dad.

DA Resources for Type 1 Diabetes Bill Woods

Bill produces diabetes video logs, or vlogs.  It’s all about having the right diabetes attitude Aliza Chana Zaleon

Aliza lives with type 1 diabetes and multiple other chronic illnesses. She tries not to let that define her; rather, she has decided to DEFY the odds! Karen Graffeo

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in Dec 1979, Karen blogs about its up and downs at Bitter-Sweet. Scott Strumello

Scott writes about and provides an analytical view of the most current type 1 diabetes issues, including his acclaimed ‘Business of Diabetes’ feature. Tony Rose

A blog and podcast about real life with diabetes. Tamar Sofer-Geri

The Carb DM website complements the work Carb DM does to bring the type 1 community together. Cara Richardson

Living life with type 1 diabetes. Every day, every hour, every minute! Kelly Kunik

Author of the patient blog, Diabetesaliciousness. Kelly is a diabetes advocate; blogger, speaker, writer, humorist and living-with-diabetes consultant. Mike Young

Mike is interested in healthcare social media consulting and diabetes advocacy. Martin Wood

Diabetically Speaking is about life with diabetes and all the adventures that happen in between. Martin Wood has had type 1 diabetes for more than 30 years, and is a medical librarian, a cyclist, and a purveyor of all things awesome. Martin has an affinity for all things plaid, and believes that in everything we do, we should find a way to have fun doing it. Erin M. Akers

Diabulimia Helpline is a non-proft organization devoted to the support, education, and advocacy of diabulimics and their families. DBH is working to help diabetics with eating disorders find hope and recovery through their 24 hour hotline (425) 985-3635, three online support groups, an insurance specialist, regional workshops, and a direct line to the best treatment programs in the U.S.. Kelly Booth

A type 1 diabetes patient since January 1984, Kelly shares what she has been through, including neuropathy and gastroparesis, and provides information to help others. Susi Rafati

Susi has been living with LADA (slow-onset, antibody positive diabetes in adults) for 35 years, and  uses an insulin pump. Naomi Kingery

Naomi Kingery, also known as The Diabetic Diva®, has been involved in the diabetic community since her diagnosis at the age of twelve. She is the author of The Sugar Free Series, and the writer of  the blog Stephen Richert

Stephen writes about climbing and adventuring with type 1 diabetes Jessica Collins

Jess has lived with type 1 diabetes since 1993. She shares her random thoughts and musings on life with diabetes on MeandD. Megan A. Quickle

Megan created Megan’s Touch to combine diabetes blogging, education and advocacy to find a cure for diabetes. Megan has had type 1 diabetes for 24 years. Sara “Knicks” Nicastro

Diagnosed with T1 diabetes as an adult, Sara advocates for living life to the fullest. “I’d rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.” George Simmons

George shares all sides of his diabetes life in order to reach those who feel alone. Pearlsa Bintomani

A girl’s life collides with type 1 diabetes and she becomes an advocate. Stacey Divone

Living with type 1 diabetes for 30 years,  Stacey has had her “portable pancreas” (or insulin pump) for five. Her site shares her story of coping with diabetes and everything else life has thrown her way. Cheri Pate

Each time we meet a new person with diabetes or the loved one of a person with diabetes, we have the opportunity to learn something new about diabetes and ourselves. Mollie Busby

Riding on Insulin features ski/snowboard camps for kids and teens living with type 1 diabetes. Scott K. Johnson

Scott’s Diabetes is where Scott talks about living his life with type 1 diabetes. Kerri Sparling

Kerri Sparling has been living well with type 1 diabetes since 1986. She manages her diabetes and lives her life by the mantra “Diabetes doesn’t define me, but it helps explain me.” Scott Strange

Diagnosed in 1970, Scott Strange believes in being brutally honest about diabetes and shares his experiences so that others may benefit from them. Melissa Lee

Melissa Lee was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1990 at the age of 10. She voices her journey as a diabetic, a singer, and a mommy at her blog Sweetly Voiced.  Heidi-Jane James

The T1 Consulting Organization is concerned with raising awareness of type 1 diabetes and supporting type 1 diabetics in living  a healthy and sporty life. Kim Vlasnik

Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 1986 at the age of six, Kim writes about and illustrates her life with diabetes on Texting My Pancreas. Lee Ann Thill

A lifetime of type 1 diabetes: reflections on the struggles and triumphs, inspiration, art and the creation of meaning. Sysy Morales

The Girl’s Guide to Diabetes seeks to encourage and empower women with diabetes to live their lives to the best of their ability. Chris Stocker

The Life of a Diabetic is a blog about what Chris Stocker, a person with type 1 diabetes, goes through on an everyday basis. Just another person living a normal life with diabetes. Merle Gleeson

Living with diabetes is a constant challenge, and connecting with others in the same situation can help us feel less alone. Tony Cervati

This organization is dedicated to all people affected by diabetes, particularly those who ride and race bicycles. The primary goals of type1rider are outreach and advocacy. Victoria Cumbow

For more than 19 years, Victoria has lived with diabetes and learned that having a support network contributes beyond all imagination to her diabetes management and control. Asha Brown

We Are Diabetes is an organization primarily devoted to promoting support and awareness for the eating disorder diabulimia. We are dedicated to providing support, hope and resources to those who suffer from diabulimia, as well as to their families and loved ones. Mike Lawson

Mike Lawson’s YouTube series My Life As A Pin Cushion, is a positive, comedic way for him to share some of the lessons he has learned living with diabetes and to spread the positive message that a diabetes diagnosis doesn’t mean that you have to stop living.