November 14th I Get; Can We Make the 13th Diabetes Appreciation Day?????

BillboardGo get a piece of paper and a pen.
(I’ll wait.)
Are you back?   Good.

Now start to list everything you do in your day not having to do with diabetes, and not having to do with you, but what you did for someone else.   In other words, “I took a shower” does not count.

Now add to that list everything you do while dealing with diabetes.
(I’ll wait, write fast)

If you did this list you would realize how long it is.  What we do, as parents, is pretty detailed.  Add to the mix our diabetes world, it is truly amazing that it all gets done, don’t you think?  As we go through diabetes awareness month, realize the most important thing………you?

Take a $50 bill and paint it blue, or draw a blue circle on it, and take it and get your nails done or your hair done or go to the movies.  Take ‘something diabetes’ by making it blue and spend it…….on you.

The purpose? So we each realize that he most important thing to know in our diabetes world that with out……well……’us’……nothing would have ‘gotten’ done.  This month is about awareness, right?  Who better to be aware than ourselves.  You know, the forgotten one.  The ones who just truck along and get done what we have to because we love the person who battles this disease every day.

Perhaps on just one day, say the 13th the day before the ACTUAL diabetes Awareness Day of November 14th (which is also the birthday of Dr. Banting of Banting and Best who discovered Insulin) and make that Diabetes Appreciation Day where every person with diabetes sends a note to the parents or loved one who watches your back.

“Hey just a note to say how much I appreciate my guardian angel(s).  Thank you, I love you.”  Send it on November 13th…….Not such a bad idea……right?  Of course it will be on the 13th—-thirteen just makes sense too if you think about it.

Of course none of us do it for any thanks, we do it because we must.  We do it with love.  We’ll do it until the day a cure comes along.  We have to, it’s what we do.  So even if we do not receive any thanks on November 13th, let’s do something JUST FOR US like get a haircut with a blue bill, at least we will look good checking blood sugars at 3:00 am……we deserve that at least, I’m sure.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


The Best ‘Diabetes Blue’ has ALWAYS and in ALL WAYS Been With Us.

blue skiesLong before there were blue circles, blue nail polish, blue buildings, and/or blue…..well anything…….there was a blue that reminded me daily what this ‘diabetes thing’ is all about.  From the time Kaitlyn was diagnosed on September 26th, 1992 I have found peace in the blue skies above.

A dear friend once asked me how I can travel so much and do it so easily.  I have to do what I do, it’s so personal.  The people I fly to meet, do not.  They can give of their time and their money to a million other causes, they choose to support the efforts of the DRI (in my case; your case is just as valuable although it may be for a different organization—all just as vital.).  I totally respect every effort, one dollar or millions; they do because they want to see this disease end…….I LOVE that energy.  I need that energy.

Since that day over 22 years ago I have loved looking toward the heavens and seeing blue skies, it both represents and reminds me of the endless possibilities for Kaitlyn, now also Rob, and the millions others out there just like them who only want a life that allows them to be themselves.

Those same blue skies have shown me that tomorrow will always be better and that something great is happening in our diabetes world every day.  Is it easy?  No, it’s not but it’s surely worth it to try so hard to make their world better; to make better the world of others.  Who gets to do that every day?  Almost every waking hour.

There are other diseases that need help.  Many other causes.  A million other causes.  My dear friend and one of the founders of the Diabetes Research Institute is Barbara Singer, a woman who I love dearly.  Barbara taught me a lesson very early on in this battle, “Hit your own ball.”  Simple approach, yet it has served me so well.  I have too much to do with those who want to help, I have no time to spend idle energy on anything other than to work with those who want to make a difference.

It’s a big world out there, if you don’t agree with someone or some entity; wish them well because their heart is in what they do also just as yours is; and go about doing what you must for your energy to be well spent.  ‘Hit your own ball’ indeed.

So today, let your ‘diabetes blue’ be the blue sky around you.  Let it represent the endless possibilities out there for you and your family.  And when those clouds appear, as they do in life, know that a time will come when that sky will clear up and be blue again.  And those clear blue skies are the best representation of diabetes blue I could ever have in my life………crystal clear blue.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


A Generous Stranger, A Group of Cats, and a Question……What are You Doing?

cats and walter 2Ever wonder how you can do something REALLY REALLY big in our diabetes world??????   I can share with you that it really never starts out being something BIG; it has always been about starting something you believe in.  Whether it grows or not does not matter—-it only matters that it be impactful… even an audience of just one.

The picture attached today is Walter.  I was entering a store recently when I heard a car driving up and the horn blew in three distinct ‘honks’.  It was done enough times in a row that it caught my attention, and quite frankly, it boarded on annoying.  As I stood half-in/half-out the doorway to the store, I watched as cats came from every direction.

I may not have known what those annoying honks were, but those cats surely did and it was music to their ears.  As I stood their staring, the woman behind the counter said,
“The Cat Man.”
“Excuse me?”
“That’s Walter, the cat man.   Watch what happens.”

I was amazed when this little old man opened the back of his trunk and took out bottoms of boxes and dumped food on each and laid them down for the cats to eat.  Interesting that some of the cats did not eat, Walter reached back in and took a different food and put THAT food in another box top and laid it down further away and some cats ran to that box because it was different food.  They not only knew the horn, they knew they were getting what they liked.  Twelve cats in all, four groups of three.

I was amazed as Walter went about his business.  Each cat ran and rubbed up against his legs also, as if to say thank you.  My face was clearly showing amazement as the lady behind the counter spoke again.

“Every day……he does the same thing everyday.  In the winter he will have little huts for them to sleep in to get out of the elements also.  We are not his only stop either.”
“Does it bother you that he does it?”
“I’ll tell you something, we are probably the only strip of stores with food, and commercial areas that have not seen a mouse, rat, or even an insect inside our stores in over three years since he started……………does he bother me?  Not in the least.”

Now what Walter does may not seem like a big deal, but those cats think so.  Each of them did not look like your typical alley cat either, they all looked like house cats with beautiful coats and great dispositions.    That was because of Walter.

The take away is obvious here, and can never be overstated.  It’s not what you do, it’s that YOU DO; even for just one person.   Even if it is just one thing.  You have that choice.  At a loss at what to do this month for Diabetes Awareness Month, visit Project Blue November on their FB page—-they will give you something every day to learn and to do; or you can just pick something.  Either do something; or just pass along one of their diabetes facts to five people.  People who have nothing to do with our community.  Send to five docs’ offices, five schools, five forms of media… it all month…’s something and something simple, but could impact many.  Check it out.

Once you begin, might not be so bad to be known as the Diabetes Person; just as Walter is known as the Cat Man………a man, who by himself, without fanfare, makes a difference……………..and that’s not so bad, is it?

I am a diabetes dad.

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


November is Blue…….YAY!!!!!……Wait…….Why; Tell Me Again?

Blue PaintWelcome to November.  If you have diabetes in your household, you should be fairly versed on what this month means.  In particular, November 14, as the birthday of
Dr. Banting  (of famed, Banting and Best) who discovered insulin; has also become THE Diabetes Day of Awareness.

I have no problem with the concept of a month for awareness for diabetes but I do have a question for all of us to think about, ‘why has it not caught on?”  Don’t get me wrong, many buildings will be lit in blue and there will be many initiatives surrounding diabetes this month, but outside of our diabetes-circle, who knows about it?

Every year, when this month comes around, I observe and wonder what it will take for the world to stand up and notice.   There was a woman on 60 Minutes last night who was talking about the disaster of what heroin addiction does to a family.  She further stated that these kids with problems end up in jail, when they need help.  She went on to say that people with diabetes do not get sent on jail, they get to sit on a couch at 300 pounds and eat bon-bons.

Wow.  Really?

That’s it folks.  That’s what people say about diabetes.  What campaign worked?  The ones where major industry pounds away that overweight people can get diabetes and THEY need to do something about it and the utilization of their product will help people avoid it.

Too bad isn’t it?

You see, there are too many messages out there about diabetes and for the life of me I never understood why there is not a meeting once a year where every diabetes organization has a representative and a discussion is had about an education initiative for the year, with one objective.  A very simple message.  Whatever is decided.  We MUST GET AWAY from the ‘we-did-not-think-of-it-so-we-are-not-being/taking-part’-syndrome.

Doing the same thing every single year and expecting a different result is lunacy…..yet, it’s done every year.  Those who live with diabetes do not need a 30 day refresher course each year…..believe me they know.   Do we do things for own edification or do we do things to let the world know that diabetes exists?  Do we do things so our own community thinks, ‘how cool is XYZ’, or do we take the steps to teach?  DO we just light buildings in blue or do we let the media know WHY that building is blue during this month as a teachable moment?

Diabetes awareness means just that……awareness.  We who live it, do not need an awareness reminder.  I love all that is done during this month.  I love the fund-raising, the avatars, the color blue, the buildings in blue; I love it all.   Love it-love it-love it.  But this month should also be used to get the word out……not the word in.  So do something about educating others this month, no matter how small you think it is.  You will feel better about your efforts and you will not feel……well……so blue.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


NEWSBREAK: Rep. Graham Presents Copy of New Law to Little Reegan’s Family.

Reegans Rule Law,  Representative Charles Graham visits with Little Reegan’s Family and presents them with a copy of the law that very well may change the face of the missed diagnosis of diabetes in this country.  It was signed into law on October 20th by the Governor of North Carolina.

In that binder is a copy of the law that underwent many changes to become law.  There is a movement in many states based on the premise that better education of the onset of T1D and that kids need to be checked before DKA takes over.  To accomplish the first step is always the hardest…….it is now; complete.

Virus-like symptoms do not mask the onset of diabetes, they should be treated AS POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS and treated accordingly.  I have come to love and fully respect the work of these people……thank you for changing our world.

If you played a role in this initiative in any shape or form, or are continuing those efforts in any way; take a bow—–you are a hero as well.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


The Clocks Being Turned Back IS NOT YOUR ONLY Job this Weekend.

clock syringeWell first of all……Happpppppy Halllloweeeen.  🙂  What a fun day, and when it’s on a weekend, perfection.  Enjoy.

You will go to bed tonight and you will turn your clocks back one hour; Fall…..behind;  Spring…..forward.  The fire department has utilized this occurrence twice a year to remind folks to change your batteries in all of your alarms in the house; fire, carbon dioxide etc., it is good advice.

A few years ago I started to take this occurrence, and use it as well, for a diabetes-reminder.  When you turn you clock back tonight, it should serve as a reminder for you, in your diabetes world, that you have a little bit of work to do tomorrow.

If you are, as we are, and you have diabetes supplies in many different places; today is the day to check everything.

-Check your current stock
-Visit every place you have spare supplies (DO NOT FORGET the cars)
-Relook at your stock pile
-Turn on the meters and make sure they work, test them once if you can.  If you are like us, you have different (brands) meters in different places–check that you know how to use them.
Check all expiration dates on boxes and get rid of them if they are expired.
check your glucagon kit and check expiration date. BUT DO NOT JUST THROW IT OUT.  Click and Read here to know what to do with it.
-Check your battery supply; it not uncommon for us to chuck them at some point and get new ones….FALL out of their storage and into the garbage is a once-a-year reminder to do it in the Fall.
-Check expiration dates on all insulin pens, bottles, etc etc.
-Might not be such a bad idea to check the lancets as well (especially at school), you would be surprised how many people go longer than they should with changing those (like……ALL OF US).
-Alcohol swabs can dry up….open one and dig down, grab one from the middle or bottom of the box, and open another just to see that they are still moist when you open them.
-This is a good time to check your inventory and make sure anything that is coming up on expiring is moved to the top.  Infusion sets etc. should be rotated so the ones at the bottom are not the ones you received two shipments ago.
-On the Monday after you move your clock back, not a bad time to check your child’s supplies at the school, even though school may have just started (it didn’t—it was 2-3 months already).
-Check all of the supplies your child has; back packs, in the drawer, by the night stand; take a look-see and make sure all is up-to-date.
-If you have an emergency kit for disasters etc. (and if you don’t, you should) that you made to grab and go, check everything in there too.

If I missed anything——feel free to add your own ideas.

So when you turn your clock back tonight; let it serve as a reminder to check all of the supplies.  In the earlier days, before we thought of this, I cannot tell you how many ties we would look frantically for ‘the one that worked’.  Use today as a reminder……clock changing day is also check day in the diabetes world.

So if Halloween scares you, just wait to you reach for a diabetes supply that is broken, expired, or isn’t where you think; you will take scary to a new level.  “Boo’lieve me that this is something you should get in the habit of doing now.

I am a diabetes dad.

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