BLOG WEEK ENTRY 2: Please Save Our Children

blue candleThis is blog week.  We, who are bloggers, have been challenged to write about the same subject matter on a given day with a different topic each day.  Today’s topic is in response to the various petitions that have been circulating the DOC (diabetes online community) of late.  Today’s subject: What/who would we write to petition for change?
I would do two petitions that have a synergy between them.

Dear Person/People Creating a Petition,
The undersigned ask, no-we beg, you to do your due diligence before you create a petition.  Make sure you are asking the right questions and that you are addressing the right people to make ‘the’ change.  The little time we have becomes full of frustration when we are asked to do something that is being done on mere emotion and not a factually based effort.  If the due-diligence is not done, you are wasting your time, the person who receives the petition’s time, and you are wasting our time.

Getting it done for ‘getting it done’s sake’ because one thinks it is the right move is not good enough.   We ask; why just do something when you can do something ‘right’.
(Editor’s note:  This has been done many times and is not a reference to any one specific petition.  It is a reference to any, and all, that have not been thoroughly investigated before signatures were sought.)

I do not know who I would send this next petition as I have not done any due diligence yet on who should receive it; but I do know that it is a subject matter THAT NEEDS addressing and is almost a continuation of my article from yesterday.

Dear (whoever should receive this petition after we do the homework):
We, the undersigned are outraged and pained to read, once again, that a child was taken to their doctor with flu-like symptoms that also would or could reflect the same symptoms for T1 diabetes and a simple blood test or urine test was not completed to verify or rule-out a diagnosis; resulting that a child was diagnosed with diabetes at the time of their death.

We implore you to take immediate action to implement a policy of ‘best practices’ that could be forwarded to all pediatrician offices, general practitioners offices, and/or school district head medical official/personnel instructing them that they should always be ready to test, and/or order a test, to diagnosis T1 diabetes when questioning when flu-like symptoms are evident in a patient.

It is not up to us to dictate what these exact procedures would include; but in the last year at least 5 children have been diagnosed with diabetes at death and we implore you to ensure that correct measures are implemented to avoid such a tragedy to occur ever again.  In each of these cases, the family visited their child’s medical professional with flu-like symptoms, when in actuality, they were in full-blown ketoacidosis.

We offer ourselves to be included in an immediate ‘focus group’ or ‘think tank’ to correctly fact find the necessary statistics to move this consideration forward.  If this is not within your jurisdiction please know that your are respected highly in your field and may we ask that we at least open a dialogue, so we may know exactly the steps needed to prevent a death from this gross mis-diagnosis to occur ever again.

We seek your wisdom and influence at least; and a course of action if possible.


That is it for Day 2 of blog week. As a blogger, I have completed the task for day 2; please note that is not merely an exercise for us as bloggers; it is to continue a conversation.  PLEASE reply and/or share and let us know your thoughts.  Thank you.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

When it Happens…..Is There Anyone Who Can Help?

blue candleCould anyone imagine a loss so huge?  I cannot.  Being part of this community we see it too often, don’t we?

Even once, is too much.

Is it happening more often or is it the fact that we are electronically connected that we find out about it……..sometimes instantaneously it seems?

One of the most incredible women I know is Michelle Page Alswager.  I have discussed her heroic action many times.  The loss of her beloved son has made her an expert in a category that no one should ever be asked to particpate…….ever. 

Being Michelle, she has incredibly reached out to those who have been in this horrific tragedy because she knows.   She knows all too well.  And yet, selflessly, she reaches out.

As we move forward I want you to know that should you hear that someone is in need, there is a group that can help (if any help would do).  There is a group of parents who have all had this most incredibly painful sacrifice who support others as only they can understand.

Should you hear of anyone in the process of dealing with this tragedy, please reach out to me and I will do all I can to connect them with Michelle or someone from this group.  I will not contact them myself.  And if any others who read this post want to volunteer to be contacted directly, they will let us know but I did not want to volunteer them.

I’m always amazed how connected this diabetes community is worldwide and how people take their experiences to help others…… matter the personal cost.

This was not an easy column to write; but I KNOW this most incredible, select group of people; who have made themselves available for the worst possible moment in time.  Being part of this community, you should know also.

May no one ever have to reach out to them; but they are there.  They absolutely never wanted to be there either; and God Bless each and every one of them for opening up to their experiences and opening up their hearts as the rest of us never could. 

Any words I could say to this group would only sound like rhetoric, but thank you for being there for those who only you can understand; you all humble us to our knees.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

The Loss of a Child.

Blue CandlesWhen you saw the headline….did you rush here?  Did you rush to see who is it this time that has passed away?

Well this is only to remind us all that there are people in our DOC (Diabetes Online Community)–people we love—-who have a child or a loved one who has lost this battle.

Believe me, those who lost a loved one—need no reminder.

I did this so WE never forget them and there are quite a few.  While we had Christmas, they avoided Christmas cards because they are not complete, Christmas will never be the same.  Neither will any holiday or birthday.  They rewrote the meaning of Mile 23–the number 23 will never mean the same.  While we mourned for a tragedy in Connecticut, their tragedy continues.  The death of a child is a death of a child.

Just because we avoid talking about it, there are many who live the loss every day.

I do not tell you this to depress you, I tell you this because while many of us have moved on since we first heard the news about this child or that child….these families are reminded daily.  By a post, a smile, a snowflake, or whatever it is that made them stop today and say, “I would give anything to once again have to deal with a low or a high.”

They encourage us to this day, even with their pain, so this; the day before New Year’s Eve, do I say to all those who lost a hero to this disease; thank you.  Thank you for staying in touch, thank you for reminding us that no matter ‘how bad’ our day can be…it surely indeed could be worse, and thank you for staying in touch with your DOC family.

We love you all and thank you all.

I am a diabetesdad.

Please God, with Everything that is Holy !!!!

We are the diabetes community. We are. We are not short for words. When we have an opinion, we speak. Today, I am asking you to have an opinion. In fact today I am asking you to scream. I am asking you to rally around one family.

Why this family? We all have problems; we all have to deal with what life throws at us; why this family? The answer is this: sometimes no matter what we go through, when you see someone going through absolute hell, you can step up to the plate in some way.  A way that will help no matter how small.  A way to show you care.

This is what Meri Schuhmacher wrote on her blog today. Meri has 4 boys (ages 16-14-10-8) and 3 of them—3 OF THEM–have type one diabetes. Her husband, a young man, passed away last weekend. Six months ago he was strong, vibrant and active; he was diagnosed with brain cancer; and his battle was lost last weekend.

Here is what Meri wrote today on her blog:
I wasn’t expecting it.
Looking back it should have been more clear to me what was happening, but in the moment…I was just coping with him. Loving him.

How everything happened last Sunday is so personal I can’t write it down here, but I can tell you that without a doubt…we received our miracle.

I sit here completely humbled, and shocked. How God got away with this without me cursing him is the monumental miracle itself. Each detail of the last week was carefully seeded so that on the other side I could not deny this timeline was always set. It just wasn’t for me to foresee.

My body is barely hanging on. I am so weak, and tired, and aching. I ache everywhere. But my brain is working overtime…leaning on the muscle mass it has gained the last few months.

I wish I could turn it off. I wish I could flip a switch and give my body a break from feeling it all.

I wish I could know exactly what to do for the boys, and what to say. I hate guessing my way through something so important. They are my number one priority right now.

He fought the fight so valiantly. Last night as I was staring at the wall trying to convince my brain to sleep, I realized that not once did Ryan ever complain. He never questioned why this was happening to him. He was only always positive. Hope was the only option in this house…it was how he lived. Finding the joy in the little things was his legacy, and looking back I do not regret one minute of our journey.

I hope one day to be able to follow his lead and live with the assurance that all will be well. Today that seems impossible. Nothing is well. Saying I miss him is not even close to the pain that I feel. He was my everything. My favorite. The love of my life. My best friend. He got my sense of humor. He never judged me. For the past 20 years we did everything together…our hobby was each other.

Writing things out is my best therapy. Letting it out and knowing my feelings are there to look back on help me get through. I don’t know how long it will take me to navigate this road I’m on…maybe forever…but I will continue to come here and lay it all out.

It is my way.

I hope that it will help me get through this day. And then tomorrow I’ll figure out a way to get through that one too.

Thank you for raining down love and support to me and my beautiful boys. Thank you for your tears, and for being my friend.

I don’t know that I can do this. I’m completely scared out of my mind. But I know that Ryan knows I can do this, and that gives me the hopeful inkling that maybe, just maybe…I will.


Imagine the size of Meri’s ‘blue candle’; imagine her heart, imagine her life.

Is it enough to only hurt for her or can we do something?

What Meri does not do on her blog is ask for help.  It is why I copied what she wrote instead of just sending you to her site to read it.  With everything that the God of this earth may find holy I’m asking you to do one of two things (or both if you are so inclined)…….today!
This link:
1. Go to it and donate.
2. Go on Facebook and share this link with everyone including your own words how important it is to make a difference for this one family. Have your kids go on Facebook and share with everyone and anyone asking to help.

Really? 3 kids with T1 and now no husband, father, and/or best friend to help get through every day. How bad do we actually have it that we cannot, on this day, help a family from our very own community?

All of our collective causes will all be there tomorrow, I promise. Today, to actually have the power to touch a life; is the power to change a world. Let’s do it together…….thank you.  I’m a diabetesdad.