Why Do Some Have Wonderful Doctors…..While Others……..??????

love my doctorDid you ever ask yourself why others seem to have the doctor from diabetes’ heaven and others leaves you scratching your head?  In my years, I have never been able to figure why there are such differences out there, but there are.  But it is not always just about the doctor.

What I do know.

Without a shadow of doubt there is NO QUESTION on the importance of the medical team who treat our children.  I also know that the more we know, the better advocate we can be.  There is surely a difference between challenging your doctor while being informed and merely asking questions about something that may result in better management care for your child.

There is a difference between asking should my child be on insulin pump and stating; “I think this about pump ABC and Pump XYZ; but I also feel ‘this’ about the new insulin pens out there, what do you think?”

Which seems like the better approach to you?

In 1999 when Kaitlyn wanted to go on an insulin pump, we did our homework, and not only were we ready; we informed our doctor that we wanted to wear a pump also (filled with saline) so we knew exactly what it was like for her.  We were that determined.  (and we did, btw)

If there was any resistance in the past, it was now gone.  And away we went and it changed the entire practice as they became one of the leaders in insulin pump therapy in this area.

If you look to your medical team for answers and have done no homework, you will receive nothing but their advice to consider.  Good as that may be, if you do your homework, you can ask questions about what you have found out and the BEST approach moving forward as a joint decision.  You have one patient (unless of course you have more than one child with T1), they have hundreds.  Know what is best for YOUR patient, in your opinion; and discuss.

There is not ‘just one’ of anything anymore and there are certainly more than one approaches to diabetes care.  Educate yourself and you will be much better off in the decision-making process for the proper day-to-day management of your child.  And if you have tried everything you can and your doctor is not on the same page; look around for another.

No one else will do it for you………………………start today.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


Buying Diabetes Devices???? Don’t Be So Quick….It’s a Business.

kick-the-tiresNo matter what decision may be facing you in this diabetes world, know this; the decision has been made before by others.  Is anything really that new and/or so unique in this world?  If the connection of social media has taught us anything, it has taught us that someone out there has gone through what we are going through.  And in many cases they are willing to help.

In the case of diabetes supplies, know this—-there is huge competition out there to gain your business.  For a second, well try anyway; take all of the emotion out of the equation.  Look at your child’s diabetes as if it is a business.  Because from a consumer/supplier point-of-view it is SURELY JUST THAT!  Don’t let that scare you, use it to your advantage.

Do you ask one person about buying a car?  No.  You ask a bunch.  You investigate. You go online and you kick the tires of more than one…….right?

Why, when looking to purchase a device, would anyone take just one person’s  ‘say-so’ on such an incredibly important decision?  And the one person YOU SHOULD NOT leave out; is the sales team for the device.   Cell them directly.

From a business perspective, they are going to make tens of thousands of dollars from the device you are about to buy.  If you walk into a car dealership and tell them that you are completely sold on their car, you like it, you investigated it, and you know you want it: and follow-up by asking them to give you great price——forget it.  You already tipped your hand.  And any sales person knows it.  Don’t give away the house.  Don’t tell them you are all set to buy or you will get nothing ‘extra’ whatever that may be.

And the same if you are ready to ‘renew’.  If you ever leased a car, YOU KNOW they are contacting you long before your renewal due date ready to make a deal.  I went into my phone dealer and said I was ‘thinking’ about my plan, and looking around (and I have been with the same company for twenty years).  They threw in the newest version of the phone for free and topped it off with a 20% discount EVERY month if I would stay.

Say nothing…………………get nothing.

Diabetes supplies are the same thing.  Sure there is only so much sales reps can do but know this; they do this ALL THE TIME.  They know the ins and outs of insurance, doctors, prescriptions, deductibles and THEY DEAL WITH IT ALL THE TIME.

Annnnnnnnnnnd they want your business.  So call them and speak to them about your concerns and see how their company can help solve your problems.

Always shop first and see what someone can do for you.  Also letting them know that you are active in the diabetes world is not such a bad thing either.  Because if they treat you well, you will tell others how good XYZ Sales Rep of XYZ Company was in solving your problem.  That results in continued sales.  They understand this VERY well (why do you think they call on so many doctors’ offices?).

You are the consumer making the purchase and in this day-and-age; there is so much competition.  Make them WANT you.

So as you look to purchase diabetes devices…….don’t run out and get the first thing that comes along; ‘kick a few tires’ first.  Make them WANT your business enough to fight to get it.  You just might be surprised at the results.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


A Crucial Diabetes Supply—-the Checklist…..Do You Use One????

checklistWherever and whenever you deal with diabetes supplies—the last important supply YOU SHOULD ALWAYS pack is a check list.  How many times have you gone to the school at the end of the school year to pick up the remaining supplies only to hear, “No that was not here.”?

Instant tension.

It’s not intentional but remember there are hundreds, if not thousands, of children in a school system.  Help them help you to avoid one’s word against another.  The last supply added should be a check list of everything enclosed.  When you pick up the supplies, of course juice boxes and edible items for lows would be diminished; but what about the spare meter, the extra 5 syringes, the bottle of insulin, pump supplies, and of course, the glucagon.

When we dropped off the items, we had 2 copies of the check list and we signed both and the school nurse signed both copies at the beginning of the year.  When we picked up the items, there was no question what should be ready to be picked up.  While we are at it……a call every two weeks to check if anything needs replenishing is not a bad thing either.

Same for when your child spends weekends away at someone else’s house.  You probably do not have to have the other person sign a sheet but you having a list with you will help you remember something when you pick up your child.  When visiting, we also would place our car keys attached to the diabetes bag; kind of hard to leave the bag behind in a rush if you have your car keys attached.

Just a couple of quick tidbits on keeping track of the supplies.  You go many places and do many things and a bottle of insulin here, and a meter there, and glucagon also—all of these left behind can not only cause grief but CAN GET a tad expensive also.

Plan ahead to avoid such hassles……..you have enough on your plate…….right?

I am a diabetes dad.

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


Feels Good to Save a Life………But the Ones Being Missed MUST STOP!

GDR warning signsWhen I began the Child’s Cry for Change initiative and Kim May (A Texas dMom) and I began Get Diabetes Right FB page; I thought if we saved one child’s life, it would be well worth it all.  I did not expect it so soon……which only translates how much more work we have to do.  No child should be diagnosed with T1 diabetes when it’s too late.  None!  Not one.

I was given a post tonight that included a story from a mom who posted about a newly diagnosed child.  She was given the poster from Get Diabetes Right and she acted quicker in getting her child to a hospital and sure enough; the child was placed on insulin and diagnosed with T1 diabetes.

In the post she wrote: It’s just possible the sharing of these symptoms (pictured above) saved a life today, and they could again. Thanks for reading.

In as much as I’m completely excited about this feeling of playing a small part in this specific incident; it only serves as a reminder for all of us.  You may never know what role you play in saving someone’s life.  Something you do today may have an impact beyond understanding tomorrow.  Posting signs in a library, in school, or in supermarkets just may be seen by someone.  Checking children for diabetes at the first possible signs—-IT MAY NOT BE THE FLU.

It may not be the flu.  If the flu-like symptoms were meningitis (this post pointed out) or thought to be meningitis, reaction/action would be swift.  But the same flu-like symptoms may also be a full onset of DKA; and the results could be disastrous.  WHY is there not a test done…….too expensive??????…….tell that to a parent who lost a child.  If a child is in DKA and shows flu like symptoms, even starting with a simple urine test to check for keytones could be a start.

A simple test can start a patient on the right regime of taking care of themselves BUT ONLY if they know. I get that if you take out a glucometer and check a child’s blood sugar level; it cannot be used for a definitive diagnosis but if the number is 625, you can rest assured it warrants the correct testing for a true diagnosis……yes?  When I write or lecture just “Don’t Do Nothing” I really DO NOT mean it as just a rhetorical ‘cheer leading’ let’s get out there and change the world.

I again ask you; print out a poster, or 2,3,4,5, or a hundred and plaster them all over.  It is a GREAT boy/girl scout project.  A great community service project.  I literally shook last night as I read the entire post of this story. (It was also great to talk to the mom about it as well).  To think we my have played a role in saving someone’s life, even a very small role,……….it’s a VERY special feeling.

Nothing will get done without involvement.  No ask for money.   No really stressful situation to organize.   Just print out posters and post them around town.  Go to Get Diabetes Right on FB and find out what you can do.  There is a choice of posters you can print or you can request for a pdf file to be sent to you.

Just ‘don’t do nothing’………………………it literally just might save a life.  We HAVE WORK TO DO!!!!

I am a diabetes dad.

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


Take the Change—Make the Change—Lose to the Change. You?

changeEver have one of those days that you feel like the entire world is collapsing around you?  The feeling that no matter what you do, diabetes is just…..well……plain and simply put…..kicking your ass?   No matter what you try the numbers is locked into a high…..or a low…….you know that feeling?  You KNOW that feeling.

I have always found that no matter what life throws at us, and this includes dealing with diabetes day in and day out, the next day arrives.  In most cases another opportunity is given to make something ‘happen’.   You know that saying that when God closes a door he opens a window?  Yeah….well…..I never believed it.  Once the change came, it was mine to deal with.

I believe when a door closes it is up to each one of us to decide what to do next.  A magical door never opened in my life.  I have always believed that the harder you work, the luckier you are.  Don’t get me wrong, I believe in God and I believe there are some incredible things that happen to each of us.  I just do not believe that God sits on a throne with a majestically spiced wand bestowing good changes at different times saying you…..you…..you….and now you.

I think, as I have been taught, that ALL things come from God.  God gave us life and I always felt He (humor me…I think He is a ‘he’ but I’m very open for discussion about the idea) has a lot more/better things to do than intervene on every single change in my life.  I just don’t think it works like that.

Our road has been a long one.  It has been a hard one.  In the early days we had nothing; and I mean nothing.  And one of us had to stay home almost since the day Kaitlyn was diagnosed at age two.  It got even harder.  Change was no choice.

Would I change any thing?

How many times do we ask that question?  Sure I would.  I would like no illness and all those I love still to be alive.  BUT it just does not work that way…..does it?  Life……is just that…….life.

I do know that no matter what is thrown at us, we will get through.  Because whatever change we have been given thus far, we got through.  We have all worked very hard not to be beaten.  And we won’t be.  We become the people who we are because of the things we go through.  When we fall we get back up.  When we are down, we move forward no matter what; because what choice do we have?  We have also laughed a great deal.  We have listened to music.  We have enjoyed the people around us.  And every now and again, I am guilty of dancing as if no one is watching.  Why not……right?

I know this; I’m the person who I am because of the things I’ve gone through and the only constant in everything is that I always moved forward.  And because of the things I have gone through, I have met the most incredible and wonderful people who any man has a right to know.  Truly wonderful people.

Someone once told me that if you can pick 5 true highlights in your life by counting on one hand; your life has been a full one.  I know this; I went through all of my fingers AND toes a long time ago.  My life is more than full.

So if life is getting you down, I can not just tell you to cheer up and it will all go away.  I can tell you that I have been down a long road in my 56+ years thus far and I surely hope and pray that I only just passed the half-way mark in my life.  Life is for the living and if you ARE living…..it’s up to you to make of what you have no matter how good…..or bad you think it is.

George Baily was not the only one with A Wonderful Life…………so are you.  But sometimes we have to look to make it that way…………right?

I am a diabetes dad.

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


The Cold Doesn’t Impact Diabetes……uhm……Think Again!!!

coldWinter.  For those who will be experiencing cold weather over the next few months, do not fall into the misunderstanding that your children, with diabetes, will use less energy in the winter than when the weather is warm.

For some reason, and I may be alone, seeing my child all bundled up meant that she would certainly move less, spend less energy, and certainly her blood sugar would be less likely to drop…..right?

Well, actually, because they are bundled up, they may use more energy because they try harder to move all bundled up.  If your child is going sleigh-riding; it may take more energy to go up and down the hill than swimming in a pool.  Clothes restrict movement, clothes add weight,  more clothes translate to trying harder to move which may impact blood sugars.  So if they are doing an actual event like skiing or sleigh riding, keep an eye on those blood sugars.

On the other side of the spectrum, colder days can translate to less activity because children are not out running around in the warmer weather.  So just when you think you have their day figured out, their numbers seem askew again.

Blood sugars tend to be higher in cold weather as well.  The physical response is not too unlike what happens to blood pressure and heart rates which also rise in colder weather.

If it is your first ‘go round’ with the colder months, just a note to remind you of the impact the cold can have on your child’s diabetes.  If you are a pro and have this all figured out…….this is a reminder.  And if you do have it all figured out, please contact me because after 22+ years at this; I still scratch my head sometimes trying to figure out why things happen the way they do.

Also, insulin will freeze.  If you see ice crystals inside your insulin, chances are that the molecular structure of the insulin might have been impacted, and the insulin will not work as you think.  Since most insulin pumps are worn so close to the body, your body-warmth will keep the insulin in the device at a correct temperature, so that is not to worry.  I’m speaking more about insulin being carried around in the cold, left in the car etc. etc.

And for those who live in warmer climates; you may be visiting colder areas (why? I am not exactly sure why you would do that 🙂 ) and this information might come in handy.

If anyone else has any tips, please feel free to chime in—-we could all learn something new.

So bring on the cold…………………..and be ready.

I am a diabetes dad.

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