Your Child’s ‘BAD NUMBERS’…….They Must Try Harder…….Right?????

Bad numberThere is a commercial on the air that shows when a woman receives a report from her Doctor and her cholesterol (bad) has dropped,  she is ecstatic.  She high-fives the world……and goes bowling; she is very happy.

When it comes to diabetes and numbers, I have always thought it better to take a different approach.  When Kaitlyn was younger, each time she checked her blood sugar, we tried our hardest to show no reaction and always just thanked her for taking care of herself…… served us well.

Here is my cautionary tale to all parents.  My disclaimer here is that you may disagree with me, and perhaps even disagree strongly, but what I want to do today is start a dialogue.  I WANT TO KNOW what you do and why.  You would be surprised on how many times I am told by PM or in an email, “I don’t really respond online anywhere, but I read everything.”   So here we go.

In as much as good numbers seem worthy to shout from a mountain top and posting pictures of your child holding a meter with a number like 92; my question has always been; what happens when your child is 341? When you don’t shout about those numbers….what else can your child think but that THEY failed.

Now hear me out.

I’m all for 1000% positive reinforcement for any child.  Lord knows how much I love kids and would do anything to make their lives easier.  I’m not asking this question to you, from your point of view………I want you to think of it from their point of view.

If you tout a great number or a great A1C number, undoubtedly there will be times when a less than optimum number will be present…..if you build up one it is only natural that your child will feel like they failed when that not-so-good-number shows up.


There is nothing they could do to prevent this disease.  So if given the choice, if they are trying (I leave that to you to define) their best; the number should not matter in relation to doing well or not.  The number is a gauge that allows them to adjust.  The number is a means to correct something going on inside their body.  I cannot warn strong enough, to be very careful how you reflect that number on your child—–good or bad.  Because if you highlight the good, the bad will be taken to heart.

Think about it.  “Great number honey.”  “Wow, one hundred; way to go.”  “What a great day of numbers you are having.”  “GREAT! Second number in a row below 120…good job honey.”

And what happens when the numbers do not reflect so good?

(             we —– say —–nothing            )

What is your child to think?  However if you think of something to say, for the simple reason they are checking their blood sugar to make sure they are staying healthy (over simplified, I know) as a positive reinforcement—-fabulous.

My dear friend Dr. Richard Rubin, and truly the world’s best at the psyche of diabetes and children, told me once that after we check Kaitlyn’s blood, to ask her why she thought the number was what it was; 100 or 280?  Of course depending on how high or how low matters when to ask that question but his point was clear; do whatever we could so that the number had no direct reflection on our child……..because even if ‘they were bad all morning’ eating what they were not supposed to (geared to the teen years)—it’s STILL NOT THEIR fault they HAVE TO EAT a certain way.

Now I never stated this would be easy.  We have all gone through the teen years and it is very difficult when they are not doing what they ‘are supposed to be’ doing.  But when it comes to diabetes, IT IS NOT THE SAME as clean up your room.  If your child ‘shuts you out’ because you have made THEIR diabetes YOUR mission to correct them at every turn——-your voice will be ‘muted-out’ as they get older.

Be creative.  Dr. Rubin (Lord, how I miss this man) stated to always make it about choices.  As fast as possible, change out the focus on the number with asking them what they should do about it?  “You are 325, should you take insulin, or just a glass of water?” (and ask them why).   The younger they are, the simpler you make it……..but make it about choices.  “You are 100, do we need to do anything?”

After a while, these questions will become their questions which they can, and will, address themselves.  When it comes to diabetes, I always tell people numbers are a gauge……make sure your child is not taking them as their reason for failure. The more you celebrate those ‘good numbers’, they will most assuredly take the ‘bad numbers’ in a way that they are doing something wrong.  Easy? No.  In the long run it will serve them much better.   Leave reflections to the mirror.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


Even Elmo Gets Involved in a Cause…..uhm….What’s Your Excuse?

Elmo Capitol hillI am a fan of Seth Rogen.  His humor is edgy, he pushes the envelope, he misses, he hits, but he takes risks and in an industry that plays it safe, he seems fearless in trying for something different.  And, I will admit, he also revisits things that work well, hey a guy has to eat, right?

But Mr. Rogen’s best performance was not acting at all.  It was when he testified on Capitol Hill about his mother-in-law’s Alzheimer’s battles.  It was this, more than anything else, that tied the knot on becoming a fan.  His passion for someone he loves captures your attention immediately.

Capitol Hill.  Having been on the Hill quite a few times in my life, I can share that it is as exciting as it is intimidating.  Not only because of who sits there now; but for the history of those who have come before……our democracy is represented in just a few buildings.

But I am here to tell you today, that in as much as there has been major star power over the years; I have been told by more than one Representative in my life that is the heartfelt stories of parents that resonate on how they vote.  It is important for you to know that.  It is important for you to also do something about it.

If I told you that George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Ben Affleck, Elton John, Bono, Richard Simmons, Mohammad Ali, John Denver, and even Frank Zappa and Sesame Streets’ Elmo have all testified on Capitol Hill…….could you tell me for what cause?  In some cases I’m sure you can and in others, not; but rest assured it was something of very big interest to them.

If I told you that Charlton Heston spoke about one issue and Tony Bennett on almost an exact opposite point of view, and you were the Representative…..who do you respond to?  Star Power….going back to Elizabeth Taylor and her personal backing of AIDS support, the Hill has surely attracted major star power.  But the broo-ha-ha over such celebs has not as much impact as it used to have when it comes to testifying.  That leaves ‘us’ to stay the course and be the force.

Hmmmmmm a great tag line there.  Diabetes Advocacy: Stay the course-be the force.

For over twenty years, Jim Manly has served on Hill for the likes of Ted Kennedy, George Mitchell, and Harry Reid and he once stated: “Beautiful though she may be, Angelina Jolie coming through town? Already seen that a couple of times before….”
With so many doing it, maybe that explains the so many empty chairs when Seth Rogen was testifying.

But more often than not, the rooms ARE full and the interest is high.  That stated, there can be no mistake about it; having celebrities involved not only adds the star power aspect for the cause, it will add media attention as well.  But the star power alone pales in comparison with the personal stories…….your personal stories.

There are many people I know who have been to Washington DC with the organizations they support in our ‘diabetes world’.  Many people give both their time and enormous energy getting the word out about diabetes and to the credit of many diabetes organizations the mixing of both the ‘star-power’ and the many, many, many stories from people living with diabetes, moms, dads, and other family members has surely impacted media surrounding diabetes causes as well as government and private funding.

In as much as there is no question that the incredible efforts of Mary Tyler Moore representing diabetes causes (and add to that Nick Jonas, Kevin Kline, Sugar Ray Leonard, Ray Allen, and many others), it is the hundreds of families that join in those efforts in a one-on-one with representatives that count as a 1-2 punch in impacting every member on the Hill.  It is the letters.  It is the signed petitions.  It is the many, many points ‘of attack’  that have an impact.

It is not just these group efforts that work, it is the efforts of a father (and also having T2) wanting better strip control, it is the mom of a child who passed away from a missed diagnosis, it is the efforts of what individuals find important that are heard by legislators.  It’s in Washington, it’s in the State Capitols around the United States—-it is many, many parts.

These efforts do not happen by accident.  They happen with much planning.  They happen with much organization.  They happen with much passion.  They happened by people who, when they started, did not know much more than you do know.  They learned by doing.  If you are looking for something to do, think about getting involved in an aspect of diabetes that is important to you.  If we do not advocate for ourselves, you can almost bet that no one else will.  Something to think about.  Something to act upon.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Passover-Easter: Fun Factoids About Both—-Enjoy!!!!

Easter PassoverApart from English and German, the name of ‘Easter’ has been derived from Pesach, the Hebrew name of Passover festival.

“Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.”  Clarence W. Hall

The date of Passover is variable as it is dependent on the phases of the moon, and thus Easter is also a movable feast.

Easter Bonnets are a throw back to the days when the people denied themselves the pleasure of wearing finery for the duration of Lent.

Even if Moses is the most important human figure in the Passover story, he is mentioned only once in the Haggadah

Good Idea: Finding Easter eggs on Easter Sunday.
Bad Idea: Finding Easter eggs at Thanksgiving.
FACT: 600 million eggs are usually sold in USA during the months of March and April.

During World War I, in Vilna, Poland, when it was very difficult to find kosher wine, the rabbinical authorities made a special announcement to allow sweet tea in the Seder ceremony, instead of the traditional four cups of wine.

Since 1878 the White House Easter Egg Roll has taken place on the South Lawn. The Easter tradition was started by President Rutherford B. Hayes.

Passover holiday has three names: Pesach – literally meaning the Passover sacrifice; Hag Hamatzot – Feast of Unleavened Bread; and Zeman Heirutenu – the Season of Our Freedom.

The custom of giving eggs at Easter time has been traced back to Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans, to whom the egg was a symbol of life.

There is no such thing as the Easter Bunny:
Yeah, and Peter Rabbit didn’t think Mr. McGregor was going to catch him in the cabbage patch either — get with the times.
FACT: On Easter, 76% people bite off the chocolate bunny ears first, while 5% bite the feet first and 4% eat the tail first

In the mid-20th century, it used to take as much as 27 hours to make a marshmallow peep. Today, the time has been reduced to six minutes.

The information above was scouted from a ton of sources and I hope you enjoyed them.  These Holidays are sacred times for many who believe.  May you walk one step closer in your faith this weekend and may you enjoy your family time together.  Have no fear as Monday will bring back EVERYTHING you left on Friday; so take this time for……well……YOU!

Happy Holidays.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


The Easter Basket……A Poem.

Easter BasketOh the Easter Basket so sweet with candy and not whole grain Wheaties,
Can cause such havoc for those living life with diabetes.

It is not necessarily the actually candy that causes us to stump,
It’s the sneaking without telling; or consulting the pump.

The basket seems so pretty when it’s finished by one Easter Bunny,
How careful us parents must be, the bad guy; it’s truly not funny.

Our kids just want some chocolate, why must we be such total creeps,
If not the bunny ears, a jelly bean perhaps, or even some peeps.

But we know what happens when the candy goes in,
We know it shouldn’t be bad or treated as sin.

We did what we could, to supply gifts over candy,
But it’s the sweets in the baskets the kids will find dandy.

We do allow them to have some of the sweets and try to be fair,
But tread carefully we must, the pitfalls are there.

It’s just another reason to make us parents’ breath and to sigh,
To ward off the threats of the lows or a high.

We do not like to say no when everyone else gets a yes,
But we see the pitfalls of diabetes and know surely what’s best.

So parents take solace in doing well this holiday maze,
Rest easy till Halloween, it’s in 209 days.

Happy Easter.

I am a diabetes dad.

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