Not All Heroes Have Capes!

jesse-rn“My child is recently diagnosed, can someone please send me information about a celebrity who has diabetes so I can share with my newly diagnosed child.”  We have seen this request before.  I believe we are better served to share with newly diagnosed kids, OUR kids who live everyday life with their diabetes who are  doing incredible things.  Not all inspirations need to be celebrities.  I think I will begin a series that we’ll call, “Not All Heroes Have Capes”, These people have the “NAHHC for dealing with their diabetes”.

My first person with the NAHHC for dealing with diabetes is Jesse. I have written about him before and there is surely good reason.  At the age of nine Jesse was diagnosed and what most people find so difficult, Jesse thrived.  When his parents were hovering over him like drone parents (used to be called diabetes police, used to be called helicopter parents), Jesse took it in strides and learned.

And boy did he learn.

Jessie is the first to reach out and talk to others.  If your child has diabetes, Jesse cares and I mean REALLY cares.  He has  only met my son a few times and he will still ask about him, he will still reach out to him….because that’s Jesse.  Challenges are merely an invitation to conquer, and Jesse has done it time and time again.   With poise, with grace, and with his eye on the next mountain to climb ahead of him.

Jesse has always given back and helped others and just recently, he passed his boards and is now a Registered Nurse.  I have to be quite honest with you, when I read that I teared up.  I have known Jesse for a long time, no I am not like father to him but I am someone who has watched him.  I have learned to respect him to great lengths.

Jesse is now in a field that is grueling, taxing, and extremely rewarding.  Having a daughter who is also a nurse, I know everything Jesse went through and he has achieved a most incredible feat.  He’s now a Registered Nurse, no less a hero than a celebrity on a TV show……..Jesse has proven, yet again, that our heroes are right in our own backyard.  They achieve what many would think not possible.  They really are something special and they truly have the NAHHC.  Your child can do anything with diabetes.  Heroes are not perfect, they just get up every time they are knocked down and move forward to achieve great things. 

Congratulations Jesse Nagel, RN BSN.

I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

PS—-if you have a NAHHC, email me at….and maybe I will feature them.  Our kids need to see heroes, and the search can stop right in our back yard.

Where has the Spirit of THAT Day gone?

911-flag-and-buildingsTomorrow is the 15th anniversary of one of the most tragic days in our history.  I was there.  I was there for 36 straight hours and saw things that were beyond frightening. Many know my story and I’m not going to re-tell it today but I want to share an observation.

When people ask me what is the most memorable aspect of ‘that day’, my answer is usually the same, in as much as there was plenty of horror, it was the human spirit shown on that day forward that remains with me.

What people did to care for others during this time was tremendous.  The outpouring of love and the incredible drive to help one another was remarkable.  The manner in which we came together to give, give, and give even more in all things physical and spiritual was unprecedented.

Somewhere, we lost that spirit, I think.

I get sad when I see some of what I see.  When we become less compassionate when a child needs diabetes supplies and an entire community writes to a CEO to change the fact that the child is denied for reasons that make no sense; that is bothersome to me.

In a country where seniors are mis-treated, almost abused, for much-needed life-saving medical equipment for the only reason they turn 65; that is bothersome to me.

When I see this country, literally, act with such bitterness—REAL BITTERNESS– toward each other merely based on their political belief, that is bothersome to me.

When I see division on how we treat each other relying more on why we are different rather than what we have in common; that is bothersome to me.

When I see discussions more to prove how ‘right’ one is and how ‘wrong’ another is with such ugly tones in the discussion; that is bothersome to me.

Have we become a me right, you wrong society?  Do we need another 2996 people to be killed in an attack to remind us what we should all be about?  Do we need death and pain to soften our hearts once again?  What will it take?

I usually find a corner to be by myself on 9/11 anniversaries; to reflect of the people I met on that day and continue to pray for them and the so many families I was in contact with who lost loved ones on that day  I also try to do something good for someone on anniversary days, albeit as small as it might be. I’m glad I have a diabetes meeting to attend tomorrow.

We are an angry nation.  We are a bitter nation.  And we are facing off against each other more than ever before.  There IS SO MUCH good in our world, but the focus is constantly on the bad.  I want the America back again that I witnessed in the aftermath of fifteen years ago; it seemed like we had a more unified spirit.  I liked that spirit.

A light kept in the dark too long will come to a point where it is so extinguished that it can never be lit again.  We should look very hard within to find that spirit of light again, it served us well.

I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.


My (Child’s) Diabetes…..Why would it EVER be Your Call???

my-callWant to be involved in a really great debate…..pick a presidential candidate and tell everyone on social media why you are voting for this person…..and let the fun begin.

I promise you that no matte how much sense you my be making to yourself, you will be handed an earful from others.

Decisions in diabetes……..mmmmmmm…..not too, too different.

I’m not exactly sure why both of these topics can roll into such heated debates, but they can….and they do.  I mean it is, after all, a decision that each of us makes.  We do our homework,  We read.  We become educated.  We make a decision.  But as soon as it is shared with others, we are made to feel like we know nothing, or little, at all.

What I do know without certainty, I know extremely smart and intelligent people, brilliant in some cases, and members of this elite group much smarter than I, are leaving some to vote for Ms. Clinton and some to vote for Mr. Trump.

In the same way, I know brilliant people who have different philosophies on the diabetes management and care for themselves or their child.

So who is right?

Here is the thing, it’s YOUR call on what you want to do, and what you choose to share with anyone else.  Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.  If you have done your homework, know what you know, and are comfortable with the choice…….make it.  Where the problem starts is listening to people without doing your homework for yourself.  DO not rely on ‘hear-say’ rely on what you know to be true.

This world is extremely opinionated and the comfort of being behind a keyboard anonymously is a sense of power.  People do not REALLY know you or your child, how could they.  And yet, we become so influenced when our opinions differ.  Why?

In the fact-seeking aspects of life, it does make sense to get opinions but at the end of the day the decisions made are yours and yours alone.   We need to respect the reasons people believe what they believe, we need to do our own homework, and we need to make our own choices……why would we ever let someone else?  And why would we let anyone else influence us differently than what we know to be true?

I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Do You Have a Child with Diabetes?????……then Shut Up!!!

stupid-is-a-stupid-doesEver want to say that?  My guess is, yes.  I know people with diabetes (PWDs) have shared that with me many times as people forge forward in telling them what they ‘need to do’.  An expert who has no reason to be an expert is….well….a turkey-brain; right?

Now I know expertise can be somewhat learned.  I mean Endos do not have to have diabetes to treat the disease (although many have shared, it surely does not hurt), right?  I’m not a PWD and cannot speak from that point-of-view but I can surely speak from a parent’s point of view.

I have a friend of mine who has twins.  One boy and one girl.  Guess the number one question she is asked……ready…..are they identical?  I thought she was kidding. “Nope, they look me straight in the eye and ask me if my kids are identical.”  My jaw dropped as I asked her how she answered?  “Depends on the moment and how I feel but the one I enjoy saying most is that no they are not, one of them has a penis.”  Absolutely priceless.

We get the stupid questions too, do we not?  I do not know about you but I’m still looking to see what I did that my kids got diabetes; what was the piece of cake that sent them over the edge; what age they will grow out of it; how it might ‘deform’ them (still not getting that one at all); when will they die; or where it is in my family; like answering that question will heal all wounds.

Not to mention the stupid comments because quite truthfully, I do not care what part of body your aunt’s cousin’s brother lost with his diabetes; and/or that your dog, cat, kangaroo or sloth had it so you know exactly what we are going through.

You don’t.

Such is the nature of……well……so many….who just don’t know what to say or do.  A simple, “how are you all doing?” is fairly safe.  But for the life of me I do not get the conversations I have had over the years.  Drives me a little coo-coo.  I guess there are worse things in life…..are there not?  I mean, aren’t we just lucky it’s not cancer?
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.

Can One Person Make a Difference???—Here’s One that Does. Be Inspired.

Carol's stuffed animalsI hear it constantly.  I cannot make a difference.  I do not have the time.  What can one person do?  Now listen closely about what one person can do, if they choose to set their mind to it.

My cousin Carol is one of these people who has a heart the size of Texas.  She always has.  I always have envied that she balances kids, and work, then adds grandchildren, and then adds whatever else she is doing to help others whether it be at a school or church; Carol is there.  She does not ‘look’ for time, she ‘FINDS’ the time.

The picture above is made up of animals she made for a pre-school in Haiti.  “They have little”, she states, “perhaps this will brighten their day.”  Just like that, just that simple.

My brother Joe, who I have written about before, has always been one of my true heroes.  A minister and outreach director for Cru, Campus Crusade for Christ, Joe has helped so many in both their personal and spiritual needs; he allows God to work through him and the so many he touches.

When he found out about what Carol was doing, he shared a story—it is THIS story that again shows how powerful things are to others when you reach out and touch them…..even if you never, ever know.

Here’s Joe’s quick story as he shared it:
Lenisse is a Cru Alum (Meaning as a college student, she was one of Cru’s leaders at Medgar Evers College–my life’s work, indeed my life’s calling is with Cru). She is married now living in St. Louis. As a child, Lennise lived in rather poor conditions in Belize. Through Operation Christmas Child, she received a gift from someone in the states. Years later, as a college student, she spoke at Operation Christmas Child gift collection events at Medgar Evers College and Pace University telling her story as to what the gift meant to her. It is for this reason, Carol, I am confident your labor will do SO MUCH MORE than ‘brighten their day’. They will NEVER forget it. I wish there were more like you!

Never underestimate the little things you do.  Little things are big things to those who receive them.  But if we don’t do them………they’ll never know, will they?  Not all stories make us cry and bubble over, sometimes they just make us think……”what can I do to help someone else?”…….and that ain’t so bad, is it?

As Joe stated, I wish there were more people like Carol, and add to that; a few more like Joe wouldn’t be so bad either.
I am a DiabetesDad.
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Hey You……It’s Your Fault.

dog under bedAnyone seen fault lately?  You know….fault.  We always look for fault.  We always find fault.  Fault.  Pretty nasty rap that fault gets….don’t you think?  How things go wrong and how bad life gets……someone’s fault……not mine….right?  If not mine, someone else’s fault surely.

Funny word……fault.

In so many areas people are so quick to try to get the fault off themselves.  But let’s stay specific about diabetes.  Whilst we want to blame the government, the pharma companies, and everyone else…….we also need to look at ourselves.  I have a weird feeling that healthcare and other items in this country are going to get worse before they get better so we had all better start to prepare.

What supplies we get, do not get, cannot afford, cannot be given the choice, cannot find, are not made anymore……it’s always and in all ways up to us to make good; for our kids, for ourselves.  If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times—the equalizer in all things diabetes is education.  And education starts with one’s own self.

Now there may be an entire means to advocate about some of these issues but while all of that is going on, you have to stay in touch with what you need….because no one is going to do that for you.  You have to be ready for anything needed, you have to plan for it…..whatever it is and whatever it takes.  And if you don’t, you have been warned, it will be your fault.
I am a DiabetesDad.
Please visit my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’.