Having Diabetes Makes One Disabled…Right?….Ummmmm ?????????

Disbaled SignsBeing called ‘disabled’.  It’s surely a two-edged sword.  If our child with diabetes is suffering from a severe low during a State Exam, we would make sure that they were given their due and allowed to treat the low and go back to the test without losing any time……correct?

They are allowed to do that because of the American with Disabilities Act which allows our children certain rights under the law.  These rights are the foundation for 504 plans and other considerations across the country.

Yet, if I met you on the street and said ‘Hello, Jill, how is your disabled child, you know the one with diabetes.”    …………..You get the point.

We seek what is due our children and thank goodness there are laws in place to make sure we can offer them the opportunity to level the playing field where it is certainly not level. 

So are they disabled, or are they not?   If you have a disability, are you not considered living life, disabled?

If someone called my child disabled, and you had a dollar to bet that I would be upset at that statement, you would win that dollar.  I would be angry.  Our children do great things, but to the outside world if one ‘is covered’ under the law, there is a reason.

As if they do not have enough labels already……..right?

I will tell you how I came to grips with ‘this title’ years ago.  Someone asked me  if I considered my kids disabled and I answered in the following way:
“At this moment, as Kaitlyn is at work and Rob was at work, I would say no and for most of the time they are not disabled.  They are active, they are vibrant, they are living with diabetes as it should be lived and therefore they are not disabled….”


(I cut the discussion off)

“………that said; should diabetes cause a severe hypo- or hyperglycemia reaction, at that moment, they surely could be rendered disabled.  But only for the time that they must treat what they are going through.  It’s not so unlike if someone has a car accident, or becomes ill, it very well might be that they are disabled for a short time until such time they recover from their accident or illness.  Because they were disabled once, they are not disabled always.”

With diabetes, our children are not disabled in any shape or form of the word.   But they can BE disabled for a time if a severe low or high occurs.  And if that should happen at a time that there is a law that covers what they are doing…..so be it.  And should our children be in a place where the norm could be altered, like waiting in direct heat/sun at an amusement park; they should be allowed the opportunity to avoid that situation.  If someone believes that a dog that can sense highs or lows is absolutely necessary for their child to have in school, and that is the best action to take, it is not for me to say differently.

What I do and what you may do dealing with diabetes may be completely different and that is your choice to make, and mine.

So if anyone should ever ask if your child is disabled; first, tell them how much you hate using ‘labels’ for anyone including your child.  Next, explain that they are not disabled but an incident of hypo- or hyperglycemia could indeed disable them for a short time and that is the balance we constantly seek, that is why we take the actions we take. 

Being disabled for a short time does not make one disabled always.  As long as it is  medically sound care-taking; what one person does dealing with their child’s diabetes may not be my way of dealing with diabetes.  That is the choice of the medical team, a child and their family; you need not answer to anyone else…….and you can take that statement to the bank.  Some people are more disabled in their attitudes than our children will ever be with their diabetes

I am a diabetes dad.

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


We Have No Time To Waste.

wasted timeYesterday was my son’s bachelor party.  It was a great amount of fun but it started out completely wrong and there was a lesson to take away.  The plan was for a group of friends to hire a fishing charter and spend the day out on the waters of Long Island and enjoy the day.  The boat was reserved and we were all set to go.

We traveled 45 minutes to Eastern Long Island and arrived where the charter boat was docked .  The captain informed us that it was too rough to go out on the water.  Why he did not call one of the organizers of the day two hours earlier, before we drove all the way out there, was beyond all of us; surely not a good businessman.

No one quite understood why he would not go out, it was a beautiful day.  Someone heard the captain say to one of the boat’s mates that he was leaving to go home and pack and he would be back Thursday.  The captain was the first one out of the parking lot and he was gone.  Maybe the water was not really that rough out there.  Maybe this captain just did not want to go; something did not seem right.

After some friendly comments ‘riding’ the guys organizing the day and the suggestion of “let’s go pumpkin picking instead” being shot down immediately with laughter; the guys got to work.  And I mean they got to work pretty quickly.  I noticed at least 5 of them on cell phones calling to solve the problem and as it ended up, we had more than one choice what to do.

Within a matter of twenty minutes we were on the road to another boat waiting to take us out.  We enjoyed a fabulous five hours of fishing with great friends. Seeing the sights of no less than ten other chartered boats out fishing in full force, I quickly came to the realization that our original captain just did not want to go out; but the reason no longer mattered to me.   

Now these are my son’s friends and I have known many since kindergarten.  Believe me when I tell you that not one of them in the group got angry at those organizing the day, no one pointed fingers at others; no, they got their cell phones out and started calling people.   Within minutes the problem was solved.  We ended up on a better boat, actually; and it was just a wonderful day ‘with the guys’.

While driving home, after it was over, and throughout the night; I just kept thinking how impressed I was at how they handled the situation.  Not one bit of energy was spent or wasted on being negative; it was spent on solving the problem.

From this is a lesson we can all learn.

How many times, when someone says something or we end up at a dead-end, do we observe those who look to blame rather than solving the problem and move on?  How much energy is wasted?

It’s important to also note that many of these young men have also been in the worst of situations laying their lives on the line saving others, and watching each others’ backs, when battling a fire or battling a storm called Sandy.  Maybe because of these situations they are better trained than I, and completely realize that it is better to get the job done than just sit around and waste good and precious energy.

It was nice to be asked to be included yesterday, but it was I that learned a very valuable lesson from these young men.   It’s a good reminder for all of us; there is just too much work to do than to waste time or energy on anything but the problem at hand.

I am a  diabetes dad.

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


I can do anything.To anyone who has a child with diabetes that thinks they cannot make it in this world; that there are many things they cannot do, that diabetes will just hold them back…………just click the link below and enjoy watching what someone with diabetes can do……..in this young man’s life, diabetes stops him FROM NOTHING……..Period!!!!!!!!



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

A Sunset to Relax My Mind at a Place Called Hofstra………Where Do You Go?

Sunset Long Island 1On the campus of Hofstra University stands six dormitories.  When I attended Hofstra they were identified with very unique and specific identities.  There was Tower A, B,C,D,E, and F.  I am happy to say that since I attended they have been given actual names.

College is not easy.  WAS not easy and still is not easy today. When yesterday bought back a ton of images that are burned in my memory I thought about a particular part of Hofstra that was utilized on more than one occasion to relax me.

I love Hofstra.  First because it is a great school.  Second, I made great friends there, and as I have written about before, many of them have helped tremendously in many aspects dealing with diabetes over the years.

The towers were some of the tallest buildings on Long Island when I attended Hofstra with the 14+ stories high and I remember with very fond memories, the top floor.  The top floor had huge panes of glass that allowed you to look in every direction. 

Nothing beat looking at a sunset out of one of those windows.  I always thought that Long Island has some of the most glorious sunsets in the world.  Whether by the ocean or in the middle of the Island; just gorgeous.  And always different.  Utilizing the clouds to add to the landscape or as clear as glass, no two sunsets were ever the same.

Sometimes things can just ‘get to us’.  We need a break.  When I received the video I wrote about last night,  I just needed to relax and I found myself going to the “Top of the Hofstra Towers” in my mind.  I needed to feel that complete relaxation while watching a Long Island sunset from so high up, that I had done so many times.  I needed to once again feel that peace.

I have been back there before, but only in my mind, not in reality-not once since I graduated.  Our battles we fight for our kids and their diabetes, or perhaps just escaping life itself, we all need a “Hofstra-type-place; where do you go to escape?  What relaxes you?

Share where you ‘go’?  For every sunset, there is a sunrise and with that comes the chance to begin something new and something fresh, relaxed and ready to go………again.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


A 9/11 Memory Just Sent to Me…..12 Years Later….My Hands are Shaking!

911 CNNOn this, a special and incredible day of remembrance. After I wrote about it and it was sent to everyone this morning.   After working so hard over the years to push down so much of what I saw; to work so hard to place things in compartments in my mind and in my memory………this absolutely comes from the OMG you have got to be F****’en kidding me files. 

I received the link below from a friend of mine today with a note that simply stated: “Don’t know if you ever saw this but today being 12 years later, you may want to.”

You do not have to watch the entire clip but what caught my attention starts at about the 27 second mark and lasts about 1 minute.  It is not an earth shattering clip but when you are part of something that only happened because of a series of events of which you could only react and not control; and you thought it would be safely tucked away only in your memory; to have it all of a sudden played back to you—-that small clip becomes enormous.

I was tired, I had been all over lower Manhattan, I went right from work about 21 hours earlier after they shut down our building, I had not slept.  They asked me for a business card, shoved a microphone in front of my face and all of a sudden……boom—-I’m on CNN.

I literally just saw it for the first time about an hour ago. 

I cannot tell you how my hands are shaking right now.  This clip is bringing everything back so quickly and unexpectedly.  I am so grateful it was shared, it just reminds me even more about what I wrote earlier today.

This reminded me of the oh so many who helped, and people are incredible; truly.

Here is the clip:

As I remember the whole story again; and too much to write right now, it is all so clearly in front of me at this moment; which it has not been in so long;  tears are rolling down my cheeks.

Wow.    Sigh.

I am a diabetes dad.

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


Yeah, I was there! Never Forget………Have We?

9 11 towersThose who know me well know my story with 9/11.  The 36 hours I spent down there from 9/11 to 9/12 provided images that many could not have nightmares about.  It was a day that transformed my life, as it did for a grieving nation.

Every where you look you see the date 9/11 with the words ‘Never Forget’ right next to it or below it.  But are we forgetting?

This was not just a day of names that must never be forgotten.  It was a spirit.  To those of us who lost loved ones and friends of course there will be thoughts today.  Local stations will cover the reading of the names of the lost.  A bell will sound.

CNN showed the first two people reading names, went to commercial (and even dropped the little box they usually kept in the lower corner showing the people reading names from around the country) and when they came back from commercial break; continued the news as normal. That is their choice.  But if we are to remember today, it should be remembered as a “STOP AND REMEMBER” day, and not merely a ‘today in the news…..” type story.  As if this date is just a normal day.

This is not a normal day.  This was not a normal day.  This will never be a normal day again.

To those that know my story also know that I have shared of not only the horror, but the incredible spirit that I witnessed 12 years ago.  That American Spirit that had people helping far beyond what anyone could have ever imagined.  The rest of the country had this spirit also. 

The best way to remember this day is to not only recognize the names of those who were killed in Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, and New York but to renew the spirit we showed each other.

Lately, have you even read a response if someone says they are Republican or Democrat on FB?  Have you seen the personal attacks from our elected officials on Capitol Hill?  Have you ever seen so many statements of; “….this is my opinion and if you disagree you are wrong and by the way, you’re a pig too….” attitudes.  Just hurtful, sometimes.

I get it.  Freedom of speech and disagreements and discussions are healthy.  THAT is not to what I am referring.  The Spirit of America; is it getting pushed further and further into the background?

Lately, this is a country of division.

Political belief, race, sexual orientation, and even having an opinion; if it is against the mainstream (or just the loudest) we are very quick to ‘pounce’ in retaliation.

Twelve years ago we saw a different America.  I remember seeing a taxi cab driving in New York and the air was so still you could actually hear the rubber of the tire on the road as it drove up the street.  People nodded to each other, said hello, or at the very least smiled to passing strangers as if to say, “we both understand”.   ON THAT DAY, I saw people come from every corner to help, to want to help, to need to help; in any way no matter how small.

This was not a naive America; this was an America that knew what we meant to each other.  It’s unfortunate that it took thousands of deaths and 4 planes to be commandeered out of the skies to remind us…….but it did.  It reminded us how important we still are to each other from every walk of life; we are Americans.

The more we ‘go to commercial breaks’, the further we will get away from what is important.  It’s not just a list of names, it was not only the death of so many; it was a birth of spirit we had forgotten existed.  It is this spirit that also needs to be remembered.

Let’s not wait for four more planes, or worse, to have to be reminded again.

I am a diabetes dad.

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