A Second Child Diagnosed Was NOT the End; But a Beginning.

DiaversaryWhat we thought diabetes would be, was not what diabetes became.  Five years ago today our second child (our youngest of three) was diagnosed with t1 diabetes.  Were we angry?  You bet.  Are we still angry?  You bet.

In life, we cannot do anything about what is dealt to us.  God? Fate? Chance?  Whatever, or whoever, you believe is as the controller of what happens to you and your family, well, know this; once it enters your life it’s yours to handle.

I have read time and time again about people who are still in absolute crushing existence because of their child’s diagnosis many years later.  I cannot do anything about the feelings you have except to tell you we all feel them.  It makes me sad when I read that people still cannot function the way they want five years after a diagnosis.

Know this: I do believe diabetes attempted to steal another childhood when my son was diagnosed five years ago this very day.  I also acknowledge the point that at any moment our children could have a severe reaction in their life which could take them at any minute, but hear me clearly—-this is no more than I also believe a car can spin out of control with the same result.

My point: acknowledging the fear of something and living every minute in that fear are two very different aspects of living.  Knowing the fear of something has allowed us the opportunity to deal with it.  To do everything in our power to make sure the fear does not become a reality.  Not just in diabetes, but in every aspect.  We do all we can, and after that, there is a list of factors that WE CANNOT control.

Just as in the other things in our children’s lives, we are not going to cripple ourselves for the rest of eternity waiting for the unstoppable to happen.  We are educated.  We know diabetes.  We are not living in a ‘blinded’ style of life; we understand it to the fullest degree on what it is, what it can do, and more than anything else——what it is not.

It is not………..in control.

This is not some pie-in-the-sky belief.  This belief comes from years of education, attending conferences, and asking a million questions.  Why?

I have answered this question before and the answer is the same; I get up every morning and I look in the mirror and I ask myself am I doing everything I can for my kids who live with diabetes?  Am I with those who can educate us?  Am I supporting those who I believe will take us closer to a cure?  Am I helping others as we were helped along the way?

These are the questions for me, that I ask every day.  Should fate step in and throw us an absolutely wild pitch that is disastrous; I must be able to answer that during this entire journey—–I was doing everything I could to answer the questions I stated above.  Knowledge is the equalizer.  In this house, we do not guess.  In this house we move forward.

Mistakes?    Oh I am the leader of that as well.  When I say that, it is not a statement of rhetoric, I sincerely mean it.  I have made some doozies but I have never run from my mistakes, always addressed them when needed or asked, and when timing was right, I moved on.  I do know this, no one is harder on me in this journey, than me.

Come hell or high water; that sun will set today and rise tomorrow.  That is not a scary thing, that is a new start; every day.  If there is a better management tool for diabetes, I want to know about it.   If there is a better place to find a cure, I want to know about it.  If there is something I need to read, I want to know about it.

This world of diabetes changes every single day; what are you looking for?

We choose to look back at Rob’s five years and celebrate how much our son has learned about this disease.  When looking back where he is today and where he was when he was diagnosed is one of the most incredible stories I could ever witness.   What is the most amazing thing to me, is what Rob taught us about diabetes.

Together we have learned how to be strong.  Strength is not merely a physical state, it is a life style.  It comes from a life style of education, real education and not guessing.  The only way to achieve that is to ask.  But the question must be asked of yourself first; and that will guide your pathway.

So a fifth diaveresary for a second child; if it is okay with you—-we’ll choose to celebrate all that Rob has become; an amazing young man who beat the hell out of some incredible odds; because HE wanted to——and perhaps we helped a little along the way.

To living life to its fullest—-because the alternative just doesn’t add-up in this house; with or without diabetes.

I am a diabetes dad.

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It’s today. 

 Twenty years ago.



 It’s not ‘Happy’ Diaversary….it’s just there; a milestone. Twenty years today.

 As I think back to that September 26th 1992, when at the age of 2 Kaitlyn was whisked to Stony Brook Hospital; medical staff ran around tending to her; tubes were attached; pain was administered; tears were shed; more tears were shed; I raced from New York City; I entered her room; she looked at everything attached to her; I pushed the hair out of her eyes, and I spoke:

 “Hi Honey.”

 Looking at all the wires and the tubes, “Daddy?”

 “Yes honey.”

 Looking straight into my eyes: “Fix.”

 More tears were shed. 

 Our lives would change……..forever.

I promised her that I would not stop until a cure was found.  I told her, as the song from Broadway’s Shenandoah states, “Pappa would make it all right.”

And we have tried.  We are more determined now than ever before.  We’re more convinced than ever that my promise to Kaitlyn will be fulfilled.  I have met the most incredible people on this journey.  Too many to start to thank, or even name.  I thank you all. 

But on this, the 20th Diaversary of Kaitlyn’s diagnosis, I need to thank someone.  I promised her once that I would leave her out of my writings because she hates reading about herself.  But on this date I need to be a bit off the norm, as they say.

I will keep it real simple but it is the most powerful statement I have ever issued.  In as much as I (and yes with a biased) think Kaitlyn and Rob are truly so remarkable, I am one thousand percent convinced that my daughter is alive today with no complications, and Rob is doing as well as he is, because of my wife, their mom; Jill.  She did it right and continues to get it right 24/7/365.   She will tell you otherwise, but that is how she operates.

The gift of a child’s well being is probably the most precious gift any parent could ever have and the reason in our house is Jill, and I thank her from the bottom of my heart. Period.

I know because, you see, I’m the Diabetesdad.