All I Can Say is………..Whew!!!!!!!!

Two weeks. 

The most important lesson I have learned recently is that so much can happen in two weeks.  To the hundreds of people who wrote to me and wanted to know how we were doing I both; thank you for caring, and apologize for not getting back to you sooner.

I will not go into every detail here but to say we are all okay, although for a while we hadn’t heard from the kids out in the storm working with the fire department and ambulance–that was some of the worst times.   Some of their colleagues were not so lucky and one, in particular, we pray for who stopped to help people in one car and was hit by another; we await word of that recuperation. 

Damage is at a minimum for us and all trees fell all around the house and not on it.  Our neighbors were not so lucky.  It was a two weeks that we will remember for a lifetime; where the second worst storm to hit the United States fell upon us, an election was held, gas is being rationed, power is still out for many, 30 million gallons of water had to be pumped from NYC’s midtown tunnel, power was lost, there was an attempt to steal our generator in the middle of the night, many friends are cleaning up all around the tri-state area, we visited some incredible people in the UK for the CWD UK conference, stopped for a little bit to visit some places new to us, and our return trip that was supposed to be nonstop from London to New York had to emergency land in Halifax, Nova Scotia for a passenger who had a severe hypoglycemic reaction (more on that in a later article).  A very long two weeks.

Much to write about as we move forward but today is just to say 3 quick points; 1).thank you to so many who sent good wishes; 2.)I have been in close contact with many people who have boots-on-the-ground and have heard of no dire need of assistance pertaining to diabetes supplies in our hard-hit area (still monitoring) and 3.) Remember a Veteran this week…..we have so much for they gave their all. 

I am a diabetesdad.

My Sunday dHero…..artistic license please…..Heroes in a Hurricane

 The winds are beginning to pick up out side.  The rain will start shortly.

It is  clear that the picture I provided today is one from long ago.  It is how we remember our kids no matter how old they are ( I tell everyone it is Jill’s first husband).   I was much younger too.

But with one of the worst storms in recent memory making its way up the coast for a direct slam into Long Island….during the height of the danger….during the height of uncertainty…I know where these two babies will be. 

They are much older now—T.J. is 25; a no-nonsense kind of man who is strong when he needs to be and gentle when the time is right.  He is in our neighborhood  fire department and he has eaten smoke; he has even saved a cat from a tree.

Kaitlyn is 22 and on our volunteer ambulance company serving our community as an EMT.  Her knowledge runs deep and her service is exhausting to witness.

Hurricane Sandy surges and my two oldest will be in harm’s way.  They will do it willingly, they will do it until they are not needed.  People will be running FROM impacted areas; Kaitlyn and TJ will be running TOWARD them.  Kaitlyn will be doing it the whole time managing her diabetes.  She understands the ramifications of anything but good control at these crucial times…..she does not waver.

They will be with others who also are laying it all on the line for others….all are heroes.

So my Sunday dHero this weekend, if it is okay with all of you, are my two oldest children T.J. and Kaitlyn——God keep them safe over the next few days.  I love them to no end.  They are not only my Sunday dHeroes—-they are my heroes everyday for doing what so many cannot.  If they fear, they show it not–this is about helping others.  Godspeed my children and bless you, and those like you, for caring so much during Hurricane Sandy’s wrath.

I am a diabetesdad

Siblings—DO they Really Understand? A Story that Changed My Life.


 No matter how hard the attempt, diabetes has always prevented us from giving the full amount of time needed to those who are the brother and sister of someone with diabetes.  Whatever the event, attention is drawn away.  And we tried pretty hard to find a balance.  But it seemed falling short indeed did happen.  One story in particular breaks my heart to this day.

When Kaitlyn was very young, I told my wife that when Kaitlyn would be around T.J. (her brother) that we should correct her in some sort of manner.  The goal was so T.J. would see that Kaitlyn was by no means perfect and in some case needing of discipline.

Shortly thereafter the opportunity presented itself (or so I thought). 

Jill was not around and I was watching T.J. and Kaitlyn (Rob was not even born yet but the memory is burned in my heart to this day).  I do not even remember what the incident was and it doesn’t matter.  I seized the opportunity where T.J. and Kaitlyn were together and I raised my voice and said, “Kaitlyn, stop.  Kaitlyn that is wrong and don’t do that again!” 

(To this day I still tear up remembering this story.) 

Kaitlyn looked up at me with those big round eyes, and her lip started to shake.  Tears rolled down her cheeks and she pee’d on herself and all over the floor.  No sooner than that happened that T.J., at probably only 7 years of age, ran into the kitchen and retrieved paper towels and tissues and started cleaning Kaitlyn and the floor. 

“Don’t worry about this Kaitlyn, I will clean it up.  It will be okay.” 

I stood there with my mouth hanging open as T.J. cleaned every inch of his sister and wiped the floor around her once I took her in and changed her. 

Jill will tell you that I was inconsolable for weeks after.  What had I done?   What I did not factor in was that at the time I did this, Kaitlyn was over 350… ‘accident’, with little help, was inevitable with the right final push which came from me, diabetesdad,.  No one has made more mistakes at this than me. 


There are a few points here and the most important point is that the brothers and sisters of those with diabetes ‘get it’ more than we know.  But we should always keep looking to encourage them, spend time with them, and let them KNOW ALSO just how important they are in our lives and do it more than we think we do. 

Those who read my Facebook pages know how different our 3 kids are and just what is so special about each.  T.J., now 25, is a vital part of our community working at Long Island’s largest hospital and also volunteering in our local fire department.  He is awaiting the call from the NYPD that he has been accepted into their academy.  He is a dedicated boyfriend to Joelle, and has always been ‘the watcher’ over his younger sister and brother.  I have seen T.J. cry 5 times in my life.  He is a very strong man in many ways. 

Sometimes the siblings of the one with diabetes……become another child with diabetes as well.  T.J. cried in my arms when his little brother was diagnosed also with diabetes at age thirteen in 2009.  “He cannot have to live with this forever, he just can’t.” 

We pray for all of T.J.’s dreams to come true.

We are so very proud of all of our kids.  I have stated a thousand times how kids with diabetes do everything…….and because of their diabetes, they do it with an asterisk.  I even wrote about it once.

But siblings……they do everything with an asterisk too, never forget that point.  Feel free to share just how special the siblings in your house are to you.

I’m a diabetesdad.