When You Need Help…..Who Helps You?

pulling-out-hairAs I read various posts, I rarely see or hear about what a spouse/partner does in the management of a child’s diabetes. 

Let’s face it, sometimes you want to pull your hair out trying to find help but who DOES help you when you need it?

I write often and at her request, I mention Jill rarely in my writings, but let there be no mistake about it; my kids are alive today because of the amount of work their mother puts into this world of diabetes.

Back when Kaitlyn was first diagnosed and we discussed and decided that I would be the one to work and Jill would leave her job to care for Kaitlyn; we had a great foundation for which to move forward. 

We discussed and agreed.

I did not know it at the time but the fact that we discussed, and it was not just ‘assumed’ who-would-do-what, began a healthy foundation for much of the care for our kids.  Now I’m not saying there were not challenges, any marriage has challenges, but when it came to the care of our kids we learned that discussions needed to be crucial for us to understand our roles and also the role of diabetes in our new normal.

There was a mutual respect for the fact that I knew Jill had it no easier than I, and in fact, probably tougher.  It takes a lot to jab your child a million times and watch every step they take at home, at school, and in life.  No one I know is better at this, than Jill.  When I could, I would take the kids and try to get her some space, but her efforts were herculean since day one.

It was difficult to work 16 hour days seven days a week for as long as I did but somehow we made it work.  On many occasions I would come home and find that Jill fell asleep with all sorts of diabetes information all around her.  It was never enough to ‘just do’, it was always about educating ourselves on what was new.

As many of you know, there is a look that glazes over our kids when a hypo/hyper creeps into their active lives; Jill could, and still can, spot it a mile away.  She still reads up on what is new and what is coming and shares that with Kaitlyn (and now Rob also).

I have always stated that I have it easy compared to all that she has done and continues to do.  I know that many ‘go it alone’ and you have tremendous respect from those who know what you are up against.  Hopefully everyone has at least one person to help even if a spouse/partner is no longer present.   Who do you turn to when you need a break or  to those who have help, kindly share how you ‘divide up’ the day-to-day management of diabetes in your household.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

Who Digs Us Out????

snow 2013As I had my morning coffee, today, the day after the big storm, I looked out the window at the magnitude of what will lie ahead for us today.  A whole lot of digging.  Those of us who were hit by the storm will have a choice; dig out alone or enlist the entire family to grab shovels and get to work.

It will be easier if we all help I would think.

As I stared out at the snow, I started to think of the entire team we deal with every single day.  Have you ever stopped to think about the entire team involved with your, or your child’s, diabetes care.

Just think.  From the medical team, to the registered dietician and psychological team, to the team at school, to your neighbors, to those who educate, to your own family, to the on-line community, to those who make all the needed supplies, the assembly lines, to the researchers, and even to your friends.  At a recent CWD Conference, one child offered up that even the landlord knew what to do if ever needed. 

It is a team.  A huge team and every now and again we should stop and realize who is involved, how much they are involved, and give thanks that they are involved.  Some we may never see to meet but they are indeed there.  I get it; for some it is their job; but it is great to have those that care so much, isn’t it?

Diabetes is a HUGE job and it takes many to ‘dig us out’ each day.  Each one a personality that is added to our life.  Each with a vast difference of knowledge and personality.  Each one unique to enrich our lives;…..unique…….as, say…….snowflakes.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

A Family Needs our Help…..Please Respond and Share.

help orangeI received a message yesterday about a newly diagnosed child and the dad stated that his son felt he would not be able to do many things. 

I disagreed.

I was just wondering today——what is the single biggest accomplishment that you have succeeded at with diabetes? ….or in what has your child done successful with diabetes?  Do not think “landing on the moon” ideas–just every day successful events.  Sports, arts, academically…whatever.

Please share as a reply on this post and not just as a FB comment so all may see.  I will compile and give to this dad; first name of children only please (and age).


I am a diabetesdad

This Christmas…..We Welcomed Back the ‘New Normal’.

It was a great Christmas.  It’s quiet in my house as I write today; much-needed rest for everyone.  I’m not sure if it is the joy of having a newly engaged couple in the house or the anticipation of good news or just having everyone around with ‘our new normal’.

We have had so many years under our belts with diabetes and we have learned to adapt; even when our second was diagnosed; we kept adapting.  Our base line (when I say our; I mean all those who live with diabetes or a loved one with diabetes) is different from most.

Life gives us so much to deal with that I never thought I would ever say ‘please just let us handle diabetes’ for a little while.  I hate dealing with that also but with everything we have been through over the past few years, it was nice to have just the ‘new normal’ back again.  We do not really lay it ALL out there……some we do but not all.  Some people know, others do not need to know.  I have written before, it is life.  Life has been a little cruel over the last few years to us.

Many people have had life throw them major curves also.  So unfair. 

On of my favorite stories is to tell a lesson I learned from my mother-in-law who I loved dearly and one we lost this year, sadly.  My father-in-law, her husband, died in September 1999 just one week prior to a walkathon major event that we had participated in for years.  The day after his funeral she called me and the conversation went something like this:
“Hello Dear, what time do you want us at the walk?”
“The walk?”
“Are you sure you want to do it this year?”
“Tom, life is for the living.  Pain can stay, but we must move on or the pain takes over. SO what time do you want me there and what should I bring?”

I miss my mother-in-law she was the definition of class and she blessed our lives for many years with ‘pearls of wisdom’ such as these.  I called them lessons-in-life, she just called it conversation.

So this Christmas season was a lot of laughs and much fun and excitement.  More so than in the last 3 or so years.  I think we deserved that, even with the new normal, it’s time to move on.  And we will, as many do.

I am a diabetesdad

Newtown, Ct. Tragedy: We, at Least, have Somewhere to Turn.

What do we do now?

Anger.  Much anger.  Debate.  Much debate.

In the aftermath of the Newtown tragedy I find myself reading many, many posts.  Mental illness, gun control, school safety.   What do we do now?

I’m not someone who would even think of myself as a professional or an expert but it seems to me that these discussions are attempts to somehow erase the indelible horrors that have painted pained images into our minds.

After spending 30 hours in the midst of the horrors of 9-11; it took me years to be able not to see the images that were burned in my mind every time I shut my eyes.  The nightmares and visuals happen from time to time to  this day eleven years later.  I remember the days following that event and how I tried to somehow to “make sense’ of it all.

I came to the realization, with help, that we cannot make sense of it all.  In fact, hard as we may, we cannot make sense of ANY of it.  Because none of it makes any sense.  What we can do is become more aware of our world and what is important.

We cannot control that which is thrust upon us by someone else’s actions.  My friend Moira stated in a post recently that (paraphrased) we the diabetes community are very aware of dealing with tragic events.  This is not a comparison to anything else except to state that we in the diabetes community have invested our hearts, our pains, our fears, our joys, and so much more in the community we belong; the diabetes community.  And it is almost as if we are more prepared for……..well much more than many others who do not know what we go through, and do not know about community until it is needed so badly.

So when everything started happening, I sought out those who are in my community.   Those I turn to everyday.  I was not disappointed.  SO many perspectives and what I learned from our community is to not try to find sense in anything, but rather; those we hold close…hold just a tad closer.  Notice the fresh air.  Notice the sound, the music, the love which surrounds all of us.  The DOC allows us a place to turn.

It has been what has gotten us through before, and what will get us through again today, and what will also be there for us tomorrow; when it unfortunately will be needed again.

In the diabetes community, we do, have each other.  I am grateful for that.

I am a diabetesdad.

Death Too Soon…..We Can All Help……Even a Little

Take a good look at the photograph.  A father and a daughter; the bond of which love is universally understood.  They are at a charity fund-raiser to find a cure for the little girl.  Her name is Megan and her father worked tirelessly to help raise funds to find a cure.  Interestingly enough, it would be a cure for him also because he too had Type 1 diabetes.  But daddies do not do for themselves, they do for their children. 

Imagine that bond.  Even tighter if ever there could be one.  Both having Type 1 diabetes.

Her face is absolutely priceless, she is just gorgeous.  Would you not agree?

In an almost instant Megan, and her family’s life would change…….unfortunately forever.

From my good friend and super-dad Tim Brand who wrote:
I remember seeing another sad post about someone passing away in the diabetes community, but this hit close to home. Another d-dad passing away at too young of an age. Another family lost their hero, kids lost their father, a wife and mother left to grieve, left to wonder about her family. So much does not make sense as to why a man of 42 suddenly dies. Makes less sense when its a d-dad who is the primary bread-winner. That leaves the wife and mother left to wonder about tomorrow. The Doss family has been left to wonder and they need our help.

Brian Doss was a super-hero dad.

And it is our help we will give Tim.  Look I know everyone has their hand out at his time of the year but if we cannot come together to help one of our own…..where does that leave us?  Imagine if 1000 people just gave only $10.  Just ask yourself one question: Can I give just a little bit…….a little bit…..and do it! 

I have said 1000 a times, any writings I do must come down to us ‘not doing nothing’ and if ever there is a chance to help someone……I must make that attempt, we must make that attempt.  There by the grace of God, go all of us.

Go without that beer or pack of cigarettes this week.  This family is devastated.  So many times we give to great places and organizations—-this is a direct hit on a family we know and we care about.  Search your heart….and give something…..anything.

You will feel good about helping one of our own.  Losing a super-hero-dad is crushing.  By all accounts, Brian was a super-hero-dad.   Let’s show Mary Ellen, his wife, and his children that we do care, and will care.  

Their hero was taken and can never be replaced.  At least let’s try to give them some financial relief……….imagine the holidays without your hero! 

Go here: http://www.giveforward.com/dossfamilyfundraiser ……..take a final look at that picture…….do it because Megan’s daddy would have most undoubtedly have done it for you.

Thank you.

I am a diabetesdad.