Time to Say Good-Bye!!! And Thanks……..

GoodbyeI think back to that day, that September 26th, 1992 day; so very often.

The trip up to Stony Brook Hospital.  The day Kaitlyn was diagnosed.

Perhaps my observation training as an actor, perhaps that observation training as a parent.  The smell of the hospital.  The scenery as you drive up to the hospital at least four times a year always bought me back to that fateful day each and every time.  It probably will never leave my mind.

Recently, it was time for Kaitlyn to leave the pediatric-endo unit at Stony Brook Hospital…..time to find someone who she was comfortable with into adulthood.

I do no know if I ever thanked Dr. Thomas Wilson and his team.  His direct and incredibly patient personality is a key reason we got through the early years.  I will never forget our first meeting after we left the hospital upon diagnosis and how Kaitlyn clung to Jill’s leg while in Dr. Wilson’s office.

She wanted no part of going near him.

As he spoke to us, he began clicking a pen.  He asked if Kaitlyn wanted to see it.  She slowly nodded in the affirmative and he showed her the pen.  She slowly warmed up to him and he examined her, and years later, working with many in that practice, it was time to move on.

Of course Rob will still be there and they certainly have our full confidence, but I would be lying if I did not tell you that I became a bit sad.  Realizing that this part of the long roadway ends and yet her roadway continues.

I still remember our first conversation with Dr. Wilson on that day over 20 years ago; he guided us through a storm and we came out the other side.  And now Kaitlyn will continue. 

So, for Kaitlyn at least, we say good-bye to this wonderful team.

There is nothing, NOTHING, like having a great practice as team leaders in the world of our diabetes, is there?  Do you love your team?  Let us know.  Dr. Wilson and his team at Stony Brook have proved to us since September 26th 1992, that they’re one of the best out there.

For that, we thank all of them.

I am a diabetes dad.

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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.