Light……Gives off Light……and How Bright was the One We Experienced!!!!!!

Tom candleabra revisedThe 60th CWD Conference was held and has ended.  Our hosts in Scotland were just wonderful.  People with diabetes, people with children who have diabetes, grand parents, mums. dads, siblings. and whole lot of great people doing what we do.  Trying to make a difference.

The picture shown is what I received when I asked a waiter for a candle for our table.  A whole lotta light if you ask me. Things are really not done in a small way here in Scotland.  If we went to a restaurant, we were welcomed, when we went to a tavern or two (or three 🙂 ) we were greeted warmly.  It seems to everyone I met here I look like I could be a ‘good mate’ as everyone says hello thusly; ‘hey mate’, hello mate. hold the elevator there mate……..all this mating going on (wait, that didn’t sound right). 

There were three things that strike me as I ready myself for the airport. The relief on parents faces as they felt empowered by what they heard this weekend; not only from those who taught but what they learned from each other as well.  The second thing that struck me was the look of wonderment on so many of the Children’s faces as they saw first hand how ‘not alone’ they are in this world of diabetes.

There was give and there ‘was take’.  There was teaching and there was learning. There was laughter and there was tears.  There was fun and there was silence.  It was a fabulous trip and it is my hope that the parents and the children learned as much as we did.  This is what we do.  We teach and we show that kids with diabetes will always be just that…….kids.

The third thing I will take away is that this is the first conference since Richard Rubin left us.  He was an amazing man who taught us so much about diabetes overwhelmus.  The seat of Richard was empty but the toasts we gave him and the legacy of knowledge he left to carry on remained.  He would like that we are moving on…..he left a whole lotta light…..and his will burn for a long time.

I am a diabetes dad.

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

“Every Time I Hear the Music, I Just Have to Dance.” A Wonderful CWD Lesson for ALL of Us.

A Ceilidh, by definition, is a traditional Gaelic social gathering, which usually involves playing Gaelic folk music and dancing and was started in Ireland and Scotland. It was probably made famous in the movie Titanic when Jack takes Rose to ‘his’ party in the deck below. It was the better party.

CWD had their version last night and our hosts in Scotland surely knew what they were doing making sure their American colleagues, in this diabetes battle, wore their kilts to perfection. The kids were dancing and so were the adults. What is the phrase? Ahhhhh yes, a good time was had by all.

My kids are both on an Animas pump, which is my fair disclosure. I ‘m not paid by Animas and I have met many people at Animas who, well, I just like. At the Children with Diabetes conference I met a person from Animas who mentioned a phrase to me that grabbed right at my soul. Aileen Durkan catches your attention as soon as you meet her. She has a warm smile and she connects with everyone who crosses her path, especially children.

She is the Ireland Regional Manager for Life Scan and Animas (hence my fair disclosure). She has a brother with Type 1 and she, like all of us, is driven to help this cause. I was one of the million people she got up on the dance floor. Now if you remember Titanic, this dancing is not for the weak-of-heart. It is fast, quick-stepped, and downright tiring. Now I’m not exaggerating when I tell you this women did not sit once all night. How she had the stamina is beyond my knowledge and comprehension. She was magnificent. When speaking with her she said, ‘Every time I hear the music, just have to dance.”

Every time I hear the music, I just have to dance.

What a fabulous phrase. Her colleagues informed me that Ms Durkan has that same music in her heart in everything she does and it is the children that receive that energy with her philosophy that every child deserves the best possible chance in life.

Ms. Durkan’s very existence is a lesson from which we all have much to take away. There is much to do in the diabetes world we live. We all look for the way to get things done and certainly life has thrown many obstacles in our way.

It is what we do with life’s challenges, how we handle them, that define who we are. We are given a choice on how we go about our daily battles with diabetes; to just do it, do it grudgingly, do it with anger, do it with rage, or to do it with music in your heart.

The goal is for a better life for our kids until a cure is found; and that is music to my ears and I’ll take a slice of that advice from Ms. Durkan……..I just have to dance.

I am a diabetes dad

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

Diabetes Across the World…..The Same???? I’m about to Find Out!!!!

worldSoon I will be with many others in another country.

Funny thing about diabetes; it doesn’t care what country you live in, or the care available, or present family situations; diabetes just does not care.  It will come at you and will come at you hard; no matter where you call home.

I look forward to meeting my many ‘new’ friends in Scotland.  Children with Diabetes (CWD) organizes these conferences with but one goal; to teach,  If one is willing to learn, one will do just that and all attendees take the first step by deciding to go.

If there is one constant denominator I have learned about families who deal with diabetes, and choose to be active, is that they want a better world for their children.  The only way to achieve that goal is through knowledge.  I do not mean ‘surface’ knowledge, I mean getting in there and asking the questions that pertain to you, your family, and most importantly; your child.

Some get answers the quick way of just asking someone.  Whether it be a support group or online (and surely there are many people who have great answers in these settings) but there is absolutely no substitute than learning first hand the answers you seek. 

Do not look for the answers ‘you want to hear’ because many times you do not know what you do not know.  Seek many angles to the same question and eventually you will see the answer rise to the top of your inquiries. 

The strongest aspect to CWD conferences is that diabetes is treated as a total entity impacting the entire family.  CWD does not say ‘this’ is the answer.  They do not merely present one aspect to a topic; they present many aspects to the same topic and challenge you to listen, ask questions, and decide what is right for you.

Professionally, they have a great deal of the-best-of-the-best presenting in sessions that will enhance the knowledge of all those in attendance.  These are people ‘in the know’ on management tools, research updates, and important educational components.  There are people who will inspire others with what they achieved; diabetes stopped them from nothing.

I have also learned that diabetes abroad is diabetes at home. The broken hearts and the pain of acceptance are fairly similar.  But so is the decision to ‘own diabetes’.  As I have stated so many times how much I love seeing the resilience of our kids and the amazing things so many can achieve.  The only thing that limits them; is their own imaginations. 

If you cannot make this conference there are more to choose from and you can visit the CWD site and find one that could be good for you.  Beg, borrow, and/or steal; but get to one because you will surely benefit from attending.

Hopefully this week will be a time we can learn from each other, and I’m sure it will be.  It will be a time to fully understand that diabetes cannot win in our lives.  It will be something we will learn together, all day—or as they say; In the mornin / in the forenicht / at nicht.

I can hardly wait.

I am a diabetes dad.

Please hop to my Diabetes Dad FB Page and hit ‘like’