Jun 24

You’re Awesome!

I must apologize about not writing much lately, but things have been nuts. New baby, new hours at work, new sleep schedule, all has thrown life into a chaotic spin, or so it seems. I did, however, have a little time to toss out a Fathers Day Post for MyGlu.org, part of the T1D Exchange. I guess it went over well, I should have rewritten a few more times and I would have liked it too. Life now seems like I’m drinking from a fire hose. There’s many times that I think “this is a cool story or an idea, I should write a blog post about it”, and I never get to it. With that said, let me tell you a story from the other night.

It was Saturday night and my wife and I went to our small group like we always do twice a month. After words we went to the Blue Water Grill. A new friend had gave me a 25$ gift card for any Gilmore Collection restaurant. The restaurant sits on a lake that was the result of a gravel pit. Years later, there are condo’s business and the Blue Water Grill have sprung up around this lake and now it is a pretty little place.

Downstairs there is an open bar area, no windows at all, you can sit there and take in the view. We had lots of fun relaxing and not thinking too much about diabetes. We have a couple of drinks and a plate of wood fire nacho things that was awesome. We didn’t stay out too late, we had to be home by 11 pm to relieve the baby sitter.

I wasn’t too tired so we stayed up and watched one episode of The Glades, season 4, and Battle Star Glactica. Somewhere, a CGM alarmed, and into the story enters diabetes as the main antagonist. Again! Dexcom said she was really low. I scurried upstairs and checked her. She was not as low as dex said, it was a restart so they’re sometimes a little off.

I had grabbed at bottle of Glycolift glucose tablets so I got 4 of them out. She was around 70, too low to see if she would come back up. As I sat her up, she awoke and started chewing them down. I told her “you’re awesome”, don’t know why I said that, I just did. It’s pretty amazing that they can sit up at the drop of a hat and drink juice or chew down glucose tabs, all while half asleep and in the middle of the night. She was chewing down the 3rd glucose tablet and I ask her if I could have the 4th, just joking around a bit with her. She got a big smile and pointed to herself. She ate the last glucose tablet. Quickly she laid back down and drifted off to sleep.

I guess the feeling that all little kids with Type 1 Diabetes are awesome is felt by many. How could you not! Look what they go through, and they do it as a little children. I’ve heard many stories, some children being diagnosed under a year old. Even heard one mother telling both her kids have Type 1 and both were diagnosed under the age one. One common theme is they are awesome and they overcome. My girls were both age 3 when they were diagnosed, I find it amazing what they’ve overcome in just a few years.

Next week, my family and I will be at Friends For Life in Orlando. The whole conference is geared toward people with Type 1, in particular children. It is one special conference. We went 2 years ago and had a blast, we made some friends. You should make plans on coming next years. I encourage you to check out the link above. If you’re going to be there, stop me and say hi if you want. I would like to hear your story, I’ve been telling our families story  for 3 years now, I do get encouragement from others overcoming, we all do.

Here are some pic to finish this short little tail, hope you’re having a wonderful summer. Take care and Godspeed.

 

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May 12

Diabetes Blog Week: Change the World – Monday 5/1

Here’s Monday’s topic for day one of Diabetes Blog Week: (Copied from the Bitter Sweet Diabetes Blog) Let’s kick off Diabetes Blog Week by talking about the diabetes causes and issues that really get us fired up. Are you passionate about 504 plans and school safety? Do diabetes misconceptions irk you? Do you fight for CGM coverage for Medicare patients, SDP funding, or test strip accuracy? Do you work hard at creating diabetes connections and bringing support? Whether or not you “formally” advocate for any cause, share the issues that are important to you.

Change the world, how do I do that, how do we do that? That is an interesting question. As I look over history, I see small number of people who have changed the world (in retrospect to how many people who have inhabited the earth), some of it bad, some of it good. However, when you look at history, a larger number of people, say a community, have had an impact on the world. I won’t go into detail, but within the diabetes community lay some unheard, unheralded members; this group is where I’m trying to have an impact. That group is dads. Let me explain.

 

Last Saturday I was at the JDRF “Diabetes Today and Tomorrow” in Detroit and I heard Lori Laffel MD MPH; Harvard Medical School, Boston Ma. She spoke on practical approaches to improving glycemic control. She showed many slides, said many things and one thing stuck: it was this picture. How powerful was this, fathers that attend endo appointments, their children had lower A1C’s. This is one of many points she brought up.

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Now I’m not an ignorant man, I know there are many families that have split, mothers that are left to raise children on their own, some times a father was never part of the picture. I know there is pain in talking about this, so I’ll be sensitive. To the dads who are still part of their children’s lives, rather they live in the same house or not, I implore you to be involved as much as you can with your children’s diabetes care! If you need help, you need someone to talk with, they’re many out there that will help. Also, I’m calling all active D-Dads to step up and be willing to be mentors! In the page header, below main blog picture, I’ll leave a section where you can comment if you need a mentor, or if you’re willing to be one. I’ll leave my name there first.

If you want to belong to a group of men who are d-dads, there’s a closed group of Facebook, and a public page open for dads and moms. Please join this group if you’re a dad, or like the page if you’re a mom or dad. Let’s make these active forums for many to be built up, and encouraged. I’ll help change the world by getting dads involved, one dad at a time, in a small but important way. I know there are many dads out there that are active d-dads, but not on social media. At some point in time, there will be a website for d-dads, I don’t know when, but its a goal in mind. I hope you will all pass this information along. Dads, let change the world, one dad at a time.

Godspeed

Tim

May 07

What Diabetes Couldn’t Take:

It’s been said many time that much of life’s events are unstoppable and unpredictable. I can attest to that, so much of my life story has hinged on 2 of my daughters diagnoses with Type 1 Diabetes. Before diabetes came along, it now seems like I was being prepped for it. After, it was the struggle to understand life in a different context; that context being the 24 hour care of children with a chronic disease.  Life before was lost and taken away; however, there is something diabetes couldn’t take from our family, and that was something pretty special, let me share that with you.

After our daughters were diagnosed, we decided not to have any more children. Having to know what their blood sugars are when they play, when they’re at school, when they sleep, trust me it puts pressure and strain on parents. You do lose some things of your former life: sleep, spur of the moment unplanned trips, walking out the door without glucometers, glucose gel/tabs/juice, extra supplies and the proverbial “diabetes kitchen”. We figured having a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old with Type 1 Diabetes ruled out having a newborn around. Two years after diagnoses number 2, we were given a gift, we learned we were expecting again.

I won’t retell the story of finding out, or the birth, my wife has written that part of the story on her blog, (see link here) Maybe I’m being a little philosophical and religious, but some things seem out of our control; or they seem to, but sometime things are set back into order by an unseen hand. It’s odd that both my daughters switched to the same insulin pump (Omni Pod) and the G4 Dexcom this last summer. This has made diabetes management, for us, a lot easier. I’ve publicly endorsed the G4 (some quality issues are there however, like buttons falling off, power port cover coming off) but it is a great tool. I love the range, it catches our daughters upstairs when they are playing or sleeping; the accuracy I find is great.  Need I say more? So the timing of a new baby was nearly perfect.

My wife was on birth control, so we had no thoughts at all about a 4th child, but it still happened. We have 3 girls, and I was more than content, I was very happy being a dad of 3 girls. Yes, I will say, I wanted a boy, but we had given up. It is a miracle to me, to hold a baby boy that I was never supposed to have, he just came and brighten up or family’s lives. The girls adore him; he has a huge fan base already, and my wife and I are as happy as we’ve ever been! I post a picture of this guy and it gets 50 or more likes. Many others say he has stolen their heart with his smile and personality. He’s only 4 months old; I guess big things are in store for his future.

Maybe this post sounds like a string of unconnected thoughts about my son, but here’s my point; if you have a child, or children, with Type 1 Diabetes and are thinking of having more, do it! Don’t let this disease have any more of your life than it should have. Yes you have to do all the diabetes care for a small child, you can plan around that and you can still have another child. It will be hard, but worth it! If you’re a dad, step up and help more with the kids, take over as much of the d-care you can. Soren Kierkegaard said “The highest and most beautiful things in life, are not to be heard about, nor read about, nor seen, but if one will, are to be lived”.

Children are gift; if it’s possible and you can make it work, have another. Don’t let diabetes steal that too. Diabetes steals sleep and many other things: but the joy of holding another child shouldn’t be one of them.

Godspeed

Tim

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Mar 25

A watch that no longer tells time, A Poem:

The watch stopped

As time did that day

The hands have not moved in years

Each minute leading to its last was all too painful

Each clicked down to its own

Nothing mirrored the past

Nothing foretold what was to come

Only to remind of what was gone

Lost to the wind, lost to the waves

Now life has changed, Now life goes on

Now life is intertwined with a disease

Only memories of old, which are hard to recall

The old seems all so weird

I don’t sleep at night, only my legs hurt

They hurt from the walk upstairs in the middle of the night

The walk that never ends, The walk to check for disaster

The disease that like to cause disaster

The disease that takes 24 hour care

The disease that does not care

The disease that is a spiteful center stage

The disease that is a narcissist

The disease that started the day the watch stopped

Now I have a watch that does not tell time

A watch that reminds me of that day

Oh how ironic!

My watch, it stopped the day we took our daughter to the hospital nearly 5 years ago.

My watch, it stopped the day we took our daughter to the hospital nearly 5 years ago.

 

 

 

Mar 24

Great Lakes West JDRF Diabetes Summit:

The JDRF in Grand Rapids MI is putting on a Diabetes Summit, in downtown Grand Rapids. I’ll be there with my wife and kids. There is day camp for dkids and classes for the parents and a few good speakers. Here’s the link, so check it out. (you have to register)  PS I suggest the Twitter Hash Tag of #jdrfglw14

 

Tim