Doctor Bear

   I don’t know how I got to this point in time in my life, but I’m here, so this is now my cause. It has to be, it is to personal to see your children stricken with a life long chronic disease. I wonder what things would be like without ever knowing a thing about Juvenile Diabetes. Would I be happier, neo-cynical or just somewhere in between like most average folks. Nevertheless, none of that matters, just the matters at hand, raising two little girls with Juvenile Diabetes, and saving the healthy pancreas of our oldest daughter. Which in speaking, brings me to a neat story I wanted to pen for you to read, I hope you will enjoy. 
      I was only a few short hours after returning from the endo’s office with our 2nd T1 child that fear gripped me, guilt gnawed at my conscience, thoughts of what could happen if a third child would be stricken with this disease. In speaking with my oldest daughter (age 7) I saw the look of worry, the fear that I had not seen before, that look of could this happen to me. My brain began to kick around ideas, thoughts of what could I do to help hear. There were the studies on drugs and treatments that try to stop the antibody attack. And what about the stories on vitamin D on the internet, but that would not be of any relief to a 7 year old dealing with real fear. Information that I really did not have a detailed understanding would be of little comfort to her. My heart was aching for her as much as it was for my to little girls with bleeding fingers. Then I saw an old friend, one who came into my first T1 child’s life, a bear with diabetes, given out by the JDRF to comfort those little kids in the time of fear. The idea came to life.
     I told my wife of the idea, sometimes after I consult her, I see my ideas are hastily thought out and of no use. She quickly agreed it was a great idea. If the other 2 girls had a bear with diabetes to identify with, my other would have a bear to identify with, one that would calm the fears and provide  a moment of solace. What better I thought than a doctor bear, a diabetes specialist who would take care of my other 2 girls bears and keep an eye on her. Now if you think this is silly, think in terms of a 7 year old, and a 5 year old, and almost 4 year old. There imaginations run wild with stories at play time, bed time and all the time, now integrate that into motif of sisters having Juvenile Diabetes. 
     Where would I find one? I checked the internet, nothing really, I wanted it now, I didn’t want to wait. I went looking. After a few stops I found a teddy bear in pajamas, a real quality looking chap, and for 13 bucks, I knew I could find a white lab coat, and bam, doctor bear. Well, the hard part was finding the lad coat, a few day rolled by, work, trying to get the new routine down slowed my search. I finally made it out to Build a Bear, they had a white lab coat on their web site. Upon entering the story I told the clerk eagerly what I wanted. She said that must have been an online only, but they did have a doctor outfit that would fit the bear. I looked it over, it was blue, a blue lab coat and scrubs, looked cool, but did not fit the image I had in my mind. But not wanting to wait any longer I purchased that outfit for 13 or so dollars. Quickly I drove home with my final piece in tow. The thought of her not liking it was weighing on my heart. What would I do if this failed, and a epic fail it would be, I would be lost to find something else, but what. It was time to  find out.
     I told the girls after dinner we had a special guest coming to visit us, a diabetes expert. They all were excited, they ask more question than I could imaging they could ask, most of them good and pointed. Curiosity seem to grip them, fear of doctor bear being rejected gripped me. Finally after dinner I had them sit on the couch with their diabetes bears, my other daughter wanted to get a stuff animal from her room so she was not left out. I made up some flimsy excuse that seemed only to aggravated her. It was all set, mom was to take a picture of all three of them with the two bears while we waited for the guest to arrive.
     Finally while they had there eyes closed sitting on the couch, I handed doctor bear to her. “What is this” she ask, “open it” I said, “its the special guest”. Pulling the bear out of the bag, she got the biggest smile. I explain he was doctor bear and he was a specialist to take care of the diabetes bear and keep and eye on her too. I have never seen a child hug and smile so much over a teddy bear. Frankly she squeezed it so tight you thought someone was going to take it from her. She keep smiling with wide eyes and squeezing doctor bear. She finally had a bear simular to her sisters, but very different, different like her, healthy and concerned.


     Time will only tell if she will be stricken Juvenile Diabetes. With that said, doctor bear can’t ward of antibodies. But if happy feeling lead to endorphins being produced by the body, well that can’t be all bad. 

     It is not enough to gaze in the eyes of a sacred child and give comforting words and a hug. One must get down to their level emotionally and be empathetic. Relating to them in there world and not our own. That is why I wanted to deliver doctor bear to her life. This is what I learned in those few weeks after the second diagnoses.
     I ask her what name was she going to give him, “I don’t know” she replied with a shocked look on her face, “Wait, I’m going to call him doctor bear” she said with great enthusiasm. She has shown some people, and only those touched by the D really get it. Maybe doctor bear could pay a visit to other children who are fearful after seeing a sibling stricken with Juvenile Diabetes, like both of her siblings were.

About Tim

I'm a blogger that writes about Type 1 Diabetes. I do this because I have 3 daughters with Type 1. I also have a boy that does not, I would prefer he does NOT get diagnosed either. 3rd diagnosis October 2022
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8 Responses to Doctor Bear

  1. Richard says:

    Tim, I love your blog and your wonderful idea!!! It made me cry, and that is something I rarely do! I can picture the looks on the faces of your three daughters when Dr. Bear entered their lives. It is priceless!

  2. Katrina says:

    great post and amazing idea!!

  3. Linda Q says:

    A beautiful idea! My children do not have Diabetes, but they are special needs with other syndromes, disorders. It's a special calling to be the parent of a child with a serious health issue. That makes you a special Daddy!

  4. lovely story and a wonderful idea from a fabulous father to his daughter.

    for us the third child is the youngerst, and I remember the fear when my snd child was diagnosed in January – what if …

    blessings to you all

  5. Greg Lebeck says:

    Great story. It is a constant fear that another one of our children is going to be stricken with Type 1. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Welcome to the D blogging world!
    Love hearing things from a D-dad's perspective…similar, yet different from us D-moms!

    Oh, just a suggestion…you might want to change the color of the font for your disclaimer…it's nearly impossible to read. :)

  7. Jeff says:

    Great post, Tim! And what a great idea. Hope to read more from you soon.

  8. Kerri. says:

    This is a beautiful post, Tim. Completely raw and beautiful.

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