Why November 14th is Special

Banting birthday

November 14th is  World Diabetes Day.  Those who live with diabetes often remark that every day is diabetes day! That is true but November 14th is special.

The 14th is the day that Sir Frederick Banting was born. For those who don’t know, Banting was a Canadian born medical scientist.  He received the Nobel prize for his work isolating insulin for therapeutic use with his colleague Dr. Charles Best.  He is the reason that my son is alive and thriving today.

Before 1922, a person with Type 1 diabetes was not expected to live long. The only way for them to survive was on very strict diets and those diets often left them malnourished.  Injected insulin came along and changed that.

The incredible before and after image of Leonard Thompson shows us just how dramatic of an impact insulin had on the lives of those living with diabetes.

From https://www.trumanlibrary.org/histday/insulin/impact.html

While my own son wasn’t as emaciated as poor young Leonard. He was gaunt and skeletal before he was diagnosed. My youngest child had always been a thin child. He had been sick but seeing him teetering in the bathroom after he began to receive insulin sent me into shock,however. His skin was hanging off of his tiny body and it had happened so quickly.

Thankfully on November 14, 1891 a man was born who would find this miracle elixir.  He would discover a way for my child, and millions like him, to receive the insulin that they were lacking in their own bodies. Dr. Banting gave them their lives back.  He gave parents back their children.

Those of us who use insulin, no that it is not a magic pill. We understand that it must be respected.  People living with diabetes quickly learn how the smallest doses of insulin can have life-threatening consequences. Despite the risk, the reward is incredible.  We have our children, our partners, and our friends.  They thrive, contribute and enrich our lives.

On this day we say “Happy Birthday Dr. Banting!! Thank you so very, very much for giving us this incredible gift of life.”

Exercise and Play…the diabetes way

The next two prompts for Diabetes Awareness Month Photo A Day are exercise and play.  When you live with diabetes, both require special preparations.

Last winter my son decided to begin working on his body.  He “found” exercise in a way that only a teen can.  He picked up the Body Beast exercise videos and began to tone his muscles.  This presented new challenges for us.  We had to learn how to tailor his insulin needs and extra carbohydrates depending on the intensity and length of his workouts.

body beast

 

 

 

 

Play also presents challenges…We must make sure that a glucometer and glucose are always with him no matter what he is doing.

skidoo day March 5 030 skidoo day March 5 005

Relationships..and more

I am still running a bit behind on my Diabetes Awareness Month Photos but here we go…

Relationships

DSC_1351

 

Truly the greatest gift that diabetes has brought us is the many amazing, enduring, and incredible relationships that it has brought into our lives.   I have been blessed to meet, talk to, and interact with people from all over the world who have become family to me in every sense of the word.

Family picture

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue…

diabetesbluecircle

Blue to me is still new. I know, the blue circle has been around for ages, why don’t I get with the program?? I have no clue.  When my son was first diagnosed, advocates displayed a grey ribbon with a drop of blood. I have that logo tattooed on my body and its the image that I have in my mind when it comes to awareness. I like the concept of a blue circle.  I like the unity that it represents.  I appreciate the hope that it brings. One day I hope that it will instantly evoke the same images and feelings that the pink and yellow ribbons currently do.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Diabetes Awareness Month Photo 5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s prompt is “advocate”.

cwd orlando

 

My greatest honor as an advocate…being recognized at Friends For Life in Orlando with the Jeff Hitchcock Award. This was truly an amazing experience and it is wonderful to remain in the company of some of the world’s most incredible advocates!

Diabetes Month Photo Awareness

Where did the time go?? Somehow its November again and World Diabetes Day is looming. In honor of Diabetes Awareness Month, someone brilliantly thought of creating a “Photo a Day Prompt” (#dmpad) to create awareness and put faces to this horrible disease.  I am enjoying viewing the pictures that friends are posting and will begin posting my own as of today…

Past…

Liam Feb 2000

 

 

Two years old

 

 

 

 

 

Check

Liam testing in NYC

 

Testing while walking the streets of New York City.

 

 

 

 

 

Snacks

New Brunswick3 124

 

While we make sure that my son always has some for of glucose with him at all times, thanks to his insulin pump, he no longer worries about what or when he eats.  Snack times are a thing of the past and he now eats whenever hunger strikes.  Dairy Queen cakes remain a favorite snack!

 

 

 

Proud

IMG-20130413-00170

 

Of the quirky, humorous, down-to-earth, young man he has become.

 

Diabetes still isn’t sexy!

Happy Canada to all!! Here is one of my favorite posts inspired by a great parent of a child with diabetes….

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Everyone knows about breast cancer. If you are a woman like me, you fear it.  Everyone knows pink.  Everyone knows about losing a breast, chemotherapy and all of the other nasty things that come along with that horrible word–cancer.

November is Diabetes Awareness month. Very few know about diabetes.  Most people think it happens to someone else.  They don’t think its serious.  They are not sure if the awareness color is blue or grey…and aren’t really that concerned.  They know about blindness and amputation but that is not a given so its really not that big of a deal.

Its the ignorance of the disease that is frustrating.  The “its no big deal.” and “You worry too much.” comments that kill you.  I recently had a teacher ask me if we could arrange my child’s highs and lows around an exam schedule.  She was well meaning and very sincere.  She thought that perhaps with warning of when a test was coming, that we could make sure that my son did not go high or low during that time. She was told by myself and one of her colleagues that it didn’t work that way. 

It is hard to make people “see” what those of us who live with diabetes in our lives 24/7 “see” each day.  They don’t understand why we test during the night and deprive ourselves of much needed rest.  They haven’t had a friend not wake up from diabetes.  They don’t understand how quickly a low comes on even after you have recently tested.  They haven’t seen a child pass out in the middle of a playground because they went low and didn’t know how to tell you.  They don’t understand why we are so fearful of ketones.  They haven’t seen the how quickly they attack our loved ones leaving them weak, frail, and clinging to life and how long it takes to get rid of them. 

To most people, diabetes is that disease where you can’t have sugar (I mean its called “the sugar” isn’t it?).  Its that disease that Grandma had but she liked to sneak cookies so its no wonder she went blind. Its not like cancer or a serious disease. No one dies from diabetes.  Parents who test, hover, and want you learn about that thing called Glucagon are just those overprotective people who need to learn how to let their kids just be kids.

I don’t know how to get the majority to understand.  As someone recently said, diabetes is not sexy.  It is not a disease about pretty pink ribbons and cleavage.  Its a disease that is grey and about blood.  There is nothing attractive about diabetes.  You can’t see a pancreas.  Don’t get me wrong. I am very attached to my breasts and would love a day when we don’t have to worry about breast cancer but after years of being my son’s pancreas? Well, it may not be a sexy organ and it may not have any appeal to the general public but I guarantee it has my utmost respect and I would not want to lose it either.

So what is the answer? How do get more people to understand? We keep going as we are and then some.  We advocate. We educate. We communicate.  We teach those who want to learn.  We tolerate some ignorance and try to help them to understand what this disease is really about. Its a long road. Its frustrating at times but with each person who learns the reality? Well its another person who wants a cure almost as much as those of us who live with it.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Everyone knows about breast cancer. If you are a woman like me, you fear it.  Everyone knows pink.  Everyone knows about losing a breast, chemotherapy and all of the other nasty things that come along with that horrible word–cancer.

November is Diabetes Awareness month. Very few know about diabetes.  Most people think it happens to someone else.  They don’t think its serious.  They are not sure if the awareness color is blue or grey…and aren’t really that concerned.  They know about blindness and amputation but that is not a given so its really not that big of a deal.

Its the ignorance of the disease that is frustrating.  The “its no big deal.” and “You worry too much.” comments that kill you.  I recently had a teacher ask me if we could arrange my child’s highs and lows around an exam schedule.  She was well meaning and very sincere.  She thought that perhaps with warning of when a test was coming, that we could make sure that my son did not go high or low during that time. She was told by myself and one of her colleagues that it didn’t work that way. 

It is hard to make people “see” what those of us who live with diabetes in our lives 24/7 “see” each day.  They don’t understand why we test during the night and deprive ourselves of much needed rest.  They haven’t had a friend not wake up from diabetes.  They don’t understand how quickly a low comes on even after you have recently tested.  They haven’t seen a child pass out in the middle of a playground because they went low and didn’t know how to tell you.  They don’t understand why we are so fearful of ketones.  They haven’t seen the how quickly they attack our loved ones leaving them weak, frail, and clinging to life and how long it takes to get rid of them. 

To most people, diabetes is that disease where you can’t have sugar (I mean its called “the sugar” isn’t it?).  Its that disease that Grandma had but she liked to sneak cookies so its no wonder she went blind. Its not like cancer or a serious disease. No one dies from diabetes.  Parents who test, hover, and want you learn about that thing called Glucagon are just those overprotective people who need to learn how to let their kids just be kids.

I don’t know how to get the majority to understand.  As someone recently said, diabetes is not sexy.  It is not a disease about pretty pink ribbons and cleavage.  Its a disease that is grey and about blood.  There is nothing attractive about diabetes.  You can’t see a pancreas.  Don’t get me wrong. I am very attached to my breasts and would love a day when we don’t have to worry about breast cancer but after years of being my son’s pancreas? Well, it may not be a sexy organ and it may not have any appeal to the general public but I guarantee it has my utmost respect and I would not want to lose it either.

So what is the answer? How do get more people to understand? We keep going as we are and then some.  We advocate. We educate. We communicate.  We teach those who want to learn.  We tolerate some ignorance and try to help them to understand what this disease is really about. Its a long road. Its frustrating at times but with each person who learns the reality? Well its another person who wants a cure almost as much as those of us who live with it.