Its a new year. A lot of people make resolutions to do things like lose weight, check their blood sugars more often, or to get a bit more active. Another option is to choose a word to live by for the year. This is a word that inspires you and encourages you. A word that resonates with you and helps you move towards your goals. My word for this year is growth.
If you have been following Diabetes Advocacy for any length of time, you have seen a lot of changes.
We started out as a place for people to share information about the Disability Tax Credit. We grew to help families who were struggling with their children with diabetes in schools. Diabetes Advocacy became a hub for insulin pumpprogram advocacy and so much more. Over the years, we added a blog to document our lives, review books and products, and share information.
Diabetes Advocacy has also undergone some cosmetic changes. The website is now completely mobile friendly. We can be found on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We have a monthly newsletter once again that shares tips and information.
Diabetes Advocacy now has over 700 pages of content designed to help people living with diabetes! This year I will continue to update the site and provide great content and more products. There will be more downloads and tools to make your life easier! There will be more of the great content you have come to love over the past 16 years.
What would you like to see added to the Diabetes Advocacy site? What topic would you like to see us tackle?
All of our downloads can now be found in our new digital store! We will continue to add more products on a monthly basis so be sure to take advantage of our growth!!
Did you make a resolution this year? Do you have a word that will inspire you? Let us know!
Life with diabetes is stressful but often we can find humour in the most interesting places! Here a few things that have made us laugh at life with diabetes the years.
Who can forget this video….
Where is the strangest place you have ever found a test strip?
We all know that test strips are actually alive. They move on their own. They can be found in the most unique locations. Here are some of the interesting places that we have heard of. These ones truly helped us to laugh at life with diabetes…a lot! Please feel free to share with us some of the strange places your test strips have ever been found because laughing at diabetes makes life a little easier.
“Somehow, a One Touch Ultra strip ended up in my coffee cup at work this morning. No idea how it got there, but probably involved a morning blood test of 211 that caused me to cuss and toss my case across my desk. There must have been flailing test strips at hand, also. So, in the spirit, my Blood Meter decided to pose nearby the swimming test strip.”
Teresa I. found one in her daughter’s thick, curly hair after her daughter brushed it with a brush that was next to Teresa’s bed. The strip stayed in there through a full day of school!
Someone else found on that had been used as a bookmark in a school novel!
Test strips have also been found…
In the yard
Frozen in the ice
In a salad
In the washer and the dryer
Fishing tackle box
The teacher’s sweater pocket
On the back of the toilet tank
In a make up kit that was cleaned out on a weekly basis. How do they find their way to these places??
In a clean pair of underwear!
and of course…
On the stove!
Strange infusion set locations!
Not to be outdone, we have also found infusion set sites in some very odd places. We have found them in the tub, by the garbage, in the car and even the bottom of my Swifter vac! Always something new.
Fun Diabetes Songs and Poems
Here are some great diabetes poems and tunes that make us laugh at our life with diabetes and appreciate the creative people in our community!
Oh A1c, Oh A1c, I raise my voice to heaven Oh A1c, Oh A1c, in hopes it’s less than seven The past three months we’ve had a slump Despite corrections from the pump Oh A1c, Oh A1c, just please don’t be eleven
Oh A1c, Oh A1c, we’ve tried to stay in range Oh A1c, Oh A1c, so it seems very strange That when I download from her Flash I see the spikes and then the crash Oh A1c, Oh A1c, you shall this Mom derange
Oh A1c, Oh A1c, I wake with such a fright Oh A1c, Oh A1c, to my alarm’s delight But one day when the Cure has come I’ll beat that clock until it’s dumb Oh A1c, Oh A1c, and sleep a silent night
Count the Carbs
Count the carbs with cups and scales Fa la la la la la la la la Guesstimate when all else fails Fa la la la la la la la la Hands and fists are quite a treasure Fa la la la la la la la la When without a one cup measure Fa la la la la la la la la
Factored carbs are even greater Fa la la la la la la la la But require a calculator Fa la la la la la la la la Units you must designate Fa la la la la la la la la Don’t forget to tare the plate! Fa la la la la la la la la
Candy canes are roughly twenty Fa la la la la la la la la You will have to fudge a-plenty Fa la la la la la la la la Guess them now and fix it after Fa la la la la la la la la Just correct and meet with laughter Fa la la la la la la la la
By Barbie Paulsen
I have a little meter I use it through the day, When finger’s done with bleeding Then dreidel I can play
Chorus: Oh, meter, meter, meter I use it every day And when I’m done with testing I throw used strips away (Hah!)
I have a little meter, It counts down really fast And keeps a steady record Of when I tested last
I have a little meter I take it everywhere But when I need to use it Sometimes it isn’t there
No More Lows!
(to the tune of “Let It Snow!”)
Oh the numbers at night are frightful And the meter now seems spiteful I’m exhausted and I think it knows No more lows! No more lows! No more lows!
All this sugar shoving has me praying That those teeth are not decaying How much longer is this going to go? No more lows! No more lows! No more lows!
For a while things worked out right Numbers were steady till dawn But now it seems every night I’m thinking about Glucagon!
Now I’m thinking it would be nifty If we could see one-fifty ‘Cause the glucose tabs are running low No more lows! No more lows! No more lows!
Rufus the Type 1 Brown Bear
by Alissa and Samantha
Rufus the Type 1 Brown Bear Had to always prick his toes And if you checked his sugar You might come to find he’s low
All of the other brown bears Thought that Rufus had Type 2 So when they had some candy, They would tell him, “Not for you!”
Then one day a CDE Helped him to explain, “I take insulin, you see, Sugar is just fine for me!”
Then all the brown bears nodded As they came and shook his hand “Rufus we’re really sorry, Now we finally understand!”
(to the tune of “Latkes”)
Test strips, test strips, I see test strips Not a little, but a lot of test strips Test strips, test strips, I see test strips Not a little, but a lot! Of test strips
Test strips are so useful when they show me my bg But they turn up later, reproducing magically!
Test strips, test strips, I see test strips Not a little, but a lot of test strips Test strips, test strips, I see test strips Not a little but a LOT!!
The weather outside is frightful! The temperatures are dropping and we are in the midst of deep winter cold. Managing to stay warm can be a challenge on days like these, so how do you manage your diabetes in the winter? Here are a few things to remember…
Insulin is liquid. It can freeze. Make sure not to leave insulin in your car. When you are outside, keep it close to your body. This also means that if you are using an insulin pump, make sure to tuck your pump close to your body to keep things running properly.
If you think your insulin has been frozen, throw it out! Don’t take any chances. It will not work as efficiently once the proteins have been frozen.
That means keeping your diabetes devices warm as well! I just told you to keep the insulin in your pump warm, but did you also know that your pump (like your phone) also needs to stay warm? Keep your pump and CGM under your winter clothing and as close to your body as you can.
If you are using a tSlim pump, watch for the low-temperature warning on the pump. This will tell you that your pump is not functioning as it should because of the cold.
Check your blood glucose level.
I know, you normally check but when it is cold out make sure that you still check…a lot. Some people see their bg levels rise in the cold weather while others see it go up. Don’t guess or go by how you feel–check then adjust with food or insulin.
Before you check, make sure that your meter is warm as well. Glucometers function poorly below 40F (4C). If you feel that your glucometer could be too cold, warm it in your armpit for a few minutes. It will quickly return to a functioning state.
Keep your hands warm.
It can be hard to check your blood glucose levels when fingers are cold and blood isn’t circulating properly. Keep your hands warm and toasty to help make finger sticks a bit easier. Wear warm gloves. You may want to consider using mitts that have removable fingers to make it easier to check.
Carry glucose that won’t freeze.
Juice packs are a handy way to treat lows but when you are playing in the snow, glucose tablets and granola bars are probably a better choice. Also make sure to keep your glucagon warm and safe. Frozen glucagon will be as useful as frozen insulin.
Winter activities can be fun but make sure you are prepared. Follow some of these few hot tips to manage diabetes in the winter and enjoy your time in Mother Nature’s deep freeze!
Diabetes is hard. Whether you live with the disease or you are the parent of a child with diabetes, diabetes is hard! I know, I said it twice because it is true. It can be exhausting and overwhelming. There is never truly a time when you can relax and say “whatever will be will be.”
There are times when you want to relax. You want to throw in the towel. There are times when you want to simply say “ENOUGH!!!” and hide under the covers for a the day. I am here to tell you to do it! Seriously, take a minute or an hour or a day and just throw in the towel so that you can pick it up again with more strength than you had before.
It’s in your best interest and the interest of those you love to take time for you. Take time to just let it all go. Here are five easy ways to reset yourself so you can continue on your journey with diabetes.
1. Hideout in the shower
The shower is an amazing place. You can lock the door. The water pouring over your body can be calming and soothing. It washes away your tears gently and without judgement. The sound of the running water also drowns out your anguish.
When things seem bad…When you are tired and just want a break… take 5 minutes and hang out in the shower. Cry or vent. No one needs to know. No one needs to see. You can simply let out all of that pent up anxiety and allow it to flow down the drain.
After you are finished crying and yelling, you can dry off and get on with your day!
2. Go for a walk
Ideally, go for a walk by yourself but if you can’t take the kids and just go! Power walk at first until you have spent all of that stress and tension out of your body. Let all of your frustrations be released in your strides. Slowly let everything go until you can slow down and enjoy the scenery. Breathe and just let it be.
Your heart will thank-you and so will your psyche.
3. Pass the buck
Whether you have diabetes or you are the caregiver, let someone else deal with things for an hour or a day. Let them do the blood checking and the injecting. Give the meter or CGM receiver to a trusted companion or family member for a bit. Allow them to deal with things in their own way. Allow yourself to forget just for a bit.
It can be hard at first. Diabetes is so all consuming but it can happen. Don’t be concerned if the other person is doing things differently than you would. Let go. As long as no one’s life is in danger…let it go.
I have done this for my son before. There would be a day when I would do all of the testing, bolusing and carb counting. He would simply hand me a finger or his pump. Diabetes was not something that he was going to actively concern himself with managing for that time period. He loved the break.
4. Enjoy a date night
If you are a parent of a child with diabetes, this is super important. Make time for you and your partner. If you are single, then make time for you and your close friends. Take time once a week or at least once a month, to focus on relationships. Leave diabetes in the hands of someone you can trust. Do not spend all of your time looking at your phone or texting home. Focus on enjoying yourself and recharging your batteries.
5. Meet up with other D-peeps
This one may seem a bit strange. If you are overwhelmed by diabetes, why or why would I suggest that you hang out with other people who are just as stressed as you? Because they get it!
Seriously, meeting another person who lives with diabetes can be so liberating. They truly do understand carb counting and pump problems. They are the ones who understand the A1c report card and so many other aspects of your life.
Go to conferences, events, or socials. Talk to that co-worker who also has diabetes or that Facebook friend you met in a group. Share with each other. You won’t just talk about diabetes but they will understand that diabetes factors into so many other aspects of your life.
These are just a few things that can help to relieve some of the stress of living with diabetes. There are many other things that you can do. If you reach the point of feeling completely overwhelmed, please consider talking to your doctor or a therapist. Diabetes is hard. You need supports. Make sure you find them and use them for the sake of you and all of those who care about you.
Johnson and Johnson announced on September 5th of 2017 that they were closing the doors on their insulin pump division in Canada and the US. Animas Insulin Pumps would be no more. Animas insulin pumpers in North America were heartbroken.
While some saw it coming in the corporate rumour mill, others were blindsided.
Animas had done something that many companies in many industries are striving to do…they had created a feeling that you were family. Whether you were an Animas insulin pumper or you used another brand, you had probably attended an Animas event and were treated royally.
The employees with Animas all seemed to genuinely care about you. They checked in on you and took the time to know your family. I had the pleasure to work closely with many members of the Animas family over the years. They will be huge assets for the next company that employs them. I am sure that many of them are just as saddened as we are.
This is not the first time that an insulin pump company has closed its doors. We have been here before…twice.
Cozmo (personally a pump like no other) closed its doors in 2009. We still have two in my son’s closet. I have friends who still wear this as their pump of choice. It is doable even 8 years later.
Most recently, Asante, a pump revered by many who tried it, was also forced to step away from the insulin pump market. Their users were devastated. They were heartbroken and felt lost–just like Animas insulin pumpers are feeling today.
What do I do next?
Take things one step at a time. The great thing about insulin pumps is that, while some have quirks, many are pretty sturdy and last. If you have more than one pump in your house–usually because one was out of warranty and you purchased a new one right away “just in case”, relax. If for some reason, your current pump stops functioning, go back on your old one while you decide which pump to try next! Just make sure to write down those settings and keep them in a safe place.
How long do I have before I can’t get supplies?
You don’t have to stockpile supplies You don’t have to run out and buy a new insulin pump tomorrow. The Animas press release stated that warranties will continue to be honoured until September 2019. Cartridges will be be available until that date as well.
Statements from both Animas and Medtronic note that supplies will still be able to be ordered in the same way as before. Nothing changes, except when your Animas pump stops working, you will not be able to purchase a new one.
So while we take a breath and rethink our next steps…our next pump…our next option, I want to take a moment and say thank you. Thank you to the men and women who worked so hard to make Animas a different company. I truly appreciated getting to know so many of you. You brought us a new experience in caring. I hope that we meet again soon, with a new company perhaps bringing new options in diabetes care.
Options are the most important thing. Make sure to always know your options and always choose the option that works best for you and your lifestyle.
This post was originally written in 2012. The sentiments remain the same. 9/11 was horrible. When you live with diabetes, 9/11 brought out fears and concerns that you would never previously have considered…
September 11, 2001. Is there any adult in North America who does not remember where they were on that fateful morning?
I had left my house early to drive to the airport 2.5 hours away to pick up my grandmother who was coming to visit from the other side of the country. My oldest son was in school and my youngest was with me for the ride.
I stopped to do a bit of shopping and was looking at paper towels when my cell phone rang. I was told “A plane has hit one of the towers in New York. There has been a terrorist attack.” It made no sense to me and I didn’t believe it. There had to be a mistake so I continued my shopping before the next leg of my trip.
A few minutes later my phone rang a second time. This time it was a woman from Air Canada who said, “We have your grandmother here. The plane can’t fly her because all air traffic has been grounded. We will be putting her on a boat and you can meet her tomorrow morning.”
What? The terrorist attack was real? Planes grounded? I was shocked to the core as I spoke to my grandmother who was in great spirits and excited to experience an Atlantic Ocean ferry boat crossing. We headed home and like many others, I alternated between being glued to the tv and checking my computer for updates from friends and family.
I had a cousin who was an NYC police officer. I had to find out if he was working that day or safe with his family on Long Island. Another cousin was due to go to traffic court that day in one of the Towers and I wondered if he went before the collapse? It was a day of chaos, fear and some relief.
By the end of the day, everyone was accounted for. There were a lot of prayers for those lost as well as those who made it out alive. As the dust settled–figuratively and literally, a new fear began to permeate. I live on an island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and can easily be cut off from the rest of the world–the rest of my family.
More importantly, if we were cut off how would I get insulin or diabetes supplies? My youngest son relies on insulin to live. What if we couldn’t get it as easily anymore? How would I keep him alive? What if the terrorist attacks continued? Would they target pharmaceutical factories? Could I feed him no or low carb foods? Would he be okay? I could feel the panic welling.
I wasn’t alone in my concerns. Other friends with children with diabetes were thinking similar thoughts but some were much more resourceful than me. One friend investigated getting insulin from rabbits to use for her child.
Thankfully we never had to be concerned with any of those fears coming to pass. My grandmother is now passed on. Each year, we all continue to remember exactly where we were on that day and we say an extra prayer.
For those of us living with diabetes, we give an extra pause. We remain grateful for access to the supplies that keep our loved ones alive. It is oddly funny however that once diabetes enters your life, it permeates everything–even memories of disasters.
If you are diagnosed with cancer, you are usually met with sympathy and compassion. A person diagnosed with heart disease is met with care and concern. When people find out someone has diabetes, the first reaction tends to be blame.
What did the person with diabetes do to cause this condition? What have they done to have an A1c that high? Have you ever wondered what would happen if people with diabetes weren’t constantly subjected to blame and criticism?
What happens when you are diagnosed with cancer or heart disease?
Think about this….a woman goes into her doctor’s office and is told that she has breast cancer. What does her doctor do after breaking this news to her? The doctor most likely offers support and treatment options.
Can you picture how her friends and family will react? Her family will offer to assist her in any way that they can. Everyone offers sympathy and hope.
Next, imagine what happens when a man walks into his doctor’s office and told that he has congestive heart failure. His doctor offers treatment suggestions and hope. His family offers support and understanding.
It isn’t the same when you are diagnosed with diabetes.
Now consider what happens when diabetes is the diagnosis…. A family walks into a doctor’s office. Their son hasn’t been himself lately. He is lethargic. He is drinking everything in the house and consequently is suddenly having accidents and can’t seem to hold his water. They know that something is definitely off.
The doctor tells them that their son has Type 1 diabetes. She asks if there is a family history of diabetes? She gives them a brief rundown of what diabetes is. The doctor provides a prescription for things like insulin, syringes, and blood glucose test strips. No treatment options are discussed. The doctor then tells the family that they will have to go immediately to a place called “diabetes education” for a bit more training.
The stunned family is pushed out of the door and heads to the next office. They are reeling. They don’t understand what they have been told. The poor family knew nothing about diabetes before this day. It was something that came from eating too much sugar but they didn’t feed their son sugar…did they?
The family learns that they will have to regularly hurt their child to keep him alive.
The family has been told that they will have to inject their child with a syringe multiple times per day. The doctor has told them that if their son gets too much insulin, it is an emergency and he could pass out and die. They have been told that he currently has too much sugar in his body and he needs more insulin or he may go into a coma and die.
The doctor did ask them if there was a family history of diabetes. Now they wonder again if they caused this. Did they do something wrong? Did they pass on faulty genes to their baby?
In a few short hours they are given a crash course in diabetes.
This newly diagnosed family goes to diabetes education and learns all they need to know about diabetes in a few hours. They are told about carbohydrates, insulin, exercise and many more terms that are floating around meaninglessly in their heads. The family is overwhelmed and exhausted.
As the news of the young boy’s diagnosis reaches family and friends. Well-meaning friends reach out and contact the family Their aunt tells them that their great-uncle had diabetes…the bad kind….he died. A neighbourhood child asks the son if diabetes is contagious because he is worried that he might “catch it” and then have to have needles too!
The difference when the diagnosis is diabetes.
Can you see the difference in these three scenarios? In each incidence, the diagnosis is earth-shattering. The people involved in all three stories are forever changed but in the first two cases, they are met with compassion and care rather than being the butt of jokes. When diagnosed with something other than diabetes, the individual does not seem to have to educate or correct misconceptions from family and friends.
What if there was no difference.
Now imagine this…the same family meets with their doctor. She tells them that their son has diabetes. It is a serious life-threatening disease but working together, they will ensure that he will live a long and healthy life. She tells them about amazing treatment options and offers them numerous online resources.
A diabetes team comes in, bringing with them another family who also has a child with diabetes. This family will act as mentors for them. The parents will be able to share their fears and experiences and the children will be able to also share with each other. They will guide them to other supports. The family knows that they are not alone. They know that they will make it through.
What if families were offered support instead of medical advice?
Further, imagine this family going home after insulin guidelines are established, but they don’t come home to judgment and fear. Instead, this family walks in the door to find that their neighbours have prepared meals with carb counts so that Mom and Dad can focus on their family. They see that Grandma has arrived to help out and learn diabetes care so that their son can still spend his summers with her.
What if a diabetes diagnosis was met with kindness and understanding?
The is way diabetes should be handled–with compassion and care. It does happen. There are some incredible diabetes teams out there. There are amazing people who understand and don’t judge.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if this was the rule not the exception? Can you imagine if there were no more diabetes jokes? No more comments about Great Aunt Sarah dying from the bad kind of diabetes? What if parents no longer threatened their children with “if you eat one more of those candies you are going to get diabetes!”
That would be compassion in its purest form. It would allow families and individuals to deal with this new way of life with much more support and love.
Together we can make it happen.
It can happen but it takes work. We must continue to educate the general public. Educators and doctors must continue to offer compassion and support. It is important that those of us who live with diabetes constantly remain available and understanding towards those who are just learning about life with diabetes. Together we will create more compassionate resources for those with diabetes until there is a cure.
Join our online community for more support and learning about life with diabetes.
Have you read the blog post “What Everyone with Diabetes wishes you knew“? Go and read it if you haven’t. Bring tissues. After I wiped away the tears, I began to think about “what parents of children with diabetes wish you knew.” Some of us don’t have diabetes ourselves but we still have very strong feelings about the issue. As parents of people with diabetes, we have things that we wish our children knew. There are also things that we wish that the general public knew.
Parents of children with diabetes wish that our children with diabetes knew that….
We would take this disease from them in a heartbeat…a heartbeat.
With every tear that they shed, we have privately cried a hundred more… We didn’t want you to see how much it hurts us to hurt you. We told you that we do this to keep you healthy and alive (and we do) but it kills us too.
No matter how old you are, we still want to “make it better”. Seriously. Still.
We know that you can handle it. We just wish that you didn’t have to…As parents of children with diabetes, when we were completely responsible for your care, we got tired and wanted a break. We understand that you, as the person with diabetes must feel the same way at times. We wish we could carry the burden for you.
Even when we don’t ask you how your readings are, we are still wondering if they are okay…
We know that you are more than a number. As parents of children with diabetes, we understand that blood glucose levels are only part of the story but we want you to be okay. We want to know that the readings are okay as well.
We have watched you sleep and cried at all of the holes that we have put into your body just to keep you alive.
Every night that we sat awake waiting for your blood glucose to rise or fall, we did from love and a need to keep you safe.
When we nag at you for not checking, injecting or rotating sites it’s because we want you to have a long and healthy life.
It’s not that we love the sound of our own voices. It’s not that we think you don’t have a clue. As parents, we know that life happens and people forget. We just want to help.
If you need us to, we will still help you with any care or night checks.
Ask. We might be out of practice but we are quick studies. We will help you anyway and any time that we can. It’s just what parents do.
Even if you aren’t my child and you live with diabetes, I still wish I could take it from you.
Honestly, I wish I could help you carry that burden for a week and let you breathe. I have told you this before and I mean it. I don’t care how old you are. You are someone’s child with diabetes. You carry the same burden as my own child. It still kills me.
I wish you didn’t have to carry so much “gear” with you when you go out.
I wish you knew the luxury of just grabbing your wallet and keys and heading out the door without concern for insulin, pump, glucometer and glucose tablets.
We wish for a cure too.
Until it arrives, we will work with you to have the best care, the best knowledge and the best tools that we can afford.
As parents of people with diabetes, we wish that the general public really understood that…
Type 1 is not the same as type 2 diabetes.
Each disease has its own challenges and issues.
We did not cause our children to develop diabetes.
Seriously, we carry enough guilt about not protecting our children from an invisible disease. Your added blame is not required.
It is okay for our children to have treats now and again, the same as your children do.
No child–or adult should live on junk food but a cupcake now and again will just brighten someone’s day…or raise a falling blood glucose level.
Insulin is not a cure.
It just keeps my son alive…and can kill him. It is a carefully managed tool that he must use at all times.
An insulin pump is not a cure either.
An insulin pump is an expensive tool that not everyone can afford. Even for those lucky enough to be able to use one, there is still much work to be done to be safe and healthy.
Diabetes is expensive.
Let me repeat this….diabetes is EXPENSIVE. There are many great advances in diabetes care but they are only available to those with excellent insurance or deep pockets. The cost of diabetes supplies can range from the equivalent of a car payment or mortgage payment each month. Again, that is just for a person with diabetes to stay alive.
I look tired because I don’t sleep at night.
After years of worrying about my son’s blood glucose levels and testing him numerous times per night–well I still wake up. I still worry about what his readings are. I still don’t sleep properly
Worrying isn’t about being an overprotective helicopter parent or because I have nothing better to do with my time.
I worry because diabetes is deadly.Errors in insulin, errors in tools or simply changes in activity levels can have lethal consequences for people with diabetes. This isn’t just talk. This is real. I have lost friends to this disease. Parents of children with diabetes have seen their children die because of diabetes. Diabetes kills. It is a scary disease.
Make sure you know the signs and symptoms of diabetes.
As a parent of a child with diabetes, I hope both my child and the general public know that I will continue to work hard every day to improve the lives of people with diabetes. I will offer a helping hand, a strong shoulder or the voice of experience where necessary. I will continue to dream of a day when we can say that we are parents of children cured of diabetes.
You might also be interested in reading Six Things Not To Say to a Parent of a Child with diabetes here.
Keep up with our great content, receive tips, and get new product info when you subscribe below.
Keep up with our great content, receive tips, and get new product info when you subscribe below.
It’s funny how your vocabulary changes when diabetes enters your world. I saw nothing wrong with sternly telling my 5-year-old son who was having a tantrum in public.. “You had better be high mister!” In hindsight, you do have to wonder how many adults were wondering why I was okay with my child being stoned.
Before diabetes, if someone said that they were low, I would have assumed that they were having a bad day. I would have offered them a shoulder to lean on…today I am running for glucose!
Twenty years ago, if you had told me to grab a site, I would have thought you meant a campsite and would be questioning why I, of all people, would seriously want a camping site? I prefer camping in a 4 star hotel to sleeping on the ground with bugs and other creatures.
Today when I ask my son to tell me his BS, I don’t want to hear the lies that he has to tell. Gone are the days when BS meant bulls*!@. Now it reflects important blood glucose information.
A juice box is no longer just something to have on hand when the grandchildren pop over for a visit. Those little guys are vital, life-saving bottles of sugar to be used when my son comes in from work and says “I’m low”. He doesn’t want a hug, he just wants that juice!
I recently reached out to the diabetes community and asked what words had new meaning for them when diabetes came into their lives. The answers were pretty funny! Check these out…
A D-bag is no longer a douche bag but rather that super important kit that contains all things diabetes related.
Checking your numbers no longer refers to wondering if you have won the lottery. When diabetes moves in, it is hoping that you win that diabetes lottery and your readings are perfect.
As a parent, this was one of the hardest ones for me to handle…”If you are not hungry then leave your salad and make sure that you finish your dessert!”
The question, “How is your 6 year old’s reading?” now sends one parent to automatically check their child’s CGM rather than reply as to what sort of books they are currently able to read.
“Make sure you wash all of the blood off of your hands.” has nothing to do with clean up after a serious accident, applying trauma care or cleaning up a murder scene.
A pump isn’t just for breast milk any more!
“What’s your number” is not a pick up line.
A “Sugar Daddy” does not refer to a man who is supporting a woman in a lavish lifestyle but rather the father of a child with diabetes.
I never realized how much my vocabulary has changed since diabetes came into our lives. Quite a few of these made me laugh as I realized how odd they must sound to the outside world!
What sort sayings or words have completely changed their meaning for you since diabetes barged into your life?
It slipped my mind…sort of…well, more so than ever before. Today is the day that Diabetes turns 17 years old in our house. Strangely, it hasn’t consumed all of my thoughts this month. I haven’t planned this post for weeks in advance…in fact I actually had another post planned for this week when I realized the date!
That is unheard of for me.
Every March I think of two things…what will I get my oldest son for his birthday and how long diabetes has been a part of my youngest son’s life.
This March has been a bit different. I was busy this March with other things. For the first few days of the month, I got to spend time with my nephews after not seeing them for a few years. I was able to meet my youngest nephew for the very first time. We enjoyed cuddles and goofing around. It wasn’t until I was home that I thought about his little life and the life of his older cousin–my youngest son.
When my son was his age, he was being stabbed with a needle somewhere in his body 5+ times per day. At the age of 3, his little fingers had tiny marks from testing his blood glucose levels 8 or more times per day. My sweet little nephew had bruises on his knees from playing outside with his trucks. When my son was that age, he had similar bruises but there were also bruises that would sometimes find his arms, legs or stomach after an injection.
I am so glad that none of my nephews have had to go through this. I remain in awe of how well my son has managed to cope. He won’t even notice this day. Life with diabetes is all that he has ever known. For him, it is simply St. Patrick’s Day–an excuse to go out with his friends and have a beer.
Today I will pause as I always do. Most likely I will message a dear friend whose son shares this “dia-versary”. On this day, I will be extra grateful for the many incredible and lasting friendships that diabetes has brought into my life. I will also take a moment to cry for the friend who lost her child last year–we were brought together because of our sons’ common diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.
Today I am sure that I will slip back in time for a moment. There will be a pause in my day when I vividly recall the lifeless child that I held in my arms 17 years ago. I will remember the prayers that I said and the prayers that were offered as we rushed to the hospital. At one point today I will see, in my mind’s eye, the doctor who sent my son to ICU and told me, “if he makes it through the next 24 hours, you will need to learn a lot about diabetes.” The phone calls, the terror, the uncertainty will all come flooding back just like it was yesterday.
Today I will quietly cry for the life that was lost but I then I will wipe away the tears. As I tell others, today is about celebrating. Today marks 17 years that my son has lived strongly with type 1 diabetes. He has never let it stop him from doing anything–except for shoveling the driveway in the winter. He seemed to often be conveniently low as a child during that particular chore.
My son now manages his diabetes his way. I don’t test him. Rarely do I know what his blood sugar levels look like. I can’t tell you his insulin to carbohydrate ratio or even his basal rates. Diabetes is his disease to handle now.
It hasn’t all been perfect. There have been stumbles along the way. I still remain there to help when asked. We discuss carb counts or extended boluses. I still do site changes when required. Seventeen years later, we are both finding our way but he is healthy and thriving. I can ask for nothing more…except a cure of course.