Sunday, February 22, 2015

How did we raise a DAD?

"We" includes one very important person, Melissa Hernandez of "Begging to be Good" Dog Obedience.

I don't mean to deceive any of our "fans," but Flint has spent 3/4 of his first year of puppy-hood with a professional trainer who worked with one very popular DAD org and another service dog organization for many moons. She knows obedience and scent work training very well. Her spouse allows for "live training" when it comes to in-home scent training, which is ideal.

Did I think we could do this on our own? Yes and no.

Having come off two organizations without a contract or promised dog for a total of 17 months, I figured better us than anyone else. Let's call the shots, let's find the dog, let's raise, it...Let's ROLL.

Truth be told, that was survival mentality from getting screwed. 

A long time ago, my neighbor showed me how to make earrings. I love jewelry, I have an eye for color and craft, and think stones are beautiful; I like manipulating them for design...I took a class and discovered the LEARNING CURVE was gigantic when it came to jewelry. The same can be applied to DAD training...

Melissa is our "jewelry class."  We have learned the curve is huge when it comes to dog obedience....There is a whole other "dog language." In fact, I caught myself crossing the road with my small children saying, "Wait... let's go." My 9yr old son said, "What are we, the dog?" HA! This is good. We are getting it.

Flint did not come to us as a 1-2yr old dog like most DAD orgs provide. He was 8 weeks! We wanted Sean to bond with Flint, and visa versa, but we also had to consider the chaos of our home and lifestyle.

I home-school, we have 4 kids under 14, and are committed to a rugby club at full throttle...Plus, we have ZERO experience besides raising pets (that's not the same) and weekly dog handling training with Melissa. We had an honest convo and are able to keep Melissa paid month to month for her time, so Flint learned his puppy manners and scent work with her. He came back and forth so we could learn what he already knew and how we could train together.

If you have the time, knowledge, discipline, and learning curve, then do it. I know people who have and it can be done. Resources are available to you.

If you need help, find it. Discover how priceless it is to take a class and learn the curve! It's only to your benefit. How to get a dog...?

If you want everything done for you and then handed to you, you are deceived. THIS IS NOT AVAILABLE to anyone. DADs require you know what the trainer knows; therefore, you need to find a trainer who you trust, who you can be vulnerable with, and who you can partner with for the lifetime of the dog.

Your DAD is only as good as you are. <----Click that! I stand by it through and through.

Below are the moments we had the first year with Flint. It's long, but I enjoy capturing moments with this amazing dog we could not have done alone.

Friday, February 6, 2015

I feel gut punched from #kissesforkycie

That title is horrid, but it got your attention.
This story of an undiagnosed Type 1 little girl who has fallen into a coma is so hard for me to take in... (considering my son was undiagnosed for over 3months and in organ failure when they caught it).

It's not about me, though, or my son. Right now it's about life and death, and a precious life that's hanging in the balance.

God Bless Kycie. 
(click HERE for link to FB page and updates) 

There are multiple forwards of posts I see on the daily; she represents so much for me. I couldn't click on this story for DAYS/ WEEKS. In the middle of the night, a friend 's post hit me dead in the gut, and encouraged me to pray over her.
The next day she was breathing on her own...
The community went crazy in hope and joy, but I have seen what they are facing first hand, twice over...

My best friend died DIED in a Type 1 diabetic DKA coma....and my sister's husband had a stem stroke. (<---click for video story) Follow FULL of HOPE here to understand this 2.5yr recovery...

Most of us have no idea what all that means, and neither may the neuro-surgeons of Kycie, as this is extremely rare.

I'm speaking out of turn. I'm acting like I "know it all". I wanna slap myself, even.

Let me tell you, this is an AGONIZING process. Her parents will be confronted with every angle, and forced to face their morals/strengths on the daily.

I do not doubt they will fail and triumph in the same breath...They appear a strong, faith-based family, Amen!

Oh, are you offended again? Get some clarity. People who fight GIANTS named GOLIATH don't mingle with your pessimism anyways.

This is real. Out of respect and honor, I ask you join me in this PRAYER for this sweet girl and her parents...

May the Lord Bless and Keep her, shine HIS GRACE upon her, may healing of the body, mind and soul take place in her life. May His strength and peace carry her parents through each hour of the day, for many, many days to come. AMEN!

See the video of their story HERE

Thursday, August 21, 2014

3 ways you become unpopular in the DAD industry...

There are 3 easy ways to get yourself "unliked" in the DAD world. These points below can lean toward being positive and/or negative.
    1. Say something bold
    Each person has their unique personality, some bolder than others. Sometimes a bold person can come across like a bully; so outspoken and blatant, that other personalities fear to disagree or challenge their statements. Usually that bold person is just a confident extrovert; unless their FB timeline is filled with vague "hater posts." Then Houston, you do have a problem...How such a person handles an open challenge is true to the heart of their being.
          2. Go against what seems popular
    If you go decide to take the road less taken, or carve your own path, that can seem threatening and/or competitive to some. You may be considered ignorant and/or incapable. In contrast, you may create a cheering squad and fan clan. Go you. Be your own boss, but stay humble, please. Keep an open mind to listen and learn from experienced sources. Even if you don't fully agree. Ears and eyes benefit from staying open.
          2b. Cult mentality "It's my way or the highway" Lines are drawn, camaraderie ends.
           3. Slander someone 
    Through the process of discovering "our way" of getting a DAD, I probably did all 3 of these points along the way. Mostly in private, because I knew to keep my cool in "public". Slander is damaging and influencing. Because our family chose to withdraw all of our funds from a DAD organization, slander came OUR way. Despite my feelings, I did not publicly return the favor by name-calling and "out-ing" via social media.
    Difficult people are in our lives; and you are someone's difficult person. It's ok, we all are. I certainly am. What is perspective without some difficult person chiming in? It's not reality to surround yourself with just friends who hang on your every opinion coz they think you are so much alike...You may not agree on politics or religion, but you can learn from difficult people about DADs, if gracious enough to listen.
    Dangerous people are not welcome in our lives. Boundaries need to be in place & they must go.
The truth of the ugly is that service dog ownership is fought for in court, and trainers (even with good reason) have been known to "take back" DADs that do not perform their job properly... Anything goes because this is an unregulated industry. So be smart in your journey. Survival tips HERE

If you listen carefully, there's really only one voice that matters. It's yours. What are you saying? Is it lifting up the industry or tearing it down? Do you know FIRST HAND of what you speak and share? Are you open to 
  1. Being bold with grace and taking responsibility when wrong
  2. Keeping it classy when you pave your own road 
  3. Watching what you vague-book, and to whom you share personal details with...
  4. Kindly managing your difficult people, while eliminating the dangerous ones?
In the US alone, type 1's are merely 8.3% of the population. I would imagine just about 1% of us have diabetic alert dogs.  We are going to find one another. We will network and come across each other more often than not. 
                Try to not burn any bridges- you never know who you may learn from in the process!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Why ALS deserves its day= stop comparing it to Type 1 funding ideas

EVERY 90 min someone dies of ALS, (Lou Gehrig's Disease).

Dave and 3/4 of their kids back when I knew them
This disease came into my life by name after my son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. It was taking the life of my longtime D.C. friend's dad. The Gillam family were my second family for a time in my life. We shared a cabin, and played endlessly together since we lived 2 houses away from one another. I had dinners and sleepovers alongside the kids. Their dad, Dave, was another father to me; which meant he tolerated my presence, fed me when hungry, and had embarrassing stories to black mail me with later in life.

Dave's wife and my mom are best friends from over 36 years now. Lib came to visit my folks these past years in CA, and I'd hear about the mystery taking Dave's life that went undiagnosed until just over a year before he passed.

Lib and my childhood neighbor and friend, Sara
His oldest and only daughter was married this past summer, to which I happily attended. There was not a dry eye in the house anytime Dave was mentioned. It was a beautiful day and tribute to a loving man and incredible father.

This bucket challenge has affected our nation, gone viral in social media, and has some putting the letters "A, L, & S" together for the first time.

What was my first instinct alongside many of you? The obvious: "What about _____" (fill in the cause you care about, the illness you seek cured).
Another instinctual thought, "Can we do this for diabetes?"

The Logic: Type 1 diabetes took my best friends life from her, it almost took my son's life...
Then I recalled a very SIMPLE concept explained yesterday to my young son.
A neighbor of elementary school age shared that he got a cup with his name on it and was very excited about it. Instead of sharing in his joy, my son exclaimed, "I just got one, too!" (which happens to be true).
My husband simply explained, "Share in your friend's joy and excitement for his new things, don't 'one up' him about it. It seems like you missed the point of why they told you in the first place; which was to SHARE it with you."

The reality: We should rejoice with ALS having "its day".  This disease has had little to no exposure, and has not been researched like many other diseases. There is no taste in "me too-ing" the challenge gone viral. Bad form in copy-cat-ing. (In my humble opinion).

Dave and his oldest son, Michael, (from picture above)
with Michael's girlfriend, Stephanie.
More reality: (please view video HERE of former NFL Saint/ALS sufferer Steve Gleason doing it nude. (Don't worry, it's G-rated, parents)!

The man who began the challenge, Corey Griffin, unfortunately died this past week. He was on a mission to raise awareness for his friend. "Griffin was a friend of Pete Frates, the former Boston College baseball player with ALS who is credited with inspiring the ice bucket challenge. So far it's raised more than $11 million."
(from article link HEREPlease consider this for a moment when wanting to fundraise for a cure:

  • Have you set the example and donated yourself?
  • Are your friends and family aware of your cause?
  • Have you EVER partnered with the organization of choice to find the cure?

If so, you are less than 10% of Type 1 people.  (We are only 8.3% of the US population).
Let that sink in.

Two ladies I "social media stalk" (because they are experienced & wise), and have shared their perspective which is very similar to my own. They are the power couple of the DOC (diabetic online community), good friends miles apart, and when you read on you will see:
Moira McCarthy, author of "Raising Teens with Diabetes", who recently funded $28k of the 1.2million raised in the Ride to Cure for JDRF says," Why not do what I did 17 years ago and

  • do research on what you are passionate about
  • find an org that supports it then...
  • join up with their events and raise donations and awareness."

Makes sense and a bit....unachievable, you say? I'd see her encouragement as "reaching for the stars," except I have had some success with fundraising recently. With no guide or trend to copy-cat, I did what I had done 22 yrs ago to raise money for a Guatemala mission trip. I sent snail mail. My dad helped me; he has been the fundraising coordinator for major non-profits. He gave me the "secret formula" again when we needed $15k for a service dog, and it worked. In 5 months we had all the money asked for. It was unbelievable, and I cried in gratitude every day we got a response card. Read more HERE on how to do this, too. I did not "crowd fund" or get a news team to feature our story, I merely asked those (not even immediately) within our family and friends circle. And it happened.

It took a few years to "come down" from all the work it took to find our way in the diabetic alert dog industry. By the time it settled, the family of my best friend (who died from T1 complications) and I decided last min to team up for a walk for the CURE (diabetes). We invited everyone we knew and literally had step by step ideas and guiding on HOW to raise money form the website once we registered. I did it every way but the way I had for our dog. Can't even say we got much more than $600 in the few weeks we "went at it" because we did not do it the same way. The yogurt shop that offered a dollar sneaker to put on their wall raised $50 from the community. The shop owner, donated $200 because we have known her for many years (and we didn't even ask)!

It's our relationship to people that makes things "happen"
Do your friends know your passion for awareness and to CURE?
If they don't; start there. Get moving on speaking up. SHARE IT. 
L-R Jonathan, Michael (me) and Mark. the brothers
I never had...
I know about ALS because of the Gillam family. I cried with, and hugged these boys just a few months ago; and now I am elated to share in their victory for ALS awareness and research. I haven't personally gotten the bucket challenge, but I don't need to. I just need a link to know where to donate. Do I need to be asked? Not at all, because there is so much hype on it.

Type 1 needs HYPE, and we are the only ones to generate it. November 14 is World Diabetes Day and we have a choice.
We can unintentionally sound like my 9yr old son, (from the cup story), or we can start the awareness where it deserves to be noticed; where it makes the most sense. 
What's the plan of action? Who knows. It's been suggested by Moira's better half, (insert friend humor), Michelle Weisenberg, " Maybe just post "hope" on our hands and ask others to do the same? But not call it a 'challenge'".
I personally agree and every year I have changed my profile picture to that hand picture and asked my kid's school to wear blue (since they do PINK so well in OCT). I have yet to find success in that request, but I'm gonna keep on doing it until it WORKS!

What say you? Join HERE  to further the discussion: Talk it out in this group of T1 parents and advocates...

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

How my son's DOG warned me of my own diabetes

I had been diagnosed with hypoglycemia for just over a year now. Given my own meter, etc. and let me tell you, I GET why my son eats us out of house and home when his blood sugar is low!
(Skip this red part if you are savvy)
  • FOOD & SUGAR are the ingredients that solve low blood sugar episodes. When under 70, a diabetic (or anyone, for that matter) need a combination of sugar and then food (good protein/carb ratio) to steady out from dropping again. Sugar bombs don't solve it alone, but they help keep BS (blood sugar) up.
  • When a diabetic is HIGH (like over 150) they must take insulin to help bring them back DOWN into a safe 80/90-120/150 range. That is what an INULIN PUMP does; it gives artificial insulin hourly into the blood stream to release blood sugar, because the tiny part of the pancreas that did that naturally is out of business, no more insulin.
  • Pumps deliver insulin, and some, with another added sensor piece under the skin, can tell one's blood sugar range at any moment. (This is a CGM- Constant Glucose Monitor). These need to be calibrated by one actually pricking their finger and drawing blood. This is done with a METER, and this METER is also used frequently throughout the day for diabetics (with & without CGM's) of all types (1, 2 and hypoglycemics).
  • Exercise naturally lowers blood sugar levels.
I am an over-protective, anxiety ridden basket case over my son's blood sugar levels. I'm in recovery, but still wear the badge. One night, as I went in to check his range (as he slept), his diabetic alert dog pawed me. Flint  kept pawing me. My son was fine. 117 to be exact. I thought to humor the dog and myself by checking my own level, and I was 58. 

Over the next few weekends of taking our DAD (in training) places, he would again let me know I was low. In the car, during my son's rugby practice...and a few times I'd "sugar up" to raise it but forget to eat and he'd paw me 20min later and I'd be back down to 70.

I am used to feeling crappy and out of sorts. I have Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lupus, migraines, and my pituitary sac is flat in my brain stem, (Empty Sella); so I see my own Endocrinologist. I have been for years now, and so these consistent alerts began alarming me.
Then I got fat. Like instant fat. 
I had been steadily gaining, but credited it to my lack of exercise, energy, and need to eat small portions constantly to help from dropping from hypoglycemia. Yet within 10 days before flying back East for a wedding, I gained 14 pounds. And trust me, I was watching it. I had a lot of old friends to see! So I figured something was up and visited my Endo upon getting back in town.

The doc found was over-producing insulin and cortisone. What did that mean, exactly? Well his first idea was it could be a tumor (since my pituitary sac is already compromised). I cleared that test, (whew) and see my OB to rule out polycystic ovarian syndrome this week. (update: CLEAR) Now it's been solved on his end that I am "insulin resistant" and in the very early stages of PRE-DIABETES.

Say WHAT?! EFF me. EFF that. EFF. I will NOT do the "fat man's" diabeetus! (I know, not so nice, but that's the point of this blog).
Me at the biggest, then after 6 weeks of eating low glycemic diet

My dad & his brother both had been diagnosed with type 2 years before my son got his Type 1. I knew of them taking pills but being able to "reverse it" via diet and exercise. My dad and uncle (former football players) both did exactly this. We bonded over A1C numbers (that's when a test tells the blood sugar average over a 3month period), and I was very happy for their continued success. They are big guys; tall, strong, broad shoulders and big hearts. I never have, nor will see, "fat" when I picture them. But I knew it for myself. Last time I was this large I had my final baby ready to deliver.

So I cut out sugar and carbs and got on a low glycemic diet. I took this VERY seriously coz I know my son's life, and it is NOT easy; counting carbs for everything, checking his BS multiple times throughout the day.... Forget diet, diabetes is a life-style. 

I learned the OVER-PRODUCTION of insulin MAKES one fat and KEEPS one FAT. So this big body I now waddle around in is making so much it'll eventually exhaust itself from over-production, not make enough, and my blood sugar will SOAR. (go high)
Right now my blood sugar and A1C are aces. Gold Stars! But my lows are from the over-production and how I'm eating. It's a vicious cycle. So I have to be smart and am grateful to at least know there is something "fixable" in my life!

I do NOT have this because I suddenly ate myself or lazied myself into it. I got this from genetics, and we caught it early enough to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
Type 2 Diabetes is genetic. I have friends heavier than myself, the same age, and not struggling with this issue. My Type 1 diabetic son has heavy friends who are not Type 1 OR 2.

  • You CAUSED this.
  • You could have AVOIDED THIS
  • You need to EXERCISE
  • LOSE weight
  • This is YOUR FAULT
Who gets these stereotypes? EVERY type. 
Is it fair? 

Fair enough to tell me "watch what you eat and get off your @$$ a bit more."
NOT FAIR to tell my Type 1 diabetic son. He needs to eat well and exercise, of course. Don't we all? 
You think this possesses any CONTROL or VARIABLE over his condition? You are WRONG.

We don't do fried or fast food, and I hardly ever finish a soda. I even was Gluten Free for 2yrs to boost my immune system. I always thought I should eat as mindful as my son does. Well now it's even more than him, coz he can have carbs, he can have sugar, he can eat a cookie! I can't. 
My son takes insulin to cover what he is ingesting. He can have a burger and bun, I will go "protein style."

Does this make sense? I hope my journey has enlightened this whole prejudice and unawareness of some differences between type 1 and type 2.

I still have much more to learn, I have 3 months of metformin (Update: didn't take afterall, made me way too sick), and yet WITH dietary changes ALONE my range (should be 3-11) went from 18 (too high!) to 6! 

I will beat this and "reverse" all I can, my son cannot. 
That is the bitter difference when Type 1 people hear about Type 2 things and associations. 

What say you?

Monday, August 11, 2014

You want a DAD? 4 simple points to consider.

This is a very good question. If you don't know the answer, please consider the following:

1. Who wants this more? That's who will be handling the dog more.

Helpful Links: Your DAD is only as good as you are
 DADs 101 & TOP 5 reasons DADs turn into expensive pets

2. Have you exhausted all other options?
  • Giving your life TIME to settle into the change this disease has brought
  • Considering a CGM (Constant Glucose Monitor)
  • Talking to a counselor regarding the fears and anxiety that you may have connected to this disease.
  • Teamwork. How much a partnership do you have with your significant other? Do you have support in this decision?

Helpful Link: How diabetes and DADs connect

3. Do you already like dogs and all that goes along with them? 
  • puppy bootcamp
  • continued training (older dog)
  • the fur/hair/grooming and vet costs associated with proper maintenance
  • pet insurance
  • cleaning up after, and caring for the dogs physical needs (exercise)
  • acclimating them to current household pets
Helpful Link: DADs are dogs, too 

4. Have you "done your research?"

I've explained in detail (above link) how painstaking this advice is. What do you consider a reliable source? A stranger from social media with awesome pictures? A testimonial found on a news clip? A group of parents who have "been there done that" and seem to "know it all?" 

Please be your own best investigator and be smart about it. Do what makes sense, and be mindful that your fundraising efforts + donated money DO NOT = successful DAD. You need a contract, you need extensive discussions and references. You should not feel "owned" by any DAD organization or trainer; and you should not feel any "one way is THE way." (cult mentality is never good-lol)

6 months of research is nothing. Consider spending at least a year on this big and expensive decision. You owe the next 10yrs of this dog's life at least 1% of your time making sure you do it the best way for YOUR family!

Still on board? Great. I have been told my blog info and education made a family choose NOT to get a DAD; and for that I am happy they took the time to consider all that is means. If you are "green light" ready to go, and not sure how to get started, here is How to Get a Dog. and HOW MUCH does a DAD cost...

ps- If you care to know WTH we chose this route, please LOOK HERE
~ Blessings on your journey!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Why my son won't go to diabetes camp

This blog subject is not here to start a war, or to offend...In fact, it's just being written up because this perspective exists, and I care to share it with you.

I'm a "flip-side" thinking mom that appreciates a good, honest and factual debate. My son is a teenager who happens to have Type 1 diabetes, and is intelligent, independent and...well...he expected me to write this down so I love him for knowing me in this way.

Sean (my son) has been introduced to everything I ever wanted since his diagnosis.
  1. A "mentor mom" (I lost her number, she called at a terrible time when I couldn't chat so there goes that).
  2. A D.A.D (diabetic alert dog) and holy hell that process has been no picnic, but we are on the right track now Follow HERE
  3. A medical ID bracelet he just got after 2.5yrs diagnosed (he actually likes and wears)
  4. A "coffee night support group" with parents and teens in our community via JDRF (Um, he refuses to go with, but his dad and I went when diagnosed and really appreciated the experience).
  5. A CGM (continuous glucose monitor); and I have LOST that war; it's not the hill to die on, so it's over. This also eliminates the excitement over the artificial pancreas because he refuses more needles/inserts...
  6. The PUMP. Only a year after diagnosed, having met another boy at a party with T1, was he convinced it would be ok (old school syringes were his preferred method until then).
  7. The D.O.C (diabetic online community). Which is MINE, ALL MINE. He hates Facebook, and yet knows his mama is straight addicted to networking and reading/commenting (because I am a free-lance writer). 
The 7th point right there ^^^ is my fav, and point of all this (if you are still following)... I don't involve him in the DOC because it is MY place to vent, read, learn, get lost in silly memes and find relief from all the stress of being a "caretaker." Sometimes I read something or see something so educational/funny, I share with my husband, or ask Sean about it...and recently this (what I initially thought hilarious) video surfaced. I was like, "Sean you gotta see this!" This ginger (we are a ginger family of 6) girl is making fun her experiences as a diabetic. It's comedic and clever. I appreciated it; Sean did not. He expressed his disapproval and that was that... so I thought. 

Tonight I entered Sean's room late to see if all was good as he has been running high late at night, and I want to square away his patterns (HA! you laughing?!) before he leaves for a Nike Elite Rugby training camp in a day. Sean went to correct his high number, noticed something on his pump, and asked, "Mom, can u do my site change (re-doing his pump insulin, etc) for me?"
UM, OK----KID MUST BE VULNERABLE. He has NEVER asked me this. I have changed maybe 3 sites in the past 6 months. (Shout out to all you parents who do it 24/7 for your young ones, xoxo).

As I got back to recalling how to do his medical equipment, Sean mentioned the video again remarking how he didn't know how people could find it so comedic to make fun of diabetes like that. I explained that sometimes comedy is a healing component...and then I fumbled up on his pump and reminded him, "I'm kinda messed up myself here (I have terrible auto-immune disease so I forget things easily, etc) and Sean cleverly said, "Now what if someone tried to make light of that." 
He captured my interest. I pried further and suddenly he was on a rant beyond belief!

He explained, "You know, it's like the girl in Monsters vs. Aliens who gets large, so they group her with monsters"... Kind of how the diabetic community just comes together, outside "the norm" of life.

I answered quickly, "It's comforting having a support system when you feel 'rare' and maybe even alone or misunderstood."
To which Sean went on to explain that "Ginormica" should have been placed right back into "normal humanity" as he put it, because it's what she wanted...

I saw where this was going and added, "You know how rare it is to be Type 1, let alone have a DAD coming alongside you...the support I've found is tight knit and special to me."

He answered, "But it feels like its own group, apart from whats normal, and I am normal I am NOT Sean "the type 1 diabetic" Booth. I am Sean Booth, and I want to be recognized as such.
This prompted me to ask, "Is this your problem with attending camps for diabetics?
He answered, "Kind of, I got a sneak preview to the place that one year, and didn't like the experience; but overall, I don't want a camp for diabetics, I want a camp. A regular camp."

A diabetes camp trip was point #8 actually, I just forgot to include it coz we had been to this very well-known California diabetes camp site in the mountains for a D.A.D conference 9 mo into diagnosis. We did not anticipate how poorly Sean does with altitude, and choose not to pay money for the mountains (again) overnight. We then found a white water rafting camp up further north in CA, but Sean hardly took interest after long.

Back to the conversation we were having, I mentioned how there are kids who keep their diabetes a secret; and he immediately responded about the mistake that can be. Sean explained how one's support system IS their friends. Not just one or two, but the whole group. He acknowledged, "If they don't all know this part of me, how can they help me? What if something happened to me? I need more than myself or one special friend, who may be absent that day, to call upon help if I need it."

I appreciated this so much and also asked him if he recalled making fun, (of doing blood sugar checks), by poking his finger & pretending the pencil he wrote with, caused him to bleed. He said, "It made it easier to share with those around me in class and make everyone comfortable with my needs."

Sean didn't quite get the connection I was trying to make by that recollection, because he still felt the harsh reminder of all the "downers" of diabetes. Videos, memes, humor,'s all a part of this disease he'd rather not focus on. Sean feels it sets him apart, and he doesn't want to be set apart.

When I realized that angle of his, I couldn't have been more proud. I was in awe of this kid, my CHILD/teen, to whom I had made his disease my own, making decisions and desires to better help who...him? No, me. The desires of my heart FOR him were to better help ME. This kid is doing awesome on his own. And if I ever refer to him as "Sean, my type 1....son blah blah" so help me god you have permission to slap me.

I define for clarity; I define for purpose and desire for his disease to be recognized and education exist alongside the awareness of it's components. But overall, I want a cure; because that would bring back "normal" which is, what seems, my son has already embraced.

This is his normal. He wants me to notice and respect the seriousness of it, but then treat him no differently. WOW. This kid taught me something good tonight.

I don't expect you to agree, understand, or fix our situation...Maybe in some sense you can identify with it? That's my D.O.C family...understanding. And I thank you for listening...

Love to you all,
Mom to an amazing son