Monday, October 30, 2006

Mindburst, Chapter One!

I have a special treat for you! Well, I'd like to believe that. Actually, I've posted on my website the first chapter for my novel, Mindburst! You can read it, and then wait with hopeful expectation that I'll secure an agent, sell it to a publisher, and then read the rest in about two years.

So, go check it out here!

Pumpkin Day

Friendly reminder: If you are on an insulin pump, don't forget to change the time to reflect the change in Daylight Savings!

Tomorrow's the big day. The day my kids are really looking forward to. Pumpkin Day.

Oh. That's not what you call it? I know, I know. But we aren't really doing the same thing as a good portion of the world. Pumpkin Day is, in our family, a celebration of God's Creation...of the world he provided, including pumpkins!

There are no costumes for us. No trick-or-treating. No ghost stories. We just aren't into that. Instead, we go out to dinner as a family. Well, that's just the start...but let me just say that if you ever want to have absolutely no wait, go out for dinner on Oct. 31. Last year, we went to Bob Evan's, and there were only two other tables with people. I don't understand it. I guess people are busy doing other things. Can't imagine what.

So, we have a nice, leisurely family dinner. Then we head home for the carving of the pumpkins.

There is a book we read called The Pumpkin Patch Parable. It compares how the carving of a pumpkin symbolizes the salvation offered through Jesus Christ. We read this book together, and then carve our pumpkins, always in a way that is happy. No mean or evil looking things. We are celebrating, here!

Finally, we have our treasure hunt. We have clues. The kids have to solve the clues and find the next clue until finally, at the end of the hunt, we have a bag of goodies.

It is a wonderful family time, and my wife and I look forward to it every do the kids!

And this year, we're planning on spreading the fun across two days. It really is too much to do in one day. Last year, we had to rush through the treasure hunt because it was so late. So, this year, we're having the treasure hunt on a second day. I guess we'll have to change the name to "Pumpkin Days".

Friday, October 27, 2006

A Definitive No

Controversy alert. This post deals with a subject that has raised heated arguments across the political field lately. However, my post isn't politically motivated, but personally motivated. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, but figured I should bring it up. This is, after all, my blog.

I don't support the ADA. I also don't support the JDRF. Kind of odd, considering I've lived with diabetes for most of my life. These organizations do a lot of good, I don't deny that. Yet there is one very strong reason I can't, in good faith, lend my financial support their way. Quite simply, it comes down to embryonic stem cell research.

Both organizations support it. I even called to find out if they financed such research, and the answer was a definitive yes. Which means my support is a definitive no.

I suppose if you don't share my views on "life begins at conception", then you don't see the issue. But for me, life begins at conception. Which means that embryonic stem cell research in any form is destroying one life to potentially benefit another. If you want to understand how it feels to me, consider this: if the issue were dealing with killing a newborn baby rather than an embryo, would it seem reasonable to say, "This baby's life isn't as valuable as the millions who might benefit from it's death."

Perhaps to you it isn't the same thing. But to the millions of people in this country vehemently opposed to embryonic stem cell research, that's exactly what it is. It isn't a matter of pushing our religious views on society, or taking a political position (although, granted, I'm sure there are some out there where that is the case). For me, and those like me, it is about saving a life.

Thing is, to date, all this talk about embryonic stem cell research is just that: talk. There have been no therapeutic advances made. Yes, part of that is due to lack of funding. But part of that is because progress is being made in adult stem cell research.

For whatever reason, that seems to be lost in the debate. Because today, there are treatments that make use of adult stem cells, and I'm constantly reading about new advances in adult stell cells which are showing them to be far more flexible than once believed. They may be harder to work with, but progress is being made.

If funds start going to embryonic stem cell research, then funds will be taken away from the adult stem cell research. That would be a shame, because there are actually reasons why adult stem cells might be the better route. One major reason has to do with rejection. If there is a way to harvest a person's own stem cells and use them for treatment, then you have eliminated a major hurdle in any kind of treatment. The body rejects foreign substances. If I were to be treated with cells derived from someone else, then my body will very likely attack those cells. Which means I would then need to be placed on anti-rejection medicine for the rest of my life, which has a host of health implications itself.

But I digress. Because I don't mean to go into all the benefits of adult stem cells versus embryonic, or vice versa...because ultimately, for me, it doesn't matter. What matters is the life that is ultimately destroyed.

As a diabetic, someone who theoretically could be cured by embryonic stem cell research, I just don't want it. I'd rather live my life out with all the risks of complications. I'd no more ask for a cure from an embryo than I'd ask some baby to die so that I could live a healthier life.

I honestly don't have ill feelings towards people like Michael J. Fox, who wants to return to a normal life, and so sees the embryonic stem cell research as their only hope. It isn't their only hope, of course...but I understand their position. But there are many, like myself, who also suffer from diseases, who don't want that kind of research done.

So, for me, that means foregoing support for ADA and JDRF.

I half expect there to be responses to this trying to "educate me" on the subject. Go ahead. But I'll just state that I'm not at all uneducated. I've read both sides of the debate quite exhaustively in the past several years, following advances, etc. So, talk amongst yourselves, if you want. I just wanted to clear the air on this, and make it clear that for a great many people, the "stem cell issue" is not at all important thing to realize in this politically-charged time.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Being Disabled

I'm having some repetitive strain issues in my right hand, so my blog will be sparse for the next couple weeks as a result. I hope to be back in full form soon. In the meantime, I'm learning to type one-handed. I'm glad to know this is only temporary.

But it actually serves as a good intro to something a fellow writer asked from me involving disability. I suppose most of us take for granted that our children can choose from the million and one toys available from Toys R Us or Wal-Mart, etc. But parents with children who have disabilities have more limited options.

That is where AblePlay comes in, a non-profit creation that helps filter through the toys by providing ratings and reviews specifically geared towards special needs kids. Check them out.

And if you know anyone who has special needs children, please tell them about

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Wide, Wide Weird of Sports

Professional sports events brings out the "weird" in people. Particularly big-time events such as the Stanley Cup, or World Series, or Superbowl.

Detroit is no stranger to such events. Well, okay...I don't know that the Lions have ever come close to the Superbowl, but we have won the Stanley Cup and World Series a few times, and both Michigan and Michigan State have been to the Rose Bowl.

Despite this, it still surprises me.

Several years back, the Red Wings were on their way to win the Stanley Cup, and apparently people were throwing dead octopus on the ice and driving around with brooms tied to their cars. I think the broom had something to do with wanting a "sweep", but I'm not entirely sure. The octopus? Not a clue.

My wife and I walked out of Meijer late one evening, and there were cars honking like mad driving along the road. It was my wife who realized it probably meant the Red Wings just won the playoffs. (She turned out to be right.)

Now, Detroit is in the spotlight again. The Tigers are in the World Series. Personally, I couldn't care less. But apparently, the rest of Detroit does care. And last night was one of the sightings of "weird".

There I was, sitting on a bench at church with my four-year-old, and in the hallway comes this big, burly, and balled-headed army man. That isn't a typo. I don't mean bald-headed. I mean balled-headed. (Although, he happens to be bald as well.)

He had painted his entire head white, with red lines curving around his face like the stitching of a baseball. My first reaction was he was trying out an early Halloween look, where Uncle Fester from The Addams' Family, must have had surgury gone horribly awry. But no. As he approached, I realized it was more horrific than that. It was actually a person turning their head into a baseball!

My four-year-old laughed at him, but as the balled-headed man walked away, he said, "That man's gonna scare someone!"

I just don't get it. It is a game. And painting our heads, or wearing giant foam-rubber hands or evening throwing out octopus onto the ice isn't going to make the team play any better. It is almost like people honestly think that the more excited they are for the game, the louder they yell at the television screen, the more people they have at their sports-watching party, the better the team will do.

I've tried to break to folks. I've tried to tell them that when their favorite sports team wins a game, they had absolutely nothing to do with it. They do not have any magical powers over the athletic abilities of the athletes. Nope. The athletes did it all on their own.

Yet, when the team wins, I notice it isn't, "The Tigers won!" Instead, it is, "We won!"

We? We. Weird.

It'll be interesting to see what happens as the World Series progresses. Not because I care one iota about how the Tigers do. But I am interested in seeing just how weird the weirdness will get from the Tigers fans.

Friday, October 20, 2006

How Gray Is Our Gah?

I'm in this ensemble group at church. We've been preparing for a concert we'll be performing on November 15, which means I've spent most of my time in the car listening to the songs and perfecting (eh-hem...or a reason facsimile thereof) the nuances of the parts I'm responsible for.

One of these songs is a praise song that is fairly popular right now called, "How Great Is Our God." Some of you with more contemporary worship services just might have sung it on a recent Sunday.

Thing is, I'm really irritated with this song. Well, not the song itself, but the artist who sings this particular song on the album. See, in recent times, the "breathy" sound in voices is rather popular. Sometimes it can give a song an ethereal feel, or a passionate feel, or a raw feel, maybe even a heartfelt feel. (Heartfelt feel? Hmm. Kind of redundant sounding.)

Anyhow, the guy who sings this has that rather breathy sound to his voice. But all too often, being breathy also means that the singer doesn't actually pronounce the words.

I'm fine with breathy. Really, I am. I enjoy to sing breathily myself. But please, make sure you actually a-nun-ci-ate your words. Otherwhy ih migh soun lie thih! (Translation: Otherwise it might sound like this.)

Anyhow, this guy doesn't enunciate. At least, not well enough. And as a result, rather than a praise song to God, it is a praise song to Gah! And Gah isn't so great in his version, but he is rather gray.

Fortunately, I know how the song is supposed to go, so I'm not so confused by it all. But I can't tell you how many songs I've listened to where the artist doesn't pronounce their words clearly, and I end up listening to the song for months never quite sure what they are saying.

Of course, there are plenty of other songs with similar problems. Have you ever wondered, for example why people are "Bringing in the Sheets"? (After all, that makes more sense than "Bringing in the Sheaves" to this generation, doesn't it?)

Or have you wondered just who "Jose" is when you sing the Star-Spangled Banner? ("Jose, can you see?")

Anyhow, I'm still trying to figure out just how gray our Gah is. Let me know if you find out. Oh, and if you want to read more funny misheard lyrics, there is a website devoted to them. Check out for a lot of laughs.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Father-Son Not Equal To Father-Sons

As any parent will tell you, parenting is hard work. And if you don't think so, then you just might not be parenting hard enough.

I say that last part with a bit of self-accusation, because in the last few weeks I have started to see that I was missing out on a fundamental part of parenting. That would be alone time.

No, no. Not me having alone time (although, now that I mention it, I certainly would love more alone time), but me having alone time with one of my sons (well, or daughter).

As we have told our kids, there are positives and negatives to having a relatively large family (and by "relatively", I mean we have four kids, which by today's standards seems large, but historically speaking is quite small). One of the positives, of course, is always having a sibling or sibling to do things with. A built-in friend, so to speak.

The downside is that we have a lot of laundry. And dishes. And just generally, not enough room. But even more than that is the time factor...the opportunities for Dad (that's me) to spend time with each of his kids individually.

For quite a while now, we've had "Boys' Nights", where my wife goes out with a friend I get to spend supposed "quality time" with my boys doing the kind of things boys like to do.

But, as it turns out, a father spending time with his sons is very different from a father spending time with his son. My oldest son had made this increasingly clear with some rather pointed statements (nicely disguised under his keen sense of humor), and requests to do something alone, like playing a game of chess.

So, I sat down with my wife, as we often do when something is nagging us about the state of our parenting, and discussed the issue. I love to talk to my wife about these things. She is absolutely the greatest mother on the face of the planet. She just has this sixth-sense about how our kids feel. Me? Well...I'm ashamed of the times I've dismissed their feelings just because I wanted them to get the playroom straightened up.

Anyhow, my wife helped me determine what was missing in my fatherhood, and then we worked out a game to have more father-son time on a regular basis. Fitting it into an already tight schedule is difficult, but I consider the effort worth it.

And so, this week began the one-on-one time. While I enjoyed the ability to connect with my boys on an individual basis, the true joy came in just seeing their faces, their excitement, just to be with Dad. And I'm looking forward to getting to know my own kids at a whole new level, carrying forward, hopefully, into adulthood. Because I don't want my boys to grow up one day and wish they had known their father better, or that I had listened to them more. Time to start, today.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Questioning My "Real Man" Status

There are certain times in my life that I fear that maybe, just maybe, I'm not a Real Man.

Oh, I've fathered four children and all that goes along with that, and I am instantly turned into a zombie the moment a television turns on within ten feet, but there are a few nagging issues.

One has to do with who is going to the World Series this year. Or, more specifically, the fact that I don't really even care. The only reason I know that my home team of the Detroit Tigers made it is because at work and at church and even at my physical therapy, that's the subject of conversation.

"Did you watch the game?" is the frequently asked question from the last few weeks.

I try not to look like an idiot. I mean, it is one thing to not watch the game. It might even be okay to not necessarily want to watch the game. But to live in Michigan and not even know that the Tigers are playing...well, your manhood is thrown into question.

I'm a rare breed, I know. A few years back, the Associate Minister was teaching a Bible School lesson. He was quite a jokester with a wry sense of humor. Anyhow, for reasons that allude me, he said, "Wild horses couldn't drag it from me!"

My first reaction was, "Cool! An Anne of Green Gables fan." But then I realized he said it with a tone of contempt. And he quickly added, "Boy, do I absolutely hate that movie."

Apparently, his wife adores the movie...and his knowledge of Anne was the result of her punishing him by making him watch it. (He really is a sweet husband, though. He ended up suprising her with a vacation to the real "prettiest plot of land on the North Shore".)

See, I love Anne of Green Gables. I even watched it with my boys a few months back, figuring I should enrich their lives with good and virtuous movies. They claimed not to like it, mostly because there were no light sabers or explosions, but I'm here to tell you that they were fixated on it while it was on.

Anyhow, the point is, my love of Anne-girl is another mark against me and my right to being called a "Real Man". "Real Men" don't love Anne. They loathe her. Instead, they are supposed to skip out on ER visits to watch the big game. (Seriously. There was an article on about it last week.)

But I do take relief when my wife says something to me, and I can give an appropriate grunt in response while absorbed in the latest Geico commercial, only to have her ask me to repeat back what she said, and I can only say, "Hmm. I got nothing!"

I guess I am a Real Man. After all, I bet my wife hasn't noticed that the gecko from Geico has a different accent now than it did a few years back. And that's important information. At least to a Real Man.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ramblings of a Poindexter

I have a wonderful, loving wife whom I adore, and I was absolutely certain adored me. That is until two days ago. Because it was two days ago that her true feelings came out. She, very politely mind you, informed me that under no uncertain terms am I allowed to use the good toilet paper in our bathroom. No, I must use the bargain toilet paper, the same toilet paper that the kids use. The good toilet paper is hers and hers alone.

And so now I know where I rank. Somewhere below the stuff you wipe your bottom with. Rather unflattering, I should say...but it's okay, because she bought some Ben and Jerry's ice cream for me and me alone once that was "to die for", so I know she loves me. Just not as much as her toilet paper.

And yes, this little experience got me to thinking about the whole grand scheme of life. Or, at least, it got me thinking about a seemingly unconnected event in my life that nearly destroyed my self-esteem.

You see, I had to make a little stop-off home from Cedar Point one time. I was really sick, probably from something I ate, and went in to this gas station to use the bathroom. On the way out, I picked up something to drink and got in line behind this rough-and-tough truck driver. He glanced back at me, looking me up and down, and said something like, "Hey, Poindexter, you don't look so good."

Now, I know I am a geek. I take pride in my geekhood. But did I really look like a character from "Revenge of the Nerds"? Apparently so. Of course, I was delirious, and my judgment may have been a bit off, but I figured the guy was a jerk. That was until I got out to the car and glanced in the mirror. I did look like a nerd, because I still had on my sportstrap that held my glasses on while riding the roller coasters. Being as it was night time now, and nowhere near any coaster, I suppose I did look like a Poindexter.

That night I went home and cried.

Or else I just fell asleep. But I could have cried, if I hadn't been so exhausted...and sick...and well, pretty much so well-adjusted that I thought the scene was rather funny.

I generally don't worry what others think of me. Except when I do.

For example, when you are on your way back from the cafeteria carrying your 24-ounce container of yogurt parfait with fresh strawberries and blueberries and kiwi, and you go to open the door and you drop the container of yogurt parfait with strawberries, blueberries, and kiwi, splattering yogurt and fruit across the floor right in the very path every person coming from or going to the cafeteria takes.

Not that such a thing has ever happened to me. But if it did, I would be embarassed, and rushing trying to get it cleaned up with few people noticing.

I have to wonder why that is? Why should being called Poindexter mean nothing to me, but having an accident like dropping yogurt parfait (eh-hem, hypothetically speaking) all over the floor is terribly embarrassing?

I think, ultimately, it is somehow my mother's fault. I have no clue why. But I figure if I come to that conclusion now, on my own, it'll save me thousands of dollars in therapy later. Which is good, because I'm going to have use that money to buy my wife some more "good" toilet paper. Shh! Don't tell her, but I used some to blow my nose this morning.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The Symptom Game

Okay,'s it going in guessing your BGLs based on your symptoms? Learned anything? And yes, if you found it proved to be a worthless exercise, and you learned I'm nothing but a dweeb, that counts.

I have two topics to discuss today related to diabetes. The first is regarding yet another symptom to watch out for.

In general, going high for a short while is no biggie. But staying high can be dangerous. So, what symptoms can you look for? There are the usuals, such as extreme thirst, frequent urination, feeling a big sluggish. But how about feeling full?

I realized this past week that I've never mentioned this one. Well, at least I don't remember mentioning it. If I have, consider this a refresher. Because when your BGL goes high, your body attempts to halt the digestion process. It doesn't need any more food, since there is already a backlog in your bloodstream.

Generally, if you eat, within an hour or two, you tend to feel normal in, not full. But if you are high, an hour or two later, you may feel like you just finished Thankgiving dinner. For me, this is a sure sign that I'm high. It means my digestive system has shut down for the time being, and usually, I'm pretty safe to give myself a large bolus...first, to cover the already high BGL, and second, to cover the food that remains undigested in my stomach.

And the second topic is in response to a news item I read today where a diabetic man, 35 years old, was confronted by police. The man was hallucinating and experienced seizures. The police weren't aware of his diabetes, however, and they had to use a tazer to get him under control. Problem is, the tazer ultimately killed him.

It is sad, but not altogether unusual. (Well, the tazering and dying might be unusual, but I'm talking about the fact that the police misjudged the man's actions.) This is a danger diabetics face...that if they experience a particularly bad low, the symptoms that result could be mistaken by others for improper behave, such as being drunk or violent. And, in some cases, the response taken by others to protect themselves could be dangerous or downright deadly.

I don't blame the police. How are they supposed to know the difference unless diabetics wear bright read tattoos across their forehead with the Medic Alert symbol or something? They can't. Which means it becomes our responsibility as diabetics to do what we can to prevent these situations.

As much as we work to keep ourselves from being high...being low is worse. I've mentioned it before, but the reason my doctor ultimately put me on the pump was not because my A1c levels were horrible (since I was managing about a 7.1 while on 4-5 shots a day). It was because in order to achieve that level, I was experiencing frequent lows. Lows are dangerous, sometimes from external sources.

So if you could do anything to improve your life as a diabetic, the first and foremost place to start is keeping your BGLs up and not down.

Monday, October 09, 2006

X-Men Revisited

You may not believe this, but I like science fiction. I know, you're probably thinking, "What? That can't be! Not Ryan!" But it's true. And I'm particularly fond of the X-Men movies.

It if funny. I spent my childhood playing superhero games that are surprisingly similar to X-Men. And my novel has some definite similarities. Yet, I wasn't really introduced to X-Men until the first movie came out. I never read the comics, since I've never been much of a comic-book kind of guy.

Anyhow, I loved the first two movies. Bryan Singer did a fabulous job of not just giving us action, but giving us strong depth of character. But then he was called off X-Men 3, and a new guy came in to take his place.

I saw X-Men 3 at the theater, and I'll admit, I was terribly disappointed. It was lacking something. That Bryan Singer touch, I guess. I was so disappointed, in fact, that I didn't really care much about seeing it again.

But, sitting on my shelf were X-Men and X-Men 2, so I had no choice but to buy the third movie to complete the trilogy. And, since I bought it, I watched it. Let me tell you, I'm glad I did.

See, there is always a danger going into a movie with certain expectations, because what might otherwise turn out to be a good movie doesn't seem to due to expectations. Of course, that's not always the case. I had expectations for Star Wars 1, 2, and 3, and later watched them again and again, but still find myself utterly furious at George Lucas for pretty much ruining the series. (Okay, Revenge of the Sith was pretty good, even if he cheated and ignored some of the rules he had laid out in the original series. But I digress...)

Anyhow, in my subsequent viewing of X-Men 3, I decided that it actually is a pretty good movie. Oh, it isn't as good as the first two. But it is enjoyable, and there were definitely things I missed the first time through that added some depth the second time.

Oh, by the way, if you do end up watching the X-Men 3 DVD, please take the time to watch the movie all the way to the end. And by end, I mean including the credits. Yep, sit there until the screen goes completely black as the last bit of text crawls out of view. Why? Because there is an relatively important scene they show that changes something that happens in the movie. And that's as much as I'm going to tell you. (See, I was talking about the movie with a friend of mine, and he wasn't aware of this scene, so I had to tell him about it.)

What's the point of all this? Nothing earth-shattering. Actually, I have no idea whatsoever, except to say that I enjoyed my second viewing of X-Men 3. That's it.

Friday, October 06, 2006

My Secret (Pathetic) Garden

Last year, I had this little play tent set up in the backyard for the kids. It was there all summer long, and so by the time the weather had completely destroyed it (either that, or it was the kids who destroyed it!), the grass underneath was non-existent.

So, what do you do with a dead spot of grass? I suppose I could have just planted seed. But I had this fabulously educational idea. As my family was wandering through K-Mart, I found the rack with seeds for flowers and vegetables and pumpkins and thought to myself, "Self, we should plant a garden!"

My boys helped pick out what the plant. Carrots, corn, beans, peas, red peppers, and a couple packets of Zenias for the front yard.

Thing is, our little splotch of land was precisely three feet by four feet, which mean foregoing the recommended "18 inches between plants". I also had to mix into the clay that serves as our dirt with some fresh top soil. And one fine day, me and the kids spent several hours tending our own little secret garden.

My boys were very good caretakers of the garden. They watered it every day, and got all excited when a tiny plant would pop up through the soil, only to have their excitement dashed when I had to inform them that it was only a weed.

Eventually, though, the plants did start to poke up through the soil. Of course, it was about this time that their interest waned. Or at least, my interest waned. I kind of lost the passion, and ignored several of the larger weeds that were taking over.

At some point mid-summer, we had our first crop. Peas. Due to the small space, we grew exactly one meal worth of peas. We cooked them and ate them, but I couldn't help but notice that our little garden looked nothing like the gardens my mother grew when I was a kid with corn taller than me, and going out everyday to pick a fresh bowl of green beans.

The red peppers never did much of anything. The corn never grew more than four inches tall, and the beans were dried out and dying before we could harvest a single one. And even now, we have this lovely pumpkin vine stretching out across the lawn. Notice I said pumpkin vine. No pumpkin. Not even the hint of a pumpkin.

And what about my Zenias? Thing is about Zenias is I loved them as a kid. I thought they were pretty in their multi-colored blooms. And how cool was it that you could pluck them and have next year's seeds all ready? But, like the garden behind the house, the Zenias in front of the house never bloomed. Oh, I have these nice tall green little stalks, but no flower.

My garden is pathetic. My Zenias are pathetic. Okay, okay. I'll admit it. I'm pathetic. I'm one of those people who likes to find the shortcuts to something, rather than invest the time and energy it takes for a decent crop.

And so I think about this in terms of parenting. It is so easy to take the shortcuts in life with do what is easy, hoping it will all work out in the end. But it doesn't work out. Shortcuts mean you aren't investing the time and energy into the kids that it takes to raise them into highly successful and well-adjusted adults.

I have to constantly remind myself of that. Take care of the weeds that are infesting their attitude, spend time with them, watering and feeding them the love and attention they need. If you don't, you end up with what I've heard called "credit card parenting". If you don't do what you need to do to parent your child today, you'll have to deal with the bill later...with interest.

And so while my secret, pathetic garden might not bear any fruit, I will endeavor to ensure my kids do.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Life B.D.

I was "born into" diabetes more than twenty-four years ago at the age of nine. And at some point between then and now I have forgotten what life was like Before Diabetes (B.D.).

I have said before, and I'll say it now, that I think diabetes is worse on the parent than it is on the child who is diagnosed. Oh, sure, I had my ups and downs early on. I was a wimp when it came to shots, for example, and so I went one-and-a-half years before I finally gained the courage to do it on my own.

Well, okay. I didn't have courage. Rather, my parent were so fed up with my refusal to do it myself that they gave me an ultimatum. Prior to that ultimatum, I twice before started to give myself my shots. Once, in order to be "rewarded" with a new bike. Of course, shortly thereafter I miraculously froze up and couldn't do it. Another time, they uped the ante, and bought me a new computer if I jabbed myself. I did, and I got the computer, and once again froze up.

The last time, however, was a bit more compelling reason. I either started to give myself a shot, or else my backside would experience the belt. Some might consider that a form of abuse. But guess what? It worked, and never again did I have any trouble injecting myself. Amazing how that works.

Anyhow, the point is there is the early learning stuff, the lifestyle adjustments, and the bouts of jealousy when your friends are eating M & M cookies or having a second slice of chocolate cake, but all in all, you just deal with it.

Parents, though...they can never let it go. They can never stop worrying about their son or daughter. They can never stop wishing a better life for them, wishing away the finger sticks and constant jabs, and wishing they could live a "normal life" again. There is that passion there for diabetes research, and the hope that they will, within their own lifetime, see their child cured from this hideous disease.

But I can't help but stand back and advise parents to relax. There are far worse things your child could be going through, and guess what? In time, diabetes will become no big deal. A time will come when they, too, don't remember Life B.D. I certainly don't.

I do remember the false hopes that my own mother's passion for a cure gave...and the ultimate let downs that resulted. I followed the progress of research for years, seeing each small step forward an indication that a cure was "just around the corner". But over and over again, that hope resulted in far worse pain. And to this day, I see such hope as harmful to kids. But kids have to come to terms with their disease. They have to understand that they are likely stuck with it for the rest of their lives. Only when that happens can they get past the jealousy and self-pity they will experience at times.

It isn't beneficial to think there is a cure soon. Perhaps there is. Perhaps five years from now, I won't be able to blog about my life as a diabetic because I'll be living a normal life. Perhaps. But most likely not. Instead, I deal with my disease as just part of who I am. It is the hand I was dealt, and now I have to play the hand out the best I can.

I can't tell parents not to worry. I'm a parent, and since there are life-threatening food allergies and asthma, I can understand that worry. But please, for the sake of your child, don't pass that worry on to them. Don't ever, for once, think that by highlighting all the "bad things" that could happen to them or does happen to them now (shots, BG testing, etc.) that you are in any way helping your child. You're not. Guess what? For 24 years (well, actually more like 22, since when I was dignosed, BG meters weren't really around for most of us), I've lived with those finger pokes and jabs with the syringe, and I'm stronger for it.

My Life B.D. is gone. A distant memory. And I'm not sorry for it. You shouldn't be sorry for it either.