Joshua's Generation

A Generation For A Cure

Candy Canes for Christmas December 27, 2012

Filed under: Diabetes,T1 Diabetes,Uncategorized — generation4acure @ 7:56 pm

“Mom, can I have this candy cane?” That is what I heard the most of this year. And so it goes…a twelve-year old, a nine-year old and an 8-year-old, asking me the same question. Oddly enough I often wonder if other twelve year olds actually ask to eat a candy cane. Or do they just grab it and eat it? I honestly cannot remember if my oldest son asked me those kinds of questions at that age? And speaking of candy canes..it was the biggest treat in the world to load the tree up with candy canes. Oh and remember the big giant candy cane stick we would all get in our stocking?? Right..didn’t everyone get a candy cane stick in their stocking. Oh well…I did. And I miss them.

I go through life with these 3 kids who have Type 1 diabetes and I am amazed at what I…no what WE!! It is a WE thing here for  sure…so what WE  have adjusted to and what has become a way of life for ourselves. I am actually bothered by this feeling of immunity to typical life. You know it’s not anything I can change or do anything about…how could I not “forget” what typical life is when day in and day out I am counting carbs, asking for blood sugar checks..you name it. We live a diabetes lifestyle for sure times 3!! It is everyday life to find myself in situations where I am not the “norm” and my kids have to ask to eat their candy canes. In fact I kid you not my son just walked in to ask me if he could eat a candy cane!! I am always happy when most of the candy leaves our home. But it usually never does because we actually DO need sugar on hand. It’s an emergency necessity around here.

I am asked often what my kids are allowed to have. Most people assume that sugar is limited. And yes it is…but not always. Sugar is not the cause of this Type of diabetes, and it is a disease that sugar has its limits but with Type 1 Diabetes..carbohydrates is the thing that is the key component we balance. And yes low blood sugars are treated with fast acting sugar..like candy canes. However, they are kids and they have to learn how to balance their blood sugar and limit their sugar and carb intake. But by no means is this a disease they cannot feel normal with.

Holidays do kill me as the parent and caretaker. The interesting thing many people do NOT realize and maybe many do…but many do NOT realize that the stores are BOMBARDED with CANDY at every single holiday. It isn’t until you suffer from a disease with LIMITS or diets with true health related complications that force you to manage your sugar intake, that you notice just HOW MUCH candy is sold. It kills me. And also opens my eyes to what is really a commercial industry with no regard to a person’s health, only their money-making industry. Which believe me, I have my favorites. All you have to do is put a Reese cup in front of me and watch it disappear in less than 60 seconds. I never said take the candy off the shelves. Why would I do that to my own self. I wouldn’t!! But it is an awareness that I learned through my children having a disease and such great limits..that made me realize just how ridiculous the candy making business really is.

So do I limit them eating candy canes at Christmas and enjoying all the festivities? Yes and no. Many people are incredibly thoughtful to what they buy and bring in sugar-free candy. And sadly..the misconception with SOME of those sugar-free candies is because they are sugar-free they are better. But in reality..sugar-free ingredients are substituted with sugar alcohols and they can cause some people with Type 1 diabetes to have higher blood sugar with the alcohols than the regular sugar itself. So I don’t always go for sugar free. And no I cannot let them eat a whole bag of candy without serious consequences. Some kids could just get sick..while mine could be hospitalized for that action. And many times adrenaline alone can kick up a blood sugar so I have to know what the blood sugar is before I can let any sugar into their blood stream and make it go even higher. So yes..we absolutely can eat sugar, enjoy some cake and cookies and my answer is yes they can have a candy cane. In fact..Halloween candy does last a long while in our home. We use it for low blood sugars. And just now..I used a candy cane to treat a low. They are children with limits…but no deprivation is necessary.  Holidays for us mean this..we just notice the candy and goodies so much more than before. All that is usually overlooked or taken for granted. We have to pay attention to.

And so it goes like that..a balancing act. And sometimes we feel like it’s our own circus and if truth be told living with 3 kids that suffer from Type 1 diabetes, 2 with Celiac Disease and now one with EoE, you can bet your bottom dollar that life is one big circus act for me. NO WAIT…for us!! Always a team thing here.  But as a caretaker and parent..I learned juggling a long time ago. In fact..I would bet that if you saw my act you would know that I’m not your typical juggler of 3 items. NO..I’m up to about 6 items to juggle at once. Now that is just a representation of the “diseases” my kids are suffering through. And yes most definitely I do drop the balls from time to time. And I pick them back up and start my juggling act one more time.

It just is a life of when my kids ask if they can have a candy cane..that is normal life for us. There is just no grabbing and eating. There is none of this..I feel like a candy cane and popping it in our mouths. We have to communicate every thing before it hits their mouths. I am always curious to life of those that don’t have to think about this simple thing we call a candy cane. Do other twelve-year olds ask or do they just eat it?

We did survive the holiday and the great thing is..things last around here. Like candy canes!! So if anyone wants a candy cane..or a strawberry filled candy (that kind of tastes like soap) I always have sugar available.

Love, Peace and Prayers,

Sully

 

Off to Camp They Go July 31, 2012

Filed under: Diabetes,T1 Diabetes — generation4acure @ 2:52 am
Tags: , ,

I was a child who never went to camp. It’s not that I couldn’t go, I guess we just didn’t know much about what was available to us growing up. And maybe we have come a long way with kids going to camp. My kids go to a diabetes camp. And I’m in love with these camps. They are diabetes specific with medical staff on site at all times with our kids throughout their entire stay!! How cool is that? It’s better than cool. It’s lifesaving for some of us caretakers. But I have to admit, it’s a little thing called “bittersweet moments” every time I drop them off.

For me with my bio child…I went through the stages of diagnosis with him at the age of 3, we then endured another auto immune diagnosis 6 months later and we grew together in learning these diseases. So seeing him off to camp, with his eagerness and innocence of a child, I am happy and filled with joy and watching him experience this wonderful time in his life…but sad too to let go and let others take care of him, others manage his food and blood sugar. It’s a very happy and sad experience combined into one.

With my two girls, adopting them at a later age, I am used to the absence with them at times. We have built different things together. I enjoy the break from 3 diabetics but at the same time…I still miss what they need me for.

But I will do what I always do. Embrace the moments for what they are. They make me happy and sad together. And I’m ok with that. I’m ok to feel both. I don’t think I can feel anything else but that combination. So I will.

For them…I will refresh, regroup and recuperate. So I’m putting my expectations away this week, doing only what is necessary and I’m going to relish my free time….and live free for one week.

Thank you God for these wonderful children and these wonderful moments. I am blessed.

 

The Goodness Of Others August 17, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — generation4acure @ 2:44 pm

I find myself sitting here today thinking about how much support people really do give to others. Last week I felt a bit rejected. I felt myself having negative emotions because getting people to donate time or money to a particular cause can be difficult at times. Not just for my cause which is JDRF but for many. This week however, with much thought, I have to lean towards the heart of the matter which for me is, people really do have a heart of giving for many things. It is just a matter of awareness, explanation, and them understanding your cause to have them begin to give from their heart.

How many times have we said no to the cashier at our local grocery store when they asked if we would like to give a dollar to the Muscular Dystrophy Fund? Some of us do give wholeheartedly, but if we were honest with ourselves many of us have had thoughts that ring of “I’m struggling enough on my own and they are asking me for a dollar every time I turn around.” Or maybe you don’t know anything about the issue or disease so you just say no, who wants to give their money away to things they don’t even know about? Or maybe we use the excuse, and tell those things we call little white LIE’S and say “oh, I already give to that?”. Do you?  And a favorite of mine (it really is!)… how about the mailings in the mail for children’s cancer research?  We get little pads of paper, stickers and all kinds of “gifts.” And finally, my mother’s favorite, VETERANS! I can tell you first hand, if the veterans groups get a donation, you will of course be bombarded with mail from that point on. How often we get so frustrated with it all!  

 I can appreciate a little bit more than the next person how frustrating it is to constantly be asked for money for a cause, I’m a person who is on the other side and has to do the asking, believe me I know. I sometimes am left with the intimidating prospect of having to ask anyway, in spite of others reactions. I can also appreciate the amount of time and effort it takes that goes into planning the mailings, planning the market and knowing which people to ask, and I can tell you I completely understand the amount of mail and papers involved. I get frustrated too! But I’m on the opposite end. I see both sides. So, let me take a minute to briefly explain where and why we approach anyone and all and what it is all about. 

It’s about passion. A passion for survival for one of our loved one’s. A desire to see change with the issue they are battling.  So we approach you out of love and compassion. We approach you out of need. Our lives is a daily battle yet no one grasps that concept until they watch us. When we go to luncheons or group settings that involves food or activity….they have no idea what we have to do, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, but when they see us getting out our “survival kits” of a meter, and insulin…the survival kit for Type 1 diabetics, then they take a second look. Then they ask questions. There is never curiosity until faced with the proof and knowledge. When our lives and how we live is set before others…then awareness happens naturally.

When our lives are noticed by others and I answer their questoins, they then begin to understand our lives. Sometimes however, I have to bring awareness to others and I do this through the fundraising process. And then this really wonderful thing happens. They support, they give and they care. It took me awhile to understand that what happens in our world is not that people don’t care. People do care. People don’t have time anymore. We really are that busy of a society. Sadly we are too too busy to keep up with our own lives. Is it fair of me to think, it’s not this way with others? We don’t live in a society where we have time to be observant into the lives of others. We rarely have time to stop and smell the roses anymore. 

What I noticed by being forced into the side of the being a “fundraisee” is the task at hand was having to ask the hard question…are people too busy to really care? I discovered that what was lacking was simple awareness, and what was NOT lacking was the ability to reach out, care and give. It became a matter of recognizing what is the issue with fundraising in this world full of issues? I have come to the conclusion….people really do care, but people’s fight to keep up with life is an issue in itself so I just have to fight harder at making people aware of what our personal cause is about. When I become something for them to hear, something for them to see….then they begin to care.  People will stand up and fight for what they believe in. We see it in politics every day. So how can a world full of opinionated, take matters into their own hands kind of society become such a cold and uncaring body of people? They answer is they don’t. People do still care. There is still goodness in the heart of others. I actually do see it everyday when I see people join our cause. I see people listen. I see them respond. And I see them care. My job is not to make them care. My job is to make them aware. So far when I’ve done that….I do see the goodness in others.

For now,  I will close with my closing thought for the day….

My family is… 

Diabetic Strong

Survival Kits in Place

Awareness is half of our battle

 We Fought and Are Still Fighting

Haven’t Quite Won Just Yet, But Someday Soon We Will!!

 

Hello world! July 8, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — generation4acure @ 4:46 am

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