If you have found this blog, saying Welcome does not really seem appropriate. I know you wish you weren't surfing the internet for diabetes. I felt the same.

A big part of me wishes I were not writing about diabetes, nor did I anticipate to become so opinionated or informed on the subject, but it happened. In 2010, my son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes.

It wasn't really part of the plan… Correction - it was not part of the plan, but it happened. It is not always easy, but I think we are all doing okay, and I hope we continue to do so.

Why the Middle East? I happen to live in Dubai. I don't think that living in the Middle East makes mine or my son's diabetic experience any more unique or challenging than it does elsewhere in the developed world.

I hope you stick around, or read something you like. Feel free to comment and join the conversation, subscribe or follow this blog by liking the Facebook page Diapoint.

Please note: This blog does not give medical advice. I am opinionated, and I share my experiences, but the first rule of diabetes is to follow up with your doctor and/or nurse educator about your care, diagnosis or medication. If you do not have a medical practitioner that is helping you find your way through this crazy world, then do not give up until you find the right one.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Can't - The 4-Letter Word

I just wrote a post for my other blog, Life in the Middle East, about over scheduling children in too many activities. It is easy to do here in Dubai because there are a lot of great classes and activities out there to choose from.

I can always write about a subject I have an opinion for, but what I found difficult in this post was the separation of diabetes in the context of exposing a child to trying "too much".

Once when my son was three, he told me he "can't" do something.  I do not even remember exactly what it was he couldn't do, but all of my hair stood up on end. I basically explained to him that this is not a word we use.  
And it wasn't just one of those "we don't use that word" sentences and be done with it. My point had a very long life. I'm not sure if he got it at that time, and in all fairness to him he was just being a whiny three year old that day, as you do. But "can't"?! It is a 4-letter word. We don't "can't". We "try".

I emphasized the word so much at another time when he was frustrated putting together the cute little car track he had, from that day on, those tracks were fondly known as "tries".

I'm not a pushy parent that has visions of my child being a concert pianist, World Cup football hero, olympic swimmer or otherwise. I am not a perfectionist. What I do strive for is a child that is healthy and happy and overcomes his diabetes daily to live a normal, full and healthy life. If he becomes a super hero along the way, so be it.

My biggest fear would be if he somehow found diabetes as an excuse to stop trying.  We do not create an environment for that to happen, or refer to diabetes as a crutch.  And it is not.  There is no reason why diabetes should stop someone from trying a new activity or following their dreams.  I know this is a concern a lot of parents have when their child is newly diagnosed.  What about the future?  Will my child be normal?    

There could be times when an activity may seem tricky due to diabetes.  A discussion on scuba diving once got me thinking about it. Careful discussion and planning with your educated doctor (i.e. endocrinologist) is what you should do before you just decide, "I can't".

Do your research and find other diabetics that "can" and "did".  There is a lot to learn from their experiences. 

While Wikipedia is not always considered the best source of truth, here is a list of a few Type 1 Diabetics who didn't say "I can't" to get you started.