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.

Friday, January 30, 2015

It Is A Big Deal

Last week I went to visit the large healthcare conference, Arab Health. This event happens every year at the end of January and healthcare professionals from around the world come to network and share the latest in technology and advancements in healthcare.

The last time I went was 7 years ago.  My employer had a booth and I was pregnant with my son. I took a break to walk the convention center to find the companies that had started baking umbilical cords as I wanted to organize that for his delivery. 

I never found the cord bank booths, but my husband was quickly able to organize one to collect my son's cord when I went into labor early morning the next day - one month before his due date. 

This year I attended not as a healthcare professional, but as my son's caretaker and advocate for Type 1s. 

Like last time, I walked the halls visiting some booths I planned for, and scanning for other potential connections in diabetes. I think I was even wearing the same comfortable wing tip shoes I wore when I was pregnant.

In many ways, it felt overwhelming. All that potential in one convention center. All that ability to connect with people to make a difference. 

I had a very good exchange with someone at a well known insulin pump company. At one point when we were discussing the vast potential of things we could collaborate on, he reminded me it only takes one person. "It only takes one mom", he said. "The fact that you are here is a big deal".

Yes, it is a big deal.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Living Fearlessly

Kayaking in the Abu Dhabi Mangroves

Diabetic or not, we should live fearlessly.

A good friend tells me this is the year to conquer all fear. I have yet to determine which fear I will meet in the ring this year, but I am pretty sure I am in training for something.

This weekend I conquered my fear of waterproof pump packs. I ordered a couple with the last order of supplies just to test them. It seems like a lot of liability for a company to make that claim - a waterproof pump pack.

We went kayaking in the Abu Dhabi Mangroves. As the kayaks are stable, I thought, what better time to try out a waterproof pack. In addition to an insulin pump, I decided to bring my camera and phone as well - not even in a special cover.

I mentally prepared myself for the worst case scenario - if we were to capsize - so I could depart with my camera and phone. And, if the waterproof pack did not work for the pump, I mentally prepared to go through the logistics of managing my son with injections and getting a new pump as soon as possible.

The pack was easy to open and close, and my almost 7-year old could do it. After switching out our pump pack and getting our life jackets and ores, off we went.

Our tour was uneventful in terms of testing waterproof pump packs, but full of nature and beauty. We are told it is here where 75% of all marine life in the UAE begins.

While not a huge step, it is a good excuse to share a picture of nature that looks like nothing to do with a desert.

I am sure we will be more adventurous with waterproofing ourselves again in the future.

Kayaking in the Abu Dhabi Mangroves

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Identify With it, But Don't Let it Define You

I think I decided this is one of my diabetic mottos for my child.

Last week was Sports Day at my son's school. As I watched he and his classmates enjoy the day, one thing that struck me was how much my son had grown and how strong and coordinated he is now.

Just a few weeks before his 7th birthday, he participated in eight different events and not once did he complain, loose interest or even seem tired. He did his best every time and was also supportive of his teammates.

As we headed home, I started to think about this. Outside of checking his blood sugar at the break, and bolusing for his snack, there was no other sign that this kid was diabetic or "different" from his classmates.

I felt a great sense of relief, and somewhat a sense of accomplishment. If there is anything I want, that is for diabetes to not get in the way of what he does. And I especially do not want it to ever be a crutch that he feels he can't do something. Diabetic or not, the word "can't" from anyone without having tried makes me cringe a bit. While being diabetic has its challenges, it should not have its limitations.

It is a fine line to walk, and I think especially in the beginning, as you figure out how your life has changed and how to work it into your new norm. But as you do, don't let it define you. Yes, my son is diabetic, but diabetes is not him.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy New Year!

As we are already into Day 6! of this New Year, I want to wish everyone that has been reading this blog a Happy, Healthy 2015.  Thank you for your support.

I do not make any resolutions, I do not have big wishes for diabetes except to help my son manage it in the best way possible - which is something I strive to do every day anyway.  And, to teach him as he grows to accept it and to manage it in the best way possible.

All the best to you, your families and friends.

Happy New Year from Dubai, UAE