A Day for Diabetes to Take a Back Seat

A proud father celebrates his brave son

Diabetes Dad

Tom picBy Tom Karlya

We always want the best for our kids, right?  I have written countless articles, and more times than not, I write about our kids with diabetes.  Sounds about right, doesn't it?

In our world, my connection to you and to others — and others' connections to still others — revolves around our common denominator, which equals diabetes.

By time this article posts, I will be a father-in-law.  My oldest son will be married in early October and he does not have diabetes. 

The one without.

I have always believed that we have to be very careful in thinking that the siblings who do not have diabetes had an easy ride of it in any shape or form.  When you think of how many events were stopped, derailed, or altogether abandoned because of some battle with diabetes, you will find that the siblings have it tough too.

I have heard many stories how siblings have stated that they too want diabetes so their parents will pay them more attention; and although it is a sad thought, it is also a real thought.  I know we worked diligently to find that balance.  Many families do.

I have stated on many occasions how proud I am of my oldest son.  He volunteers much of his time with our local fire department. There has been more than one occasion that he has come home blackened with smoke and minor injuries due to his duties while fire-fighting.

It is not a game, fighting fires. 

One slip and the results could be disastrous.  My son seems to embrace this and run towards what so many run away from.  He is also a huge lover of animals.  My son is a strong man but it would not be unlike him to go out of his way to help an animal.  And yes, one time he even brought the classic fireman story to life by rescuing a stranded cat from a tree. That is him. He is a good son and the look on his face as he stood next to his little brother's hospital bed, when he was diagnosed at age 13, will remain with me for the rest of my life.  We are fortunate that we all have each other.

The young lady he is marrying has volunteered with our local ambulance for years.  She too has been out there in situations that comprise her safety and if you talk to both of them they will tell you that they just do what is needed to get the job done.  They will brush off any discussion of the word hero, but they are — even though they won't admit it.

I'm a very lucky man on so many fronts, but the proudest and luckiest I am is as a father.  With what my children go through, or where they put themselves, they do so in a manner that any man would be proud.

Many of those who are brothers and sisters with them in their emergency service duties will be standing with them when they get married as ushers and bridesmaids.  And on that day my family will grow by adding a daughter to our household.

Even though diabetes is always in our household, it does not have to rule the day, every day.  This day will be a day of love and rejoicing, and a whole lot of laughter and fun.  There's nothing wrong with that every now again, is there?

I am a diabetes dad. 

Read more of Tom Karlya's Diabetes Dad columns here.


dLife's Daily Living columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team to find out what will work best for you.

Last Modified Date: February 12, 2014

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

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by Brenda Bell
Many people say that depression is a side effect or complication of diabetes. Without discounting the association of the psychological condition with the physical one, I'm not convinced that our high and/or unstable glucose levels are directly responsible for that change in our mental state. My belief is that the unrelenting need for self-care, for following the sort of care schedules that can drive licensed, professional caregivers crazy, is what overwhelms us...
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