A couple of weeks ago, I attending an annual meeting for my local JDRF chapter (my “local” chapter – the one that includes the county in which I live – happens to be farther away from home than some of the neighboring chapters, but… whatever). The featured keynote speaker was chief smart-guy-and-really-nice-guy Aaron Kowalski (official title: “Vice President of Treatment Therapies”). He’s also Type 1 and hails from New Jersey, so that’s reason enough for me to like him.
I won’t go into rehashing the bullet points of his talk. Although I did take some notes along the way for the purpose of this blog, I know that I can’t do justice in reproducing his words, delivery, and enthusiasm. That would be like me sharing my karaoke performance of “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” – even though I don’t have the voice, can’t keep a rhythm, and haven’t got the moves like Jagger. And who wants to see an attempt at a copycat performance? So I won’t even try.
Respect the power of insulin
I’ve only met him three times. You could call us casual acquaintances, but we had no emotional investment in one another. As hard as I try, can’t even remember his name.
But he was my wife’s sister’s husband’s father. Maybe that makes him my brother-in-law’s father (I’m not good with naming extended family relations), I’m not really sure. But it doesn’t matter.
My wife got a phone call Tuesday night with the news that he had just passed away. Though he was feeling a bit under-the-weather, this wasn’t at all expected. As is often the case, the details were vague at first.
“Real people sick” is easy
My little boy is sick. Real people sick. (Of course he’s “real people sick.” That’s the only kind of sick that most people, people without D, get.)
I got the call to pick him up from day-care yesterday and take him to the pediatrician. It seems his right ear was clogged up with wax and some stuff was oozing from his eyes. I thought it was just a cool trick, but his teacher was worried and asked me to bring him home. The doctor said it’s a pretty normal infection, prescribed some antibiotics, and said he’d be fine tomorrow.
This didn’t surprise me. Baby Z spends hours in day-care putting everything he can reach in his mouth. Everything. I’m sure other kids in the same room probably do the same thing. It’s the environment and it happens. This doesn’t bother me, though. I’m all in favor of my kids getting sick when they’re young. My wife and I believe it builds up their immune system and makes them more resilient. The children we’ve seen whose mothers isolate them from the world and bathe in Purell every 15 minutes are the ones who catch colds the most. But for my own kids, as long as their immune system doesn’t get so out-of-control that it starts Fighting Islets, I see nothing wrong with giving it a workout every now and then. (By the way, If I ever release a rock CD filled with diabetes-related music, I’m going to call it Fighting Islets).
The problem with using three-day CGM sensors for six days is that half of the prescribed batch expires before you get to use them. The benefit: I stab myself with that painful* insertion needle less often.
* The word “painful” is used for dramatic effect. It’s not comfortable, but it’s not really that painful. Really!
Sure, I could use them past their expiration date, but somehow they seem to be wildly inaccurate once that date hits; like the date is somehow coded in the sensor’s magical micro-electronics. (Maybe if I set the clock back on my pump). So, a couple of unused, expensive sensors are headed for the trash.