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.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Can't - The 4-Letter Word

Today the Sixth Annual Diabetes Blog Week kicks off. Last year about this time I was debating on really kicking off my blog. I then found out about Blog Week and it gave me the kick-start I needed to write this blog. So in addition to that kick, it opened up a whole new world otherwise known as the DOC, Diabetic Online Community to me. If you are new to diabetes, have a look at some of the entries. There are some real inspirations out there.

And today's topic is an inspirational one. "I can".  While there are many things we can do, and diabetes does not stop us, I want to share an experience I wrote about last year. Although it happened some time ago, I still feel very strongly about this subject.

About a year or two after diagnosis, my son once told me that he could not do something. He said "I can't".  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. But this diabetes thing makes me very afraid of that word.

I 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. He CAN do and be whatever he wants to be.

One of my biggest fears is 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 his or her dreams.  

I know this is a concern a lot of parents have when their child is newly diagnosed. What about the future?  Can my child be normal? I am here to tell you, yes you CAN.
 There are 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) and diabetes team 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.


  1. Great post, I love your link :)

  2. Speaking from the perspective of a former diabetic child turned adult still waiting for a cure, your son will thank you for not allowing diabetes to be used as an excuse for not trying when he grows up. If anything, diabetes will give him the perspective of what hard work really means! I look forward to reading more on your blog!

  3. Your take on this prompt is wonderful. It makes me wonder if my mom was afraid of the word can't. As the kid with diabetes, I never was. I felt strong and capable all the time, and I bet a big reason why, is because my mom, like you, worked hard to raise me using positive language. Thank you for this awesome post. <3

  4. What a great philosophy - I know your son is stronger because of your guidance.

    And thank you for joining in again this year!

  5. Thank you all so much for your kind words.. It is good to know it resonates with someone, and hopefully over time it will with my son as well. So happy to join again this year!