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.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Keep Calm & Hakuna Matata

Happy New Year!

While I am not a big resolution person, I do like to start the new year with a good plan and bigger picture of the things that need to be done.

A few weeks ago when I started going through my new business planner, it suggested to pick a word for the year. Honestly, I was blank.. Like really blank. There are so many words that could serve someone in a year it is hard to pick just one.

I left it blank and kept planning.

I took off for the new year thinking I would mindfully figure out my word of the year as I stared at the ocean.  But it still did not come to me.

I was thousands of miles away in the beautiful island paradise of Zanzibar and it still was not coming to me.

It didn't take long to explore the 1km stretch of white sand, rocks and seaweed where we watched children from the local village play and collect seafood every morning.  During that walk one of the men from the village approached us to ask if we would like a tour on his boat. We definitely wanted to do that to visit the nearby mangroves and watch the sun set. However we were not prepared to take his phone number to find him later as we left our phone back at the hotel in an effort to digitally detox.

"Hakuna Matata WhatsApp is everywhere" he tells us.

What?! Did I just hear words of the famed Lion King song and WhatsApp used in the same sentence?

Of course this Swahili phrase of Hakuna, meaning "There is not" and Matata, "Problem" has been around long before the Lion King. And Timon and Pumbaa joyously sing about it in a very passive approach because they want to be lazy.

In real life, this man did not use it this way at all. He was not worried because he was solving a business problem with the resources available to him. He was not going to wait for us to come back and not find him in a case of opportunity lost. I loved his use of this phrase!

How many times do we come across a problem, or what we even think will be a potential problem and start to worry about the future and outcomes, or not achieving our goal. Sometimes we do nothing. Sometimes we start worrying about other issues when we should really focus on what matters.

That was it. That is what I want my year to be! I want an Hakuna Matata kind of year!

I want a year of less time lost on stuff that does not really matter. I want a year about getting it done with the resources available.

I think you can also apply Hakuna Matata to diabetes management - and I am not talking about taking the Timon and Pumbaa approach to your diabetes management and not worrying about it. Do not dare do that! Those two words will not solve your problems as suggested in the song.

However, if you are resourceful with the knowledge and tools that are available to you, you will be able to manage your diabetes well.

For example...

Hakuna Matata, I can estimate the carbohydrates in this pasta dish I am about to eat so I know how much insulin I will take.

Not...Hakuna Matata, I will just eat that pasta and not worry about it or giving myself any insulin.

Another one...

Hakuna Matata, I did not get the A1c result that I wanted, but I am going to work harder to manage my diabetes for next time.

Not...Hakuna Matata, I am not sure my A1c will be good, so I am not going worry about going for a check up.

I think you get the idea.

Do not take a "no worries" approach to mean that you are not going to do anything about it.

Be resourceful, and focus on solving the issue, or whatever goal it is you want to achieve.

Whatever your goals are for the year, I wish you the happiest and healthiest year you can possibly have. And when needed, take the real island approach and be resourceful.

Hakuna Matata!

Zanzibar, Tanzania


  1. May you have your Hakuna Matata and some everyday miracles this year!

  2. What a fabulous word and concept: Hakuna Matata. Funny how when we release worry the solution or word comes to us. I love your words, "I want a year of less time lost on stuff that does not really matter. I want a year about getting it done with the resources available." Yes!!!

    1. Thanks Juls! Yes.. worry.. and I am pretty risk adverse and worked as a risk manager before.. consulted on it, etc.. so it was my job to do that.. very difficult to get it out of the picture sometimes.. but is a must to move forward!! Happy New Year!

  3. That's a great approach to the new year! I like how you look at the Hakuna Matata mindset as being able to solve problems better rather than throwing caution to the mind and being reckless. We could all embrace that idea. Wishing you a great 2017!

  4. Great concept! Thanks for the idea. I'm going to try the Hakuna Matata idea myself. A great way of solving an issue without the stress.

  5. Pam, what a wonderful message!! I like how you reframed the phrase and made it more actionable. May you and your family have a healthy and happy new year as well!!

  6. what a FABULOUS word of the year, pam! hakuna matata just brings a smile to my face every time i say it to myself, silently or out loud. (and of course, happy memories of watching "the lion king" with my family long ago. :) )

    i'm not much into resolutions either, but i've chosen a word of the year every year since 2011. and i can tell you that i absolutely love having it as an inspirational guide. hope you enjoy yours too!