20130728-20130728-IMG_1349Let me start off by saying “we are not perfect”. Neither are you. We try hard, and we work at it. Every day. The objective is NEVER to be perfect. It is to be a little bit better than yesterday.In this land of Facebook posts and bragging rights, we read about a lot of success stories. A1c scores of 5.9. Pictures of CGM screens staying between 100 and 140 for 4 days straight. Nailing a combo bolus on an Olive Garden dinner of bread sticks, spaghetti, and cheesecake. A dog that alerts correctly 100% of the time.

A lot of that is why I started this page. To paint a more honest, realistic picture. To let you know that the reality is, we work our asses off to just get to mediocre some days. This past Monday, my big success was matching socks. We had a very busy Sunday, getting home late Sunday night, with perfect BG numbers. And then it started. CGM alarms and dog alerts and corrections for 3 hours until finally at 3 am we changed her site. It still took 3 more hours to get her down to normal. I was wiped out all day. Matching socks was a win!

We struggle. Hell, we have 2 dogs because each of them has areas of service dog work that they struggle with. That’s why they fit so well in our family. Because we are not perfect. We appreciate that. We embrace it. We know that those dogs work just as hard as we do to be as successful as they are. It doesn’t come easy for us or them. So we work at it every day.

A year ago January, we had our first A1c test under 7, a 6.9. A then puberty poked it’s head in. And now every other week it’s basal adjustments and carb ratios and highs out of nowhere and dogs alerting for hours and then crating themselves because they don’t want to deal with it and people saying “welcome to the next 5 years of your life”. We are not perfect.

I see the braggarts and the perfect ones, and I read the posts about alerts from 17 miles away while Billy was with grandma on the ski slopes. And I smile. I read about 8 year olds with A1c’s of 6.1. And I smile.Why? Because I know better. I know that the 8 year old is going to be a teenager soon. And I know that at any given time, if Major were to alert, even if Stella wasn’t here, he would have at least a 40% chance of being right. Stella is “in range” 64% of the time. That’s right. 35% of her day is spent outside of that magic 80-140 range. Why? because we are not perfect. And neither is her body. She has a part that is broken. And the insulin that keeps her alive? It is a very temperamental little pain in the ass to work with, once again creating a road block to perfection. We are not perfect.

20130309-20130309-20130309-IMG_0745We have medical devices, electronics that we utilize, that have a BUILT IN +/- tolerance of 10-20%. Read that again. Precision made electronics that we base insulin dosing decisions on (that could have SERIOUS consequences) that are often times off by as much as 20%. Our CGM’s which we judge trends on, are often 20 minutes behind real time and sometimes seem to have a mind of their own. These are computers we rely on to keep us or our children alive. And those computers are not perfect. How can WE expect to be? We are not perfect.

I have found that my life is easier when I accept the fact that I am not perfect. And that the people that claim to be, or want you to think they are, feel that they have to be, possibly due to peer pressure, lack of a support system, misinformation, to please donors, or they are a marketing team for a company or service. We are not perfect.

Even our Endo’s aren’t often affected by type 1. They aren’t living with it or have a child with it. They are giving out advice based on studies, not on real world, dealing with this every day information. Other Dr’s and medical staff we may come into contact with at the hospital or ER don’t have a clue about type 1 diabetes. And we expect to be perfect?

We sleep through 3am checks every once in awhile. We do a standard bolus instead of a combo bolus. We underestimate carbs. We over estimate a bolus. The carb count on a package if off. We bolus and then our child decides they aren’t hungry. We are making decisions about diabetes every day, all day long. It infiltrates every facet of our lives. We win some and we lose some. We get excited when we are successful, and we come down harder on ourselves than our harshest critics ever would when we miss.

thats-why-i-succeedSee, here is how I look at it. The perfect people have nothing to aim for anymore. It will never be better than it is right now for them. It’s already perfect! But for the rest of us? We have goals. Baby steps. Progress. We will have successes, and we will have failures. We will pick ourselves back up, and we will try again. It’s what we do. We will learn from those failures. We will adjust and try again. And you know who is watching us do that? Our children. They are watching. Paying attention. Learning. And hopefully we are teaching them that this isn’t easy. That we have to work for it. And we work for it because it’s important. For them. For us.

So let’s celebrate our successes. Lord knows we work hard for them. But let’s embrace and share our failures too. If you never fail, you never learn. Next time you go to Olive Garden, you will try something different. Your child wants to run track? There may be a steep learning curve. Accept it. Work at it. Go for it. And if you need to, ask for help. Someone else has been there. The dog always eats your socks? Someone probably has an idea on how to correct it.

None of us are experts. We are human. We are tired. Exhausted both mentally and physically by fighting a beast that never rests. We make mistakes. Love each other. Help each other. Hug each other. Know that many of us are working our asses off. And that the harder we work, the more effort we put in, the easier it may appear to the outside world.

I’m a runner. Doesn’t matter where I run, when I come across another runner, we acknowledge each other. A hand wave, a nod of the head. A tell tale sign that we realize how hard this is. A little recognition for the effort. I think we in the diabetic community need the same thing. A little sign that says “regardless of anything else, you are making an effort”. It is progress, not perfection we should seek.

And with that, I will leave you with my all time favorite quote, “The Man In The Arena”


Team Blackdogsrule




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  1. Johanna DeGidio Reynolds

    “Perfection” in the T1D and DAD worlds is a myth! Thank you for once again sharing the TRUE day-to-day life of a Type 1 Diabetic, the families who are also affected, and two amazing DADs!

  2. As you know Frank I do not live in the diabetic arena. And I do not pretend to understand your world. But from my vantage point I care …I laugh and I cry. I hope for the day Type 1 is dead! Thank you for candid writings that educate us all. God bless your family and keep Stella – and all of you safe. And God Bless the DADS!