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Latest Posts

Growing Up With Type 1 Diabetes

In the years I’ve attended CWD’s Friends for Life conference, I always came away with this appreciation for what the conference provides for kids with diabetes, and their parents.  Kids – a whole bunch of them – running amuck and clad in green bracelets with pump tubing flapping from underneath their t-shirts … it’s a place where these families hopefully feel normal, and safe, and understood.

But I’m not a kid with diabetes.  I’m an adult.  (I checked, and it’s true: adult.)  I always felt welcomed at past FFL conferences, but people constantly checked for the kid at my side, because the “child with diabetes” surely couldn’t be me.  (And then there was that time that the registration lady thought Sara(aah) was my child with diabetes, wherein my head exploded.)

Growing up with diabetes isn’t hard.  It isn’t easy.  I can’t assign adjectives to it because it’s all I’ve ever known, so growing up with diabetes is exactly synonymous to “just plain growing up.”  My friends didn’t have to take injections or chase NPH peaks, but we were in the same classes and rode the same bus and went on the same field trips, so we were “the same.”  The difference, at that point in my life, was Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Father To Daughter: The Lessons Of Illness

Ruthie and Andrew

When I was diagnosed with leukemia my daughter, Ruthie, was just two and a half. She has vague memories of our household being turned upside down with worried, hushed conversations and friends and relatives calling A LOT. Because a leading specialist, Dr. Michael Keating from MD Anderson Cancer Center, advised against having treatment right away (something better was coming along), I did not have treatment for more than four years. By then Ruthie was seven. She has vivid memories then of me going off to Houston, accompanied by her mom, for a week of initial treatment and then successive weeks of treatment every month for quite a while back here in Seattle. She also remembers me tired, nauseous and, some days, in bed.  The better memory is me participating in a clinical trial that worked and then returning to a full and active life.

Ruthie and I had never really talked about her observations of this until last night. Now, almost 18, Ruthie will be headed to college soon. It’s been a “journey.” As with many teenagers, they can be rebellious and oppositional, at times. But, in most cases, they eventually return to that loving person you remember. Ruthie has been making that return and, as she does, we’ve been talking more.

Last Friday night Ruthie called me in a panic. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Andrew's Blog*

Stress Is Like A Tsunami

StressedSo I’ve been thinking a lot about stress lately.

Obviously, it’s because I’m in one of those work/personal periods where the word comes in all capital letters and my dreams seem to be caught on a continual loop of taking-an-exam-in-a-class-I-forgot-to-attend-all-semester (and yes, I’ve been out of school for 26 years now)/realizing-I-just-bought-a-new-house-and-have-to-move/or, finding-that-I-have-10-stories-due-tomorrow (for the newspaper at which I haven’t worked in years).

This latter dream comes closest to my own situation at the moment given that I find myself with just a wee bit too much work for the time allotted (ok, maybe a lot too much work). I’m coping — going to bed later, getting up earlier, reaching out to a couple of writer friends for help) but it nonetheless has my cortisol and norepinephrine hormone production on overtime.

Which brings me to the point of this blog. Your health on stress. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at A Medical Writer's Musings on Medicine, Health Care, and the Writing Life*

Teenage Personal Responsibility: What Is The Motivation To Grow Up?

Many of us are conscious of the fact that not only has our culture extended adolescence to about age 22, now “adultescence” seems to be becoming the norm. This phenomenon is experienced by parents whose adult children return home after college, for whatever reason – some financial, others just not sure what else to do – creating a large number of “failure to launch” scenarios for parents who should be retiring and worrying about their own parents, without adult children to worry about, too!

Paralleling this process seems to be what my daughter, a rising senior in high school, describes as her own “I won’t grow up” crisis. She drives, she works, she makes decisions, she has friends and a boyfriend, she is excited about her summer plans, applying for college as well as going to college, and perceives her life as supported, magical and pretty darn perfect. So, why on earth should she look forward to being a grown-up?

What is the motivation? What do adults in our society have that teens and young adults who go to college do not – well let me see – marriages, bills, worry, stress, chores, a full time job, a house, cars to purchase and maintain, kids, colleagues, bosses, pets, neighborhood issues – and so on.

Newsflash folks, by giving our teens the rights and privileges associated with adulthood at younger and younger ages, we have effectively removed their motivation to grow up and leave home! Parenting has become a lifelong profession as we uberly competent and supportive parents have created a generation of young adults who do not need to become responsible for their own lives, and we have made it exceedingly difficult to answer the question – why should I grow up?

Beats me, is all I can say!

This post, Teenage Personal Responsibility: What Is The Motivation To Grow Up?, was originally published on by Nancy Brown, Ph.D..

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