Saturday, May 14, 2016

Tales of a diabetic father: the dangers of complacency in diabetes (and what we can learn from a Matthew Broderick movie)

A number of years ago, our family had a major medical emergency: we lost our daughter's insulin pump somewhere between our local pool, my sister-in-law's van, and our house.  Needless to say, we were in a panic.

I'll spare the details of the ordeal, but rest assured we found the pump by our front door--amidst a pile of shoes in the corner--the next morning.  For a good 12+ hours, we had to rely on insulin pens (which my daughter hated!) to deliver insulin and kept an all-night vigil every 2-3 hours.

We became a victim of complacency.  And for diabetics, this is a very bad place to be.  Instead of constantly wanting to know where the pump was and making sure she wears it at all times, we fell into a mode that could've turned out dangerous.

Raising diabetic children requires us parents to have a constant vigil.  I'm reminded of the Matthew Broderick movie from 1983 called War Games.In particular, the DEFCON mode of the country, with DEFCON 5 being completely safe and DEFCON 1 being World War III.  Dealing with diabetes requires parents to be constantly in that DEFCON 2 or 3 mode, and ready to move to 1 at a moment's notice.

Even though emergencies may be far and few between, they can happen.  And many of those times can be preventable, as we become victims of complacency.

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