In the Trenches: Diabetes Dad

I’m always surprised at one of the questions I receive very frequently in this journey: “Do I miss acting?”

For those who do not know, acting, the theater and beyond has always been my dream since junior year in high school when I appeared in my high school production of Godspell. It would be my first professional show (got paid) and would also be included in my first stint at Summer Stock in Salem, New Hampshire. I was, and still am, a member of the acting unions (SAG-AFTRA; Actor’s Equity). For years, acting was pretty much my life.

Being part of the long-running NYC smash hit, Tony ‘N Tina’s Wedding was an incredible experience for me (13 years) and many with whom I was privileged to work with, I’m still in touch. Yes, theater, television, movies–I was working in all of it, and I LOVED every second. But being involved in that world is only important because I loved it. I know many people who were in many different professions when diabetes became the new normal. I know many people who gave up what they loved as well.

And here is the thing: miss it? Absolutely. Regret it? Not for one single second.

Perhaps I’m being naïve, and that’s okay because it’s my life and I can feel what I want; I also believe we will get to the goal I promised my daughter of a cure (and now my son as well) and the acting world will once again be in my life. The goal became bigger than a spotlight; it became the welfare of my child.

If not for our children, then for whom?

What did you give up when diabetes became the new normal? A job? A career? Sleep? Not to mention the people who actually have diabetes, what we may have given up, pales in that comparison. This world of diabetes was NEVER supposed to be a profession for me. One door opened, and another, and another, and another, and they keep opening all the time. And as much as I keep at it, I also spend a good deal of my own time advocating for various other important diabetes issues. This is our lives and, quite frankly, I love it.

I have met some incredible people on this journey, many I love, and some are even like family to me. I think we have made a dent or two along the way as well in the battle. A battle I will continue as long as there is a breath in me or until my kids can have some means of a biological replacement producing insulin and monitoring their glucose again. I have seen many management tools come, go, and even become much better; and I’m sure those efforts will continue with great successes; which is all good.

But I wait until such time that this journey is complete, and I can return to my world, which is “to be, or not to be; that is the question?” Until that time I’m in it to end it.

I am a diabetes dad.

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