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Joe Solowiejczyk and CWD.

Back in 2009, when I attended the Children With Diabetes "Friends for Life" conference for the first time, I had the opportunity to check out the "It's Not Just a Numbers Game" session with Joe Solowiejczyk.  It was awesome!

From that entry: 

Joe Solowiejczyk"I schedule my diabetes depression days," he said.  "I plan them and then I tell everyone I know to call me every hour and tell me how courageous I am."  He laughed.  "After about an hour, I'm sick of it and I just want to move on with my day."

I like Joe.  I like listening to him talk and I respect him for managing diabetes for over 47 years.  I respect him for saying, "It took years for me to be able to say, 'I'm having a hard time with diabetes,' without it being a chip on my integrity."  This statement resonated for me because I think people want to read blogs about diabetes and find a lot of upbeat moments and happiness.  But the truth of life is that there is an emotional gamut to be run and we have the right to run it, diabetes or no diabetes.

"You can not like it and still do it.  Hating it [diabetes] and doing it are not mutually exclusive states." 

He talked about the daily duties of a person with diabetes, from waking up in the morning and testing to all of the bits and pieces of precision management that are required along the way.  The possibility of a cure was mentioned.  And while many diabetics say "I'll eat the contents of an entire Crumb's Bakery," or "I'll drink orange juice FOR FUN," Joe smiled gently.   

"If there's a cure?  What will I do?  I'll sit on a park bench for three weeks and stare at the sky and do nothing."  

Joe has a video that's up on the ChildrenWithDiabetes site, and it's from that same 2009 Friends for Life session.  If you haven't had a chance to see him talk live, you can catch some of his personality and inspirational words in this video

Just watching this video again today has made me smile, and made me less frustrated with the 221 mg/dl I woke up with this morning.  Thank you again, Joe.


I guess I was wearing a purple shirt that day :)

I love Joe!!

Oh he's wonderful - thank you so much for sharing this! It's given me the idea of giving Grace a 'courageous' day where people can tell her how brave and courageous and wonderful she is, when she gets down about having D. Great idea, even for our youngest kids.

He sounds so wise :) Thanks for posting this. And it's so true you can do something you don't like. Absolutely true. I hate changing two sets of diapers all day long yet I'm still happy to do it!

I took the time to watch it, and I am not sorry I did! A wonderful video with something for everyone! Truly awesome!

Loved this! Love his response to the "what would you do if there was a cure" question. Thanks for posting this.

Thank you Kerry - I hadn't seen this video, and it's exactly what we needed to see right now.

And I, too, woke up at 200+.... must be something in the air...

Joe is my hero! I love him. I've had the pleasure of working with him and some of our patients - his way of interacting with teens is fantastic.

I woke up with 241 mg/dl this morning for no apparent reason. Bleh :-/

I had lunch with Joe today! He passed his 50 years with Diabetes in December!! Joe is amazing! An Inspiration and a funny guy to share lunch with!! :)

My 20 yr daughter is getting a pump. Her A1c numbers keep climbing. The Dr thinks this will help. We will see. She is not very good about her diet or giving shots and counting carbs. Can you give me any info on different pumps.Or suggest a web site. They are talking about the onetouchping, omnipod, minimed paradigm. Thanks for any help you can share. I love reading your site.

This video was floating around yesterday and I'm so glad I took the time to watch. Joe has so much wisdom to offer and I really needed to hear everything that he said.

It was also the first I had heard of Friends for Life. Are their conferences yearly or in other US states?

I heard Joe do his 'its not just a numbers game' at the UK FFL last year. He is amazing, he really is. He makes you think, he makes it simple and he makes it clear. I can't wait to hear him again.

Awesome info. I really enjoyed watching this.

Thanks for sharing.

So glad to hear someone acknowledge that diabetes is as much or maybe more of an emotional struggle than a physical struggle. I've struggled with it for 20 years -- maybe I'll just keep up the struggle for a little longer! :-)

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