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Arden's Day Blog

Arden's Day is a type I diabetes care giver blog written by author Scott Benner. Scott has been a stay-at-home dad since 2000, he is the author of the award winning parenting memoir, 'Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal'. Arden's Day is an honest and transparent look at life with diabetes - since 2007.

type I diabetes, parent of type I child, diabetes Blog, OmniPod, DexCom, insulin pump, CGM, continuous glucose monitor, Arden, Arden's Day, Scott Benner, JDRF, diabetes, juvenile diabetes, daddy blog, blog, stay at home parent, DOC, twitter, Facebook, @ardensday, 504 plan, Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal, Dexcom SHARE, 生命是短暂的,洗衣是永恒的, Shēngmìng shì duǎnzàn de, xǐyī shì yǒnghéng de

Filtering by Category: Arden's Writing

I Wonder Why Diabetes Picked Me

Scott Benner

There I was sitting at Arden's little desk for back to school night wondering if I could be home in time to eat dinner while it was still warm.

The teacher spoke about class culture, math and the bell schedule... pretty standard stuff. While nervous parents asked questions I looked through Arden's desk and wrote her a note about my excitement for her upcoming school year.

It felt like the evening was drawing to a close when Arden's teacher said, "The children wrote a poem from writing prompts, I'll pass them around so you can read them".

When I grasped Arden's in my hand I immediately recognized the format from a few years prior when my son Cole was in fifth grade. I smiled because he filled in the first line almost identically to Arden. 

The first prompt is, "I am"

Cole wrote athletic and smart. Arden said, athletic and funny.

My eyes moved to the second line with proud anticipation.

"I wonder..."

I don't remember what Cole wondered about in the second line of his poem, but I can tell you that Arden's query about life was, most certainly, not the same.

I wonder why diabetes picked me as it's target, Arden asked.

A fist sized lump formed in my throat as I picked a spot on the wall to stare at while I collected myself. I won't lie, I had to bear down hard to stop from crying. I quickly slapped a fake smile on my face and kept reading, scared of what other diabetes related thoughts Arden harbors – but there were none. 

When I was finished the poem I snuck a peak at some of the other kid's work. One girl wondered about zebra strips, another why recess was so short - whimsical thoughts from the minds of ten year olds. There was a small second when I could have indulged the pity that I was feeling and I almost did.

Then I thought, "Is it really that bad if Arden wonders why she got diabetes when so many others didn't? The simple answer was no. I found myself feeling proud that she wonders about her life and reminded myself that her writing didn't focus only on diabetes, in fact the poem was nearly thirty lines in length and this was the only mention. Arden saw herself as funny, athletic and confident about her future. She watches nature with curiosity and though Arden prefers quiet when she works, she doesn't judge others who don't. She didn't say she was sad, burdened and everything else about how she sees herself was intensely positive. There was absolutely no reason why I should allow myself to feel like her curiosity about diabetes was anything but that, curiosity. There are so many joyous aspects to who Arden is, she was celebrating them and she deserved for me to do the same.

I choose to be happy about all that Arden understands about her life and proud that she can reflect on her type I diabetes without wallowing. If she can do it, then I can too.

Arden won't know this for a long time but when she wrote that poem, she unwittingly added to my diabetes community with support that buoyed me. And so today I share her words with you in hopes that they will do the same.

The lesson that I took from my little girl's poem is a simple but profound truth.

Diabetes sucks but it isn't who we are. I decide when, where and how it makes me feel.

My name is Scott. I am a writer, a father, a husband and though sometimes I wonder why diabetes choose my daughter, I wonder a little less today because of her clarity and wisdom.


GiveAway Winners Announced

Scott Benner

If you were around at all last week you saw the celebration for the sixth anniversary of this blog. Giveaways were abound and now it's time to pick the winners. As always, we used the tried and true method of pulling names from a hat and the ever popular, 'first come, first serve', gambit.

I'll begin by letting you know that the first ten people that said (on the blog) that they would like a copy of the new book, 'Coco's First Sleepover', from Lilly/Disney will receive an email today letting them know they won. Next, Lauren's Hope announced two winners yesterday of the giveaway that they hosted to help me celebrate Arden's Day's sixth year.

Before you watch the video of Arden picking the JDRF and "Life Is Short' giveaway winners, I want to take a second to highlight the wonderful comments that folks left for the JDRF giveaway, and ask that you give them a read, the each uniquely express why walking for the JDRF is such a fantastic experience - check them out!

Okay, this video will revel the two people who won a signed copy of my book and the single winner of the $50 JDRF walk/ride donation - Bonus: you'll get to see my black eye. Thanks to each of you for reading and for entering the various contest, good luck!

Winners, you will be receiving an email later today with instructions on how to claim your prize. Hold tight.

The Diabetic Problem

Scott Benner

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Arden's Cover Page

It seems that this is the day. Arden asked us last week if she could post something that she wrote at school on Arden's Day. After some serious consideration, we said yes. The following is Arden's 3rd grade writing project. Her assignment was to write a piece of Realistic Fiction, a story that could feasible happen. Be sure to read Arden's Author's Note (Her words, she actually said, "I want to write an author's note after my story) that follows the story.

'The Diabetic Problem' by Arden Benner

Ever since Emme's doctor told her she had diabetes she changed. Now she always had to test her blood sugar. She has to give herself insulin and when someone asked what she was doing, she always had to tell them. She was getting TIRED of it! The worst part of all, some kids even made fun of her! She did not want to test her blood sugar anymore or give insulin to herself. But what would she do about her diabetes... What would she do?

 

She went to school the one day and decided to sit at the "cool" table. She did not test her blood sugar or give herself insulin. In the middle of lunch she passed out on the cafeteria floor! One of the girls that always picked on her, Mackenzie, went for help. Emme went right to the hospital. She woke up the next morning and her whole family was there. She saw something in the corner of her eye. She looked to her right and saw the girl that helped her when she passed out.

Emme looked straight at her and said, "Thank you". The girl looked right back at her and replied, "you're welcome", then the girl gave Emme a hug. Emme asked, "why did you help me, you hardly know me?"

"I may not know you but I've been through this before, my dad has diabetes" replied the girl. "Just last week my dad had a scary incident like you did in the cafeteria".

"Really", replied Emme. The girl hugged her again.

The next morning Emme woke up surrounded by her family. She had a great idea and said, "Maybe we should all go into school including Mackenzie and... TELL THEM WHAT DIABETES IS"

Everyone thought that was a great idea and so they all went to school that day.

Now they know what it means. They asked so many questions. How did you get diabetes? Is there a certain reason that you have it? Why do you have it when no one else in your family does?

"All I know is diabetes choose me... I didn't choose diabetes", Emme responded.

From that day on her classmates were a lot nicer to her.

Author's Note: Hi this is Arden. I am going to tell you a little more about my story. This story was kind of based on my life, but I have never been treated this way. I want to thank my dad for making this blog and for telling the kids in my school about diabetes so that I don't get treated poorly like the girl in my story. You should not read this story and think that it was just cute and kind. I think this story is more about how nice my family is and how well they treat and help me. I want to thank my dad Scott, my mom Kelly and even my brother Cole for taking such good care of me. Thank you. - Arden Benner

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Emme and Mackenzie

Update

on 2013-02-13 02:33 by Scott Benner

Thank you to everyone in the DOC for all of the great support today. Blue Jays Pitcher Brandon Marrow even 'pitched' in!

Morrow RT.tiff