Ask Our Team
Joe Solowiejczyk RN, MSW, CDE
Joe Solowiejczyk is the Clinical Manager of Counseling & Presentations for Animas Corporation, a Johnson and Johnson Company. A healthcare professional who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for over 40 years, Joe is able to translate his personal experiences into patient care. As a nurse, diabetes educator and family therapist, he specializes in assessing how family dynamics impact the management of diabetes and designs interventions that result in more effective coping and optimal metabolic control.
Joe works extensively with both patients and professionals on the Family-Approach to Diabetes Management. He works with pediatric patients and their families in hospital clinics and private physicians' offices, and conducts workshops nationally and abroad for parents to help them cope with their child's diagnosis and daily challenge of living with diabetes. He designs educational and counseling programs for both children and adults with diabetes, as well as seminars for health care professionals on integrating family therapy into clinical practice.
As President of InBalance Healthcare, Joe provided consulting expertise to pharmaceutical companies and health care marketing firms in the development of unique and positive partnerships among healthcare professionals, patients and products. He was also instrumental in the development of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia-Presbyterian, a comprehensive, family-focused center for diabetes research, education and patient care, where he served as the Associate Director of Clinical Services. He worked as a consultant to Children's Hospital Oakland, helping them to expand and develop their clinical diabetes program and with the Oakland Unified School District where he developed and coordinated the implementation of their in-district diabetes program; the first of its kind in the country. Joe has appeared in San Francisco/Bay Area newspapers, local and national television and radio, as well as National Public Radio's "All Things Considered".
"I would love to know how to stop worrying ALL the time, especially when Alexis isn't with me, at a sleepover for example."
One of the best ways to "stop worrying all the time" about your child's diabetes is to make sure that if it's a 2 parent family, that both parents are equally knowledgeable about how to manage the daily aspects-carb counting, insulin dose adjustment based on blood sugar results, etc. How you "divide" up who's responsible for what is totally up to you guys (parents) BUT it's absolutely important that it be a shared burden. If it's a 1 parent family, make sure you have a network of support made up of friends and family that care and that are sensitive and compassionate.
Also, it's important to try and find out why you might be worried all the time, to the point of having a hard time 'letting go". Having a child diagnosed with diabetes absolutely makes it hard to let go, especially when coming to terms about your inability as a parent to "fix" the problem or make the "boo boo go away". All parents have difficulty with this one! It's the reality that makes most parents feel powerless. Recognizing this and acknowledging your feelings of powerlessness in this area can make you cry and feel sad, but it's real and might make it easier to let go over time. It will give you the power to help you and your child realize what you do have control over.
It's perfectly normal and okay to feel powerless, angry, frustrated, sad, hopeless and defeated. One should worry a little if you're not feeling that! The more you accept these feeling as part of the process, the freer you'll feel and the more you'll be able to let your child have a sleep over without being worried to death. Part of sharing the burden is to be able to have someone else there so that you can collapse, from time to time, into their arms, knowing that you can't make it go away, you can face it together and that if you all keep on doing the footwork and suiting up and showing up everyday, that your child will have an incredible life-that's a promise!