Sean Glass: Dancing—and Juggling Life—to His Own Tunes
"For any kid it definitely takes an adjustment. But I think it's something you learn early on, that it's your body and your responsibility," says Glass, who was diagnosed when he was 5 years old.
But when it comes to his life, there are a host of things Glass considers just as important as his type 1 diabetes.
A married father of three, the 29-year-old juggles his family, his music-the singer-songwriter just recorded his first album, "Lucky Wind," and will release his second in the fall of 2013-and his job in web design and computer repair, all the while making sure his health takes a top priority.
"It's easy to get distracted, and that can lead to some dangerous situations. Sometimes it's hard to remember to pack a meter, check your pump, etc. But it doesn't take long to realize that unless you take five minutes to take care of yourself you can't be a good parent, spouse or anything that requires a functioning human," he says. "It has to be a priority."
As a child, he attended camps where he met others with the disease. But still, he has never allowed diabetes to dominate his life, especially since just six years after his diagnosis he learned he had a slow-growing, benign brain tumor that ultimately would require two surgeries.
"With diabetes, you have to stay on top of it, but once you have other problems, it makes you glad you have something that's manageable," he says. "And everyone's got their own battles they've fought."
Glass isn't alone when it comes to managing his health and wellness, though, since his wife also has type 1 diabetes, a factor that was part of what brought the two together.
"It's good to have somebody who can relate to and understand all the things" that are part of living with diabetes, Glass says.
It was his wife, a huge fan of her insulin pump, who talked Glass into getting one of his own. That move alone has made his life much easier, he says.
"I had been holding out and not wanting to do it. But it made all the difference, and I thought, ‘why didn't I do that years ago?'"
Having to focus less on his blood glucose levels allows him the freedom to pursue his passions in life, including his music, which he squeezes in whenever he has a chance.
Glass recorded his first album in a file storage area at his place of employment, and he writes lyrics on the fly, whenever they might find him.
"I'm really always on the clock as far as songwriting goes because it's just something I love to do," he says. "There's nothing like the feeling of finishing a new song, so I'm always chasing that moment or melody. I'm pretty much always trying to write the next song."
Works so far includes the folk-tinged "Helena"-a singer-songwriter-style tribute to his hometown, as well as "Just to Be Here," the last song on his first release, which was written "in an MRI machine shortly after my second brain surgery," he says.
Other songs were penned in between work days and family obligations and life, like the bluesy, old-fashioned song "Every Day," which includes the telling lyrics, "Every day's a new song and dance, Every day's another chance."
For Glass, each day presents an opportunity to not only live his life successfully, but also to show his children that no matter the roadblocks are found along the road of life, there's no reason not to live it to the fullest.
"Hopefully they'll understand that just because you're different doesn't mean you can't accomplish the same things as anyone else," he says, "whether that's having kids, a career, or a passion, or even all three at the same time.
"Of course this is only possible if you take care of yourself," he adds.
For more information about Glass or to learn more about his music, visit www.holdonphoton.com.
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