Off the Dial

More Famous People

Just looked up at the row of TVs in our studio and saw that Jeff Glor is anchoring the CBS Early Show with Hannah Storm today. I used to work with Jeff and some other folks who are now at CBS (read that blog entry here).

If you read that, you’ll see I also used to work with Susan Koeppen, now the Consumer Reporter at CBS. So I look up a minute later and see Jeff & Susan doing a segment together on the Early Show. Hi guys!

I promise I won’t rehash this every time they’re on – seems like that’ll be pretty often now – but just a little more name dropping before I stop.

I have to give a shout out to Matthew Berry, aka, The Talented Mr. Roto. We were friends in college and he went out to LA to write for television and movies. Turns out, he actually made more money writing about fantasy baseball. Now he’s ESPN’s senior director of fantasy sports. You can read his blog here.

Another college friend and my roommate for our first jobs after college, she’s known as B.B. Good and does middays on Radio Disney.

Last time I wrote this type of blog I heard from Eric Stangel. He’s the head writer for Late Show with David Letterman and we emailed back and forth after he read my entry. I heard from some other friends and I forgot to tell Eric something. Turns out one of my friends had a big crush on him in college. It was B.B!

So that’s it with the name dropping. Unless CBS decides to hire somebody else I used to work with. In the meantime, if you’re famous and I know you, drop me a line!

The Pump Part 2

Okay. We’ve seen it – now I’m really excited about the pump. We’re still a ways from figuring out if it’s the best thing for Benny, but our visit to the Carolinas Diabetes Center yesterday went really well.

Our diabetes educator is Linnet and I adore her. She has two sons with Type I Diabetes – they were both diagnosed as toddlers and are now in college. She knows what we’re going through.

Linnet had different model pumps right there for us to touch, press the buttons, etc. Benny picked up the one we had decided on and somehow got it to make music. He loved that. Apparently, these pumps all have beeping alerts for low battery, etc and you can set this one to music, sort of like downloading a ringtone. Not surprised my two year old figured out how that worked before we did!

We’ve decided on the Animas pump, but there are pros and cons for every model.

In addition to the pump, you also have to choose an infusion set. That’s the thin, flexible tubing which ends up under the skin. Basically, a needle goes in under the skin, then comes out, leaving a thin cannula behind. What’s left above the skin looks like a dime-sized nicotine patch with a bump and you attach the tubing to that. The insulin goes from the pump (worn like a pager on your belt) through the tubing and under your skin. You change that set every three days or so.

There are several different kinds of infusion sets, some with fancy applicators, some with longer needles. We decided on one that uses a purple applicator – it looks like a child’s stamper – and tried it out on Benny. I made Slade do it – I was worried it would really hurt and I wanted to be the good guy if it did. Benny reacted just like he does to a shot – no big deal. He’s such a tough little guy. I was so excited and relieved.

We decided to leave the little patch on his body, to see if it bothered him at all. It’s also to see if it comes off as he runs around or sweats (it shouldn’t). My five year old daughter wanted to check it out and she thought it was pretty cool. Other than that, we didn’t point it out at all and he did great. Took a bath, slept fine. Didn’t seem to notice it at all.

We’ll have to take it out in three days – we’re traveling to New York to see my parents tomorrow and I want my mom and dad to see the site before we remove it.

Next step? We actually order the pump and the infusion sets. It will probably be about a month before we start pumping. You spend a week without real insulin in the system – they use saline just to see how well Benny tolerates wearing the thing. So maybe by July 4th we’ll be on the real deal.

The Pump

This week we’re taking Benny to the Carolinas Diabetes Center to learn more about and try an insulin pump. It’s a big step because if he takes to it, it may mean the end of shots for us.

Here’s how an insulin pump works, according to a wonderful website, Children With Diabetes: An insulin pump is a small mechanical device, a little larger than a pager that is worn outside the body, often on a belt or in a pocket. It delivers fast-acting insulin into the body via an infusion set — a thin plastic tube ending in a small, flexible plastic cannula or a very thin needle. You insert the cannula beneath the skin at the infusion site, usually in your abdomen or upper buttocks. You keep the infusion set in place for two to three days (sometimes more), and then move it to a new location. All insulin is delivered through the infusion set.

An insulin pump certainly isn’t a cure, and it doesn’t mean we can stop checking Benny’s blood sugar with those finger pricks. In fact, we may have to check him even more, especially at first. But the big advantage of the pump is that it gives you much better blood sugar control. You can use much smaller and more precise doses and instead of a shot every time Benny eats 15 carbs or more, we’ll be able to just press a button.

They’ve only been recommending pumps for children as young as Benny for a few years. One of the biggest studies on preschoolers was published in 2006.

I’m curious about so many aspects of this. How will he wear it? Most adults I know wear their pumps like a pager, clipped onto a belt or waistband. I’ve seen little kids with a kind of fanny pack to hold it on. I can’t imagine my very active 2 year old will tolerate that – but maybe he will. The infusion site looks sort of like a nicotine patch to me once it’s in. Benny doesn’t even like band-aids (Off, Mommy!) so we’ll see how he takes to that.

I just feel like this would be easier if Benny could really comprehend the advantages of the pump. At two years old, I can’t tell him “no more shots” because he’ll still get one every three days as we change the infusion site. Our Diabetes Educator, Linnet, was very reassuring. She says there are plenty of little kids running around Charlotte with these pumps and it works out just fine.

We think we’ve decided on which brand to use (there are six companies that make different models). We’ll get to see it up close, touch it, press all the buttons and figure out if it’s really the one we want to go with. (It’s not why we chose them but I like their tagline.. “takes a thumpin’ and keeps on pumping.) Our insurance only pays for a new pump once every four years so it’s a big decision we’ll live with until Benny’s six. Six? Now I’m thinking about my little guy going to kindergarten with a pump. That’s a whole other set of worry!

No Bubba, Mickey Mouse

For about a year, Benny’s favorite show has been the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on The Disney Channel. It’s not the old Mousketeer show, but it’s a new and pretty cute cartoon.

Since it caught his eye, though, he’s been calling Mickey, Bubba. I think it started as Muh-ma which actually makes sense. Not sure how it morphed into Bubba, but I have to admit, I love it.
I think it’s fun when little kids mess up words and names. Admit it – someone in your family has a nickname that came from a two year old.

Benny has never been able to say his big sister’s name. It’s Lea, but he’s always called her Ya-ya. Since he’s at the bus stop every morning, he’s decided that the big yellow thing she gets on isn’t a school bus, it’s a Ya-ya bus. It’s to the point where half the people at the bus stop call it the Ya-ya bus.

But I think it’s all soon to end. Last night he saw Mickey on TV and said, “Mommy, Bubba-Mouse!” I laughed and said, “No, Mickey Mouse!” He repeated, “Mickey Mouse.” I said, “Yes, Bubba.” He looked at me like I was crazy. “No, Mommy. No Bubba, Mickey Mouse.”

I was really hoping this Bubba thing would hold out until we got a chance to take Benny to Disney World. I was dying to see him run up to Mickey yelling, “Bubba!” Oh well.