Off the Dial

Crystal Bowersox at Friends For Life

What a treat to speak with Crystal Bowersox earlier this summer.

For the second year, the singer/songwriter and American Idol runner-up traveled to the Friends For Life Conference. She shared her own experiences with type 1 diabetes and became an inspiration to the children and families there.

Here’s my interview with her:

I spoke with Crystal two years ago over the phone, for a radio station interview. It was fun, but nothing compares with speaking to someone in person. She has a genuine affection for these kids and, at times, seems almost surprised that she’s become a role model for them. I hope she continue to return for this conference and many more.

 

 

 

Diabetes Peer Pressure (the good kind)

How many times have you struggled to get your child to do something only to realize all it takes is seeing one of their friends do the very same thing? Sometimes diabetes care works that way too.

Benny took a step forward at the recent Children with Diabetes Friends for Life Conference.  Children with Diabetes is a wonderful online resource.  Friends For Life is their yearly conference, set up so that families can meet up, have fun and learn about diabetes.

There were more than 3000 people at this year’s event at a DisneyWorld resort and every family had someone carrying a meter or wearing an insulin pump or other diabetes gear. It’s a pretty incredible feeling to not be the only ones in the room – or even at the table – checking blood sugar or counting carbs.

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Yummy souvenirs we brought home. How many carbs in Mike Wazowski?

One night at dinner we sat with a family from Texas.  The daughter has type 1 and the younger son is Benny’s age. They were goofing around when Benny heard me talking about what kind of pump we use. He turned to me and said, “Mom, I want an SMG.”

I said, “A what?”

“Mom, you’ve been talking about it for years,” Benny rolled his eyes. “You know, an SMG. For diabetes.”

For diabetes? What the heck is an SMG? Did he see something new at the conference expo? SMH is how you text “shaking my head”, right? Is this “shaking my groove?” “sharing my glucose?” (I’m hopeless)

Finally, I got it. “You mean a CGM!!”

I’d been talking to Benny about a continuous glucose monitor on and off for years. Until now, he didn’t want anything to do with one.  I can’t say I blame him. The inset is the hardest part of our diabetes care and it’s hard to imagine another one on his body.  But I’ve always thought a CGM could be an incredibly valuable addition to our arsenal; all that information!

When we got home, I started the process of setting up a test CGM run at our next doctor’s visit, later this month. I don’t know if Benny will change his mind the minute he sees the inserter (and the needle), but I’m excited he’s even considering this step.

I’d like to think it was all my doing, but I know it’s because of what he saw at the conference. He’s started thinking of a CGM less as a burden and more as cool diabetes gear. The best kind of peer pressure, courtesy of Friends For Life.