Off the Dial


Diabetes Connections #WDDchat14

Last week I was thrilled to host one hour of the 24 Hour Twitter Marathon for World Diabetes Day. It was a bit of a blur, but it was a lot of fun.

I wanted to share some highlights. If this looks like fun, and you’re on Twitter, consider following the hashtag #DSMA. It stands for diabetes social media advocacy and every Wednesday from 9-10am (ET) there’s a chat with a different diabetes focus.

My topic was “Diabetes Connections:”



These are just a few answers and part of the conversation. You can check out the entire day on Twitter by searching the hashtag #WDDchat14. It may take a while to read them all, though. Remember, it was 24 hours!

Looking forward to doing this again next year. Especially because I got some great feedback:



Catching up with NASCAR’s Ryan Reed

We met NASCAR driver Ryan Reed a few years ago, when he was on the ARCA tour. Now he’s in his rookie year on the big stage and he’s really fun to watch. I like knowing that he’s got the same Dexcom receiver Benny uses mounted right on his dashboard!

I was able to catch up with him recently at Charlotte Motor Speedway:

Lily Diabetes has done a great job of explaining all the hard work that goes into being a driver who has type 1 diabetes. They’ve created a web series talking to Ryan’s “pit crew” and his “diabetes crew:”

How cool is his doctor?

Loads more info at:



Big Blue Test at School

The Big Blue Test is one of my favorite diabetes advocacy campaigns. It’s very simple: check your blood sugar, exercise for 15-20 minutes and then check again. Enter the results online at Sometimes we forget how important exercise to manage diabetes. This is a great way to bring that point home.

We’ve done it a couple of times, but when I heard they were expanding it to schools, I knew Benny would want to take part. He’s in the Turning Tigers this year, a very popular jump rope club at his school only open to 4th and 5th graders. They perform at events like Davidson College basketball games & Town Day. My daughter did it when she was in grade school and still remembers the routine, almost three years later.

We were thrilled when the Turning Tigers agreed to take the Big Blue Test. It’s the perfect setting; almost 50 kids jump rope an hour before school starts. There’s even another child in the group with type 1 diabetes (thanks, Michael, for helping us out!).  I explained the program to the kids…


And off we went!

The boys were really excited when their teacher, Mr. Rabb, agreed to check his blood sugar for the video. What you don’t see is that it took us almost ten minutes to get it done! Benny had asked ahead of time if Mr. Rabb was willing. When he was, we decided to bring in a different meter and lancer to use. We could have easily switched out the needle in Benny’s, but we have a few extra lying around. In fact, I opened up a brand new one just for this.

The boys poked Mr. Rabb’s pinky twice. No blood. They did it again, setting the lancer on #2 (the higher the number, the deeper the needle goes in). Still nothing. We switched fingers, we dialed it up to 3. Then 4. After I tried twice (pressing pretty hard) we figured out what was wrong.

It helps to have a needle in the lancer.



So thanks, Mr. Rabb, for agreeing to help out and then being a great sport when it didn’t go exactly as planned!


Learn more about the Big Blue Test (just click the picture)


Bionic update (with Tom Brobson)

This week, I went to a JDRF function as a volunteer and as a reporter. I brought my camera along to interview John Brady, the International JDRF Board President. That interview will air on Time Warner Cable News Charlotte soon. I was also thrilled to see Tom Brobson at the function. We’ve only met a few times, but it was like seeing an old friend.

Tom is one of the very first people to test the bionic or artificial pancreas. He’s seen it go from its days of testing in the hospital, to real- life experience, with doctors along for supervision, to more free-range testing. I was excited to get an update on how he thought it was all progressing.

You’ll hear that I start the interview referring to how Tom almost “ripped off his shirt” the last time I interviewed him. While I would love to report guys do that around me all the time, it was because I had misunderstood how a CGM sat on the skin. At that time, I hadn’t seen the Dexcom up close and I thought it had tubing, like our Animas Ping insulin pump. Tom loves to educate people, so he graciously showed me the gear.

Click play (below) to hear our conversation:

2014-10-07 18.19.162

(Hmm.. having a bit of a glitch on some browsers right now. If you can’t see the “play” button above, please click here to listen to the interview on SoundCloud)