Off the Dial


Now that we’re sort of comfortable in our diabetes routine, life threw us a curve. It was a small, but messy one: a stomach bug that’s going around. It was the first time since Benny’s diagnosis of Type I Diabetes that we had to deal with a “regular” illness.

I’ll spare you the details; let’s just say we were very worried about Benny becoming dehydrated and since he wasn’t eating much, also about giving him insulin.

When a diabetic kid has a sick day, you have to check for something called “ketones.” Ketones occur when you don’t have enough insulin; your body starts to break down fat for energy and acids build up in your blood. If you don’t catch it it can lead to Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) which, if not treated quickly, can lead to coma or even death. Pretty scary stuff, but that’s why you have to keep on top of it and check for the ketones early, before they build up.

The test is simple (but be warned, I’m going to talk pretty frankly about some bathroom stuff here and throughout the rest of this post). You have your child pee on a test strip or you can collect the child’s urine and dip the end of the stick into the “sample.” Then you check the colors in the end of the test strip to a color chart to determine how severe or “large” the ketones are.

Here’s a great link for a more complete explaination, including one of blood testing for ketones:

Once again, though, we find a simple test is anything but when you’re dealing with a two year old. Benny is close to potty-trained, but still in diapers. So how do you get him to pee on a stick? When we were in the hospital, during his diagnosis, they checked him for ketones by putting cotton balls in his diaper and then squeezing the cotton balls out(!) onto the test strips. He thought that was very funny. I probably shouldn’t write this, but after three days of that, he started pointing to his diaper when we changed him, saying “balls!”

So I tried it at home. First time around, he pooped. So much for those cotton balls. That’s when I realized I was out. Who runs out of cotton balls? I checked every bathroom, every closet – nothing. So what to do? Diapers are way too absorbent now to release any fluid (gross, but I tried).

I asked Benny every half an hour if he wanted to go. No, no, no. Finally, at bath time, success! And even better – no ketones! The test was negative. The problem? Benny thought peeing in a cup was so much fun, he wants to do it all the time!


The Envelope, Please

I love the Oscars. I go to fewer movies these days than ever before; having two little kids will do that to you. I think I saw three movies last year and none of them were close to being academy award nominees. (X-Men, The Prestige and something else. Seriously. That’s what I saw.)

I haven’t watched the Oscars in years, but, like you, I can probably guess who will win Sunday night, just based on buzz. Here are my picks:

Best actor: Forest Whitaker
Best actress: Helen Mirren
Best picture: Babel
Best director: Martin Scorsese
Supporting Actor: Eddie Murphy
Supporting Actress: Jennifer Hudson

My one upset pick is Babel. The buzz on Little Miss Sunshine is great, but I think the Academy voters like to be seen as too, too sophisticated. LMS may be endearing, but Babel seems darker and that’s why I’m going with it.

I don’t really care about the nominated movies, but I do love to see the fashions. I know, I’m pathetic. I’m embarrassed to tell you how well I did on this Oscar dress quiz from the Washington Post.

I got 11 out of 12 right. (and I was cheated on #12 – Cate Blanchett in yellow? Please.)

I do have a soft spot in my heart for the Oscar broadcast, though. Because it goes so late, local newscasts will often put a sub in so their A-team newscasters can get the night off. 13 years ago at WUTR in Utica, NY, that sub was me. I did everything, including weather and sports. I’ve destroyed all tapes of that broadcast though, so don’t ask.

My Saturday Night

There are times when you’re sort of forced to put things in perspective. Saturday night was one of those times for me and my husband, Slade.
Our plans were for dinner and a show. I love musicals and Slade bought tickets a while back for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. We decided to eat uptown at Harry & Jean’s – I’d sampled their food during Taste of Charlotte last year and have been meaning to go back since then.
Great meal, nice atmosphere and I asked our waiter to have a manager stop by our table. I wanted to complement him and talk about the Taste of Charlotte. But when the manager came over, I was surprised to find it was Roger Polsky.
Name doesn’t ring a bell? Roger is married to Melissa Greer, the meteorologist at WBTV who’s been fighting an extremely rare form of cancer, found only because she was having symptoms during pregnancy. The baby was born in an Iowa hospital, one of the few in this country that’s treated Melissa’s type of cancer. The baby is doing well, even after the chemotherapy Melissa had while pregnant. Melissa had 12 hours of surgery; she’s been released from the hospital but will stay in Iowa until the baby can come home too. There’s a lot more to the story and you can read about it at
Roger sat down with us for a while. We’d never met before, but I used to work at WBTV and I work just down the hall now. I found out he didn’t even realize Melissa was on TV until after they started dating. He’s not a spotlight-seeking kind of guy, but he couldn’t have been more appreciative of the prayers, good wishes and donations that have come in.
There’s still a long road ahead for Roger & Melissa. Getting everyone back home together. Then they’ll probably go to Europe for more treatment.
We had talked for so long that we were late for the show. It didn’t really matter. As we walked along the few blocks of Tryon Street to the Belk Theatre we didn’t have much to say. Slade held out his hand and I took it.

Join Us For Lunch – An Invitation

NewsTalk 1110 WBT is hosting a lunch later this month at The Palm. It’s going to be a great event, to benefit the USO. You can get all the information and sign up at

What do you get for your $50? Well, you help the USO – an amazing organization. From their website: The USO is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide morale, welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform. The original intent of Congress — and enduring style of USO delivery — is to represent the American people by extending a touch of home to the military.

You’ll also have an awesome lunch at The Palm. I don’t yet know what’s on the menu, but of course the steaks, the lobsters are all unreal. My favorite appetizer: the Monday Night Salad. Seriously, order it next time and tell me I’m wrong.

And, of course, you get to meet us. All of us from WBT. I’ll be there, Al Gardner and Jim Szoke. Keith Larson & John Hancock. Jeff Katz, Tara Servatius, Charles Jenkin, Don Russell. We’ve each got our own table and we’ll play host to you.

So come join us February 24th for a great time. You know the food will be incredible and if you sit at my table I’ll make sure we get to the buffet before Al!