Off the Dial

Pump (and Fairy) Update

First, the pump. We have a launch date. If all goes well, Benny goes “live” on the insulin pump Monday July 9th.

This Wednesday Benny should start wearing the pump and all that goes with it, but he won’t have any actual insulin in it. We’ll see how quickly he gets used to wearing it all the time. Then on July 9th, we’re supposed to start the real deal.

I didn’t think we’d been talking too much about the pump to Benny, but Saturday night I found out he’s been picking up signals. We were talking to our babysitter about how, while she can’t give insulin injections, she may be able to use the pump. When he heard that, he pulled up his shirt and told her, “my pump goes on my belly!” There’s a little girl at his preschool with a pump, so he knows what it looks like.

It’s weird because for the first week or so on the pump, he’ll still need shots, so I can’t tell him the pump means no more injections. Will a two and a half year old understand the concept of next week? As in, “wear this thing in a fanny pack around your waist all the time, even when you sleep because next week it’ll mean you won’t need the five shots a day we’re currently poking into you.” I’ll let you know how it works out!

Now, the fairy. Lea finally lost that loose tooth. It came out as we were leaving our neighborhood pool last night. We were talking to some friends when we heard Lea yelling, “stop!” to Benny. He was stomping on something on the ground – we thought it was a bug. It was her tooth!

For some reason, I started stressing about what the tooth fairy should leave. $1? That sounded right, but should I leave a note as well? Or $1 and a note that she can buy a new book? That’s all she wants these days, which is great and something I want to encourage. I decided I was trying just a little bit too hard and we went with $1. She’s so excited to show everyone at camp today; that seems like reward enough. Plus, she’s already got another loose tooth. I don’t want to start high and end up breaking the bank!

We lost a friend this

We lost a friend this week.

Just a terrific woman, Carol Thurm. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer recently, and it took her life so quickly. She and her husband, Joel, are about the same age as my parents. They’re from the same part of New York as my family and Joel knows some of my family’s doctors. They even have a daughter named Stacey. Needless to say, I’m pretty fond of them.

It’s hard to write about this in the past tense.

Last night Slade & I paid a Shiva call to their home. In the Jewish faith, when someone passes away, the family will “sit Shiva” in their home. Shiva means seven and you are supposed to observe this mourning time for that many days. Generally, the family will gather in one home and receive visitors, but it’s so much more than that. You can learn more here.

During the prayer service, Joel read a beautiful speech he’d written about Carol. It was wonderful and touching and funny and made us all cry. They’d been married for more than 40 years.

Last year, we had a great idea to have a Chanukah dinner in our neighborhood. Carol took charge. We thought it might be a small get together for a few families. Carol seemed to know everybody. She handled the invitations, organization, dinner planning and candle lighting at our club. We had something more than 50 people there! It was a special night and it happened thanks to Carol. I’m sure we’ll have it again this year, but to me, it will always be her event.

I miss her already.

In the Swim

Pruney fingers are hard to use for blood sugar checks.

That’s one of the things we’ve learned after a few weeks at the pool this summer. Vigorous exercise can bring blood sugar down, so we have to check Benny pretty frequently while he’s swimming.

I’ve heard earlobes are a good place to check, but I can’t bring myself to do it, yet. We haven’t gotten to the point where I might actually need to – so far I can always find a spot on his little fingers that “works.”

We’re lucky enough to live in a neighborhood with a great pool and we spend a lot of time there. Like most little kids, Benny is non-stop action as soon as we spend inside the gates. All that exercise brings his blood sugar down, so we’re always snacking. For him, that’s pretty cool. Like last night, when he had two (two!) sugar cookies.

We’re still waiting on our insulin pump and I’m interested to see how it works out at the pool. You see, even though it’s supposed to be water proof, I don’t know anyone who takes it in the water. You can just disconnect the tubing pretty easily (you can read more about pumps here) and reattach when you come out of the pool.

Other parents have told me it’s a breeze, but I’ll wait and see for myself.

On the subject of the pump.. we ordered a sort of holder for Benny’s when he gets it. I’m not really sure how to describe it. There’s a website called Pump Wear; they offer what look like fanny packs and clothes with little pockets. It seems like a great idea for an active little kid but again, we’ll see.

Harris Teeter Celebrity Classic

I’ve played in the JDRF’s golf tournament for about five years now. It’s always a great time.

The Panthers Coach, John Fox (with me, left), is the celebrity chair and he brings out some fun players. There are a lot of kids there – the inspiration for the tournament – and it’s always incredible to meet them. In years past, I’ve interviewed many of these children and their parents about their experience with diabetes.

Of course, this year has special resonance for us. It’s hard to believe we’re not just participants in these fundraisers – we’re now beneficiaries. I emceed the dinner after the tournament and talked about Benny’s diagnosis and what our life’s been like since then.

I got to talk with the new backup quarterback for the Panthers, David Carr. Like us, he has a little boy with diabetes. Everyone wanted to meet Carr, of course, and he couldn’t have been nicer.

It was a terrific outing. Oh, except for the lighting, thunder and torrential downpours.

We haven’t had rain for weeks – the drought is so bad, Union County is fining people for flouting the water restrictions. So of course, when we went there to play golf, the skies opened up. We had an hour delay to start and then had to stop play twice due to lightning. Finally, around 5pm, it all cleared out and we finished the round.

Hard to complain, though. Longview is a spectacular course. Slade & I got to spend the afternoon together, along with the managing partner of our restaurant, Steve.

We also played with Roger & Duck Costner from Brothers Air & Heating. Duck usually plays righty but he’s left handed. He bought a set of lefty clubs and played with them yesterday for the first time. It wasn’t pretty – but it was lots of fun.

The tournament raises quite a bit of money, about $150,000. You can see some pictures on our website; I’m the drowned rat standing next to John Fox.