Off the Dial

Banana Split part 2


He hated it.

The whole experience was a lot of fun.  Turns out while Benny loves bananas, he didn't much care for the combination of ice cream and fruit.  He did, however, very much enjoy the hot fudge – and the extra M&Ms his sister gave him from her sundae. Blue only, you'll notice.

Blood sugar before the ice cream and lunch was 190 (a little higher than I expected).  We assumed about 50 carbs for the sundae and dosed him for it.  BG went to about 210 and stayed there for a few hours. Got him back down to normal just before dinner.

I'm considering it good practice for the next couple of days – Thanksgiving is here and so are my brothers-in-law.  That means outrageous food (my brother-in-law David makes his own marshmallows!) but also lots of good times.  I'm so thankful for the diabetes tools we have now that don't make the two mutually exclusive. 

Bring on the (carefully-measured and insulin-dosed for) holiday feast!

Banana Split For My Baby…

How many carbs are in a banana split? Not something I ever imagined looking up, frankly. But I now know more about the split than I thought possible. Did you know an early version was served with the peel on? You'll be amazed to learn that didn't last long.


I'm learning all this because one of my son's favorite books is Curious George and the Ice Cream Shop.  George does all sorts of crazy things, of course, including piling up a ton of ice cream in one bowl and making a big banana split. My kids have never seen a banana split and this has absolutely captured their imagination. Every time we read the book, Benny asks me when he can have one.

Oh, never, I want to say. We do a pretty good job of managing Benny's diabetes, but I don't need the tsuris of dealing with the fat, carbs and plain old sugar in a big gloppy sundae. But he's been asking me for almost two years now, and I think this this weekend we are finally going to do it.  I don't want to turn this into forbidden fruit (hah, hah).

So I don't want to brag, but I know a little bit more about ice cream than your average bear.  My very first job was scooping ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Oh yeah, that was me in the pink and brown uniform at the Jefferson Valley Mall in 1986.  I hated when people ordered banana splits.  It held up the line, it was messy and I can't stand bananas.

But to most people, banana splits are fun.  Louis Prima sang about them (if you didn't recognize the name of this post, please take a second to click on that or just scroll down and listen to that great song.) A whole bunch of kids got freaked out by them in the late 60s.  (and yes, I will call out that I caught Keith Larson singing the Banana Splits theme song recently. I think your childhood TV choices say a lot about you. H.R. Pufnstuff fans, I'm looking at you).


I can't imagine that Benny will really eat a banana split. We've ordered ice cream sundaes for him before. He usually eats the cherry and the whipped cream and takes a nibble of ice cream. But just in case, I have to be prepared and that means learning about the nutritional content.  Benny gets insulin based on the carbs he eats.

So let's do the math - a banana has about 25-30 carbs. 2 scoops of vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and a cherry has 35 carbs – no hot fudge.  What else goes into a banana split?  I'm reading on line that a Friendly's Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Friend-Z has 96 carbs.  Oh my lord.. I just found the Friendly's nutrition page. A Royal Banana Split has 880 calories and 132 carbs.  Benny usually eats about 30 carbs in one meal.  I'm not sure he's ever had 132 carbs in one day!

Well, hopefully he won't eat the whole thing and we'll do it at lunch time so we'll have the afternoon to work it out.  The next question is, how much will power am I going to have?  I get a little carried away when it comes to hot fudge, myself.  Dispenser man, if you please, serve us up a mess of calories. Banana split for my baby.. and a glass of plain water for me!



World Diabetes Day

November 14th is World Diabetes Day. Slade and I will be at the JDRF Gala, helping to raise money here in Charlotte.  I'm also going to try to get Benny to take part in the Big Blue Test tomorrow.  I love this idea.  They're asking people to check their blood sugar at 2pm, post the results on line, do some exercise and post again.  I think Benny will get a kick out of seeing other numbers.  I'll post it on Twitter tomorrow.

Of course, no guarantee Benny will cooperate. He knocks me out with his amazing cooperation and great attitude, but he is four. Good example: We change Benny's inset every three days.  This is how the pump actually connects to his body. The inset looks sort of like a nickel-sized nicotine patch with a nub on it.  A long tube connects to that little nub and is attached on the other end to a cartidge inside the pump. Add insulin and you're off and pumping.

For the first year, changing the inset – he calls it a button – was a nightmare. It has a needle that goes in and comes out, leaving a tiny canula behind.  The needle doesn't stay in but it does hurt.  Benny refused any numbing cream – he thought the cream would hurt too.  Now, thank goodness, we use the cream and it's so much better.  But Benny still works us.

We let him decide how we do the button.  Lately, it's been while Slade holds him upside down and I pop it on. That's funny but Benny's getting big! He weighs 57 pounds now and it's getting harder for Slade to throw him around.  He'll also change his mind halfway through the acrobatics and ask for more time. Remember, he's got to be naked from the waist down for all this.  It got crazy the other night, after a lot of other 4 year old nonsense, and we just walked away to let everyone cool off.

I whispered to Benny we should trick Daddy.  Let's do your button really quiet, I said.  Then you can go tell Daddy you're ready for him to do it. When he says okay, I told Benny, you can yell 'Psych!'  He loved it and I popped the button on, no drama.

Benny leaves his room, walks up to his dad and tells him he's ready to go. When Slade says, "Great!" Benny turns to me and says, "What am I supposed to say now?" Oh well.

One last thing on diabetes. Check out this video.  Takes less than two minutes and does a great job of showing you why for us, there really is no such thing as a free lunch.  (Happy World Diabetes Day!)



Social Media & Elections

So what do you think about social media in this election? I'm not sure it influenced any outcomes, but it meant some interesting moments.  By social media, of course, I mean Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn.  Even if you're not on these outlets, most of the candidates are.

Good example: check out Charlotte social media expert Jeff Elder's comparison of Charlotte's mayoral candidateson Facebook.

I follow a lot of politicians on Twitter (and I'm followed by quite a few as well).  At WBT we follow the equal time rules very carefully – in fact we try to go above and beyond.  In the weeks leading up to the election we don't talk to one candidate without talking to them all (on the same show).  That led to some confusion for me as I post on Facebook and Twitter.

Should I "talk" to a candidate without also "talking" to all the others on line? Both candidates for mayor,  lots of city council candidates, suburban mayors and school board folks were all over Twitter. Sending out messages, sometimes directly to me. I decided that if I couldn't respond to all I wouldn't respond to any.  Since not every candidate is on line, that meant political Twitter silence from me. (Sorry guys, now you know why I was ignoring you!)

Social media is sort of like the Wild West but I think most journalists are doing a good job of feeling their way around it.  Do any of the old rules apply?  What do you think?