Off the Dial

How do you spell relief? I-N-S-E-T

Big sigh of relief at my house this week when we heard the UPS truck. We get most of our insulin pump supplies through the mail; you can't get this stuff at CVS or Walgreens.  It's a three month supply and usually we have several days, if not a week or two, of supplies left by the time the new stuff arrives.

However, this time around – for the first time – the supply got pretty low.  On Friday, I noticed we only had two "buttons" left (that's what we call Benny's infusion set).  I'd been told to expect my shipment Monday, so I was relieved to make it through the weekend. Those insets have a sneaky way of coming out at the worst times.  Turns out, the order was shipped on Monday.. set to arrive Wednesday.  I needed some backup.

The infusion set is how you connect the insulin pump's tubing to your body.  It involves a needle that goes in and comes out, leaving behind a tiny hollow cannula.  We use the Cleo 6mm  which looks like a purple stamper:


Who would have samples they could hand over? I called our doctor, but they didn't have any.  Our diabetes educator is fantastic, but I had to leave her a message. You can imagine how busy she is.  I thought about calling some other D-families – but I couldn't think of one who uses the same type of inset we do.  I called the JDRF office and we brainstormed about it. They sent me some phone numbers.

Finally, I decided to just head over to the Diabetes Center.  Our educator was able to work me in after a little while.  She didn't have samples of our infusion set but she did have another kind and gave me a quick lesson. It's called the Animas Inset and here's a video on how it works (you can see how it looks on the body around the 1:20 mark)


You'll notice the Animas inset is flatter and bigger than the Cleo.  You can also see the needle in the Animas version, something both my kids noticed right away of course. There's also a long cover over the needle, so it looks even bigger than it is!  For some reason, Benny didn't care about that – he just liked that the ones I brought home were blue, his favorite color.

 Luckily, we had no problem with the infusion sets we had and never had to try the new ones. We're going to keep track of the supplies over the next couple of weeks and see if we can figure out why we got so low.  Hopefully, just a glitch this time around, but at least now I've got my backups!


Still Full From Syracuse

My trip to Syracuse earlier this month was a reunion for WJPZ – the student run radio station and “The greatest media classroom in the world!” It really is amazing.  However I only worked there for about five minutes, and I still kick myself for not doing more.  However, I was smart enough to have a wonderful roommate who did! We’re still great friends and Beth and her husband, Dave, are the real reason we decided to head to the frozen tundra. (why do they hold reunions in Syracuse before spring even pretends to start?)

Easy plane ride there – we saw Nancy Pelosi at Reagan National (flying commerical?) – and made it to town in time for lunch at Cosmos. Little did I know it would be the beginning of an entire weekend of ridiculous food on the SU campus.

Above is a THB – a toasted honey bun. They split a sugary honey bun (it’s just a big ol’ donut), grill it, and put two huge scoops of ice cream on top.  Yes, that’s a little bit of butter on the side! I can’t begin to tell you how good this is – and I hope to never see one again.

Dinner was pizza, wings and piles of fries at Varsity. I had a wrap – I didn’t even know Varsity served wraps – but I can’t eat like this anymore!  No wonder I gained 20 pounds in college.  We missed going to the Dinosaur (I know!) so we’ll have to make a trip back.

I took part in a panel discussion about the future of radio. Matt Friedman wrote about that quite nicely here.  As for career advice – seems to me the students who stuck around on a sunny Friday afternoon to listen to our panel are already motivated enough. They’ll make it work (I got to meet and talk to several of them one on one.  Seriously smart kids, most of whom already have part time jobs in radio or media).

The formal banquet Saturday night was a nice chance to reconnect.  Here’s our table:


(Back row Henry Ferry, Beth & Dave Gorab, me, Slade – Front row, Scott Meach, Hal Rood, Ken Scott, Larry Ross)
Also, I hope they fix that construction on I-81.  We just had to get one more last meal in Sunday morning and we almost missed the plane.  I was so frazzled, I tried to walk onto the wrong flight – really. The detour did take us past the Little Gem Diner, though! Luckily, we were full – or I’m pretty sure we would have stopped!

Syracuse (Evil) Orange?

So much to share about our quick trip to Syracuse last week. We went back for the first time in a very long time for SU’s student-run radio station reunion. (More soon on WJPZ – the greatest media classroom in the world!)

SU was #1 for about 5 minutes, so we had some fun watching the Louisville game at the Sheraton Syracuse, where we stayed.  That was great – turns out an old friend of ours, Rich Duda, is the manager there! They’ve redone much of the hotel and while I remember it being very nice, it really was terrific. They even won the 2009 Good Earthkeeping Award (see, Rich, told you I’d pass it along!!).

So here’s my only complaint.  SU has such a great mascot – the adorable Otto the Orange. Lately, they’ve been trying to make Otto look tough. This is a mistake.  An orange is not a tough guy – he’s a cutie.


Ottogood Ottomean
(I can’t get them the same size. It looks like Mean Otto ate Good Otto!)

I saw the worst one ever this weekend, though.  So excited to find golf club covers in Manny’s on Marshall Street until I looked a little closer.  That’s his nose, but doesn’t it look a little too much like a mustache?


I yelled out, “Hitler Otto!” in the middle of the store. Classy.  It’s enough to make you want to bring back the Saltine Warrior.

Back In Town & Catching Up

Big thanks to Mom and Dad.  We went away for the weekend (more on that soon) and they came up from Florida to watch the kiddos.  Mom has been unbelievable since Benny was diagnosed. She just jumped in and learned everything. In fact, we had a trip planned less than two months after we found out Benny had diabetes and she insisted we go. 

At this point, I don't really worry about much except his inset coming out. As you know, changing Benny's button recently hasn't been much fun.  He's actually gotten a lot better the last couple of times, but I didn't want my parents to have to deal with that.  Luckily, it stayed in just as it should and they had a great weekend.

I'm a little behind on this, but have to say a big thank you to Morton's. Can't thank the staff enough for a wonderful time last Friday.  As part of the "Steak in our Community" program they donated proceeds from Friday, February 26th, to JDRF Charlotte and invited some of the families to meet & great guests.

Here's Lea with one of the great waiters and Shannon, a manager. They showed Lea the ropes and let her play maitre 'd.  She even helped serve a lobster (which she thought was totally gross)!


Benny with JDRF Charlotte's Executive Director Laura Maciag.  He gives the sliders at Morton's a big thumbs up (and we thank bartender Bill for making us all feel welcome).


Fellow JDRF parents Pat & Shauna McFeeley and friends Sue & Robert Goodling


Janice Sachs, a family friend and Evan Sachs (on the right).  Evan is 13, has type 1 and basically adopted my kids for the evening. He's incredibly articulate about living with diabetes – he was diagnosed at age five.


Here's Lea with Shannon & Keisha learning how to run the restaurant computer.


The only bad news? We didn't get a chance to eat! Just an excuse to go back soon.