Off the Dial

Type 1 TV

Reality TV this year has turned into a primer on type 1 diabetes. 

I can't tell you how many people have asked me if I watch Celebrity Apprentice this year.  Not because I'm a big Trump fan (although I did meet him a few years ago!).  It's because contestant Bret Michaels has type 1 diabetes. He's shared what it was like to grow up with diabetes and got very emotional when he learned his daughter was being tested for type 1.


Over on American Idol, front runner Crystal Bowersox hasn't talked about it as much, but she has type 1 as well.  Of course, it's not like she's going to sing about it, but early in the competition she wasn't well enough to perform one night and that got a lot of attention.  Last week she partnered with her church to donate money to the diabetes camp she attended as a child.(click here to read about it)

As a parent of a child with type 1, I'm always grateful when high profile folks share their experiences with diabetes.  Of course, now Bret Michaels is going through a terrible time, in critical condition still, days after a brain hemorrhage. I can only wonder how diabetes is affecting his body and his treatment.

Like many people, I can't say I had a single thought about Michaels until just a couple of weeks ago.  Now I'm hoping and praying for his recovery and for his daughter's health. 

Proper Texting Posture, Please.

We had a great discussion while taping Health Headlines: The Show this week. (That's my weekend show, airs Sundays at 11am on WBT).  While you've probably heard of blackberry thumb, turns out many of us are doing a different kind of damage to our bodies by using our phones.  (This came up because of a Baltimore Sun story reprinted in the Charlotte Observer recently)

It's not about electromagnetism or anything like that.  It's about posture! I co-host the show with Dr. Russ Greenfield and Alan Tyson, a physical therapist with Architech Sports.  Alan says most of us use our phones while we're looking down, all hunched over.  That may be okay for teenagers, even if they send an average of 50-100 tweets a day, but as we get older (ahem) it can lead to aches and pains.

Alan says he's seeing evidence at his gym that texting and smart phone use is causing neck, shoulder and back problems.  The fix? He says use your phone at eye level – try to hold it up instead of down. He says we should read books like that, too. I sort of laughed at that, so Alan gave me a few easy stretches to help. 

Sit on a chair that doesn't have arm rests and let your arms dangle.  Stretch on arm down and tilt your head in the opposite direction.  Hold for 10 seconds and repeat a few times.  Then switch to the other arm and tilt your head in the other direction. If you text a lot, Alan says you need to do that stretch just about every day.

You can hear the whole discussion about texting and neck/back health this Sunday at 11am on WBT. Or download the podcast


Don't you hate it when you finally find that perfect shade of lipstick, or a lotion that you love, and then the company stops making it? It never occurred to me that could happen with our diabetes supplies, but it just did! 

Benny got his insulin pump in July of 2007 and we've been using the same equipment since then.  I wrote about the Cleo inserter in a recent post.  Turns out, the company that makes the Cleo is discontinuing it. Something about Smith Medical merging or selling. All I really know is that our doctor told us I need to pick a new way to get the pump tubing to attach to Benny's tush.

We're probably looking at the Animas inset, but I'd love to get some feedback from the DOC (Diabetes On line Community). What do you all use? We chose the Cleo initially because it seemed like the best balance of idiot proof for us, and comfortable for Benny.  Almost three years later, I'm not even sure what I'd look for in an inset.  Just want it to go in easy and stay in!

40 Under 40 – Got Talent?

Big thank you to the Charlotte Business Journal.  I was honored to be part of their 40 under 40 presentation this week. It was held at the Knight Theater which means I got to walk by the Firebird. Couldn't resist taking a picture (but we cut off his head! oops.)

The theme this year was "Charlotte's Got Talent," and the Journal asked us to reveal a hidden talent. At first, I thought that was pretty dopey.  These are supposed to be the future leaders of Charlotte. Do we really want to watch bankers and lawyers (and radio hosts) tap dancing or reciting the alphabet backwards?  But it turned out to be very well done and a lot of fun.

There was a juggler and a guy who stood on his head, you also had two experts (sharks and Carolina basketball), and a woman who could be in two places at once (she's a identical twin). Katie Bisbee of Donors Choose spoke Bombara (the language of Mali, West Africa) and Tariq Bokhari  stole the show by getting out his guitar and riffing on Business Journal Headlines of the day ("I got those.. would you support the elimination of Saturday mail delivery… blues"). Pictures below (Thanks to Episode XI Studios)

Tariq works at Wells Fargo, but he's better known as the founder of Strengthen Charlotte, and he ran for city council last year.  I asked him if he was going to get back into politics. He said, probably not right now.  He said he enjoyed meeting and talking to people, but didn't like the wheeling and dealing of it all.  I predict he'll be back (he's only 29 so I think that's a pretty safe prediction!).

My talent? Counting carbs.  You know me, can't miss the chance to talk about type 1 diabetes.  I explained that for us, food means math, and I tallied up the carbs in some of the yummy appetizers they'd passed around at the cocktail hour.  They were tiny tapas, so I guessed about 3 carbs in the tuna (there was a sweet sauce with it) to probably close to 30 for the apple streudel.  I said 20 for the crab cakes and 12 for the fabulous little espresso mousse cups. I had seconds on those, just to make sure.

Oh, and a big thanks to our fabulous emcee, Larry Sprinkle.  The WCNC weatherman is always a blast and he didn't disappoint.  Plus, I found out he gets up even earlier than me. 1:45am!  Now, that's a talent.

Slade and me at the cocktail hour (I am well-caffeinated!)40under402 40under403

Fabi Preslar, me & Sara Garces.  Fabi heads up Spark Publications, the secret behind my book, and Sara's another 40 under 40 winner.

40under40tariq Tariq Bokhari steals the show

40under40headstand Probably the bravest feat of the evening! So sorry, I don't know his name! If you do, please leave in the comments below.

40under40larry Larry Sprinkle does his best Elvis.

Thanks again to Episode XI Studios in Charlotte. They have more pictures of this event, and many others, on their site.