Off the Dial

A Message From Al Gardner

 Last week, my friend and co-host Al Gardner had surgery for prostate cancer.  He was diagnosed last fall, but chose to keep his fight mostly private until recently.  You can read more about Al's story in his blog here. 

This isn't my journey to share.  I'm writing about it here because Al was kind enough to agree to an interview with me for my weekend program Health Headlines: The Show.  We spent the entire hour talking about his experience – from PSA test to family history to how his just-graduated college boys are taking the news.  His message: get checked, follow up and keep exercising.

Click here to go to our "listen on demand" page for Health Headlines: The Show.  You'll see a little set of headphones next to the show listing – just click there to listen.

Al's doing great and can't wait to get back to the gym.  You'll hear all about his workouts during the interview. If you know someone with a tougher routine, let me know!  


Fashion Fun

Great time at last week's Tommy Bahama Fashion Show to benefit JDRF.  I'm always nervous to take part in events like this – especially when there are professional models in the group! But we have fun and if it helps raise money for diabetes, no question I'm happy to help.

Here's a look just before we head out for the show. You can tell how nervous I am by how fast I'm talking!


Once we went out for the show, we were supposed to stop and stand there while an announcer described the outfit and then stop again at another point while a photographer snapped pictures.   It's hard for me to take myself seriously at times like this, so I got a little goofy. Nice pose (I'm trying not to crack up).


Photo courtesy of Ballantyne Magazine photographer Ray Sepesy

That's my bathing suit shot, by the way. You didn't really think I was going to walk around in a two piece, did you?

Big thanks to Aloft Hotel for hosting us. Also to sponsors Ballantyne After Dark, Hendrick Porsche, Allison Love's Fine Jewelry, Texas Roadhouse, Harley-Davidson of Charlotte and of course, Tommy Bahama, especially Southpark store manager Paul Schneider.  

Not-So-Perfect Timing

Benny's used an insulin pump for almost four years. We love it, but every once in a while there's a hiccup.  Sometimes it's the pump and sometimes it's, um, operator error.

Our most recent trouble came when Benny's teacher called and said the battery had fallen out.    Slade fixed it up ("I MacGyvered it with some gaffer's tape") and Animas sent us a new pump which arrived the next day.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, their customer service is amazing.




(Here's the broken pump – you can see the crack right above the opening for the battery.

Animas asked us to send it back, so Slade kindly removed the gaffer's tape!) 




If you're not familiar, here's a good explanation from Animas of how a pump works. New ones come without any settings.  You enter everything from the date and time to the amount of insulin given every minute of the day, for food and even the maximum amounts the pump can give at a time.  You even adjust the volume and the screen contrast.

We set it all up, and put Benny to bed. His blood sugar was unusually high – around 400 – but we chalked that up to a crazy day with a taped-up pump and maybe a bad site. We changed the inset and checked Benny around 10:30. He was at 300, still very high but coming down.

The next morning he was back up around 350. That's very unusual, but sometimes you just have to wait and see.  The day was fine – his blood sugar was great, if a bit on the lower side.  It wasn't until I bolused Benny for dinner, that I figured out what was going on.

There it was, looking straight at me: 5:30AM nice and clear on the home screen.  I know what 5:30am looks like.  I'm already at work for an hour and a half by then, not sitting around the dinner table eating Dreamfields with the kids. When I set up the pump, I got the time wrong – by 12 hours!

That's important because, remember, the pump gives different levels of insulin at differnent times of day.  Like many kids, Benny gets more insulin automatically while he's asleep – and lower amounts during the day.  A time-shifting pump explains why he was high all night and lowish all day.

When you deal with diabetes, you're dealing with numbers all day long.  I never thought the numbers on the clock would be the ones to trip us up!  Good thing we don't have to mess with the time again until Daylight Savings ends in October. (Wait - I better check that. Aaand,  it's November. Of course.)